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The Moral Case For Climate Action


cnn articleThe following is an excerpt from John D. Sutter | December 9, 2015 | CNN.com |

Le Bourget, France (CNN)Constance Okollet, a farmer and mother of seven from eastern Uganda, remembers a time when there were two seasons in her village.

"These days we don't have seasons at all," she told me.

Esau Sinnok, an 18-year-old from Shishmaref, Alaska, believes his indigenous community will have to relocate as the permafrost melts and the coast continues to erode.

"I live with my grandparents in a blue house in Shishmaref, and that is almost on the edge of the island," he said. "Whenever there's a storm and big waves, we hear that when we're sleeping.

"Knowing that your hometown has to move," he said, "that's just very emotional."

And Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, a young mom from the Marshall Islands in the distant Pacific Ocean, has a hard time planning for her family's future because she knows the seas are rising and, unless swift action is taken to stop all fossil fuel use, her tiny country likely will disappear.

"You don't know how big the ocean is until you go to the Marshall Islands," she said.

"I hope that my daughter's granddaughter and her granddaughter can come back home and know where their island is, and be able to live there if they so choose."

These are the moral voices for action on climate change.

And, this week, they might finally be heard.

Government ministers here in Paris for the U.N. COP21 climate change summit appear to be close to signing onto an agreement that would help the world avoid some of the worst effects of global warming.

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