While world leaders meet in Doha, Qatar to address climate change, folks around the world are beyond talking about it-they’re dealing with it. Nearly a month after record-breaking Hurricane Sandy ripped through the Caribbean and the Northeastern United States, victims of the superstorm are still struggling to rebuild. This storm came on the tail end of a summer plagued with a Midwest drought from which farmers are still recovering, raging wildfires out West and a rare derecho storm that crippled the Mid-Atlantic states without power during record temperatures. Other parts of the world experienced severe droughts and flooding leaving many homeless and hungry.
There are several voices of climate change that need to be heard. Let’s hope the United Nations will listen.
“We and our neighbors camped out on our second floor, and when it started getting really bad, we tried to go to another neighbor’s house with a higher second floor. It was dark already, and we were like a train holding each other’s shoulders to get to his house. When we went to step out across the street, the current was so strong that we had to get back, because it would have taken us. The rush of the water coming in from the ocean up the street had nothing to slow it down, and we would have been dead. So we all went back to our house and went upstairs….The damage to the house is bad enough that we need a new house. I never realized how much I really loved my home.” – New Jersey resident Joan Flynn about damages from Hurricane Sandy.
“You know, it’s more than the flooding. It’s a collective pain. We’ve invested our time and energy in this community, and it’s gone. Whole neighborhoods had burnt down. That night all people could see was smoke and the glow of fire. It looked like a war zone. It’s complete devastation.” -New York resident Jee Mee Kim about the devastation to her neighborhood in the Rockaway community near Brooklyn after Hurricane Sandy.
“You persevere day to day, and just try to do what you can do today to make it till tomorrow. Just keep praying to the good Lord that he’s going to send some rain” -Dairy farmer David Franscka about the 2012 Midwest summer drought.
“The worst drought in 104 years is causing damage to our agricultural and livestock industries, resulting in price hikes in some farm products,” South Korean Finance Minister Bahk Jae-wan on the region’s record drought this summer.
“It is very tough to look after them all [the family] and get by because of the drought. I feel bad that I could not do anything to keep my animals alive. They were the only way to provide for my people,” a Kenyan herder Hassan talks about his struggle with the drought-caused famine in the Horn of Africa.
“We’re running out of time.”
-Scientists and activists, including Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo, 350 founder Bill McKibben and NASA’s James Hansen, respond to reports of the lowest Arctic ice levels in recorded history.
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