Friday, April 25, 2008

Mount Everest Expedition Team campaigns to stop Global Warming

Janet Belarmino Sardena, Carina Dayondon and Noelle Wenceslao (l-r), members of the Philippine expedition, say Mt. Everest is no longer blanketed with snow.

The Philippine Mt. Everest Expedition team is batting for the use of geothermal energy and other clean sources of energy to power the needs of the Philippines, warning that the threat of global warming is real and worsening.

The Philippine Mt. Everest Expedition team was in Los Angeles last year on a multi-city tour months before the all-women Phiippine Team achieved 2 world-record by completing a traverse climb from Tibet on the China-Tibet side to Everest Summit and down to Nepal and being the first all women team to do so.

The team was in the Visayas over the weekend to practice their endurance in preparation for a May 29, 2008 Mt. Everest Marathon and to continue advocating actions to further prevent global warning.

The members of the team are Noelle Wenceslao, Carina Dayondon, Pastour Emata, Dr. Ted Esguerra and Negrense Art Valdez – team leader and Fred Jamili.

“We have seen the effects of global warming in Mt. Everest where the glaciers have receded, and where stones and pools of water can now be seen at the base camp that was formerly blanketed with snow,” Valdez said.

"That is why we need to push for clean fuel and preserving the environment", Valdez said.

Esguerra and Emata, who are from Davao, said they had campaigned against the Philippine National Oil Co. Energy Development Corp.’s setting up of a geothermal plant in Mt. Apo out of fear of its damage on the forest, but they no longer opposes it today.

Esguerra said at first he was strongly opposed to PNOC EDCs entry into Mt. Apo and even went to jail for his advocacy, but he said now he sees that its has been beneficial to the area.

Image from Everest north side on Chinese Base Camp/

The massive tree planting effort of PNOC EDC in Mt. Apo, the Philippines highest peak, has actually contributed to the preservation of the environment we once thought it would destroy, he said.

Informed that fears have been raised that PNOC EDC’s entry into the buffer zone of the Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park in Bago City and its cutting of trees to tap more geothermal power for its Northern Negros Geothermal Power Plant could hurt the rich biodiversity in the area, Esguerra said “sometimes something has to be affected for the greater good”.

Electric cooperatives in Negros Occidental plan to buy coal power from Kepco, a Cebu based firm after 2010 to augment the power needs of the province with the NNGPP so far only producing 5 megawatts.

Esguerra said using coal power will have more far reaching damage on the environment.

The more ideal clean source of power is geothermal, he said, because steam generated energy is perpetual.

Emata said when he climbed Mt. Apo before it was balding but with PNOC EDC’s entry into the area there has been massive reforestation.

He said while he had initially opposed the firm’s entry into Mt. Apo today he believes that had it not done so the forest situation there would be far worst.*CPG

Source; Carla Gomez & Philippine Mt. Everest Expedition team