World climate change issues are being felt closer to home with recent disastrous flash flooding occurring in parts of Greece and Western Turkey.
Some of these floods have been so bad that many are saying that they are the worst in years, with the heaviest rains in more than eight decades falling in and near Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul.
So far, property damage alone in areas near Istanbul is estimated to be more than $ 100 million, and several people have been killed, including seven women who were in a minibus that was swept way during a flash flood. Is global warming to blame?
The downpours come after some of Turkey’s worst drought conditions in years, as we have noted in a previous Green Prophet piece on Turkey which explores how Turkey’s water reserves have been seriously depleted due to lack of adequate rainfall –– believed to be partially been attributed to climate change.
Now, in the country’s western provinces, the exact opposite is true with too much water causing serious property and crop damage; not to mention displacement of people and even loss of life.
Even the capital, Ankara, is not immune to this problem, with many low-lying areas in danger of flooding. The current opening of the UN General Assembly in New York has also been an opportunity for leaders of the more developed nations to meet each other and discuss some of the problems dealing with climate change.
In fact, issues dealing with climate were addressed to the delegates attending the opening sessions at both this and last year’s General Assembly sessions. In his first address as US President before the world body, President Barack Obama said the following in regards to his country facing up to the consequences of mankind induced climate change:
“To confront climate change, we have invested 80 billion dollars in clean energy. We have substantially increased our fuel-efficiency standards. We have provided new incentives for conservation, launched an energy partnership across the Americas, and moved from a bystander to a leader in international climate negotiations.”
Despite his remarks, there is still much that the USA can do to help reverse the effects of climate change; particularly in regards to reducing greenhouse gases and harmful pollutants by the country that is still considered to be the greatest contributor of these harmful emissions in the world.
But for thousands of suffering Turks, the good intentions of President Obama and other world leaders are not alleviating their suffering, or bringing back their loved ones. As a result of abnormal weather patterns these kinds of occurences have now become the rule, rather than the exception.
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(Photo via AP)