Although we heard precious little about the super typhoon before it struck, by now, most of us have heard about the devastation in the Philippines. One of the most powerful storms ever recorded in human history, the typhoon is believed to haveákilled an estimated 10,000 people.
According to the people of the Philippines, this storm was no accident. They believe they world’s refusal to take action on climate change fueled the storm, and they believe that has to change. NOW.
Right now, world leaders are gathered in Warsaw for yet another round of climate talks. Normally, this wouldn’t even be worth mentioning, since UN meetings of this type have never resulted in any sort of binding agreement. But this year, the typhoon has changed things.
Out of desperation for action, the Philippine delegate to the UN climate talks is fasting in hopes of driving home the urgency of the issue.
“I will voluntarily refrain from eating food (during the conference) until a meaningful outcome is in sight,” Naderev Sano, the Philippines’ Climate Commissioner, said of the devastation of Haiyan that, he noted, had left many hungry.
Sano’s address to the assembly was emotional and heart-breaking.
“I speak for my delegation, but I speak for the countless people who will no longer be able to speak for themselves after perishing from the storm. I speak also for those who have been orphaned by the storm. I speak for the people now racing against time to save survivors and alleviate the suffering of the people affected. We can take drastic action now to ensure that we prevent a future where super typhoons become a way of life.”
Sadly, this isn’t the first time Sano has plead with the delegates for action following a climate-fueled storm in his homeland.
“Sa˝o also madeáa heartfelt appeal to the climate convention at Doha last year, right after the Philippines had been hit by Typhoon Bopha. ‘It is not about what our political masters want, it is about what is demanded of us by 7 million people,” he said at that time. “Please, no more delays, no more excuses,’” reports the Huffington Post
The speech was met with a standing ovation, but will it truly spur the delegates to commit to quantifiable action against climate change? Will it convince the governments of their respective countries to immediately cut back on fossil fuel use, and put every available dollar toward the development of solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable energy sources that won’t kill our world?
If history serves, the answer, tragically, is no.
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