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November 13, 2013

Bill McKibben: Climate crisis influenced storm

PLATTSBURGH — Raise money and raise your voices against climate change to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, says Bill McKibben of 350.org.

The devastating storm in the Philippines left an estimated 10,000 people dead.

Bill McKibben, who lives in Middlebury, Vt., is the founder of 350.org, an organization built to help solve the climate crisis.

He wrote in a press release this week that the Philippines had been reeling from the effects of climate change even before Typhoon Haiyan hit, having seen repeated flooding from milder storms. 

McKibben is unsure if 350.org activists in the Philippines are safe because communication has been chaotic.

RELIEF EFFORTS

He said suggested two ways people can help in the aftermath of the typhoon. 

The first, he said, is to raise money for direct aid for those in need. Numerous relief organizations are accepting donations for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, including UNICEF, the Salvation Army and the United Nations World Food Program. 

The American Red Cross is also providing post-storm assistance, and the local Northeastern New York chapter is accepting international disaster inquiries through the Restoring Family Links program for people concerned about loved ones impacted by Typhoon Haiyan.

“The devastation in the Philippines is unimaginable,” said Gary Striar, CEO of American Red Cross Northeastern New York Region. “We are doing what we can here at home to help support the Philippine Red Cross with its relief efforts. The best way people can help is through financial donations.”

ONLINE PETITION

McKibben said the other way to help is to take action against climate change, especially in light of the annual United Nations climate negotiations occurring over the next two weeks in Warsaw.

“Warm water can produce stronger storms; higher sea levels mean more devastating surges,” McKibben said. 

350.org followers hope Typhoon Haiyan will draw attention to climate-change issues.

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