A time for generosity

Americans must open hearts and wallets for the Philippines

It’s impossible to comprehend the suffering people are experiencing in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. The photos of miles of destruction are horrific in themselves, but they can’t convey the sickening smell of rotting bodies, the pain of hunger and thirst because there is no food or clean water, or the inescapable wetness because there’s no shelter and the rain continues to fall.

The CN&R encourages its readers to open their hearts and wallets and send money to their favorite relief organizations. The world needs to come to the aid of the people of the Philippines.

While scientists tell us that individual extreme-weather events such as this hurricane can’t be attributed to global climate change, there is no doubt that rising sea levels, which are well documented and scientifically attributable to climate change, are putting coastal nations, and especially island nations, at great risk.

That risk is greatest for poor countries such as the Philippines, which lack the resources to respond to catastrophic events in an effective manner. The bitter irony, of course, is that the people of the Philippines, like those of all poor countries, have contributed little to climate change. It’s the rich countries like the United States, China and those in Europe that have put most of the greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. We cause the problem, and the poor of the world suffer for it. All the more reason for us to be generous in responding to Typhoon Haiyan.

The good news is that major relief agencies are moving as fast as possible to get aid to the Philippines. USA Today has made a valuable list of those agencies. It can be found at www.tinyurl.com/typhoongive. The best thing we can do is send money. The agencies will know how to use it.