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Warning Tears

If you haven’t seen the impassioned plea from the chief negotiator for the Philippines at the UN climate talks in Warsaw yet, watch it now below. Yeb Sano appealed for international cooperation the day after another typhoon slammed his country. We are watching the devastating effects of Haiyan nightly on the news. Only 11 months ago, another deadly typhoon struck killing 1400 people. After Bopha, Sano also urged the UN to act, to recognize these powerful storms as warning signs. The Philippines is one of the countries most at risk as climate change affects weather patterns and storms become more severe. The fact that it’s an island on a tropical storm route makes it vulnerable of course, but so do other geographic events like extreme heating, wind patterns, record rainfalls and rising sea levels. This zonal map from the Washington Post depicts how exposed the Philippines is. Sano broke down during his appeal, his own family has been affected by the typhoon. He vowed to fast until real climate action is taken.

In Sano’s words, “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”

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