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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

"Stop This Madness": Filipino Climate Chief Yeb Saño Begins Hunger Fast to Protest Global Inaction

The United Nations Climate Change Conference began Monday in the Polish capital of Warsaw. For the second year in a row, the conference coincided with a massive typhoon hitting the Philippines. Last year, Yeb Saño, then a member of the Filipino delegation, made international headlines when he addressed the summit after Typhoon Bopha killed over 1,100 people. He spoke again yesterday (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TThrwVOdc0):

"To anyone outside who continues to deny and ignore the reality that is climate change, I dare them—I dare them to get off their ivory towers and away from the comfort of their armchairs. I dare them to go to the islands of the Pacific, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, and see the impacts of rising sea levels; to the mountainous regions of the Himalayas and the Andes, to see communities confronting glacial floods; to the Arctic, where communities grapple with the fast-dwindling sea ice sheets; the large deltas of the Mekong, the Ganges, the Amazon, the Nile, where lives and livelihoods are drowned; to the hills of Central America, that confront similar monstrous hurricanes; to the vast savannas of Africa, where climate change has likewise become a matter of life and death as food and water becomes scarce—not to forget the monstrous storms in the Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern Seaboard of North America, as well as the fires that have raged Down Under. And if that is not enough, they may want to see what has happened to the Philippines now.[...]

Mr. President, these last two days, there are moments when I feel that I should rally behind climate advocates who peacefully confront those historically responsible for the current state of our climate, these selfless people who fight coal, expose themselves to freezing temperatures or block oil pipelines. In fact, we are seeing increasing frustration, and thus more increased civil disobedience. The next two weeks, these people and many around the world who serve as our conscience will again remind us of this enormous responsibility. To the youth here who constantly remind us that their future is in peril, to the climate heroes who risk their life, reputation and personal liberties to stop drilling in polar regions and to those communities standing up to unsustainable and climate-disrupting sources of energy, we stand with them. We cannot solve problems at the same level of awareness that created them, as Dr. Pachauri alluded to Einstein earlier. We cannot solve climate change when we seek to spew more emissions."

http://www.democracynow.org/2013/11/12/stop_this_madness_filipino_climate_chief