Your help needed now; your help needed from now on

10,000 feared dead, millions thirsty on the streets.  Now, while you sit at work bored.  Or cosy at home.  I’m not claiming climate change is the cause.  But it is a taste of what’s to come.

Forget for a minute what caused Haiyan to be the most severe storm ever to make landfall.  There are people out there who need our help.  I have chosen Christian Aid, partly because they were the first to contact me for help, and partly because I know some people who work there.  I value their approach of helping people to help themselves, rather than simply giving hand-outs.  I fear in this case that the shattered people of the Philippines need all the help they can get.

Whatever your reason, be it your humanity, religion or whatever else, please give as generously as you can afford.

Haiyan may not have been caused by global warming.  It may not have been made more severe by climate change.  It is impossible to prove.  Proof would require finding which molecules of air were heated by sunlight that failed to escape our atmosphere due to excess carbon dioxide.

But you may have heard the analogy.  I guess it was invented by an American, because it refers to baseball.  Baseball players hit home runs occasionally.  Like all other human beings, they have a natural trace of steroids in their system.  Say a player starts taking steroids as a supplement: the levels of the substance in their system will go up by a small amount.  If they then hit another home run, would you be able to say that they only hit it because of the extra steroids?  There would be no way you could prove it.  Would you ban them for cheating?  Of course you bloody would.

The same goes for extreme weather, climate change and levels of greenhouse gases.  It is almost impossible to prove any direct link, but you can note the trends and forecasts.  The next step is to ban the substance.

Whether or not Haiyan was caused by climate change, its like is what scientists forecast will happen more often.  It is a taste of things to come.  It is why I am fighting climate change.  It is why I am reducing my carbon footprint.  It is why I think you should too.  Please.

Does that make me an alarmist?  I’m just an ordinary bloke, saying what I see.

John Bell,

Ordinary bloke


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