by Flor Lacanilao
Scientists renew concern on climate adaptation
My post last week gave examples on improving the work of scientists and media in climate disasters. I mentioned, Our typical news report on climate-related issues often lacks evidence-based information (properly published experts or studies). For example, the news report “Reclaiming land seen as measure to deal with climate change” (Inquirer, 11/1/12) mentioned a department secretary, a bureau director, an architect, a government reclamation agency, and the University of the Philippines National Institute of Geological Science or NIGS (see Key role of scientists & media in climate disasters, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 8 Nov 2012).
But no scientist or properly published study was cited. It failed to mention the well-published NIGS geologist Dr. Alfredo Mahar Lagmay
Here is another example of a news report in this week's issue of the journal Nature, showing how scientists and engineer scientists discuss plans on climate adaptation.
Malcolm Bowman (who specializes in storm-surge modelling at Stony Brook University in New York) has "advocated a system of sea barriers or dykes," like those in London, the Netherlands, and Russia. The system pictured by Bowman and others consists of an 8-Km-wide barrier, 6 meter-high, that could be opened and closed at the entrance to the harbor, and other structures. The cost is about US$15 billion, Estimates of the damage caused by "Sandy" is between $30 billion and $50 billion.
On the other hand, some scientists worry that a single focus on sea barriers could be counterproductive -- like disrupting river outflow, increasing sedimentation, upsetting ecosystems, and exacerbate flooding in areas that are not protected. Also, sea barriers do not protect against severe storms that produce inland flooding.
Cynthia Rosenzweig (co-chair of the NY climate panel and a senior scientist at NASA) says, “Sandy clearly shows that we have to do the barrier studies now. . . But I think we need to consider an integrated and holistic set of solutions, and not put all of our eggs in the barriers." Scientists and government officials must ensure that any rebuilding is done with the long view of global warming in mind. She adds.
Full text in "Hurricane sweeps US into climate-adaptation debate" (Nature, 8 Nov 2012)
The way governance of science and education in the Philippines goes, I think the message to the Filipino academic scientist can be seen in the Science editorial last week, which says in part:
"Scientists insist on believable data both in work and in public life. Bright young scientists do not accept nonsense from those in power, and they will not be eternally patient with those responsible for it. The response of the scientist to nonsense is both conceptual and practical: to recognize it, expose it, and try to fix it." (The Scientist as World Citizen (2 Nov 2012).
Retired professor of marine science
University of the Philippines, Diliman
Popular posts from this blog
There is information to be gained from data. Tests in schools can be informative. Scores of students provide a quick glimpse of the current state of education. Thus, it is useful to have these numbers. These numbers may not tell everything in detail with high accuracy. Nevertheless, test results allow for a useful perspective. The National Achievement Test administered by the Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines, a set of standardized tests addressing the major subjects taught in school, is an example. These tests are given to Grade 3 where students are assessed in both English and Filipino (These two subjects comprise two thirds of the exam) and Math and Science (These two account for the remaining one third). A different set of tests is given to Grade 6 pupils where each of the following 5 subjects is assigned 40 items: (Science, Math, English, Filipino and Social Studies). Another set is administered to fourth year high school students (This is currently the last year
MGA TANONG AT SAGOT HINGGIL SA Kto12 PROGRAM NG GOBYERNO NG PILIPINAS Posted on May 28, 2012 by David Michael San Juan MGA TANONG AT SAGOT HINGGIL SA Kto12 PROGRAM NG GOBYERNO NG PILIPINAS (Paunawa: Simpleng lenggwahe ang ginamit sa artikulong ito upang madaling maintindihan ng mayorya.) For the full English version please visit http://www.scribd.com/david_juan_1/d/70033985-San-Juan-David-Michael-Full-Paper-Kto12 TANONG: ANO ANG KTO12 PROGRAM? SAGOT: Ang Kto12 Program ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas ay tumutukoy sa pagkakaroon ng mandatory o required na kindergarten at karagdagang 2 taon sa dating 10-year Basic Education Cycle. Kung noon, pagkatapos ng anim na taon sa elementarya at apat na taon sa hayskul (kabuuang 10 taon) ay maaari nang makapagkolehiyo ang mga estudyante. Sa ilalim ng Kto12, bago makapagkolehiyo, kailangan pa nilang dumaan sa karagdagang 2 taon pagkatapos ng apat na taong hayskul. Sa bagong sistema, tinatawag na senior high school o junior
With the new K to 12 curriculum of the Philippine basic education system, questions are now raised regarding how tertiary education should be modified to fit the changes in Philippine high schools. The focus is on general education requirements. Currently, as Isagani Cruz explains in his MINI CRITIQUE , The Philippine Star, March 22, 2012 ; There are two General Education Curricula (GECs) – GEC-A and GEC-B. GEC-A (taken by students majoring in the humanities, social sciences, or communication) requires 63 units (that is, hours per week for a semester or trimester) divided into 24 units of language and literature, 15 units of mathematics and natural sciences, 6 units of humanities, 12 units of social sciences, and 6 units of mandated subjects. GEC-A was promulgated by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Memorandum Order (CMO) 59, series of 1996. GEC-B (taken by all other students) requires 21 units of language and humanities, 15 units of mathematics, natural sciences, an