IT was the biggest climate march in history -- rich and poor, celebrities and the unemployed, the old and the young.
They were all in New York City -- the venue of the United Nations General Assembly on Climate Change. The purpose of the summit was to talk and tackle the biggest threat to humankind.
Sadly, it was another occasion wasted.
For nothing on Mitigation and Reduction of Greenhouse Gases was talked about. With the COP 20 coming next year in Paris and carbon dioxide breaching 400 ppm and our planet dying. A waste of time.
What was not a waste -- the many voices of people who marched the streets of New York, Paris and many cities of the world. The message was clear: Win the war against climate change.
As I write this, the world seems to be heading toward the same old development model. The United States has overtaken Saudi Arabia in oil, methane and propane extraction and supply.
This means that the old development model is here to stay. Sadly, after the United Nations Climate Change meeting last week, nothing has been done. After all the talk and rhetoric, it seems that nothing concrete will ever be done in COP 20 in Paris next year.
Even our delegation spoke of the many effects that climate change has had on our people and country. The mention of building a coal power plant was mentioned. Despite being so rich in wind, solar and hydro power.
Some sectors of government are pushing for coal and even oil power plants. These are the dirtiest forms of fossil fuels and are responsible for climate change and the destruction of our planet.
The development model has not changed despite the downward effects of globalization and the increase of poverty. The collapse of the world economies and the shortage of food and water has not put climate change the Real Agenda For Survival. Despite many calamities, floods, typhoons and storms.
Despite the melting arctic and polar ice.
Despite the shrinking and sinking of many countries such as Greenland and small nation states. Despite the worse droughts and floods.
Nothing seems to make our leaders change the development model. What will it finally take? Do we have to wait for another Yolanda?
To this day, Tacloban is far from normal. People are still living in tents and LIFE is far from normal.
Why did they all meet in New York in the UN General Assembly?
Why did they all talk about the problems and the destruction?
Why did they not talk about solutions?
We are saddened by this and so was born the largest climate change march ever held in New York, Paris and many other cities.
The people are speaking and marching. Their voices must be heard.
Recently, we traveled to Fatima in Portugal and could not believe how clean their country is. With a population of about ten million powered by mainly hydro power and about five percent of wind and one small nuclear plant. They have forest and clean rivers. They have electric cars, buses and trains as public transportation.
They are expanding more on wind and solar. Following the lead of Germany to go full blast on solar and wind.
A few countries are leading the way and we must follow suit. If not, then the people will march and do it on their own.
Climate change is real and will be worse. It is time to act with resolve and vigilance.
(By: Antonio M. Claparols – President ESP)