Category: Alerts 2013
- Created on 26 November 2013
- 26 November 2013
By David Cromwell
The devastation wreaked by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines has led to heart-wrenching scenes of human suffering, with the death toll now put at over 5,000 and likely to rise still further. Yeb Sano, the head of the Philippines climate delegation, gave a moving speech at the UN climate talks in Warsaw, Poland, linking the typhoon to global warming, and then went on a hunger strike which would last, he said, 'until we stop this madness'.
Sadly, the madness looks set to continue if we recognise that the corporate media is an integral part of the problem: pulverising us with corporate advertising to encourage increased levels of consumption and planetary resource depletion, while averting our gaze from the root cause of the climate problem; namely, corporate-led global capitalism.
News reports and editorials were ultra-cautious not to link Typhoon Haiyan directly to climate change; either not mentioning climate change at all, or providing the worn-out disclaimer that individual weather events cannot be attributed to global warming. But as Kevin Trenberth, senior climate scientist at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research, said last year:
'The answer to the oft-asked question of whether an event is caused by climate change is that it is the wrong question. All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be.'
Climate scientist Peter Gleick noted that data in the form of 'unusually high sea levels and warm temperatures' supported the claim that climate change had influenced Typhoon Haiyan.
Peter Hart, a media analyst with Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, emphasised the point that mattered:
'There is no way that one massive hurricane will be stamped "Created by Climate Change," while another would be considered a "normal" hurricane.
'These catastrophes are occurring, and will continue to occur, in a climate that has been undeniably altered. Waiting for the "real" climate change-caused storms to hit before talking about climate change is illogical and irresponsible.'
Sadly, the corporate world, with the corporate media a vital supporting pillar propping up the system, has long shown that it is irresponsible.