You’ve Made a Wager of Our Future

Following the walkout by environmentalists at COP19, a young Somali activist addressed the UN Climate Talks in Warsaw.

A mere finger can’t obscure the sun. — Somali proverb

We can’t take crumbs from the High Table. — Ruth Nyambura, Kenyan activist

It always seems impossible until it is done. — Nelson Mandela

Absurd Warsaw talks on climate show why we need to take on the fossil fuel industry that impedes all progress. — Bill McKibben

Our message to our political leaders is that nature does not negotiate. — Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace Executive Director

Somali youth climate activist Marian Osman addressed the main plenary at the U.N. climate talks in Warsaw, Poland.

There’s a Somali proverb that goes: a mere finger can’t obscure the sun. You cannot hide the truth by deception; as any one of the thousands whom are in need in Somalia and the Philippines this week could tell you, no amount of political stalling can hide the fact that a climate crisis is here.

Unreported by the mainstream media, earlier this month, a deadly cyclone slammed the Puntland region of Somalia, wreaking havoc on an already vulnerable population.

Somali had a sustainable inshore fishing industry. It was destroyed by fishing off its coast using huge EU subsidised factory ships. The Somalis then turned to piracy.

What we saw at the UN Climate Talks was a hijacking by Big Business, by Big Coal, Big Oil, by Greed.

COP20 was sponsored by Big Coal, Big Oil, Big Business.

Next year Lithuania takes over the EU presidency. The Lithuanian presidency are being given 150 cars by BMW. The family that controls BMW has given millions of euros to the ruling party in Germany.

Corporate lobbyists are welcomed, young activists who show solidarity with the Philippines’s head delegate Yeb Saño get slung out by over-zealous security, then banned.

The very businesses who are the root cause of carbon emissions, have their logos plastered all over a conference dealing with climate change.

We cannot rely on corrupt politicians with their snouts in the trough. We have to take on directly the polluters. Be it sponsorship of Tate Britain by BP, be it the Keystone pipeline, be it fracking in Balcombe in Devon.

It is like we are living in two different worlds, in the Philippines several thousand dead, meanwhile for Big Coal, Big Oil, Big Business, it is businesses as usual.

The Philippines emits 0.9 metric tons of carbon per capita. The United States emits 17.6. But the people of the Philippines are now enduring the terrible results of the strongest storm ever measured. Evidence shows that climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of tropical storms.

Philippines’s head delegate Yeb Saño:

To anyone outside who continues to deny and ignore the reality that is climate change, I dare them — I dare them to get off their ivory towers and away from the comfort of their armchairs. I dare them to go to the islands of the Pacific, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, and see the impacts of rising sea levels; to the mountainous regions of the Himalayas and the Andes, to see communities confronting glacial floods; to the Arctic, where communities grapple with the fast-dwindling sea ice sheets; the large deltas of the Mekong, the Ganges, the Amazon, the Nile, where lives and livelihoods are drowned; to the hills of Central America, that confront similar monstrous hurricanes; to the vast savannas of Africa, where climate change has likewise become a matter of life and death as food and water becomes scarce — not to forget the monstrous storms in the Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern Seaboard of North America, as well as the fires that have raged Down Under. And if that is not enough, they may want to see what has happened to the Philippines now.

I will now commence a voluntary fasting for the climate. This means I will voluntarily refrain from eating food … until a meaningful outcome is in sight; until concrete pledges have been made to ensure mobilization of resources for the Green Climate Fund … until the promise of the operationalization of a loss-and-damage mechanism has been fulfilled; until there is assurance on finance for adaptation; until we see real ambition on climate action in accordance with the principles we have so upheld.

Please sign the petition and tell the US you want to see Climate Justice now!

Prior to COP20 in Lima in Peru, there is to be a pre-COP in Venezuela. It will be different, it will be for invited ministers to listen to what the people are saying, not the other way around.

The human race is heading like lemmings over the cliff edge.

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