COP 19, the annual UN global warming mega jamboree has opened in Warsaw. The lead negotiator for the Philippines, Yeb Sano, was one of the first speakers:
1145 - There is now a three minutes silence for the tragedy in the Philippines. Delegates are on their feet. Some are joining Sano in shedding tears for the loss of lives that occurred during the typhoon.
1141 - Yeb Sano announces he will not eat during the conference, until a meaningful agreement has been achieved.
1125 - Yeb Sano, the delegate from the Philippines, is up now. This is a more emotional speech than most – the Philippines are currently suffering in the aftermath of an enormous typhoon that has left the Filipino delegation reeling in shock. All of the other countries have expressed their sympathy to the Philippines, with many wearing flowers to express their sympathy. He cracks up as he references the fact that he is speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves, having perished in Typhoon Haiyan.
Here is an excerpt from Sano's speech:
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.--
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.
Of course we all express our sympathy to the Philippines. The typhoon that hit the island state was a terrible disaster, and the international community should be ready to offer all possible assistance to the people in need.
However, the Philippines lead negotiator who spoke in Warsaw, does not deserve our sympathy. To blame the tragic natural disaster on human caused global warming/climate change - as the Yeb Sano did in Warsaw - is preposterous and totally unfounded. There is not a shred of evidence for his claim. Instead of grandstanding in Warsaw, Mr. Sano should start eating and take the first flight home in order to join the rescue and support efforts.