More Critical Than Ever by Senator Edgardo Angara

MANILA, Philippines – For the first time in two years, crude oil prices in Africa and Asia broke the $100-per-barrel barrier, threatening many countries’ steady recovery from the global economic and financial crisis.

Filipinos will be hit by the oil price increase where it hurts the most — food and commodities that will become more expensive because of skyrocketing transport costs. In fact, we are already feeling the effects of rising fuel pump prices. Public transportation will cost more after the approved increase in taxi fares and the planned application for fare hike by jeepneys and buses.

Read more: Shifting to renewable fuel


MANILA, Philippines—The world is finally coming to terms with an inconvenient truth.

Across the globe, leaders are waking up to the fact that global warming is a real threat. And its impact is palpable, often immediate—disasters and human suffering carried live on television or the Internet almost as they occur.

Last month, as the United States prepared for Christmas, its East Coast was buried under the avalanche of gale-force blizzards. This record snowfall was a reprise of a wintry assault that devastated major cities in the mid-Atlantic region in February last year.

In July last year, an intense heat wave spread from Maine to Pennsylvania. By the following month, the continuing drought shrank Lake Mead, America’s largest reservoir in Nevada and Arizona, by a significant margin.

Read more: Climate change: 2011 bodes more weather anomalies


Forest FireA Russian man watches a forest fire burn in Beloomut, in summer 2010. Experts have linked the likelihood of such fires with global warming. Photograph: Andrey Smirnov/AFP/Getty Images

So far, global warming has been limited to a rise of around 0.75C since the end of the 19th century. This sounds like a small change, but the scientific evidence suggests it is already leading to a range of impacts around the world. As we'll explore in future questions, these impacts includes changes to sea level, rainfall patterns, ecosystems and some kinds of extreme weather.

Read more: Does a small temperature rise actually matter?


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