United States Secretary of State John Kerry just delivered a speech at the COP21 saying they doubled their adaptation funding for developing nations to US$800 million by 2020. He also said that “we need an agreement that emphasizes on adaptation and resilience.”
That’s cute. Except that John Kerry forgot to mention one thing: loss and damage.
Basically, what John Kerry is asking us to do is to strengthen ourselves to the point of becoming super human, able to survive any climate change impacts.
Super typhoons? Build really strong structures and pray to whoever God you believe in that 7 feet of water doesn’t wipe out the whole city.
Rising sea levels? Easy! Learn how to swim or find a new land to live on.
Extreme heat waves at 45 degrees celsius? Well, better lock yourself in the fridge or train your body to take in all that heat!
What John Kerry (and most people from rich countries, basically) don’t understand is that there is a limit to resiliency. We are humans. And unless our genes evolve to the point where we can join the X-men, guess what? Unless we start controling the weather, we really can’t do much to survive no matter how much we adapt or build resiliency.
There are climate change impacts we can no longer adapt to. Don’t believe us?
Go tell the families of the more than 7,000 dead from Haiyan they should have built their resiliency.
Go tell the people of Tuvalu who are now losing their land and their culture to just build their resiliency.
Go tell the people of India to make sure their bodies are ready for 45 degrees celsius of heat and build their resiliency.
John Kerry thinks it’s so easy to adapt and become resilient. I invite him to come to the Philippines during the typhoon season. You know, just to test how resilient he is.