UN negotiations in Warsaw must deliver emergency climate pathway as new storm brews in the Pacific, says government
The Philippines government has firmly connected the super typhoon Haiyan with climate change, and urged governments meeting in Poland on Monday to take emergency action to resolve the deadlocked climate talks.
“We cannot sit and stay helpless staring at this international climate stalemate. It is now time to take action. We need an emergency climate pathway,” said Seb Yano, head of the government’s delegation to the UN climate talks, in an article for the Guardian, in which he challenged climate sceptics to “get off their ivory towers” to see the impacts of climate change firsthand.
Yano, whose family comes from the devastated town of Tacloban where the typhoon Haiyan made landfall on Friday, said that countries such as the Philippines did not have time to wait for an international climate deal, which countries have agreed to reach in Paris in 2015.
“What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness,” hewill tell delagates from 190 countries, as UN climate negotiations get underway for a fortnight today in Warsaw. “The climate crisis is madness. We can stop this madness. Right here in Warsaw. Typhoons such as Haiyan and its impacts represent a sobering reminder to the international community that we cannot afford to procrastinate on climate action..
“Science tells us that simply, climate change will mean more intense tropical storms. As the Earth warms up, that would include the oceans. The energy that is stored in the waters off the Philippines will increase the intensity of typhoons and the trend we now see is that more destructive storms will be the new norm.”.
Yano dared anyone who doubted man-made climate change to visit his country: “To anyone who continues to deny the reality that is climate change, I dare them to go to the islands of the Pacific, the islands of the Caribbean and the islands of the Indian ocean and see the impacts of rising sea levels; to the mountainous regions of the Himalayas and the Andes to see communities confronting glacial floods, to the Arctic where communities grapple with the fast dwindling polar ice caps, to the large deltas of the Mekong, the Ganges, the Amazon, and the Nile where lives and livelihoods are drowned, to the hills of Central America that confronts similar monstrous hurricanes, to the vast savannas of Africa where climate change has likewise become a matter of life and death as food and water becomes scarce.
“Not to forget the massive hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern seaboard of North America. And if that is not enough, they may want to pay a visit to the Philippines right now.”
He said that even the most ambitious carbon emissions reductions by developed countries would not be enough to avert catastrophe. “Developed country emissions reductions targets are dangerously low and must be raised immediately, but even if they were in line with the demand of reducing 40-50% below 1990 levels, we would still have locked-in climate change and would still need to address the issue of loss and damage.”
He was agonising over the fate of his relatives, and while his brother had survived, he had spent the last two days gathering the bodies of the dead “with his own two hands.”
The UN climate chief said on Monday that typhoon Haiyan served as a backdrop of “sobering reality” to the fortnight-long negotiations, which are being held in a football stadium in Warsaw.
“We must stay focused, exert maximum effort for the full time and produce a positive result, because what happens in this stadium is not a game,” Christiana Figueres, executive director of the UN framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC) told delegates. “There are not two sides, but the whole of humanity. There are no winners and losers, we all either win or lose in the future we make for ourselves.”
She said that officials in Warsaw must continue to lay the groundwork for a climate deal in Paris in 2015, and explain details of financing to help poorer countries adapt to climate change.
Figueres was followed by the head of the UN’s climate science panel who quoted Albert Einstein “Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them” – in a presentation to the Warsaw meeting. He said that global warming was unequivocal and that human activities were “extremely likely” to be causing temperature rises.
Rajendra Pachauri, who is chairman of the intergovernmental panel on climate change, also reiterated other findings of the panel’s landmark report published in September, including warnings that continued climate change will lead to the rapid shrinking of Arctic sea ice and rising sea levels by the end of the century.
Separately, youth climate campaigners at the summit criticised Figueres for agreeing to give a speech at a coal conference that is taking place on the sidelines of the UN talks. Sierra Student Coalition delegate Ashok Chandwaney said: “The secretary’s decision to engage with the coal industry ignores the reality that by attending their summit as a keynote speaker, she is legitimising their presence and succumbing to their far-reaching influence on the UNFCCC process.”
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2013
Black Georgia lawmaker accuses white man of demanding she ‘go back where she came from’ in supermarket diatribe
On Friday evening, Erica Thomas, and African-American Democratic lawmaker in the Georgia House of Representatives, was shopping at a Publix supermarket in Mableton when a white customer came up to her and shouted at her, telling her to "go back where you came from" — words echoing President Donald Trump's recent racist attacks on four Democratic congresswomen of color.
Thomas' crime? She had too many items for the express checkout line.
Today I was verbally assaulted in the grocery store by a white man who told me I was a lazy SOB and to go back to where I came from bc I had to many items in the express lane. My husband wasn’t there to defend me because he is on Active Duty serving the country I came from USA!
Trump offers to guarantee bail for rapper A$AP Rocky
US President Donald Trump offered Saturday to guarantee the bail of rapper ASAP Rocky, detained in Sweden on suspicion of assault following a street brawl.
Trump tweeted that he had spoken with Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, who he said gave assurances that the singer would be treated fairly.
"Likewise, I assured him that A$AP was not a flight risk and offered to personally vouch for his bail, or an alternative," Trump wrote.
There is no system of bail in Sweden.
Trump said he and Lofven had agreed to speak again over the next 48 hours.
Fans, fellow artists and US Congress members have campaigned for the 30-year-old artist, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, to be freed since his arrest on July 3 following the fight on June 30.
The best Civil War movie ever made finally gets its due
On Sunday and on July 24, Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events are presenting big-screen showings in theaters nationwide of “Glory,” in honor of the 30-year anniversary of its release. The greatest movie ever made about the American Civil War, “Glory” was the first and, with the exception of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” the only film that eschewed romanticism to reveal what the war was really about.
The story is told through the eyes of one of the first regiments of African American soldiers. Almost from the time the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter, S.C., the issue of black soldiers in the Union army was hotly debated. On Jan. 1, 1863, as the country faced the third year of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, rapidly accelerating the process of putting black men into federal blue.