By Arturo R. García
I struggle to find words even for the images that we see on the news coverage. And I struggle to find words to describe how I feel about the losses. Up to this hour, I agonize, waiting for word to the fate of my very own relatives. What gives me renewed strength and great relief is that my own brother has communicated to us, and he had survived the onslaught. In the last two days, he has been gathering bodies of the dead with his own two hands. He is very hungry and weary, as food supplies find it difficult to arrive in that hardest-hit area.
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.
Mr. President—and I express this with all sincerity, in solidarity with my countrymen who are struggling to find food back home and with my brother who has not had food for the last three days, with all due respect, Mr. President, and I mean no disrespect for your kind hospitality, I will now commence a voluntary fasting for the climate. This means I will voluntarily refrain from eating food during this COP, until a meaningful outcome is in sight; until concrete pledges have been made to ensure mobilization of resources for the Green Climate Fund—we cannot afford a fourth COP with an empty GCF; until the promise of the operationalization of a loss-and-damage mechanism has been fulfilled; until there is assurance on finance for adaptation; until we see real ambition on climate action in accordance with the principles we have so upheld.
— Naderev “Yeb” Saño, climate change commissioner for the Philippines, 2013 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change
(Via Democracy Now)
In the wake of the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan, we’ve opened up this space for our readers to share relief resources, and to pass some along ourselves.
Thanks, first of all, to DJ and longtime activist Kuttin Kandi for compiling this list of trustworthy relief groups. (Note: Be very wary of the Red Cross). Among the groups she mentions:
- DAMAYAN Migrant Workers Association
- USC Asian Pacific Islander Social Work Caucus
- People’s CORE
- National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON)
- 18 Million Rising
On Tuesday night, the filmmaking duo National Film Society held an online telethon encouraging fans to donate to these groups:
Readers, are there any events/charities in your area related to the cause?