Thousands of victims have been left homeless by Hurricane Stan.
The storm brought five days of destruction upon Mexico,
Guatamala, andEl Salvador, affecting millions of people. As
Alejandro Cavillo,Executive Director of our Mexican office notes,
there are communitiesin the mountains and along the coast that are
still cut off from accessor even communications, and the death toll
is certain to rise.
The Mexican president, Vicente Fox, has vowed to channel
ballooningprofits from Mexico's oil exports to relief work. Given
that oiluse is one of the chief contributors to global warming and
with it anincrease in the incidence and severity of extreme weather
events, theirony of this should be lost on nobody.
It would be funny, if it weren't tragic. While no
singleweather event can be blamed on climate change, the overall
trendis toward more weather-related destruction as the Earth
warms. And as with so many natural and unnatural disasters, it's
the poorwho suffer first and most from global warming.
Campesinos who rely on natural weather cycles and have
noirrigation sufferthe impacts of drought and seasonal shifts more
than industrialfarmers. Communities in the Amazon which rely on
shallow rivers forfood and medical supplies face mortal perils when
those riversdisappear. Poor people living in low-lying areas are
hit harderbyflooding than the wealthy who have the means to flee,
and places to go.
As hundreds of thousands of people in Central America dig their
way outof mud slides and struggle with medical and emergency
infrastructuresthat are inadequate, the oil industry rakes in
massive profits, theenergy consumption in the United States and
Europe continues toskyrocket, and the rich keep getting richer
while the poor lose theirhomes, lives, and livelihoods to the
increasing storms, floods, and droughts ofa world which keeps
Unless we dedicate long term relief aid to our world's climate,
thedeadly spiral will only worsen. As we rebuild towns and
cities,we should truly rebuild in a way that eases our planet's
carbonburden. We should ensure renewable energy replaces fossil
fueland nuclear power plants. We should build
energy-efficienthousing. We should invest in public transportation.
We should ensurethat wetlands and forests and other natural buffers
againstdestruction are in place.
The only upside to total destruction is that it provides
theopportunity for a new start. The energy revolution that the
worldreally needs ought to begin in those places that have seen the
firstglimpses of the greater destruction which will come of our
world's oiladdiction, unless we act now.
To the victims of Hurricane Stan, our heartfelt sympathies for
all yourlosses. And to the oil industry and those who continue to
poisonour planet while turning a blind eye to global warming and
its effects,our promise: a day of reckoning is coming.
Join the energy revolution
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Ways to help the victims (en español)
Our Mexican office is gathering relief materials and lists ways you can help with relief efforts.