January 28, 2013
By Siobhan Hughes
Trócaire supporter Siobhan Hughes blogs about Ireland’s need for a strong position on climate change and and her recent experiences on a visit to affected communities in El Salvador.
Floods, droughts, storms and heat waves are regularly in the news. While the media and Hollywood have exposed us to the horrific reality of climate-related disasters, we know little of the everyday effect climate change is having on people’s lives.
People who depend on farming as their main source of food and income are at risk. Everyday, these are the people who face new obstacles and new barriers preventing them from sourcing enough food for their families.
Yet, these are the people that often get forgotten about.
Last November, I travelled to El Salvador to see first-hand the impact of climate change on communities there.
In El Salvador, I met some of the most passionate people I have ever come across. ‘Solidarity’ was a word that was frequently used - solidarity with one another and with the international community to fight climate change.
Ricardo Navarro of CESTA (Friends of the Earth, El Salvador) described the situation in El Salvador, saying that “when we talk about climate change, we don’t talk about adaption, we talk about survival”.
That is what I saw. I saw a struggle for survival, for dignity and for life.
Dying mangroves, flooding and drought are heavily impacting those who rely on farming to survive.
The issue is so big that people sometimes do not know how to respond, insisting that they alone cannot influence climate change or impact those who are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
Salvadorans are fighting and continuing to struggle with passion and commitment and we need to do the same.
And there is something we can all do.
The UN’s climate chief has insisted that governments need to enact domestic laws on climate change and greenhouse gas emissions if international efforts to slow global warming are to be effective.
Trócaire’s current campaign on climate change asks for just that.
Trócaire is demanding a strong Irish climate law. We need to be the ones who struggle and fight for the survival of people worldwide and initiate action.
We need to stop it before it is too late.