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Sunday December 07, 2014 11:51 by Rua - concerned citizen of the earth / none
Only one year ago, supertyphoon Haiyan killed thousands, displaced millions of people and caused billions of dollars in damage. Communities are still struggling to rebuild their lives, grieving for loved ones lost and are now hit by another typhoon.
The toll in lives and rebuilding will continue to climb – and it’s up to us to stand with the people of the Philippines and hold Big Polluters to account.
Just a few dozen Big Polluters, including major oil, coal and gas companies, are responsible for two-thirds of the pollution. Communities like those affected by Haiyan are footing the bill for their destruction while Big Polluters continue to rake in billions in profits by selling their climate-killing coal, oil and gas.
Right now, negotiators are gathered at the Conference of Parties in Lima, Peru to discuss a global agreement on climate change. Many of them are still doing the bidding of the Big Polluters – but we can show them that the world is on the side of the people of the Philippines and won’t back down in this fight.
The resilient people of the Philippines are ready to take ambitious action, including legal, against the biggest polluters, and they need us all to stand with them.
''As Typhoon Hagupit hits the Philippines, one of the biggest peacetime evacuations in history has been launched to prevent a repeat of the massive loss of life which devastated communities when Super Typhoon Haiyan hit the same area just over a year ago.
"One of the biggest evacuations in peacetime" strikes a sickening chord. Is this peacetime or are we at war with nature?
I was about to head to Lima, when I got a call to come to the Philippines to support our office and its work around Typhoon Hagupit (which means lash). In Lima another round of the UN climate talks are underway to negotiate a global treaty to prevent catastrophic climate change. A truce of sorts with nature.
But these negotiations have been going on far too long, with insufficient urgency and too much behind the scenes, and not so much behind the scenes, interference from the fossil fuel lobby.
This year, like last year and the year before these negotiations take place against a devastating backdrop of a so-called 'extreme weather event', something that climate scientists have been warning us about if we don't take urgent action.
Tragically, we are not taking urgent action. Nature does not negotiate, it responds to our intransigence. For the people of the Philippines, and in many other parts of the world, climate change is already a catastrophe.
Only one year ago, Super Typhoon Haiyan killed thousands, destroyed communities and caused billions of dollars in damage. Many survivors who are still displaced have this week had to evacuate the tents they have been living in as Typhoon Hagupit carves a path across the country as I write.
It's too early to assess the impact so far - we are all hoping early indications will spare the Philippines of the same pain that was experienced after Haiyan.
Here in Manila, we prepare to travel to the impacted areas in the wake of Typhoon Hagupit, or Ruby, as it has been named. We will offer what minor assistance we can.
We will stand in solidarity with the Filipino people and we will call out those who are responsible for climate change, those who are responsible for the devastation and who should be helping pay for the clean up and for adaptation to a world in which our weather is an increasing source of mass destruction.
With heavy hearts we prepare to bear witness. We challenge those in Lima to turn their attention from the lethargy and process of the negotiations and pay attention to what is happening in the real world.
We call on them to understand that climate change is not a future threat to be negotiated but a clear and present danger that requires urgent action now!
Each year, the people of the Philippines learn the hard way what inaction on emissions mean. They might be slightly better prepared and more resilient, but they are also rightly more aghast that each year - at the same time - the climate meetings seem to continue in a vacuum, not prepared to take meaningful action, not able to respond to the urgency of our time and not holding accountable the Big Polluters that are causing the climate to change with ferocious pace.
Before leaving for Manila I also received a message from Yeb Saño, climate commissioner for the Philippines: "I hope you can join us as we bear witness to the impact of this new super typhoon. Your help would be very valuable in delivering a message to Lima loud and clear."
Yeb was the Filipino chief negotiator for three years at the UN climate talks and recently visited the Arctic on a Greenpeace ship to witness the Arctic sea ice minimum. Two years ago in Doha, as Typhoon Pablo took the lives of many he broke through the normally reserved language of dispassionate diplomacy that dominates UN climate treaty talks:
"Please ... let 2012 be remembered as the year the world found the courage to ... take responsibility for the future we want. I ask of all of us here, if not us, then who? If not now, then when? If not here, then where?"
I am joining Greenpeace Philippines and Yeb to visit the worst hit areas, document the devastation and send a clear message from climate change ground zero to Lima and the rest of the world that the ones that are responsible for the majority of emissions will be held accountable by the communities that are suffering the impacts of extreme weather events linked to climate change.''
Quoting; Kumi Naidoo;Green peace international executive.
Theres no other way to say this, 9 billion people,shitting eating and driving their car is NOT SUSTAINABLE. Big polluters also need to take responsibility as they contribute to two thirds of the pollution in the earth's atmosphere.
Rampant consumerism/buying duplicate items that you dont need contributes to the mess, its simply unsustainalbe.
There are many other factors contributing to climate change, also overfishing can disrupt the delicate balance of the sea which in turn can also have a knock on effect in relation to climate change.
Taking important land and sea apex predators (by hunting/poaching,overfishing) out of the foodchain can also contribute to climate change, we are doing untold damage that we do not have a full understanding of; until its too late..
What is Ireland doing to take part in climate change action, think about who is the minister for the enviornment here; Alan Kelly who has let POOLBEG RUBBISH BURNING INCINERATOR - Go ahead! Some minister for the enviornment right there!
You couldnt make it up - In irish politics cute hoorism takes over any shred of principle in politics - principles mean nothing today!
If we don't act we will soon feel the effects of climate change here; Already our weather in winter is getting more extreme,more rainfall , more floods , no insurance pay outs for the poor etc.
If the government aren't careful climate change could easily cost us billions on a national level,and trillions worldwide!