It is easy to say that the earthquakes that recently shook Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao are God’s will. Many people, even Church ministers, said that “because the people were busy in their businesses, recreations and personal interests and forgotten their duties to God, calamities like earthquakes had happened as reminder from God.” Some people even use the Bible as sources of predictions.
But, is God really that cruel? Does this Biblical passage wrong?
John 3:16-17 (NIV): “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
God will not forsake His people. The earthquakes that had happened in the past days (April 22, 23, 24) were product of natural phenomenon.
An excerpt from “The Science of Earthquakes, originally written by Lisa Wald for “The Green Frog News” can help people understand an earthquake.
“What is an earthquake?”
“An earthquake is what happens when two blocks of the earth suddenly slip past one another. The surface where they slip is called the fault or fault plane. The location below the earth’s surface where the earthquake starts is called the hypocenter, and the location directly above it on the surface of the earth is called the epicenter.”
“Sometimes an earthquake has foreshocks. These are smaller earthquakes that happen in the same place as the larger earthquake that follows. Scientists can’t tell that an earthquake is a foreshock until the larger earthquake happens. The largest, main earthquake is called the mainshock. Mainshocks always have aftershocks that follow. These are smaller earthquakes that occur afterwards in the same place as the mainshock. Depending on the size of the mainshock, aftershocks can continue for weeks, months, and even years after the mainshock!”
“What causes earthquakes and where do they happen?”
“The earth has four major layers: the inner core, outer core, mantle and crust. The crust and the top of the mantle make up a thin skin on the surface of our planet. But this skin is not all in one piece – it is made up of many pieces like a puzzle covering the surface of the earth. Not only that, but these puzzle pieces keep slowly moving around, sliding past one another and bumping into each other. We call these puzzle pieces tectonic plates, and the edges of the plates are called the plate boundaries. The plate boundaries are made up of many faults, and most of the earthquakes around the world occur on these faults. Since the edges of the plates are rough, they get stuck while the rest of the plate keeps moving. Finally, when the plate has moved far enough, the edges unstick on one of the faults and there is an earthquake.”
“Can scientists predict earthquakes?”
“No, and it is unlikely they will ever be able to predict them. Scientists have tried many different ways of predicting earthquakes, but none have been successful. On any particular fault, scientists know there will be another earthquake sometime in the future, but they have no way of telling when it will happen.”
“Is there such a thing as earthquake weather? Can some animals or people tell when an earthquake is about to hit?”
“These are two questions that do not yet have definite answers. If weather does affect earthquake occurrence, or if some animals or people can tell when an earthquake is coming, we do not yet understand how it works.”
Earthquakes occurred and will occur in the future. In this country, government and non-government organizations have been talking on the “Big One”. Nobody, however, can tell when this “Big One” will occur. The only truth for this is that it will occur like other calamities had occurred.
There are natural calamities, but these are triggered or worsened by human activities that lead to worse disasters.
Human-caused calamities happened because of the activities of the monopoly capitalists who are engaged in the destructions of the planet earth. Human-caused calamities are not the doing of the poor people who are usually the direct victims of these calamities.
Climate change is largely caused by human activities, and it presents a serious threat to nature and people. Without ambitious global warming mitigation efforts, temperature rise this century will exceed 4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with catastrophic consequences for the whole planet.
The burning of fossil fuels for energy is causing global climate change. The global warming is a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and other pollutants.
The information presented above explains that people must move to lessen the effects of climate change and global warming. They must organize themselves to prevent the worsening climate change and global warming. They must oppose monopoly capitalism.
The Build, Build, Build projects of the Duterte regime, like the projects initiated by the previous administrations, have no plan for the ecological balance and protection of the Philippine environment. These must be opposed and the genuine development of the people must be asserted and struggled upon.
The Biblical verses written by the Gospel of John, in Chapter 3, should have a meaningful and relevant message for all, most especially to the poor people.