Every day I’ve been searching press reports about the latest disaster in The Philippines for any mention of the causes of the massive flooding beyond that Tropical Storm Sendong (also known as Washi) blew in. Finally, here’s one from The Philippine Daily Inquirer. An excerpt:
The tragedy that struck the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan was an event waiting to happen. It was foretold three years ago, but was dismissed by lawmakers as “too alarmist.”…[A] simulation of the effects of extreme weather events from climate change such as saltwater intrusion, sea level rise and intense tropical cyclones, showed that major Philippine cities, including Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, were at risk of massive flooding.
The same dynamic keeps happening. Projections by scientists are dismissed by politicians, ideologues, and other corporate representatives as “alarmist,” or even as some sort of conspiracy. Nothing is done to prevent disaster or to prepare for foreseen events. Then the projections turn out to be true. Yet the deniers keep spouting their nonsense, and it keeps getting better coverage than the science, whose uncertainty is played up. In reality, the general trend is that the scientific projections have been found to be too conservative–not “alarmist” enough. Every report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is already known, by the time it is approved and published, to have underestimated effects like sea level rise. But those who represent the movement of capital keep undermining action, pushing us toward a more and more perilous future. Until we can abolish capital (which is a social relation, not a thing), we will have no chance of avoiding climate chaos.