Hurricane Harvey and Typhoon Hato precipitate escalation in extreme weather, particularly in countries of high global climate risk – including the Philippines.

RECENTLY, I followed the tropical storm Isang pass the Batanes area in the north. After I flew to Guangzhou in China, the low-pressure storm morphed first into a tropical depression southeast to Taiwan soaring into a typhoon in the South China Sea.

On August 23, Typhoon Hato’s eye was directly over Hong Kong. In China, Hato left 26 people dead, and damage amounting to $1.9 billion. Soon thereafter, Tropical Storm Jolina, known as Pakhar in China, formed to the east of Luzon in the Philippines and intensified as a severe tropical storm—and so it goes.

Almost at the same time, Harvey became the first hurricane in the US to make landfall since Wilma in 2005 and the strongest in Texas since Carla in 1961. As the media spotlight moved from the South China Sea to the Gulf of Mexico, Harvey unleashed “tornado-like winds,” including isolated tornadoes.

According to current estimates, exposed stock with damage to floods is calculated at $267 billion, which is more costly than Hurricane Katrina and Sandy put together. Indirect losses and total macroeconomic effects are likely to increase these estimates, not to speak of further damage in neighboring Louisiana and inland as long as rainfall-induced flooding will continue.

Read more: Global climate dissension is a risk to the Philippines


For communicating climate reality, journalists Howie Severino (GMA 7), Imelda Abano (PNEJ), Atom Araullo (ABS-CBN), and Voltaire Tupaz (Rappler) are recognized at the premiere screening of the documentary "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to power," on Monday, August 28.

MEDIA CLIMATE CHAMPIONS. Journalists Voltaire Tupaz of Rappler, Atom Araullo of ABS-CBN, and Imelda Visaya Abano of the Philippine Network of Environmental Journalists (L-R) cover the historic 21st Conference of Parties of the UN Convention Framework on Climate Change (COP21) in France. Photo courtesy of Imelda Abano

MANILA, Philippines – Nobel Peace Prize laureate Al Gore's Climate Reality Project recognized four journalists from the Philippines who covered the historic Paris climate change conference and issues on global warming.

GMA 7 investigative journalist Howie Severino, Philippine EnviroNews editor-in-chief Imelda Visaya Abano, ABS-CBN multimedia journalist Atom Araullo, and Rappler's MovePH editor Voltaire Tupaz were named "Media Climate Champions" at the premiere screening of the documentary "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power," on Monday, August 28. (IN PHOTOS: 'An Inconvenient Sequel' premieres in PH)

Read more: Al Gore's Climate Reality Project names Pinoy 'Media Climate Champions'


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