Picture: Eumetsat – Typhoon Haiyan approaching the Philippines (13:00 UTC 07/11/2013).
Five days ago, typhoon Haiyan swept across the Philippines leaving behind a trail of unconceivable devastation. The news drop in bit by bit and unveil the losses and destruction of unprecedented proportions. I feel devastated and uncomfortable following the tragedy that happens just in this moment on this globe – while I am in the happy position to sit in front of a sweet-smelling steaming cup of tea. Today’s information services make the world grow smaller and global joy and sorrow lie closer together than ever.
While the Philippines struggle for survival the 19th United Nations Climate Change Conference takes place in Warsaw. Yeb Sano, the Philippines climate change representative, speaks in front of the international community. He pleads with the world to take immediate and drastic action to mitigate extreme weather events in the future. I click on the video link embedded in the online-report to watch his speech. I wince at the unexpected start of the commercial of an insurance company promising more security in life – what a grotesque coincidence. Finally and twenty seconds later I am allowed to watch the video contribution. Sano closes his emotional speech with the sentence “we can fix this”. A brave man of the moment.
Watching the video for a second time I am a bit confused about the man sitting in the back of Sano who is constantly working on his smartphone before finally leaving the scene. Does he really write a text message while next to him a man is struggling to find the right words – and while I am listening to his speech with a sweet-smelling cup of tea in front of me? Or maybe he is just checking for the latest news on the Philippines?
Simultaneousness of incidents, parallel running realities and different destinies next to each other … it’s a small and bizarre world. How can we bear with the increasing perception of simultaneity? I don’t know any formula. This is just an attempt to cope with the harm of people I don’t know personally but nevertheless bothers me.
Update on the measures taken by the Philipine Government for crisis response:
Official Gazette edited at the Office of the President of the Philippines
Tearful speech by Philipines Climate Change Representative Yeb Sano