Climate change is happening. Those who have contributed the least to the climate crisis are the most at risk. That's why a growing number of…
Have you seen this boy?
Tarin could have been 9 years old by now, if not for the storm that snatched him away from the arms of his mom.
I remember the gruelling feeling of going through the thousands of photos of dead bodies just to check if one of them was his, and my father’s.
It has been six years. He was never found. We are no longer looking for him.
But I am sending this to you, because I am demanding justice not only for my nephew and my family, but for the people of Tacloban, Leyte and Yolanda-affected communities.
My community is demanding justice for the thousands of lives killed, and for their hopes and dreams that will never come to fruition because of greed, apathy and deceit that the fossil fuel industry has supported.
I know you were born into this system, perhaps you are a victim too. But how can you go on and remain blind and deaf to the current climate realities, especially if your own family would suddenly be taken away from you by a catastrophic storm?
It is not an easy thing to be brave and stand up against a fossil fuel giant. But I cannot stay quiet while the injustice continues, where only a few profit and enrich themselves at the expense of others.
And yet, I remain hopeful. Throughout this journey, I found a stronger version of myself.
I found stories, I found support, I found strength.
All have led me here.
I may have lost my family to the storm, but I am not losing to this climate crisis.
Joanna Chris Sustento is a writer and a climate advocate from Tacloban, Philippines. In November 2013, she lost her parents, her sibling and his wife, and her young nephew after super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan)– one of the strongest storms ever recorded– hit the province of Leyte. Typhoon Yolanda decimated the whole province and claimed more than 7,000 lives in an instant. Since the tragedy, Joanna has become one of the strongest voices in the climate justice movement. On September 16, 2019, she led a peaceful protest in front of the Shell headquarters in Manila, ahead of the Global Climate Strike.