A father carries his sons through Pakistan flood waters. Photo credit: REUTERS/ Andrees Latif
"We can no longer think of climate an enviromental issue. Climate is a civilizational issue." Paul Hawkin, Aug 14, 2010.
"Climate change, when you really look at it, seems to be really all about water, too much water or too little water. Africa as a continent is a great example of that. There's a lot of parts of Africa that are going through massive droughts right now. They can't grow food. They can't really supply crops for the people who are there. And then you have places like Mozambique, where you have these massive floods. And that's what's happening all over the world that we saw. It's all about water." Filmaker Michael Nash, Aug. 14, 2010
Pakistan Floods. A man consoles his family members after they returned to find their homes destroyed after heavy floods in Nowshera, located in Pakistan's northwest Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, August 3, 2010. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood
"Life was already so difficult, but now we're doomed."Abdul Ghani, 14, from the remote village of Karampur, Pakistan is the eldest of seven orphaned siblings. Link
This is the third diary on the Pakistan Floods, now being called the worst environmental disaster in history. Please read Noweasel's Sat-Sun diary "Pakistan: 6 million without water: How to Help" and Laughing Planet's Pakistan still needs help; lots of it. Floods displace 20+ Million.
About DailyKos'Pakistan Reporting
Aji provides Action Items as part of Wednesday's Ecoadvocates series. Earthships throughout the week will update information on the situation in Pakistan. Please tag all Pakistan-related diaries pkflood and ekos. Be sure to visit ekos pakistan on twitter for reputable breaking news sources as well as additional ideas on how you can make a difference. Tweet? Use #pkflood, #dkgreenroots, #dkos & #ekos hashtags. Interested in writing a diary as part of this ongoing series? Contact Laughing Planet. He's driving the movement! Can't reach him? Contact me.
Where exactly IS home? When a devastating environmental disaster, such as that which has ravaged Pakistan for over two weeks now, leaves in its wake little if any remnants of the life one lead before?
Where was your home? Before the climate changed. Before the drought or the fires or the floods. As extreme weather patterns become more the norm throughout the world, the question of what constitutes home will be a highly significant matter for more and more of the Earth's population.
According to current UN figures, there are over 25 million 'ecologically induced migrants,' climate refugees. This number is expected to double within the next five years. Within the next four decades, IPCC and the Red Cross estimations suggest that between 150 million and 1 billion people will be displaced by severe weather and the effects of climate change. Yet, to date, there is not ONE international law affording asylum or care to environmental refugees.
Where will they live? Where will they call home?
Exactly how do you know that you or one of yours won't be one of these statistics?
You don't. Which means that today, each and every one of us must act. As if these were were the faces of our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers. Our family is homeless.
Help the people in Pakistan. Give what you can. Give more than you can. And make the changes, both easy and more difficult in your life to ensure you are doing everything you can from this day forward to ensure that these dire predictions do not become a reality.
This is in our hands. Now. In fact, more and more we are beginning to wake up to the fact that it always was. Somehow, we lost sight of that. But now? There is no time. Now is the moment. We have no choice.
Climate change does have a face. It is the face of dying animals and ecosystems and members of your species. It is your face.
Start now. There is no time.
Pakistan: Climate Change, Climate Refugees
In southern Pakistan, camps in Karachi and Hyderabad are preparing for an influx of 10 million refugees. August 16, 2010
Earlier today, Alexander Bedritsky, President of the World Meteorological Organization and the Kremlin's weather advisor attributed rising world temperatures to, not only seemingly endless heat wave and fires in Moscow but also to the floods in Pakistan, now widely recognized as the worst floods in recorded history. Taken together, he said, they "are signs of global warming." he said. AP.
Figure 1. Winds of the jet stream at an altitude of 300 millibars (roughly 30,000 feet high). Left: Average July winds from the period 1968 - 1996 show that a two-branch jet stream typically occurs over Europe and Asia--a northern "polar" jet stream, and a more southerly "subtropical" jet stream. Right: the jet stream pattern in July 2010 was highly unusual, with a very strong polar jet looping far to the north of Russia, then diving southwards towards Pakistan. Image credit: NOAA/ESRL.
Jet Stream Kink Locking Weather Patterns
In July over Europe and Asia, the jet stream has two branches: a strong southern "subtropical" jet that blows across southern Europe, and a weaker "polar" jet that blows across northern Europe. The polar jet stream carries along the extratropical cyclones (lows) that bring the midlatitudes most of their precipitation. The polar jet stream also acts as the boundary between cold, Arctic air, and warm tropical air. If the polar jet stream shifts to the north of its usual location, areas just to its south will be much hotter and drier than normal. In July 2010, a remarkably strong polar jet stream developed over northern Europe. This jet curved far to the north of Moscow, then plunged southwards towards Pakistan. This allowed hot air to surge northwards over most of European Russia, and prevented rain-bearing low pressure systems from traveling over the region. These rain-bearing low pressure systems passed far to the north of European Russia, then dove unusually far to the south, into northern Pakistan. The heavy rains from these lows combined with Pakistan's usual summer monsoon rains to trigger Pakistan's most devastating floods in history. link
Climate Refugees = "Ecologically induced migrants"
Climate refugees. Notice the power plant in the background. The symbolism kills me. ;-) These three sculptures are standing at 10 meters tall and is inspired by the Sudanese female refugees walking through the desert. Here, as part of an installation for the COP 15 climate change summit in Copenhagen, they are there to symbolize the 200 million of climate refugees that UN's panel of climate change experts expect will be present in the following 40 years. These "wandering refugees" are part of sevenmeters.net - a global warming activity for the COP15. By DKFonne Claus Fonnesbech
Climatically induced environmental disasters ... increased droughts, desertification, sea level rise, and the more frequent occurrence of extreme weather events such as hurricanes, cyclones, fires, mass flooding and tornadoes leading to mass global migration and border conflicts.
On 11 August, a child drinks safe water from a bowl held by his mother, at a school in Charsarda District, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. UNICEF is delivering safe drinking water to accessible areas in the province.© UNICEF/NYHQ2010-1606/ZAK
Flooding in the district of Muzzafargarh ... A truck with private donations of water is engulfed by IDP's makeshift camp for persons displaced by the extensive flooding in Gujrat Town, district of Muzzafargarh. ...Those fleeing the flooding reported an estimated 200 houses washed away or destroyed by flooding. Most inhabitants of Gujrat earn a living through agriculture, farming Rice, Sugar and Cotton. No deaths were reported by the villagers however they estimate that 90% of the herd of cattle and goats have been lost to flooding. ..Within the makeshift camp children are suffering with diarrhoea and skin complaints. There is no shelter, no sanitation, no access to clean water and no electricity. Most of the IDP's sleep under the trees for shelter from the rain. They complain that they have received very little food and water, and only one one occasion had any access of medical supplies via a private donor... By Save the Children New Zealand Link
"We want to warn everyone that the crisis facing Pakistan is enormous and still unfolding. There continues to be massive destruction as bloated rivers flow southwards across the plains. And this crisis will not be over when the flood waters recede – due to homelessness, hunger, and illness." UNHCR
According the the UN News Center, nearly 2 million Afghans, already refugees of war, reside in northwest Pakistan, where the flooding has been most drastic. So far, some 5000 family living quarters have been destroyed by floods. Numerous Afghans are missing.
Over 12,600 homes in refugee camps in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province have have been destroyed, leaving 85,800 refugees homeless; another 23,000 Afghan residents of the Azakhel are also without shelter as their camp is now buried under at least one metre of mud.
Actions, Images & News From Laughing Planet
Youths affected by floods walk outside the ruins of their home which was washed away by heavy floods in Charsadda, northwest Pakistan, Monday, Aug. 9, 2010. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)
There is a local group to which donations will likely have a large and lasting impact-
Healing Development Foundation
(800) 705 1310
What they do:
With your help HDF transforms lives of poor communities through community mobilization training, education , micro-loans , health clinics , and physical infrastructure creation. Your generous support enables HDF to help people help themselves.
From their page about the flooding:
HDF is committed to work towards relief and reconstruction efforts in flood affected HDF program areas including Mardan and Tandoo Muhammad Khan. HDF already has the existing infrastructure and a team of trained employees and volunteers in place. Currently there is need for basic necessities like tents, blankets, cooking sets, utility containers, soap and bedding as well as, basic healthcare.
HDF staff has extensive training in disease prevention, providing clean water and sewage disposal, as well as, establishing temporary schooling facilities, so that affected families may have the semblance of a normal life. We have the knowhow, and after the 2005 earthquake we have the expertise. But we can not do this alone. We need your support in this time of need.
This video gives a more detailed look at the work they do, for those who are not yet convinced.
(Start video at 2:00 mark to avoid long-ish intro)
More details and videos at their site of theirYouTube channel.
There are other groups that deserve support as well.
Here are a few I support and recommend:
Doctors without Borders (MSF):
The Red Cross:
With an estimated 6 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, I am concerned that so far the international community hasn’t responded with the speed or on the scale warranted by a disaster of this magnitude.
From the US State dept.
How You Can Help:
Text "SWAT" to 50555; $10 goes to fund for flood victims
I'm usually leery of such types of giving, due to phone companies who might profit, but if it gets food and water to even one child, then I guess it's worth it.
These are but a handful of photos culled from a compliation on this site.
(Warning: These are Mind-boggling photos)
Their collection includes lots of other powerful Getty images and more like this.
Previous photos at the same site HERE.
The EcoJustice series discusses environmental justice, and the disproportionate impacts of environmental degradation and the climate crisis on communities around the world.
Almost 4 decades ago, the EPA was created partially in response to the public health problems caused in the United States by environmental conditions, which included unhealthy air, polluted rivers, unsafe drinking water and waste disposal. Oftentimes, the answer, both here and abroad, has been to locate factories and other pollution-emitting facilities in poor, culturally diverse, or minority communities. EcoJustice demands equal rights for all persons to clean, healthy and sustainable communities.
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