Tag Archives: climate change

State of Calamity


I write this as the last days of winter in this part of the world drenches the garden.  It is barely audible, this rain.  The cooling fan in this computer I use to write this random thought gives a predictable buzz.

Back to the country of my birth there is massive flooding.  The last I heard from my family, by sms text message, was at 1 AM their side.  They said the water was finally slowly subsiding.  No other word since.

They had been stuck on the second floor of the house since noontime.  Rain from a passing typhoon was the heaviest in decades, forcing thousands of people to flee their homes.  Within six hours only the roofs of single-storey houses were visible.

As I write this it is an hour before dawn there.  I am thinking of my mother, over seventy, her two grandchildren holed up with my sister and her husband, along with two other families who had sought refuge with them.

For hours I had been frantically trying to get through to the various rescue teams, and so far no success.

The most recent report I gathered online mentions 46 deaths due to the floods.

It is nearly time for me to go to sleep in my comfortable bed with an electric blanket. The cruelty of this distance is nothing compared to the grim situation back home.

I wait for the next message, hoping the batteries on their cellphones don’t fail before someone rescues them.  I dare not phone in case they have somehow found a way to sleep through the fear, even as the rain continues to come down in dark sheets.

News article from GMANews

News article from Al Jazeera

Video footage from Al Jazeera

Global Wake-Up Call

Today I called President Jacob Zuma’s Office – yep, I did! – as part of the international action called the Global Wake-Up Call, asking leaders to commit to go to the Copenhagen climate meeting in December and agree on a global climate deal that is FAIR, AMBITIOUS and BINDING (“FAB”)

Hey, it wasn’t that hard to gather up courage to get hold of a political leader — or at least the switchboard/secretary… ok, grim thoughts going to the laughing bin.

The staff at the Water and Environmental Ministry seemed more clued up though – thankfully – and said they welcomed this campaign.