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Submitted by Job L. Edora III on

Capitalism and Philippine Natural Resources

When climate change comes into mind, the grip of capitalist ideologist comes to enlightenment. Countries with high emissions like China and the US are countries who either are capitalist in structure or succumbs to capitalist mode of productions. China, although still with its communist background is a good example of a victim of capitalist mindset. Countries who are capitalist in nature will outsource their supply and production due to their materials, resources, and manpower deficiencies. China, on the other hand, still reeling from development is promised an illusion of alleviation from poverty at the expense of their climate conditions, exploitation of their natural resources and work force, and the nurturing of another imperialist mindset. Albeit these are, for the meantime, their primary source of income, it does not solve the chronic problems of society. It will only create more poor people that will settle for the current mindset. This statement proves the complex of natural resources, climate, and society given the premises of economic growth, population growth, technological change, and political-economic institutions. (Stern, et. al., 1992)

As the projection and study of the Worldbank really helps us comprehend the looming state of climate and of the labor conditions in the Philippines, we must also take into account the pattern they all suggest. The Philippines, now flourishing with jobs from the US in forms of BPOs, contribute as the exploited workforce of capitalist companies from the US. This serves as an illusion that the Philippines is flourishing, while in fact, we are being exploited and carrying the burdens of their development. Also, studies and actions directed towards climate change are heavily dependent on financing using the General Appropriations Act of the Philippines where in fact, these are the results of exploitation from capitalistic ventures of imperialist countries and companies, local capitalists, and misinformation due to capitalistic and imperialist mindset nurturing. Why should the taxpayer’s money pay for the collateral damages done by other countries and foreign companies? Why are we exchanging this false labor boom while our resources are being exploited by other countries? Is this really a cross deal or a form of status bullying by imperialist countries?

Furthermore, it was blatantly said by the study that LGUs are action-oriented but their limited capabilities in hiring personnel with technical skills, policy-making and implementation capabilities, and lack of funding displays their incapability to respond to the demand for Climate Change (Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines, 2013) When capitalistic ventures are employed, the capable technical workers are hired by companies in order to further exploit the environment while they should be under the efforts of the Philippine Government in the battle against climate change and development of mitigating measures.

Juxtaposed with the LGUs, the Climate Change Commission, along with the same deficiencies and capabilities like the LGUs, are as inefficient as they only come up with mitigating measures while still being under the sleeves of the Philippine Development Plan that it is not in line with, especially with regards to regulation of mining and energy development (Getting a Grip on Climate Chang in the Philippines, 2013). Clearly, the leaning of the Philippine Development Plan is towards modernization and not sustainability – still under a capitalistic mindset and cold-war ideology that development, even at the expense of our natural resources, is still more valuable despite its chronic effect in the Philippine environment. Since modernization is driven by capitalism and its faux promise of liberating the masses of their poor conditions, it is not far that Philippine climate and its natural resources would be further exploited. If we do not put an end to the mindset of capitalistic ventures, not only in the Philippines, but in the whole world, the consumption of mankind and its growing demand for natural resources will be the end of the ecological equilibrium and economic stability we intended to pursue. The end of the exploitation of natural resources is the solution to the root problem and not just with mitigating measures. We have to approach this inclusively and sustainably. (Milbrath, L. W., 1998)

As a student of Geology, I am very aware of the importance of minerals and energy development. Without energy, man would go back to its primitive ways and without minerals, our modern-day conductors, sources of energy, and technological advances would cease to exist. Although minerals and natural resources are concentrated in some parts of the world due to geological events, the proper utilizations and responsible harnessing of these are very important. With all the undeniable facts and advances present through the wonders of science, it must occur that man cannot deal with nature’s teaching (Valerio, R. L., 1997). If it can’t be grown, it has to be mined. This is a natural law that man has no control over but is innovating more ways in order to mine more to meet demands. A perspective change has to occur and this change will lobby us to a different mode of demands and a trajectory towards a more sustainable mindset. (Milbrath, L. W., 1998)

While we continue to mitigate, develop, and sustain the future towards a more environmental cooperative one, it must not stop here. Statistics that the Worldbank gathered empowers us to rise from the occasion and implement mitigating measures, set the mindset towards sustainable development, and course humankind towards natural selection. But the disconnect of the statistical knowledge and its practical applications is very wide. It must occur to us that man and nature is so interconnected that man will never live without nature but nature will flourish without man. Man is the problem and its capitalistic tendencies towards imperialist and hedonistic self-centeredness. (Milbrath, L. W., 1998)

References:
Milbrath, L. W. (1998). Living Sustainably (Special Issue 9). Electronic Green Journal.
Appendix C of Lopez-Wui, M., Ventura, E., & Rolda, R. (2003). Social Science I Foundations of Behavioral Science (1st ed., Vol. 1, Ser. 2003). Quezon City, NCR: UP Open University.

Stern, P. C., Young, O. R., & Druckman, D. (1992). Global Environmental Change: Understanding the Human Dimensions. Committee on human Dimensions of Global Change, National Research Council. Appendix B of Lopez-Wui, M., Ventura, E., & Rolda, R. (2003). Social Science I Foundations of Behavioral Science (1st ed., Vol. 1, Ser. 2003). Quezon City, NCR: UP Open University.

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. (2013). Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines. Retrieved February 3, 2017, from http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/473371468332663224/pdf/788090WP0P13010nge0Executive0Report.pdf

Valerio, R. (1997). An Introductory Handbook to Social Science. Los Banos, Laguna: University of the Philippines Los Banos.