A Message To World Leaders In Combating The Extreme Weather

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Dear Honorable Leaders,

Extreme weather is a natural disaster such as tornadoes, tsunami and flooding that will cause extremely great damages, injuries and even deaths. From the statistics of the National Centres for Environmental Information Storm Event Database of the United States, the number of direct and indirect deaths from weather events had increased by 41% from 2014 to 2018 (Source : https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/home-and-community/safety-topics/weather-related-deaths-and-injuries/). Some disastrous events such as the Bangladesh tornado in 1989, had destroyed 20 villages, injured over 12,000 and left nearly 80,000 people homeless (Source : https://www.businessinsider.com/deadliest-weather-events-of-all-time-according-to-the-un-wmo-2017-5); in 2016, the storm Hurricane Matthew had generated at least $6 billion in damages in the United States, with 52 shelters housed more than 4,300 displaced people (Source : https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/10/11/horrific-rains-and-ocean-surge-hurricane-matthew-by-the-numbers). One alarming fact is that out of the extreme weather events studied, some scientists had found human-caused climate change had altered the likelihood or severity among 69% of the cases. (Source : https://www.carbonbrief.org/mapped-how-climate-change-affects-extreme-weather-around-the-world)

To combat extreme weather, in my opinion, the best solution is “prevention”. For example,to prevent flooding, the creation of more wetlands and wooded areas can slow down waters when rivers overflow. If the governments could stop deforestation and invest in reforesting upstream areas, it will help to reduce the impact of climate change on flooding significantly. In addition, measures like construction of flood storage reservoirs and improving soil conditions for absorbing huge quantities of rainwater can also help to reduce the risk of flooding. (Source : https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/10-measures-that-must-be-taken-to-prevent-more-flooding-in-the-future-a6788866.html)

Based on past experiences of extreme weathers, we must investigate the root causes of the disasters. The government officials should visit the victims and affected areas to have a thorough understanding of the situation, listen to the voices and the needs of the people. What is even more important, is to come up with a concrete remedial plan to fix the root cause of the disaster and prevent it from happening again!

However, we often face barriers in combating the extreme weather due to limited resources on reaction time and financial support. When extreme weather happens, indeed the government needs to put a lot of resources to save the victims and help them recover from the disastrous situation. That is exactly why I strongly suggest resources to be put on prevention instead of reaction! Afterall, if the prevention measure is effective, reaction will not be required because extreme weathers will not happen at all!

I think if we start to prevent extreme weather now, people will not be affected by it in future, and if we made the prevention already, then we don’t have to spend money to resolve the extreme weather anymore, our houses won’t be destroyed, and will not cause injuries or death anymore, and there will probably be much less disaster in the future. However, extreme weather can happen anytime. The earlier we start to plan and work for prevention, the earlier people can be relieved from the threat. Therefore, we should join together, be ever ready and start acting now!

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