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To deny climate change is to deny a truth we have just lived

‘To deny climate change is to deny a truth we have just lived’ says Prime Minister of storm-hit Dominica

23 September 2017 – Pleading with all countries in the United Nations General Assembly – large and small, rich and poor – to come together to save our planet, the Prime Minister of Dominica, where the landscape, ravaged by back-to-back hurricanes “resembles a warzone,” said his and other islands in the Caribbean need help now to build their homelands back better.

“I come to you straight from the front line of the war on climate change,” Roosevelt Skerrit said in an emotional address to the General Assembly’s annual general debate. He said he made the difficult journey from his storm-battered country “because these are the moments for which the United Nations exists!”

Just two years after powerful tropical storm Erika had ripped through the region – leaving his country, known as ‘nature island’ a land of dirt and dust – he said Dominica, the Bahamas and others had been ravaged by perhaps the worst hurricane season on record, with Irma and Maria leaving loss of lives and livelihoods, and as yet untold damage.

Mr. Skerrit said that warmer air and sea temperatures have permanently altered the climate between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Heat is the fuel that takes ordinary storms – “storms we could normally master in our sleep – and supercharges them into a devastating force.

The most unfortunate reality, he said, is that there is little time left to reverse damages and rectify this trajectory. “We need action and we need it now,” he said.

“The stars have fallen, Eden is broken. The nation of Dominica has come to declare an international humanitarian emergency.”

He concluded by urging ownership and responsibility for perpetuating harm that desperately begs attention: “Let it spark a thousand points of light, not shame.”

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