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“It’s time to stop this madness” – Philippines plea at UN climate talks

Yeb Sano tells UN summit in Warsaw “colossal devastation” from Typhoon Haiyan should serve as warning to planet

yeb_sano

Philippines lead negotiator Yeb Sano has just addressed the opening session of the UN climate summit in Warsaw – calling for urgent action to prevent a repeat of the devastating storm that hit parts of his country at the weekend. A copy of the speech sent to RTCC by Sano is below.

Mr. President, I have the honor to speak on behalf of the resilient people of the Republic of the Philippines.

At the onset, allow me to fully associate my delegation with the statement made by the distinguished Ambassador of the Republic of Fiji, on behalf of G77 and China as well as the statement made by Nicaragua on behalf of the Like-Minded Developing Countries.

First and foremost, the people of the Philippines, and our delegation here for the United Nations Climate Change Convention’s 19th Conference of the Parties here in Warsaw, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your expression of sympathy to my country in the face of this national difficulty.

In the midst of this tragedy, the delegation of the Philippines is comforted by the warm hospitality of Poland, with your people offering us warm smiles everywhere we go. Hotel staff and people on the streets, volunteers and personnel within the National Stadium have warmly offered us kind words of sympathy. So, thank you Poland.

The arrangements you have made for this COP is also most excellent and we highly appreciate the tremendous effort you have put into the preparations for this important gathering.

We also thank all of you, friends and colleagues in this hall and from all corners of the world as you stand beside us in this difficult time. I thank all countries and governments who have extended your solidarity and for offering assistance to the Philippines. I thank the youth present here and the billions of young people around the world who stand steadfast behind my delegation and who are watching us shape their future. I thank civil society, both who are working on the ground as we race against time in the hardest hit areas, and those who are here in Warsaw prodding us to have a sense of urgency and ambition. We are deeply moved by this manifestation of human solidarity. This outpouring of support proves to us that as a human race, we can unite; that as a species, we care.

It was barely 11 months ago in Doha when my delegation appealed to the world… to open our eyes to the stark reality that we face… as then we confronted a catastrophic storm that resulted in the costliest disaster in Philippine history. Less than a year hence, we cannot imagine that a disaster much bigger would come. With an apparent cruel twist of fate, my country is being tested by this hellstorm called Super Typhoon Haiyan, which has been described by experts as the strongest typhoon that has ever made landfall in the course of recorded human history. It was so strong that if there was a Category 6, it would have fallen squarely in that box. Up to this hour, we remain uncertain as to the full extent of the devastation, as information trickles in in an agonizingly slow manner because electricity lines and communication lines have been cut off and may take a while before these are restored. The initial assessment show that Haiyan left a wake of massive devastation that is unprecedented, unthinkable and horrific, affecting 2/3 of the Philippines, with about half a million people now rendered homeless, and with scenes reminiscent of the aftermath of a tsunami, with a vast wasteland of mud and debris and dead bodies. According to satellite estimates, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also estimated that Haiyan achieved a minimum pressure between around 860 mbar (hPa; 25.34 inHg) and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center estimated Haiyan to have attained one-minute sustained winds of 315 km/h (195 mph) and gusts up to 378 km/h (235 mph) making it the strongest typhoon in modern recorded history. Despite the massive efforts that my country had exerted in preparing for the onslaught of this monster of a storm, it was just a force too powerful and even as a nation familiar with storms, Super Typhoon Haiyan was nothing we have ever experienced before, or perhaps nothing that any country has every experienced before.

The picture in the aftermath is ever so slowly coming into clearer focus. The devastation is colossal. And as if this is not enough, another storm is brewing again in the warm waters of the western Pacific. I shudder at the thought of another typhoon hitting the same places where people have not yet even managed to begin standing up.

To anyone who continues to deny the reality that is climate change, I dare you to get off your ivory tower and away from the comfort of you armchair. I dare you 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, you may want to pay a visit to the Philippines right now.

The science has given us a picture that has become much more in focus. The IPCC report on climate change and extreme events underscored the risks associated with changes in the patterns as well as frequency of extreme weather events. 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.

This will have profound implications on many of our communities, especially who struggle against the twin challenges of the development crisis and the climate change crisis. Typhoons such as Yolanda (Haiyan) and its impacts represent a sobering reminder to the international community that we cannot afford to procrastinate on climate action. Warsaw must deliver on enhancing ambition and should muster the political will to address climate change.

In Doha, we asked “If not us then who? If not now, then when? If not here, then where?” (borrowed from Philippine student leader Ditto Sarmiento during Martial Law). It may have fell on deaf ears. But here in Warsaw, we may very well ask these same forthright questions. “If not us, then who? If not now, then when? If not here in Warsaw, where?”

What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness. The climate crisis is madness.

We can stop this madness. Right here in Warsaw.

It is the 19th COP, but we might as well stop counting, because my country refuses to accept that a COP30 or a COP40 will be needed to solve climate change. And because it seems that despite the significant gains we have had since the UNFCCC was born, 20 years hence we continue to fail in fulfilling the ultimate objective of the Convention.  Now, we find ourselves in a situation where we have to ask ourselves – can we ever attain the objective set out in Article 2 – which is to prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system? By failing to meet the objective the Convention, we may have ratified the doom of vulnerable countries.

And if we have failed to meet the objective of the Convention, we have to confront the issue of loss and damage. Loss and damage from climate change is a reality today across the world. 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.

We find ourselves at a critical juncture and the situation is such that even the most ambitious emissions reductions by developed countries, who should have been taking the lead in combatting climate change in the past 2 decades, will not be enough to avert the crisis. It is now too late, too late to talk about the world being able to rely on Annex I countries to solve the climate crisis. We have entered a new era that demands global solidarity in order to fight climate change and ensure that pursuit of sustainable human development remains at the fore of the global community’s efforts. This is why means of implementation for developing countries is ever more crucial.

It was the Secretary general of the UN Conference on Environment and Development, Earth Summit, Rio de Janeiro, 1992, Maurice Strong who said that “History reminds us that what is not possible today, may be inevitable tomorrow.”

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.

I speak for my delegation. But more than that, I speak for the countless people who will no longer be able to speak for themselves after perishing from the storm. I also speak for those who have been orphaned by this tragedy. I also speak for the people now racing against time to save survivors and alleviate the suffering of the people affected by the disaster.

We can take drastic action now to ensure that we prevent a future where super typhoons are a way of life. Because we refuse, as a nation, to accept a future where super typhoons like Haiyan become a fact of life. We refuse to accept that running away from storms, evacuating our families, suffering the devastation and misery, having to count our dead, become a way of life. We simply refuse to.

We must stop calling events like these as natural disasters. It is not natural when people continue to struggle to eradicate poverty and pursue development and gets battered by the onslaught of a monster storm now considered as the strongest storm ever to hit land. It is not natural when science already tells us that global warming will induce more intense storms. It is not natural when the human species has already profoundly changed the climate.

Disasters are never natural. They are the intersection of factors other than physical. They are the accumulation of the constant breach of economic, social, and environmental thresholds. Most of the time disasters is a result of inequity and the poorest people of the world are at greatest risk because of their vulnerability and decades of maldevelopment, which I must assert is connected to the kind of pursuit of economic growth that dominates the world; the same kind of pursuit of so-called economic growth and unsustainable consumption that has altered the climate system.

Now, if you will allow me, to speak on a more personal note.

Super Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in my family’s hometown and the devastation is staggering. I struggle to find words even for the images that we see from the news coverage. I struggle to find words to describe how I feel about the losses and damages we have suffered from this cataclysm.

Up to this hour, I agonize while waiting for word as to the fate of my very own relatives. What gives me renewed strength and great relief was when my brother succeeded in communicating with us that he has survived the onslaught. In the last two days, he has been gathering bodies of the dead with his own two hands. He is hungry and weary as food supplies find it difficult to arrive in the hardest hit areas.

We call on this COP to pursue work until the most meaningful outcome is in sight. Until concrete pledges have been made to ensure mobilization of resources for the Green Climate Fund. Until the promise of the establishment of a loss and damage mechanism has been fulfilled; until there is assurance on finance for adaptation; until concrete pathways for reaching the committed 100 billion dollars have been made; until we see real ambition on stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations. We must put the money where our mouths are.

This process under the UNFCCC has been called many names. It has been called a farce. It has been called an annual carbon-intensive gathering of useless frequent flyers. It has been called many names. But it has also been called the Project to save the planet. It has been called “saving tomorrow today”. We can fix this. We can stop this madness. Right now. Right here, in the middle of this football field.

I call on you to lead us. And let Poland be forever known as the place we truly cared to stop this madness. Can humanity rise to the occasion? I still believe we can.

Update

During his speech, Sano added an unscripted pledge to fast during the conference, until meaningful progress had been made. He said:

“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, in 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.”

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  • CarbonFooledYa

    Couldn’t agree more: it’s time to stop this madness, the madness of blaming everything on human made CO2. Hurricanes are down overall. One data point on its own means nothing. If you go to the Pacific islands they are growing, not sinking. Nothing but tired, debunked talking points and exaggeration — the Phillipinos are catching on to this climate change scam.

    • Isha

      By this comment, do you deny that CO2 causes global warming? If so, then kindly GET A BOOK BEFORE RANTING! Or, better say sorry to your science teacher. While you’re at it, apologize to your spelling teacher too. People of the Philippines are proudly Filipinos (not Phillipinos).

    • AnnaCamille

      Present some evidence for that?

    • ahoy polloi

      ” If you go to the Pacific islands they are growing, not sinking. ”

      I know that one data point means nothing, but your one quote above disqualifies you from commenting further on climate change. But please do go to the Maldives, Kiribati, Nauru, etc and tell them that their homelands are NOT sinking into the ocean. I have a feeling you would not get a polite reception. Not that you’d deserve one….

      • Sugarsail1

        The rate of geological uplift and subsidence of atolls in the South Pacific far outpaces the average measured sea level change by nearly an order of magnitude in many places (10 times). Blaming a sinking country in a geologically active region on sea level change exposes your ignorance of geophysics.

      • danhunt

        The Philippine Islands are still being pushed upwards out of the ocean. They are not sinking overall though I cannot suggest that some areas may be going down.

        The error being made could be that the oceans have risen a few inches. This is creating big problems in some low lying areas.

        It’s best to use accurate satellite measurements rather than to try to eyeball any changes. It’s hard to do with tides and you’d need to be a long time resident to actually notice the changes in averages that indicate a rising oceal along with a rising land mass or a sinking land mass such as harms Venice in a cumulative manner.

    • AnnaCamille
      • CarbonFooledYa

        The paper you link to says that the water is warming in the west Pacific. Hurricane activity is at a low there but will rebound slightly. It’s not global warming.

    • 41progress41

      I’ll say this again…the scientific, academic, energy, and business sectors have moved passed “the world is flat” climate change deniers…you are a joke to the adult world…along the lines of denying gravity. Argue all you want, name call, dismiss…you have no relevance outside your coven. The world moves along while you continue to have a temper tantrum about your love of dirty fuels. Pathetic.

      • Todd Phillips

        Ah the insults. Again and I will speak slowly, no one is suggesting that the climate has changed for the better, we dispute the cause. You wish for large glaciers and the resulting stravation that will follow. Sounds great! Go ahead and insult us some more.

        • Dave Park

          The cause is only being disputed by those who choose to ignore the evidence… for those who are open to rational review of the scientifically gathered data, there is no more debate. Humans are contributing to climate change. Nobody is arguing for ‘large glaciers and the resulting starvation’. People are arguing that we should mitigate our impact on the environment before the changes to it are irreversible and bring more destruction to lives and property.

    • keze

      Yes, I have to agree that CO2 is not the sole cause by the masses. How about our interrupted weather patterns caused by weather modification hardware like HAARP. Why don’t the kind people who told the others to get a book on climate change, look this stuff up online and realise that weather modification and it’s subjective uses for political advantage is real? Terrible is the aftermath, both physical and psychological, of what looks like to be an act of mother nature, only to find it was actually man-made by a few elitists backed up by mad scientists with a strategy to depopulate our planet…Check this out. http://youtu.be/LzxTXk1JCFw :-(

    • Jean

      “Climate change scam”… Wow man I’d really like you to be here (I mean here, on earth, not in your redneck ivory tower) in a few decades when you’ll realize how blind and presumptuous humans have been.
      Go back watch Fox.

  • katejumawan

    I still believe we can!

  • Jo

    Great speech Mr. Yeb! I am moved!

  • Modie

    Amen. Very timely speech.

  • http://naturalspaceenergy.weebly.com/ Arul Jose John Sahayam

    when its comes to you for your relatives you won’t say this right????????????

  • http://naturalspaceenergy.weebly.com/ Arul Jose John Sahayam

    for clear to you when heat is more, more water vapours create, that comes as heavy down pour rain

    when temp increase pressure increase now don’t you feal some relavent idot stupid shut your gutter mouth if your selfish idot don’t

  • Angel Lawin

    I think the whole world must unite in using alternative sources of fuel and energy and not use fossil fuels anymore.

  • Youth4Nature

    thank you for speaking in behalf of our future.

  • Maryjane Alejo

    i think you are the idiot, Jon. please read again before you open your mouth and comment with such unbelievable ignorance and utter misunderstanding and blindness such as above.

  • gryzyxwoz

    Trolls seem to be everywhere….

  • Maryjane Alejo

    i think you are the idiot, Jon. and not mr.sano as you say he is. please read again before you open your mouth and comment with such unbelievable ignorance and utter misunderstanding and blindness such as above. have you asked yourself lately, “what have i done for my country, or at least for my neighbor or for my higher intelligent self?”. maybe this simple question will help enlighten you.

  • Isha

    i agree with Mr. Sano! the climate is to blame. the typhoon winds destroyed buildings and properties… and that’s not what made the whole world grieving. what killed the victims is the storm surge. Philippines is an archipelago made up of thousands of islands. during the typhoon, the water levels rose, and even the cities far from the sea area became flooded. Many people drowned together with the debris. global warming has melted the polar ice caps and that made the water levels rise so quickly that even you, commenter Jon, would be surprised. with an interval of only 30 minutes, an empty city road became a river of debris. even you would wish the whole pacific freezes into ice.

  • Lui Quiambao Manansala

    saludo!

  • Isha

    and you are an S class ignorant.(btw S means special which is above A). Haven’t you gone through grade school? The mechanism about how CO2 prevents long wave radiation from escaping out to space thus getting absorbed by greenhouse gases and contributes to global warming is pretty much the scientific evidence that you’re looking for. Of course, you don’t expect Mr. Sano to explain this elementary concept to the delegates of an international summit… or do you?

  • Isha

    you are a class S ignorant

  • mariott

    the cause of climate change is …. please Check HAARP.

  • Alain Pascua

    We support you, Yeb! – Wild Bird Photographers of the Philippines (WBPP).

  • June Yasol

    Sana tumalab ang kanyang ankop na pananalita!

  • AnnaCamille

    Jon, you disgust me. My western ‘way of life’ is based on love and family, not using fossil fuels and hyper-consumerism.

    In the past 10 years, I have changed, and am willing to change even further, my use of fossil fuels in order to help mitigate this crisis. I don’t consider it a threat to my ‘way of life’ to ride a bike instead of driving to the store, to take holidays closer to home, to buy simply things that I really need instead of buying all the things I can. ‘Living large’ is not a lifestyle, it’s selfish.

    This honorable man is not an idiot, he is a diplomat and a representative of the government. Show me where in his statement he hatefully attacked you or your lifestyle… He is standing in solidarity with the common people of the Philippines.

    The scientific evidence is clear. Read up. Here are some organisations you might like to read up from: http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus

  • Cecilie Aasbø

    I wish for a meaningful outcome!

  • Chris At

    “This means I will voluntarily refrain from eating food during this COP until a meaningful outcome is in sight.” What a man!!!! – RESPECT

  • Kees Bontenbal

    Prayers to who? God? You have the guts to deny climate change due to human activities. There’s more proof for the cause of climate change than there is for the existence of your God. So if humans activity is not the blame, who did? God? The one your praying to right now? Your either a sadist or completely insane.

  • Dadj Alcala

    Wow! Im just moved.

  • AnnaCamille

    And here is some science for you: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50548/abstract

    Warmer oceans = stronger typhoons.

    And more CO2 = warmer oceans.

    And more fossil fuels = more CO2.

    I think you don’t want to believe the science because you are scared of changing your lifestyle. But really, it’s not a big change we are asking for – just that you know when ‘enough is enough’.

  • Ralph Libosada

    Jon, you are the worst idiot and moron ever!
    I like your english but your mind is full of rubbish, i cant even find a single trace of scientific grain out there…zzz

  • † Sam Bongcac

    I STAND WITH MY FELLOW FILIPINO! We can get through this!
    #proud.

  • Denise

    You, sir, are one of the reasons why there is a ridiculous amount of trash in the Philippines. And sadly, you’re included in the said trash.

  • inner_U

    calling Yeb Sano name does NOT DEFINE the man he is but the person YOU ARE… and I don’t need any proof, scientific or otherwise–just the rubbish words that came out from your mouth…
    … and oh by the way, have you heard about PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE? — yes, the same principle everyone ought to have these days—”better safe than sorry”… and that’s what exactly happened to US, to the people in Leyte and other areas… we underestimated Yolanda… obviously, nobody thought the storm’s catastrophic effects because NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE we’ve ever had about level 5 storm???
    my question to your intelligent and rational mind is: What if 10 years from now science proves climate change is real and MAN is CAUSING It? Will it make sense? What purpose will “your evidence” make if millions of people have died, properties destroyed, countries erased from face of the earth????

  • Ed Deak

    Nothing can or will be done under the present crime wave of the neoclassical economic theory, and deregulated money creation demanding conversion into resources to “create wealth”, taught in our and the world’s universities as a “science”. The stockmarkets would never permit any changes, as it would cut into profits and so the world will keep on destroying itself. There was a letter in our local paper just last week, claiming that there’s no global warming, but cooling.

  • Shoshanna Howard

    Feeling inspired and heartbroken.

  • BernadetteSchmidt

    Wow! I’m out of words Mr. Yeb. You’ve done it by heart. Salamat, GBUs…

  • relocalizers

    Deserves wide distribution. But folks, notice how conversation is diverted and distracted by a person or two who are ignorant of the best human evidence we have. The science isn’t at issue here, stepping up to climate change is.

    These deniers might very well be paid trolls, paid to hijack climate change being taken seriously. Or they might feel important thinking everyone else wrong. Denouncing them simply gives them power and will serve to deepen their commitment to folly.

    Just love’em and leave them be. They will not be persuaded til they are, In the meantime work with those who can see the issue.

    • Todd Phillips

      How is an honest discussion on an opinion of the facts a diversion. You don’t want to concede even the possibility the warming may not be man made and you consider your self open minded? That is not science that is religion.

  • Laurel Lee Mayo

    I will do my best to help with the change, I will use my vote to elect someone who will lead us to change, I will purchase foods that support healthy change, I will buy goods made with sustainable material, I will buy an electric car, I will heat my home with a heat pump and I will share the message for change every chance I get. You have my promise on this. I will do this for all the people who have died or lost homes in the crazy extreme storms we are having now. Yes, the madness ends today because we will stop trying to convince people that it is happening and we will begin to make the change happen at a grassroots level.

  • maria

    Jon, inform yourself before making such statements. Here is some reality for you.

    https://realitydrop.org/#myths/19

  • Todd Phillips

    The lack of intelligence here is amazing. What does a hurricane have to do with global warming, man made or natural. Its not the 20th storm to hit this year, just a strong one. We had the 4th lowest year (ACE 28.55) in the Atlantic since we have kept records. I wish the ignorant of the world would just shut their mouths, but It is to much to ask.

    • Rudy Dajoh

      Storm means only one thing. A drastic difference between two areas, thus triggering air to move fast between them. A storm simply means that there is an area that has those drastic difference to offset those difference. Remember your elementary subjects.. In earlier days, where climate are uniform, air move not that fast, thus we won’t see a storm. More storms coming, means there are more climate change is happening. In this term, it means that some area are denser and hotter than the other, and nowadays, as everyone may have noticed, the air is getting hotter and hotter. Those storm is only a side effect when some areas is getting hotter. The more storm coming, means more areas with rising temperature. Now, you still denies that storm doesn’t have to do with global warming?

      And you can tell that no global waming to people of Maldives. They are bound to be wept by sea in a few years

    • JL Mante

      Yeah its hard if its your own family that are dead and your whole city devastated. Where do you live? Maybe you are high and dry. A lot of my countrymen are not. Though we cannot directly attribute stronger typhoons to climate change it is folks like you who are too ignorant or too dense to be a decent human being in times like these. Be sensitive. Lack of intelligence? What an insulting thing to say specially about a man who spoke about a personal tragedy. You sir have no heart.

      • TomHarrisICSC

        You are right to say that he should speak more sensitively in the light of the huge humanitarian crisis. However, looking past that, his statements appear correct scientifically: “What does a hurricane have to do with global warming, man made or natural. Its not the 20th storm to hit this year, just a strong one. We had the 4th lowest year (ACE 28.55) in the Atlantic since we have kept records.”

        This is one of the few areas of agreement between the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC).

        In 2012 the IPCC asserted that a relationship between global warming and wildfires, rainfall, storms, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events has not been demonstrated. In their latest assessment report released on September 27, 2013, IPCC scientists concluded that they had only “Low confidence” that “damaging increases will occur in either drought or tropical cyclone activity” as a result of global warming.

        The NIPCC report released on September 17, 2013 concluded the same, asserting that “In no case has a convincing relationship been established between warming over the past 100 years and increases in any of these extreme events.”

        Rather than trying to mitigate (i.e., stop) these storms, something we have little chance of accomplishing, we must prepare for them by burying electrical cables underground, reinforcing buildings and taking other actions. Thousands of people died in the Philippines because they were not properly prepared. Yet, when a similar typhoon hit Queensland, Australia in 2011 no one died because they were ready. Proper preparation, not mitigation, is the best approach to dealing with typhoons and hurricanes.

    • Jean

      Yeah yeah and your next argument will be : “it’s snowing more and more, it must mean that global warming is not happening!”
      Just because you have some scientific-ish figures doesn’t mean your logic isn’t flawed.
      Oh, and calling stupid everyone who don’t agree with you will not make you look more clever.

    • jt

      You are ignorant. Storms feed and gather strength from warmer waters. As the sea warms up, the stronger the storms become. I admire your courage to comment while millions of people right now sleep without roof over them and barely eat once a day. I dare you to be at a centre of a CAT 5 storm next time and tremble of fear, or a dear loved one of yours being pierced by a piece of debris. How callous and inhuman can you be. The best thing you should have done is to shut up.

    • Jim Oates

      Those who doubt human induced climate change are living inside a fantasy…they have not traveled very extensively because the effects of climate change are obvious in every region of the planet, and in all parts of the biosphere.
      Only an imbecile would deny that humans have been conducting extensive, uncontrolled chemistry experiments for >200 years, putting vast amounts of human-made molecules into the atmosphere, oceans, and on land. If you do not deny that, then somehow you must believe that no consequences are resulting through unintended chemical reactions, or through bio-accumulation of these molecules. (Our food contains a smorgasbord of manmade molecules…so you can find a measure of the extent of these experiments in your own body fat and hair.)
      The human-induced chemistry that explains these unusual “natural disasters”, is well understood. The root causes are known…human activities are causing these events to occur. Some of the disastrous implications of a warming planet, because of greenhouse effect, are easy to predict (and to see and confirm with the earth sensing satellites that record thousands of measurements a day, only adding to the body of scientific evidence for human induced climate change.)
      You ask “What does a hurricane have to do with global warming, man made or natural?” Even if you are not traveling anywhere else other than your living room couch, convincing evidence providing your answer, is at your fingertips (given that you are reading this).
      So either you are so deluded by fear or some personal prejudice, or are incapable of normal cognitive function, or your denial is actually due to a personal financial vested interest in fossil fuels development, mining, or other commercial activity that is causing or contributing to the downward spiral we are now rapidly accelerating into.

    • Andrea Olson

      You are speaking to yourself.

    • Jose Cruz

      are you stupid? Just a strong one? Are you out of your mind? Why did you post on this thread.

      • Todd Phillips

        I know free thought is a threat to your beliefs. Propoganda cannot be challenged under any circumstances.

  • Susan Uy

    WOW! a very meaningful strong well said appeal on climate change also heartbreaking as i relate to his agony as my helper Maricars family was devastated in eastern Samar.. Was crying reading his appeal…Its a strong call for action & repentance as i know that God could send this massive storm again. God bless my country Philippiness & may His mercy & grace be upon us all..

  • bon

    with all due respect of the comments here, you cannot just say its a science problem and pin pointing somebody to be blame.. we all do have needs and consumption that we need. we are just humans. what we need is little act of responsibility and awareness of ourselves that this world is now facing its own catastrophic tragedy, little by little. I live in the area in the Philippines where it has been hit with recent magnitude 7.2 earth quake and the category 5 super typhoon haiyan/yolanda in the central part of the Philippines in Visayas we cannot predict nature when its time to pay off. but we can help lessen the carbon consumption and other waste that can help warmer temperature in the sea. My country is a little piece of the world but we are the ones who faced and knew the great devastation that would come in the near future, if we cannot change a little things now. the out come would the worst. A little changes, step by step because we cannot change everything today but if we act on our little ways maybe we can change tomorrows future.

  • Steve Veltkamp

    I am tired of people saying scientific consensus means the debate is over. Remember the great scientific consensus of the last century was in favor of eugenics. Science is not about, and should never be about, consensus.

  • Rene L. Lopez

    Hopefully this time someone or somebody is listening!

  • Sonja

    Actually yes. It is the time for insults directed to the deniers. I claim no higher sense of decency than the next person. I don’t need to be the “bigger” person.
    I call you deniers scum. You are worse than the person who aids and abetts a murderer, the person who covers up for a paedophile.
    You are trying to facilitate the death of my daughter and her future children. Your right to stupidity is trumped by my right to life
    I wish you deniers the worst. May you all be burned alive.

  • Michael Foster

    I’m fasting with Sano for the climate in solidarity with the people of the Philippines who have lost everything. Starting now. Will you join us? “until a meaningful outcome is in sight.”

  • Revell13

    One of the easiest ways to describe climate change and climate change deniers.

    “If you have a sore tooth, and your dentist tells you it has to be removed, you don’t then go off to a hundred different dentists until you find one that says it might be ok to leave it, you simply get it removed (or a second opinion, then removal)”

    Climate deniers are going from one scientist to the next in search of one that will tell them that maybe its not our fault, this is only going to leave us with an infected planet, much like leaving a rotten tooth to decay further.

  • Johnny Bautista

    From a Fil-Am:> ” I totally agree with the message of this article. But then, why is the Philippines building new coal-fired power plants in Mindanao when Ilocos Norte has been getting at least 40% of its electricity from wind since 2005? Why shouldn’t Mindanao use wind turbines like Ilocos Norte to generate electricity? Wind has zero carbon footprint and therefore, unlike coal, does not contribute to global warming. In addition, there is so much free wind and sunshine in the Philippines for generating electricity, why is there a need for the country to buy coal to generate more electricity?”

    • windmillgirl

      It is easy to say, oh, yes let’s take our energy from wind. it is not easy to do. mindanao is mountainous, hence, winds can be very gusty but intermittent. to have a viable and effective wind farm, you would need constant wind flow. it does not even have to be very strong, it just has to be constant. now, other sources of energy in mindanao include hydropower sources, i.e. ma. cristina falls and lanao lake. the problem with this is, as the earth gets hotter and as our population gets larger, the water levels are going down and we are finding it incredibly hard to sustain the power needs of mindanao through this only; hence the regular blackouts in the area. also, rebels controlling areas where some of the AGUS (hydropower plant) units are are making it difficult to build and maintain these units until they are forced to shut down. what am i saying? it is not so simple. yes, we wish it were… but there are too many factors surrounding this issue: poverty, insurgency, geography, corruption (in the government and the senior leadership in the power plants) and plain indifference towards the environment and the needs of the people – for it to be easily resolved by just saying lets build windmills. in so saying, we did research years ago on the feasibility of a windfarm in a specific area in mindanao. it is just not the type of energy source fit for the area.

  • peoplepower

    Interesting comments here. I like the timing of the typhoons, it’s like someone presses an activate button during COP, same thing happened last year during COP 18. I am really curious to know the life styles of everyone here complaining about climate change, if you are really concerned live a sustainable life style in the truest sense. Get off the grid and use sustainable energy sources stop the blame game, power lies with the people not politicians. It’s all in your hands.

  • jednme

    The utter devastation in the Philippines is beyond comprehension. How can anyone with a brain even begin to think that Global Warming and climate change is a myth. The evidence is everywhere, yet still politicians and so many in power, who could do something radical to make the people of this world sit up and take notice still live in denial. It is shattering to see what has happened in the Philippines, there are no words to describe the devastation of just everything. I cant begin to comprehend how these people will ever be able to get their lives together again… People of this planet have to take notice and stop the greed and listen to what the scientists and the earth is telling us. It is impossible to ignore! My heart goes out to the people who have had to endure terrible disasters, because of the ignorance of mankind.

  • danhunt

    Funny how deniers don’t do the science!!

  • Fryktlaus

    Noone says that the climatic changes doesn’t exists. But what causes them? Not Carbon Dioxide (CO2). Look at water/steam/clouds and solar activities. Magnetic fields on earth, Temperature trends from the past 10.000 years or even earlier.

  • wideEyedPupil

    What are your “Proper limits”. My country Australia has the highest per capita consumption of energy in the world so my 10% of average usage is still very high by developing nation standards.

    There are some things which only governments can do and us all getting our energy efficiency together will not force them to change. Only insistent and constant demands from the population will cause the paid-off leaders to follow the will of the public on this.

  • Gallant011

    I would prefer to Live without this kind of modernized conversation rather than watching more people die and more devastation occurs..

  • Dale Jose C. Gozar

    I’m a Building Architect in Japanese Oil & Gas Engineering company –doing projects with high level of strength, quality, safety standards and precautionary measures (Safe Haven & Cyclone/Blast resistant Building). In 2009 my family also was victim of Typhoon Ondoy wherein I almost died in trying to rescuing them, Because of my current work specialization & years of living in Japan – I sincerely want to help or share my knowledge on how to cope with the Hazard brought about by Climate Change.

    In 2010, I joined a Global Design Competition about a housing project that is well adapted for Climate Change (by Mr. Ilac Diaz) entitled “Design Against the Elements (Water or flooding, Wind or typhoons, Earth or quakes, & Fire)”.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/DAtE-Design-Against-the-Elements/132544990112155

    Professional entry fee of P1300 approx.

    Modesty aside my entry (no.135) was favorite during Quezon City Hall Exhibit and it was displayed first in front row facing directly the exhibit entrance. Honestly, I also studied other entries in the competition so I was pretty confident in winning and I was very excited to help our people & government by sharing my views, experience and ideas about Climate Change adaptation.

    A week prior to announcement of winners I was interviewed (recorded on video) by National Geography & Mr. Ilac Diaz. One of the questions was ” If you win, what will you do with the Prize money”. I did not directly answered the question and only said “I only want to share my knowledge & ideas about Climate Change adaptation”.

    On the day of announcement of winners, I was again interviewed (recorded on video) by TJ Manotoc @ my office. One of his questions was “Why did I join this competition?” and so I said again “I only want to share my knowledge & ideas about Climate Change adaptation”.

    To my surprise, my entry was not included in the winners and all 5 Final entries was done by foreigners. In my frustrations I immediately called Mr. Ilac Diaz to express my disappointment & questioned the results. I told him that cost factor only constitute 15% of judging criteria when I easily get 85% in others factors. Also, competition is not about Low Cost Housing.

    I eventually understood that this Design Competition – although global did not generate funds because very few joined (approx. 150 entries) with very few sponsor/support from private sector & new government(Pres. Aquino). I only wish they had approached me directly about waving or giving the Prize money to charity. Hence, my efforts and motivation in joining was not entirely fulfilled because without the win I cannot prove or convince people. And people may not interpret my Vision correctly.

    Every year (in the last 3-4 yrs), I always feel sad about news of disaster/calamities in our country and how our people are dying or suffering and how our government is struggling to cope with the situation.

    Hazards brought about by Climate Change & our Geography is imminent and will worsen @ a bigger scale & interval.

    How I wish can be heard and discussed my ideas with our leaders and other experts in our country.

    May God Bless & Spare us all………….

  • Reshu Bashyal

    I really appreciate the things mentioned in speech…we can’t deny the dreadful situations we’ll face on near future. It’s high time we should collaborate…(in my view)

  • Robert Holmes

    What Yeb Sano says or implies; that its our CO2 emissions that caused this Typhoon is rediculous rubbish.
    Its even more insane to imagine that imposing taxes and incresing energy costs on people will make the weather change for the better.

  • Joan Russow

    It is unconscionable the way the major greenhouse gas emitting states can ignore the pleas of low lying states, which, like the Philippines, are fighting for mere survival, and the way the major greenhouse gas emitting states continue to ignore the science, to defy the precautionary principle and to abandon the principle of common and differentiated responsibility.

  • Joan Russow

    It is unconscionable the way the major greenhouse gas emitting states can ignore the pleas of low lying states, which, like the Philippines, are fighting for
    mere survival, and the way the major greenhouse gas emitting states
    continue to ignore the science, to defy the precautionary principle
    and to abandon the principle of common and differentiated responsibility.

    At COP15 an IPPC scientist said at 2 degrees rise in temperature the poor, the
    vulnerable and the disenfranchised would not survive, at 1;5, they might. After
    the failure of COP 19 no one will survive

    G77 states should take the major greenhouse gas-emitting states to International Court of Justice for defying the precautionary principle, for ignoring the principle of common and differentiated responsibility, and for violating Article 2 of the UNFCCC

    At every Climate Change conference the question is posed “where will we get the funds to address the urgency of climate change?” One answer is to end fossil fuel subsidies and invest in renewable socially equitable and environmentally sound energy. Another answer is to reallocate Global military expenses.

    Not only does militarism divert funds from climate justice but also militarism is a
    major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

    http://pejnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9466:cop-19-reallocate-at-least-50-of-global-military-budget-to-address-urgency-of-climate-change&catid=104:i-peace-news&Itemid=204

  • Mari Rose P D

    I hope you got your expected meaningful outcome Mr. Yeb Sano! I hope your fasting served its purpose. I have yet to read and know the result of this UN Climate summit… Congratulations for a powerful, meaningful speech!

  • Greg Ernst

    BRILLIANT THANK YOU Yeb Sano.