Monday, November 18, 2013

Stormy Weather Ahead

Devastation from last week's Super Typhoon Haiyan has prompted the Philippines to take a scheduled UN climate change meeting and start asking some very tough questions about how poorer nations are supposed to survive rising oceans and super storms when the big boys are dumping most of the carbon into the atmosphere.

Calling the climate crisis “madness,” the Philippines representative vowed to fast for the duration of the talks. Malia Talakai, a negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States, a group that includes her tiny South Pacific homeland, Nauru, said that without urgent action to stem rising sea levels, “some of our members won’t be around.” 
From the time a scientific consensus emerged that human activity was changing the climate, it has been understood that the nations that contributed least to the problem would be hurt the most. Now, even as the possible consequences of climate change have surged — from the typhoons that have raked the Philippines and India this year to the droughts in Africa, to rising sea levels that threaten to submerge entire island nations — no consensus has emerged over how to rectify what many call “climate injustice.” 
Growing demands to address the issue have become an emotionally charged flash point at negotiations here at the 19th conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which continues this week. 
At a news briefing here, Farah Kabir, the director in Bangladesh for the anti-poverty organization ActionAid International, described that country as a relatively small piece of land “with a population of 160 million, trying to cope with this extreme weather, trying to cope with the effect of emissions for which we are not responsible.”

So yeah, these island and coastal nations are pretty pissed off.  While the large nations of the world continue to bicker over who will make the most profit off the twilight of fossil fuels, it's the little guys who are the first up against the wall when the rising seas come.  But hey, say the deniers, if it doesn't affect the US heartland, well, who gives a damn?

I'm sure it's just a coincidence.  Drill baby drill.

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