In 2012, Typhoon Bopha struck the Philippines while CFACT was at COP 18, the UN climate conference in Doha, Qatar. Filipino negotiator Yeb Sano made a tear-filled speech pleading for a global warming treaty.
Last year Typhoon Haiyan dealt the Philippines a devastating blow around the time CFACT was working at COP 19 in Warsaw. Sano responded with a hunger strike that stole the show.
A young global warming campaigner named Adam Greenberg fasted along “in solidarity” with Yeb for 13 days during that Warsaw event. Now today in Lima, Martin Kopp, “climate justice advocate” for the Lutheran World Federation, Mohamed Adow of Christian Aid, and Laura Vargas of the Inter-Religious Council of Peru joined Adam to announce a project called, “Fast for the Climate
” at a press conference at the Pentagonito. Sano joined in via a pre-recorded video.
“People are living and dying and suffering,” Greenberg said. “During COP 19 the Philippines were slammed by a typhoon. The price we’re paying is in human lives.”
Indeed, history records naturally occurring severe typhoons having major impacts on the affairs of empires, going back centuries. In both 1274 and 1281, Kublai Khan attempted to conquer Japan only to have the Mongol fleets destroyed by massive storms which the Japanese
called “kamikazes” or “divine winds.” These storms later gave their name to the Japanese suicide pilots who hoped to block the imminent invasion planned by the allies at the close of WW II.
“People will keep fasting one day every month until the Paris talks in 2015,” Kopp said. “Every day for the next 365 days somebody will be fasting. The fast will actually travel all around the world. Finish in France at the beginning of COP 21.”
“People are suffering now because of climate change,” Vargas said. “All kinds of life are suffering. Climate change is not for the future. Climate change is affecting us right now.”
How high would the carbon tax have to have been to prevent Typhoon Haiyan? The question is absurd. Sadly, trying to change the weather through hunger strikes is equally absurd.
The hunger strikers are demonstrating against the very freedom and prosperity that developing nations need in order to effectively respond to natural disasters and minimize suffering and loss of life.
Yeb Sano should have tried the pierogies in Warsaw, and this year’s climate fasters should be sure not to miss the ceviche before they leave Peru.
CFACT’s Craig Rucker and Christina Norman with Martin Kopp of Fast For Climate