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November 15, 2013

A Plea for Climate Action -- and Fast

As I mentioned earlier this week, the United Nations' COP19 Climate Change Conference opened in Warsaw this week, hard on the heels of Typhoon Haiyan, which has caused unknown thousands of deaths and left more than half a million people homeless in the Philippines. Haiyan is the second extreme weather event in 12 months to devastate the Philippines.

That prompted an impassioned plea from Philippine delegate Naradev "Yeb" Saño. "I speak for my delegation," he said, choking back tears, "but I speak for the countless people who will no longer be able to speak for themselves after perishing from the storm, and those who have been orphaned by the storm. What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness. The climate crisis is madness."

Saño has pledged to fast until the conference delivers concrete action to address climate disruption. Many people at the conference were so moved by Commissioner Saño's speech that they have joined him in his fast, including members of our own Sierra Student Coalition. The Sierra Club supports an individual's right to engage in this very personal form of protest, and we likewise call for immediate action to address the climate crisis.

The real action at COP 19 will start next week as more delegates arrive from around the world. Will the negotiators acknowledge the "madness" of the climate crisis and act accordingly? Click here to send a message to Secretary Kerry urging him to show that the U.S. is ready to lead on this issue.

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