By AMY HEGGEN
---- — 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.
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.”
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.
An online petition at 350.org states, “Typhoon Haiyan should be a wake-up call about the tragic potential of a world ravaged by climate change.”
According to the petition’s website, the 350.org team will deliver the messages to U.N. delegates in Warsaw.
“It will just throw into higher relief the inaction and dawdling of countries like the U.S. and China,” McKibben said.
Individuals can also help by organizing.
“That’s why we set up 350.org, so everyone can have a voice,” he said.
Visit 350.org or redcross.org for more information on how to help.