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"The Climate Crisis Is Madness" - Sierra Daily

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Sierra Daily

Nov 11, 2013

"The Climate Crisis Is Madness"

Haiyan_amo_2013312_lrgAs super-typhoon Haiyan punishes the Philippines--leaving 10,000 dead and more than 600,000 homeless--the nations of the world are meeting in Warsaw, Poland, for"COP 19," the 19th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 
"It is the 19th COP, but we might as well stop counting, because my country refuses to accept that a COP30 or a COP40 will be needed to solve climate change," Philippine representative Naderev “Yeb” Saño told the body today. 

What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness. The climate crisis is madness....

We can take drastic action now to ensure that we prevent a future where super typhoons become a way of life. Because we refuse, as a nation, to accept a future where super typhoons like Haiyan become a way of life. We refuse to accept that running away from storms, evacuating our families, suffering the devastation and misery, counting our dead, become a way of life. We simply refuse to.

Saño called on the world's nations to, at the least, help finance the Philippines' effort to double its renewable energy capacity by 2020 and triple it by 2030. He also called on the developed nations to raise their emissions reduction targets immediately. (You can read his speech in full here, and the Sierra Club's statement of solidarity here.)

The era of do-nothing international conferences may be reaching its end. Our failure to act in the past is catching up to us now, and with a fury. (With sustained winds of 195 mph and gusts up to 235 mph, Haiyan may be the strongest storm in modern recorded history.) The only alternative to a future of counting our dead is, as Saño called for, "an emergency climate pathway."

NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response

PAUL RAUBER is a senior editor at Sierra. He is the author, with Carl Pope, of the happily outdatedStrategic Ignorance: Why the Bush Administration Is Recklessly Destroying a Century of Environmental Progress.Otherwise he is a cyclist, cook, and father of two. Follow him on Twitter @paulrauber

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