Thursday, August 22, 2013

Global warming & environmental havoc

There’s something so endearing about this photo of children at an evacuation center in Marikina (east of Manila, Philippines) eating donuts & sharing friendship under an umbrella while watching the massive flooding by Tropical Storm Trami that has paralyzed Manila. To a child, such disruptions can seem exciting rather than traumatizing.

But of course that’s not true for the estimated 1.5 million street children in the Philippines or the many thousands left homeless by gentrification or the last typhoon in December. Photojournalism has recorded images from around the world of elderly homeless people & those with disabilities struggling against flooding, of others trying to retrieve meager belongings from the onrush of flood waters. These are the stories not told since urban homelessness is seen as an eyesore & deterrent to tourism by politicians whose hateful disregard for human life probably views flooding as a final solution to poverty & homelessness.

In its greed capitalism is like an out of control train barreling down the tracks, taking everything out in its path. Or is it more like a hurricane? As a system it cannot ameliorate the global plunder & destructive policies leading to global warming & massive flooding (like tearing down rainforest to build plantations & dams) because it is driven by antisocial compulsions that place greed & private wealth over human life.

Global warming & environmental havoc make social transformation a necessity but the most compelling indictment of its antisocial character is the thought of small children, disabled, & elderly struggling to survive against the onslaught of flood waters. It’s time to take this unnatural hurricane out!

(Photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images)


  1. Look at this one with the boy carrying his dog.

    1. Thank you for those pictures, Anonymous; the one with the boy and dog is quite dramatic. I may try to use it.