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  • Edición impresa de Noviembre 19, 2013

 

On Sunday, November 17, 2013, severe weather hit the Midwest with tornadoes tearing through several cities, trees down and houses and roofs torn off. As of Sunday night 4 people had been reported dead and more than 60 tornadoes were reported.

In places like Peoria and Washington, Illinois, several people were injured as their homes were destroyed by the winds. Several thousand homes in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Wisconsin were left without power and houses were totally or partially destroyed.

The danger was announced and people were warned to pay attention to the alarms and warnings, but there is little to be done when the danger hits you directly. The same goes for all the warnings that have been issued about climate change, and how human beings with their behavior are affecting the entire planet.

We were not paying attention either to the talks on the climate held at Warsaw, Poland just a few days ago. Hundreds of climate activists marched through the city to campaign against global warming.

United Nations was about to begin a two-week session on global climate when the typhoon struck the Philippines, bringing about comments of how a warming planet has developed lethal monster storms. Naderev Saño, the chief representative of the Philippines at the conference, said: “What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness; the climate crisis is madness,” Mr. Saño said. “We can stop this madness right here in Warsaw.

There are still no final numbers on the tragedy that fell upon Philippines, not only in human lives lost, but also the extensive damage to their environment and economy.

During the month of September, Mexico was also hit with a series of storms and rain that has flooded cities and towns in more than 10 states. The rain continues to pound several places and many homes and livelihoods are being completely erased.

Scientists have tried to prove that rising temperatures caused by carbon dioxide and other gases are contributing to an increase in sea and air temperatures.

One has to wonder if the real findings will be published after agriculture giant Monsanto bought a 7-year-old firm called Climate Corporation for about $1 billion on November 1st of this year. Climate Corporation had accumulated years of weather data from USDA and National Weather Service.

How many people have been affected by the climate change? Is it enough to see the farmers losing their crops in the Midwest last year? Or maybe the peasants in places like Guerrero. Mexico who lost everything? And, what about the people who one year after Sandy storm on the east coast continue to be homeless and their businesses’ ruined? What will we say to the people from Philippines? Sorry?.... Let me continue with my regular life. I don’t think my auto and appliances that make life so convenient for me, can affect you, or can they?

Shall we also say the same for agro-industry and industries in general which do not cease to make money for their investors while causing major problems at all levels.

We could also remember that we are only one of the species on the planet. There are many others that have been extinguished due to how we have used the planet’s resources. Animals like the polar bears, India’s tigers and choral reefs are being destroyed day by day.

Are we ready to pay attention now and listen to the warnings? Instead of just recycling, can we get serious about what we produce and consume. Is it necessary? Is there a green economy to be supported, and how can we become part of it? I realize I am posing too many questions. I must admit they are fueled by the faces of my two granddaughters, not even a year old and who along with many other children, will face the consequences of our current doings.

 


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