Dumb (Founded) – August 27, 2022 (250-251/365)

Enough of the procrastination. Enough of the finding the feeling before writing. Enough of trying to organize it all in my head before I put it all into writing, and before I arrange it all in actual words. See, that’s the thing. I know that I need to write. I also know that I have to write. And now, before I actually write, I guess I need this little pep talk to myself only to serve as a nice and fat fuck you to whatever was holding me back from actually writing.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. His mercies are new, and they are new with every morning. Today, we experience new mercies, and overflowing mercies. Tomorrow, we shall experience the mercies of the Lord – not necessarily the same mercies as we would experience today, but brand new mercy just allocated for us, for tomorrow.

I’m here at the basement of our church, in one of the classrooms which serves as an operation center of sorts for my ministry team and I during the weekends. I’ve had to drive here, obviously, but on my drive coming here I was around 3 cars away from a truck that lost control up ahead. The way I see it now that I’m recalling it, he was coming down, and in his losing control he swerved to the lane coming up, and crashed into a tree. Thankfully no other cars figured in the accident.

I’ve had the mercies of the Lord ministering to me before, during, and after this particular incident, and I’m pretty sure that His mercies are fresh, and more importantly custom-made for the incidents that would happen tomorrow. Now, if that implies another truck crashing in the exact way that a truck crashed today, well, again: His mercies never come to an end, and they ARE new every morning. I have to give a shoutout to my brother from another mother in Dubai who tirelessly reminded me of this during the time I was blessed to spend time with him and his family, and our common friends.

It’s these same mercies that were with me as I went through last week. From August 22 through 26 I’ve been signing into a Google meet, where we would all listen to subject matter experts briefing us on how to be a Pollution Control Officer. God’s mercies have been with me, day after day – Through all that time I’ve been kept awake, and through all that time I’ve been kept alert. I may not necessarily have absorbed each and every detail, each and every Republic Act and Presidential Decree down to the letter, but I am led to believe that the mercies of the Lord have played a part in getting me to remember what I needed to remember.

I could say that the mercies of the Lord were new for me with each and every day, not only for these obvious reasons, but also in the little thoughts and observations I’ve been making as the training progressed. This is what I had in mind to share today, and in my typing I hope to really get it all specified and clarified… just letting you know now before you go any further and you die of boredom. I just thought, if I wrote and kept it saved, I would be doing myself an injustice for keeping all the clarified information to myself. It probably should be shared, no matter how it still turns out as a mess, even after ‘clarification’.

Take note that all this is from how I took it when they were teaching it to us, so you’re going to read a lot of ‘if I remember clearlys’, ‘to the best of my knowledges’, and ‘I believes’.

The Philippines began its involvement in combatting the concept of climate change and being aware of the environment and all that, as early as the time of President Marcos (the father); I believe Presidential Decree (PD) 1151 was formed, based on the framework of what the USA had in place during the time, and this was refined even further, with PD 1586, which introduced the need for every applicable entity to have their own Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). As time passed and regimes changed, updates were also made, both to governing documents and entities; The EIS was eventually updated to be the EIA, or the Environmental Impact Assessment – again, required for every applicable entity (e.g. businesses and organizations).

As the EIA was being implemented to more and more cities and provinces, and adapted by more and more entities, clarifications had to be made, and additions were introduced to address issues of the environment as they came up. This is why through the years up until today, different Republic Acts were also put into place and implemented by the government. For instance, Republic Act (RA) 6969 introduced policies and also general procedures as to how businesses were to handle Toxic and Hazardous Waste. This was separate from Solid Waste Management, which was part of the agenda within RA9003. Provisions and policies also had to be standardized, introduced and implemented to address air and water pollution, through separate Republic Acts: RA8749, and RA9275, respectively.

And here’s what I think would be my first observation. For all the wisdom and the foresight our former leaders had, I see that this entire system that we put in place is predominantly reactive – that is, something had to happen before we acted. Back in the day, people took all the information they could, collected all the data and put it all into graphs and presentations, only to prove that the world was killing itself fast because we were being irresponsible – the prevalent idea being presented stated that a majority of businesses apparently prioritized profit over the environment, and if we don’t care about the environment, everyone suffers. This idea took root in the USA, we heard about it, and we thought it as a threat – so we came up with our own entities and policies. Obviously I have my own thoughts about climate change but I’ll keep them to myself (I guess I revealed my position in my choice of words in the most recent sentences), but my point here is that we wouldn’t have the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, nor would we have all these PDs and these RAs if not for the introduction of the observation that the environment is a big deal and that it’s in huge danger.

The entire system is reactive, and it appears that the methodologies imposed by the RAs, the PDs, and the DAOs (Department Administrative Orders) are just the same. I wrote in an earlier post that the two main concepts to keep in mind – whether it be responding to air, water, solid, or toxic/hazardous waste and pollution – is mitigation and adaptation. We defined mitigation as the avoidance, prevention or reduction of consequences – damage control, simply – and if said consequences could not be avoided and mitigated, then we ought to be able to adapt, that is, to try to take advantage, or to turn the consequence into a benefit as much as we could.

I suppose this is something that we simply ARE – not only as businesses, or Filipinos, but as human beings in general; For all our efforts to show how we are a forward thinking species, there’s something within us that appears to be more reactive in nature – much so, that I believe one probable reason we accumulate wealth, power, and influence, is so that we would make things happen, more than we would allow things to happen to us… But I believe, even those who we perceive as the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world, these folks who are oftentimes targets for one and a multitude of conspiracy theories – even they are reactive.

For far before climate change evolved from being an observation to a phenomenon, we’ve already had something happen to each and every human being that has lived and died since the dawn of history, and it was infinitely worse than global warming. In fact, if you throw in a little bit of flair and religiosity from the 80s, you can say that it’s put us in an inescapable collision course to a place far hotter than the temperatures we get from the Equator.

The idea of climate change has led many to believe that it’s by the greed of men in power that has doomed all of us to a hotter and more dangerous world – something, I believe, which is a mere repetition of a pattern introduced to us in the Garden of Eden: Adam and Eve partook of the one fruit they were told not to eat – the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil – and, actually, more than dooming us to hell, we were at that time separated from the glory of God. By one man’s disobedience many were made sinners.

I could go down the line of how all that’s resolved, and quite easily hit the 2000 word mark of this article, but at this point I guess I want to ask: Does this theory of our being predominantly reactive have its connections to how we are creations?

There’s this one particular Johnny Hart strip of B.C. where we states that the overall, leading cause of death is birth. I laughed and moved on with my life but apparently it left me something to think about – If we were left on our own we would face an end – in the form of the expiration of our physical bodies, or the complete annihilation of all parts of our being – all as a natural reaction of having a beginning.

Sure, I could be wrong. In fact, I’ve already accepted the absurdity of that statement, but I suppose if I was to give any more thought to it (like right now) I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be left in a corner making sounds with my fingers brushing on my lips – no, even in these greatest and most ridiculous stretches of our imagination, even in these moments of insanity… His mercies are here.

His mercy is here, fresh and right for this moment – reminding me that I could keep going down that road of making assumptions based on assumptions… but wherever I may be in my own process of trying to fit in our beginning and our end – as in a puzzle – all these pseudo-facts and assumptions, they’ll all just point me to further appreciating how Christ Himself is BOTH the Beginning and the End – The Creator who spoke light into the formless darkness is the same Salvation taking us out of meaningless oblivion. I believe our Creator is as proactive as He is reactive, being far more than knowing the possibilities arising from all possible moments – Greater than Doctor Strange, He CREATES the possibilities and alters them; Greater than Thanos (and, really, greater than any character created by a created being), He creates according to His infinite wisdom and knowledge.

In the process of trying to grasp our nature as creations, His mercies have led me to another perspective and another reason to be in awe of His being our Creator – for, indeed, if we were created with such precision and under such wisdom and knowledge, wouldn’t it also give us a picture of how infinite His love is for us as well? For if we were to consider the assumption that we, as creations, would have an eventual ‘end’ just as we had a beginning, wouldn’t it mean so much more that the One who is both in the Beginning and the End, and beyond, is with us, and carry us through, much so that we are able to genuinely view incidents such as death, with peace, knowing that in Him it is more than a transition than an actual end?

Well, that escalated quickly. I’ll end this here. Need to drive. See you guys later.

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