The Copenhagen Voice

Typhoon Ketsana: Calling on youth to make their voice heard in Copenhagen

Caring about climate change shouldn't just be about caring for our children's future, admirable as that is, but preventing the deaths of other people's children, here and now. Not to mention the very real threat of future wars over territory, food, water, and more, as the nearly 25 million climate refugees, or displaced people, that exist today, swell still further.

Each small coffin in this BBC footage of the battered Philippines today, after Typhoon Ketsana, which killed hundreds and displaced 500,000 people, felt one small coffin too many to me. For each of those children, a mother, who is five times more susceptible to climate change as a woman due to her environment.

This latest storm to ravage the Philippines has now hit Vietnam, where at least 22 people are so far reported dead. But in a world where it takes millions to be affected or engaged before we really notice, 22 deaths in a developing country barely register. Unless, that is, I can convince those of you in Europe or the U.S. reading this to take a moment to imagine 22 of your family and friends, or local community, dying unneccessary deaths.

Extreme weather conditions have always existed, yes. It is the increasing frequency and dramatic force with which the planet and our fellow human beings are being battered by wholly avoidable, man-made climate change, such as rising sea levels, that should, frankly, frighten and move us to act.

Sign the Declaration at now and show those we have the power to influence that you care for your fellow human beings, not to mention the planet on which we all depend. Later is too late. There is always something more we can do, so let us lead from the front and expend energy being positive and active.

I will publish a link to a longer and more detailed feature on the issues I've touched on here soon, including reflections from the World Climate Conference-3, in Geneva, and a field trip to Mali.


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