A Storm Has Come: Citizens of the World – Unite
How many more wake up calls do we need? How often do we want to hear about “one of the worst storms of all times” (as Typhoon Haiyan has been described) before we get serious about climate change?
“2,000 people listed as dead and many thousands more missing; more than 600,000 people displaced; countless homes and roads crushed by surging water.” This is how The New York Times reported about the agony in the Philippines; this is what the “Cost of Carbon” can look like, says The Climate Reality Project. They recently put the “Cost of Carbon” front and center at their “24 Hours of Reality” event. And it is commendable that the United Nations is clamoring to shore up US $300 Million in emergency relief. But why are we still not ready to spend the money on measures that can help prevent storms to become more and more powerful?
All around the world, stories of “dirty weather” and air pollution impress on us the urgency of action to stop climate change. In Bangalore (India), an unusually dry monsoon season has contributed to an acute shortage of drinking water. In Chinese cities, air pollution has reached alarming levels acutely dangerous for human health, a phenomenon that is repeated in far-off Temuco in southern Chile, where last winter the local government was forced to make a choice between freezing and suffocating – banning the use of wood to power home furnaces all around the city. Meanwhile the German government, which usually prides itself among the avant-garde of environmental-friendly policies, is blocking a European Union rule to mandate tougher fuel efficiency standards for cars. Does Angela Merkel really have so little faith in the innovative capabilities of German engineers to turn the incentives from tougher standards into competitive advantages on a global scale?
Neither our governments nor the international community seems to be able to find an adequate response to these threats. That’s why we call on citizens around the world, who share our convictions and want to get serious about global challenges like climate change to join our movement of global citizenship. Get involved in organizations like Climate Reality or 350.org and put pressure on national governments to do more. Talk to your friends and colleagues. Challenge your company to implement manufacturing procedures that use less energy (and save money in the process). Install solar heating on your house, support green energy production…
There’s so much more each and every one of us can do. Let’s join hands and rise to the challenge.