The Other Side of the Storm
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For the past few weeks in the Philippines, we’ve gotten a devastating glimpse into what a climate changed future looks like.
In the past two days, we've gotten to see the other side of the storm — the networks of people, coming together to support each other in new and ever-stronger ways.
All across the world, people converged in their communities for vigils to reflect on the impacts of Typhoon Haiyan, and called on world leaders to take action for climate justice to honor the many lives lost to the storm.
Here are just a few pictures from these events:
photos from (top left to bottom right) Bellingham WA, Fiji, Burundi, Serbia, Sweden, Philippines, Leesberg VA, London, Huddersfield UK, and Bolivia
And here in Warsaw, Poland, hundreds of people walked out of the UN climate talks that had been taken over by corporate polluters and backsliding governments. Many of them were carrying red dots that said “We Stand With You” — a simple phrase that emerged as a global symbol of solidarity with the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan.
To join this global outpouring of solidarity, take a couple minutes to make and share your own photo with a red dot here: westandwithyou.tumblr.com/submit
I know this show of support is making an impact, because here’s the note I got from Zeph, 350’s fearless coordinator in the Philippines:
"Rebuilding my country will take a long time, but the stories and pictures of people standing in solidarity around the world shows me that the world has not forgotten the climate victims, and that a movement is uniting to rise to this global challenge."
Sharing a solidarity photo is one way to show we’re standing together. Another is to support the very immediate needs of grassroots relief efforts. Our friends at 350 Pilipinas are helping to get food and supplies to people in need -- please donate to support this work here: brigadakalikasan.serverthepeople.com/
Until we rein in the use of fossil fuels, this is what will keep happening, at an ever faster rate. So we hold vigils to mourn, we share photos to show our solidarity, and we rise in the morning awake and ready to build a movement strong enough to create a new world.
That movement is growing everywhere -- including the Philippines, where activists continue their efforts to block the construction of new coal-fired power plants and build resiliency in their communities to adapt to the reality of climate change.
In the US, the movement to divest from fossil fuels is growing in size and courage. We're also preparing to step up our work to stop Keystone XL as the President nears his final decision, and finding new ways to fight fracking across the US.
The fossil fuel industry is everywhere, but so are we. And every time we get a glimpse of a our world being ravaged by climate change, it makes us sadder but also stronger -- because it reminds us at the most gut level just what the stakes really are.
Heavy as that may be, we will carry it in our hearts in the fights to come.