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October 16, 2010

“Greenovation: A Climate Change Awareness Concert”

Contributed by Arch. Rex Tamase, BS Architecture

“Climate change itself is not bad; without it, the earth will die. It is the rapid pace of climate change that is bad.”

That, in essence, is what Dr. Emelina G. Regis, director of the Institute for Environmental Conservation and Research (INECAR) of the Ateneo de Naga University, said in her talk delivered as part of the “Greenovation: A Climate Change Awareness Concert” held on October 16, 2010 at Teatro Arkitekto in the UAP National Headquarters in Quezon City.

She explained that global warming is the increase in the surface air temperature resulting from the rising levels of greenhouse gases emitted by vehicles and industries, and cited the three main causes of global warming as air pollution (vehicular and industrial exhaust, garbage,) forest denudation, and water pollution (garbage, liquid waste, mining.)

Prof. Armin B. Sarthou, Jr., former UAP Diliman Chapter president & District Director of UAP District A-4, and currently the University of the Philippines’ Vice President for Development, cited films such as “Day After Tomorrow” & “28 Days Later” and the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” hosted by former US Vice President Al Gore which “told us about the end of days via climate change, brought about by man’s carelessness in the care of his home planet.”

On the other hand, movies such as “Armageddon,” “Deep Impact,” and most recently “2012” tend to “shift the blame away from man-made events,” and that the “culprit for extinction was beyond us and beyond our control, and therefore not our responsibility.”

He continued that “whether these climatological changes (sic) are grossly man-made or totally natural, there are things that each and every one of us must do to mitigate its effects.”

He said that there are many opportunities for us in design, such as “re-tooling homes to adopt water conservation or reuse devices, or integrating mini-sustainable energy alternative power plants into the designs of homes and other structures.”

He added that at the simplest level, “we must design buildings like we have been always taught in school – with an eye towards passive cooling and much more efficient use of energy” like “opening up large windows towards the north and the south for light and ventilation while at the same time limiting the direct entry of sunlight from the east and west.”

We should also “pursue more active solutions such as rainwater impounding even for individual residences, which allows for the recycling of water. The less water we use, the less strain we place on available hydroelectric energy, and the less need for fossil fuel-driven energy sources.”

He cited architects and engineers in Japan who “have designed entire housing projects powered by solar energy, all connected to the grid so that no energy is wasted in continuous give-and-take power trading.

The concert also featured songs such as ASIN’s Masdan Mo (Ang Kapaligiran) and Michael Jackson’s “The Earth Song” and “Heal the World.”

Greenovation was the brainchild of Arch. Lui Vito, Secretary of UAP Elliptical Chapter, and was presented by the UAP District A-4, UAP Elliptical Chapter, and the Central Colleges of the Philippines College of Architecture and was sponsored by Davies Paints and Steel Tech.