As I was going to bed last Saturday night, I caught some early footage of the floods in Pakistan. I was stunned. It is the most horrific climate event I have seen, and it gave me nightmares. Not only did we watch historic buildings and bridges get washed away, but we also watched women, children, and whole families washed away too.
It was a terrible event and the numbers lost are still rising, with expectations it’s going to get a lot worse. One positive: apparently, an early warning system through the Mosques across the country, helped many escape.
Naturally, when I woke Sunday, I couldn’t get Pakistan out of my head, and as I always do, I went looking for news. It was reported as the largest body of water on earth ever released.
The early coverage focused on it being a glacial lake melt, officially called a “glacial lake outburst.” However, this commentary quickly disappeared from media coverage and only started coming back at the end of this week.
In a Vox article titled: ‘Pakistan flooding: How melting glaciers fuelled the disaster’ – it said Pakistan is home to over 7,200 glaciers, more than anywhere outside the poles. Northern Pakistan has more than 3,000 glacial lakes, and 33 of them are “prone to hazardous glacial lake outburst flooding,” according to the United Nations.
Because this event was so big and horrific, I expected to see coverage EVERYWHERE, but when I went looking for it, crickets. This included the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other mainstream media. I honestly couldn’t believe it. How could THIS be ignored?
I shared an article a few months ago, talking about US media, and the decision to share only solutions-based coverage on the climate crisis, because their audience cannot cope with how depressing the news is. I KNOW it’s depressing, but we must understand what is going on, because if we do not face up to this global crisis, we will never be able to overcome it.
As I say all the time, there is no sugar coating the climate crisis my friends.
The numbers will be coming in for some time, but here’s an idea of where we are right now in Pakistan
• 1350 killed so far
• 50 million displaced (more than the 33 million being reported in most places)
• 900,000 livestock, or up to 90% of livestock dead
• 3.2 million houses destroyed and nearly 1 million damaged
• More than 40 reservoirs breached
• More than 220 bridges collapsed
• 90% of crops damaged, including cotton, which will impact Pakistan and the world
• $10 billion loss to the economy
• 1/3rd of the country under water
Please note I can share sources if anyone is interested, but I gathered these from multiple places – mostly Government – attempting to capture the scale of the disaster.
In Pakistan, it is expected to take 10 years to rebuild, and that is, of course, if another glacial lake doesn’t burst, and there are 33 that could. The future is not looking very bright for the country and its people right now.
The conversation on this crisis
There are many perspectives to the conversation taking place on this story. First is that the Pakistani’s are furious with the ruling elite, and the never ending in-fighting, which is not serving the country. Imran Khan and the way he behaved when this happened, is not winning any hearts or minds either.
Corruption is a HUGE part of this story, and it’s an issue around the world in the climate fight, but in this case, it’s being blamed too, especially as so many were given approval to build homes in flood zones.
However, this angle is being picked up by deniers and used in their fight against climate action. I wonder how they can justify the collapse of a famous 150-year-old hotel, which was destroyed in seconds, and is not in a flood zone. This event impacted more than the houses built illegally, but it’s always interesting to see what deniers hang their opinion on. For me anyway.
We’ve also been hearing this week that Pakistan’s contribution to global emissions is low – like less than half a percent low – but a very clear example of how those who are not responsible for global warming will be made to suffer.
Which surely builds on the case that the polluting countries and businesses, who have profited for decades, must start to see it’s time to come together and help the Pakistani’s, and every other country being impacted. If countries and businesses can’t do this for the right reason, here’s a reason that might make sense.
We are looking at millions, if not billions, of climate refugees starting to move. Some can move within their countries, but most will be heading somewhere else. We know human migration causes massive societal disruption in the countries they want to move to. So why don’t we finally do the right thing, invest in these countries so people can stay in their homes, AND stop doing what is causing the damage in the first place – sensible?
There are countries where it is too late for the people to stay, and we must take care of them, but right now, whenever possible, if we can keep people where they are by investing in the infrastructure needed to make it possible, everyone will be better off. This means access to water, safe and dignified housing, access to food, education, medical care and more. That is the obligation now.
In Pakistan, this nightmare is not over. Millions are homeless, waiting for food, safe drinking water, and shelter. It’s so critical we move quickly, because water borne disease is now becoming rampant, and for those in the mountains, winter is coming too. The people are desperate, let’s do all we can to help them. Donation options below. I recommend a regular donation to the World Food Program if nothing else.
Friend’s content and mine
“By taking on a greater role in climate leadership, women can create wins for many areas including climate action, gender equity, food security, poverty reduction” – Praveen Gupta is writing some great content, especially on women in leadership around the environment. Please do follow him.
Inclusive Leadership with Andrew Bryant – Podcast Enjoyed listening to this podcast on self-leadership between Andy Lopata and Andrew Bryant! Nice work my friends.
And Andrew Bryant again Leaders must embrace Social Collaboration for the Future of Work something I’ve been talking about for a very long time. This is a critical skill in the world today and leaders need to focus on mastering it.
A blog I published, after experiencing a breakthrough with my teenage boys on getting their agreement to reduce meat. Thought it worth sharing for others struggling here How to get your family committed to reducing meat consumption.
If everyone gave #just10percent of their time, talent, money or voice, we’ll change the world. Can you donate? Make it a regular donation to the World Food Programme. Or donate to the UN Refugee Program, Medicine Sans Frontier, PowerOf , Kiva.org , Soi Dog Foundation. It’s a time for giving and taking care of each other.
Content to read
And here’s the content I’ve been reading or watching this last week. Scan the headlines, read the ones that jump out at you, read or watch them all. Knowledge is power, and global knowledge is even more powerful.
Almost 1,000 killed as flooding devastates Pakistan
ArcGIS Web Application – map of Pakistan and where it’s impacted
Capitalism Is Destroying Us – The New Climate Report
Climate Thinkers: John Schellnhuber
Business and technology
Social issues and humanity
Passion, humour, history
Let me know what jumped out at you? Or share with me what you’re reading? I love that!
Three environment resources to help navigate this challenging territory. 1. Knowledge, constantly updating. 2. Individual action and awareness, so we do our part. 3. Resources for those struggling with eco-anxiety. Please share with your community.
Uncommon Courage: an invitation
Uncommon Courage is an invitation to be your courageous best self every day. It’s also an antidote to the overwhelm, fear, and rage rolling around the world. But it’s more than a book; it’s an invitation to join an inclusive community that wants to better understand humanities challenges – both global and personal – in order to take courageous action and create a better world for everyone. If Covid19 has given us the time and space to reflect, Uncommon Courage gives us the nudge we need to create lasting change.
Better yet, order it from your local bookstore, so you can #SupportLocal.
You can read the reviews, including a new five-star review on Book Commentary, another five-star review on ReaderViews, a review on BookTrib, and three more on Booklife, another on Book Commentary and Blue Ink Reviews. I’m also collating reviews on my Website too. Have a look and grateful to everyone who has written or recorded one.
Come and join the conversation in my new Facebook Group Uncommon Courage.
The Know Show
Check out The Know Show. It’s a fortnightly wrap up of the news!
Listed by Book Authority in the 100 Best LinkedIn Books of All Time and 22 Best New LinkedIn eBooks To Read In 2021 and 2022 categories. Grab it today if you want to take your professional presence to the next level! When it comes to LinkedIn, it really is time to ask — can you really afford not to have this book in the hands of every employee?
Connect with me
Have I done a great job for you? Can you write a reference on my LinkedIn profile or on my Google Business page? If not for me, why not write one for someone else who inspires you or has helped you? Join the #GivingEconomy.
Are you a Social CEO? The Social CEO: How Social Media Can Make You A Stronger Leader.
Want to claim your stage? Unleash Your Voice – Powerful Public Speaking for Every Woman