Humanitarian

Wild Weather Solutions

Weather and humanitarian efforts are becoming more and more linked. The UN and its aid partners have appealed for $1.9 billion for this year for Sudan, Africa, which makes it the world’s largest humanitarian operation. Along with tribal and political violence, people are threatened by food insecurity and rising malnutrition caused by poor rains and crop failures, along with higher food prices (due to lack of supply, likely).

Mongolia Ger tentIn Asia, an estimated EUR 2,000,000 (US $2.7 million) is needed to relieve a humanitarian disaster in Mongolia, where the winter of 2009-2010 was exceptionally cold.  In fact, a natural disaster called a “Dzud” occurred, in which continuous heavy snowfall with extreme cold follows dry summers, causing a lack of grazing pastures and massive loss of livestock.

Giant potholeMeanwhile, South America is home to Guatemala.  In the last few days the World Bank announced that it will offer an emergency loan of $85 million, and the United States will donate $112,000, as humanitarian aid to aid Guatemala following tropical storm Agatha.  It rained so much that a giant sinkhole occurred in Guatemala City – surreal photos online.  Around 11,000 buildings were damaged and 109 people died.

These stories from around our world all center around wild weather, a sign of climate change.  We need to do more than just talk about climate change. Agreements such as the recent Canadian Forestry Agreement that Caitlin wrote about this week (see below), that helps stop climate change while saving endangered species are a good step.  We need agreements like that all around the world.  Greenpeace recently publicized that Nestle has agreed to get palm oil, which is in so many of our products, from only sustainable sources rather than sources that destroy huge amounts of rainforest.  Yea!

Automatic Sprinkler Watering FlowersIndividually, we can help out through ways such as telecommuting and doing our work from home one or two days a week so we keep our vehicles off the road, reducing emissions.  And conserving water by using gray water for our gardens and doing our laundry only when we have a full load, and not multiple times a day as some recent research suggested is all too common.  See the California water bond article that Susie wrote below.

Working together, with everyone including businesses helping in some way, we can solve the problems of our planet Earth.  Stories such as last Sunday’s article (see below) about the San Diego Zoo’s 10 Reasons for Hope show us that we can achieve amazing feats.  We need to do this – as Vancouver’s Canadian Memorial Church’s sign read last year, There is No Planet B.

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Alison Wheatley

Alison Wheatley

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