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Editorial | Defining issue, defining time

“Climate Change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Without drastic action today, adapting to these impacts in the future will be more difficult and costly.” – UN

Even as the world leaders debate on climate change and global warming, countries in the south of the globe are suffering from the effects of extreme weather changes they have never before experienced. There are reports that small islands have been swallowed by the sea, which places the Pacific countries of Tuvalu, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru and others, in great danger.

The Philippines, sitting on the Pacific rim of fire, is also among the most vulnerable. The recent earthquakes that rocked Mindanao, with its epicenter in Tulunan, Cotabato, show how vulnerable we are not only to typhoons brewing in the Pacific but by earthquakes on land and sea.

The people greatly affected by the quakes are under great stress and difficulties. In one evacuation camp in Makilala town, the evacuees live in makeshift tents that trap the sweltering heat by day and turn so cold and humid at night. The hailstorm last Monday that affected evacuation camps in Makilala town added to the suffering of the evacuees.

There is so much uncertainty in the evacuation centers. Aid has been pouring in that answers their basic food and shelter needs, but since quakes cannot be predicted, evacuees fear they will have to stay in their camps for a long time.

Truly, climate change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment.

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