Saturday, November 16, 2013

Blog 10: Typhoon Haiyan

                Using the recent typhoon in the Philippines as a catalyst for advancing action on climate change, Philippine delegates to the UN are holding a hunger strike until action is commenced in helping stop climate change. One expects this delegate to fast for a long time. For the last 16 years conferences have been held on climate change around the world and little action has been made or advanced. Unfortunately, getting the world to rally behind one problem proves more difficult than anything we have ever faced as a species. Climate changed can alter state sovereignty, cripple economies, and kill thousands of people as shown here in the Philippines.
                Lack of suitable infrastructure in developing countries further exacerbates these problems. In the developing world infrastructure is unsuitable to withstand increasingly strengthening storms and with an increasing clip between storms. The Philippines is currently asking for foreign aid to help fund recovery to the tune of 100 billion dollars, a value similar to the reconstruction effort for superstorm Sandy that destroyed much of New York City and the drought in the Midwest of the United States.
                Many in the United States simply believe that if enough economic growth and capital is thrown at the problem then all will be solved, disaster will be averted. One often fails to account for the drastic shift in world view that needs to come with adaption to climate change. We cannot view the environment around us as mere resource for human development. The idea of humanity standing above the rest of the world wide ecosystem in importance needs to fall apart. If this idea continues to persist then human-caused environmental destruction, via deforestation and ocean acidification, will continue to rage on. Descartes told us it was mind over matter, humanity over the environment. This notion must die for us to continue on.

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