The global response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti has been swift and generous. American President Obama has pledged $100 million in aid, and the international community has been sending planes and ships with supplies and emergency workers to help the devastated capital, Port-au-Prince. Individuals throughout the rest of the world have been reaching into their pockets and donating money to aid organizations.
It is an hour of dire need for the people of Port-au-Prince who are suffering from the devastation wrought in seconds by an earthquake, and the international response to this crisis is no less than what they deserve.
The response of the global community to the death and destruction in Haiti also says that our international priorities are to respond quickly, with money, supplies, and aid workers when people are dying in a natural disaster. This is a blog about climate change – and people need to know that natural disasters are going to be happening more and more often as our climate is destabilized, and that there are going to be more and more people dying around the world. Most of our leaders aren’t telling us the truth about the risks we are running by pretending that our ice caps and glaciers aren’t melting, and that the carbon dioxide we are spewing into the atmosphere isn’t changing our world.
Don’t take my word for it – EDUCATE yourself about what is happening. Read Climate Cover-up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming by James Hoggan and Richard Littlemore. It is not an easy read. It may well – and should – make you angry. It is written by a PR expert about the propaganda that corporations, who have become incredibly rich because of our society’s addiction to fossil fuels, have purposely generated to create public confusion about climate change.
When you are educating yourself, be hypervigilant about the sources you are reading. Keep in mind that the world’s Academies of Science agree that climate change is happening, and is caused by humans. So anybody who says otherwise needs to have very good scientific credentials.
Here are some other books that give an overview of the climate change issue:
Elizabeth Kolbert, a staff writer at the New Yorker Magazine, wrote a 3-part series called The Climate of Man, which is available on the New Yorker website. Kolbert followed up the series with a book, entitled Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change. If you really want to be alarmed, you can go to Gwynne Dyer’s series on CBC radio, The Climate Wars, or purchase the book of the same name.
You can also educate yourself by checking out what humanitarian organizations who work around the world say about the changes man-made warming of the atmosphere is already bringing about. Oxfam International , Mennonite Central Committee , and World Vision all have information about how climate change is affecting people around the world. On their website, World Vision states
The negative effects of climate change are becoming more evident for poor communities forced to live in marginalized locations, which are frequently in areas most vulnerable to natural disasters.
Tim Flanagan, scientist and author of The Weathermakers says
Sometime this century, the day will arrive when the human influence on the climate will overwhelm all natural factors.
We can’t keep fiddling while Rome (our planet) burns. Just as the world has responded to Haiti’s humanitarian crisis, so do we need to mobilize about the looming crisis of global climate destabilization caused by climate change. Get educated, and send a message to our elected leaders to deal with emission reduction NOW. For more ideas on how to address climate change, go to 350.org and StopGlobalWarming.org.