November 11, 2013 – Vol.18 No.35
SUPER TYPHOON HAIYAN: CLIMATE CHANGE STRIKES AGAIN?
by Bruce Mulliken, Green Energy News
A brother, a sister, a son, a daughter. A husband, a wife, a child of a loving family. Someone's best friend. Lying, decaying, in the heat and rubble of the aftermath of Haiyan.
As I write this up to 10,000 dead. But that's just one city in the Philippines. It's an early estimate. There are hundreds of communities in the island nation yet accounted for. The death toll could easily reach many times that.
A world away there is no compassion, no talk of a major aid and relief effort for what is one of our oldest and strongest allies. Petty Republicans in Congress have their minds set on undoing Obamacare. Weak Democrats can't seem to lead even when they control the saner of the two houses.
Neither party has the strength, the guts to come forward, and begin hearings on what should be the major question of the day, "What's wrong with our planet? Why did this happen?"
Super storm Haiyan came within days of the first anniversary of Sandy which devastated parts of New Jersey and New York. Mother Nature - now with man's help - won't be picky about where the next record-breaking hurricane or typhoon makes landfall. Since more than half of the world's population lives near the oceans, a major catastrophe could strike every year as ocean waters warm and storms become more powerful.
Climate skeptics, who are really just defending oil, will be saying,"Yes, Haiyan is a big deal, but look at the Atlantic, a record-setting lackluster year for hurricanes." What they fail to grasp, and do any research themselves, is that perhaps it's climate change that's causing the downturn in the number of Atlantic hurricanes.
(Climate scientists and hurricane forecasters hate to admit this, but they don't know exactly what will happen to hurricanes and other extreme weather as greenhouse gases climb. After all, they have nothing to base their science and predictions against: Climate change research is new to mankind. How can they possibly know the outcome?
It seems very possible that climate changes in Africa, the birthplace of most Atlantic hurricanes, caused the downturn this year. Is it the expansion of the Sahara Desert to blame? Is it how clusters of thunderstorms form, or not, just above the Equator? Are there fewer clusters of storms marching over the warm Atlantic waters to seed tropical waves then storms? Scientists just don't know and with research funding cuts may never.)
Even though the embarrassing political antics in Washington are causing the United States to lose credibility around the world, the United States, and its over consumptive ways, is needed to lead a global effort to cut carbon emissions and even reduce carbon already in the atmosphere. It is morally wrong to sit back and do nothing. The current crop of conservative political leaders (and pundits I might add) claim moral superiority, but what's so moral about letting friends, like thousands of Filipinos, die in catastrophes that are likely caused by us?
A small group of U.S. Marines have arrived on the scene. Good for them. They can do that on the President's orders. But where's the call in Congress for more aid? Taking the day off, I suppose, while an old friend suffers.
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