Life-long lessons in appreciating the Earth’s gifts and how to do battle to conserve the sea, air and land come together in a different kind of book by environment lawyer Tony Oposa.
“Shooting Stars and Dancing Fish” was written as a picture-and-story book with young persons and decision-makers in mind. Climate change, according to Oposa, isn’t real to many people despite its disastrous impact seen in more intense storms, wacky weather patterns and sea-level rise. The crisis gets lost in jargon and the notion that this is someone else’s problem to fix.
“I’m just a storyteller more than a legal brawler,” he likes to say with his fourth book.
Oposa tackles the problem with essays and poetry, full-color photos, paintings and fun illustrations.
He also calls for a mind shift from wasteful consumption to “CPR Economics” that fosters Conservation, Protection and Restoration. At the end of the book, he invites readers to “paint the future” they want to see.
The 262-page book is published by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) and designed by Cebu creative studio Happy Garaje. The soft-cover book is reader-friendly with its handy square size, eye-catching visuals and prose that makes complex concepts simple.
Launch, book signing
The launch and book signing is set at 4 p.m. of March 17, Friday, at Casino Español in Cebu City. Retired Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. and Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development in Washington D.C., will grace the event with COO Dominica Chua representing RAFI.
Earlier at 2 p.m., at the same venue, the Office of the Ombudsman and Department of Environment and Natural Resources will launch “Pasalamat sa Katauhan”, a nationwide program to recognize individuals and groups that have made significant contributions to a “balanced and healthful ecology.” Oposa helped set up the program in his role as Special Counsel to the Office of the Environmental Ombudsman.
Some highlights of the book:
- Why developed nations are “OC” or Over-Consuming countries that should not be admired or copied
- Road sharing or “Bayanihan sa Daan” to solve traffic congestion
- Why the car is a “metal monster” feeding global warming
- Stories of CPR Economics or models around the world
- Personal notes on Oposa’s legal battles over illegal logging, the Manila Bay reclamation, fishponds in Laguna Lake, Bantayan beach encroachment, and other disputes
- How youths and ordinary citizens can support the International Climate Justice Movement
Oposa is the 2009 recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for his pioneer work in environmental law.