Tropical Storm Ketsana/Ondoy was a deadly typhoon that cut through Southeast Asia in September 2009. In one night it dumped a month's worth of rain and flooded 80% of Manila, thereby clearly reminding the region of its vulnerability to climate change.

Typhoon Ketsana OndoyMan Made Climate Change is Now Happening

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is THE global authority on Climate Change (also called Global Warming), has predicted that tropical cyclones (typhoons) will become more intense, have stronger peak wind speeds and heavier precipitation.

Typhoon Ketsana (called Ondoy in the Philippines) dropped 410 mm of rainfall on Metro Manila in 9 hours, more than the total amount of rain recorded in 25 days in September, which was a very rainy month.

An Asian Development Bank study says due to Climate Change the Philippines will have:

  • more rainy days
  • more rainfall overall
  • more destructive typhoons

During the past 15 years, the Philippines was hit by:

  • the strongest typhoon ever,
  • the most destructive typhoon ever,
  • the deadliest storm ever,
  • the typhoon that registered the highest recorded 24-hour rainfall.
Then Typhoon Ondoy came along and set a new record for the highest amount of rain in one day.

Some people still won't believe that Climate Change is man made, meaning that it is caused by human activities such as greenhouse gas emissions. But the facts speak loud and clear.

The IPCC, an international UN panel of experts (they received the Nobel Peace Prize for their effforts), along with most scientists worldwide have shown volumes of scientific data that strongly supports the theory that Global Warming is caused by human activities, man-made machines and factories.

Typhoon Ketsana/Ondoy showed that even a weak tropical storm (85 kilometers per hour) can adversely affect millions of people.

Climate Change Treaty Talks

192 countries are meeting in Bangkok this October to create a draft of a global warming treaty that world leaders aim to sign in Copenhagen in December 2009.

Developed and developing nations have been arguing over who should cut carbon emissions and pay for the necessary steps. Poorer nations do not want to slow their development and say the West must cut emissions first, and also paying for the cost of adapting to climate change.

Small nations most likely to suffer the effects of global warming have been overshadowed in climate talks by major greenhouse gas emitters such as the USA, Europe, China and India.

But after Typhoon Ketsana killed more than 300 people in the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, Southeast Asian nations had a good reason to call on richer nations to do more.

With its many islands and coastline cities, the Philippines is one of the countries MOST vulnerable to Climate Change.

"These countries (in Southeast Asia) in a way are the canary in the mine, they're the ones that will be confronted by the impacts of climate change if we fail to reach an agreement in Copenhagen," UN Climate Chief Yvo de Boer told AFP. Southeast Asia's long coastlines and high population density make it one of the world's most vulnerable areas.

Coastal cities already affected by severe storms, flooding, and changing weather patterns will be affected even more by the rising level.

The Philippines made an impassioned plea at the Bangkok talks, saying that Typhoon Ketsana showed the need for developed nations to cut emissions.

Philippine chief negotiator Secretary Heherson Alvarez said that if the storm spurred richer countries to act then "the ruin and the pain may not have been in vain."

Related articles:

Southeast Asia gains climate clout after typhoon

Government study foresaw flood-Palafox

Philippines, September 2009: Typhoon Tragedy

Much of Metro Manila  was flooded due to tropical storm Ondoy (internationally known as "Ketsana"). Typhoon Ondoy dumped more than 30 inches of rain onto Manila in one day. This was the worst storm to hit Manila since 1967.

See the devastating videos and pictures of this tragedy:

Please help the victims in Manila with donations of cash and kind.

How You Can Help In the USA
Red Cross Tel 1 800 435 7669

Even $20 per person will help victims who are in need of the most basic necessities.

Ways You Can Help In the Philippines


San Rafael CleanKahl Consultants has come clean - with San Rafael Clean!

We took the Clean Business Pledge and became a proud member of San Rafael Clean, a local business organization.

Businesses can join San Rafael Clean to help beautify and reinvigorate our local business corridors, creating a more inviting and environmentally friendly experience for customers and the community.

Here is the Clean Business Pledge:

* I pledge to keep my business clean and free from debris, including my landscaping, the sidewalks and public area surrounding my business.
* I pledge to have adequate trash and recycling bins and pick up for my business functions and my customers.
* I pledge to educate my employees about proper disposal of trash, the need for a clean business, and provide ample options for disposal of trash including cigarette butts
* I pledge to know and follow all city codes with regard to my business.
* I pledge to acknowledge my participation as a Clean Business to my employees, business partners, customers and the general public by displaying brochures, window decals, or other Clean Campaign marketing materials, and in any way I can.

If you are a business in San Rafael, California, please take the San Rafael Clean pledge!

Who wants to reduce your energy usage and your utility bills? You can do so by air-drying your clothes as often as possible.

In Western households, the clothes dryer is the third-most energy-hungry appliance, right after the refrigerator and clothes washer. The US EPA Energy Star program does even not rate dryers, because they all use a similar amount of energy. 75 percent of US households own a clothes dryer, but only half the households in Europe own one.

Here are a few good reasons to reduce dryer usage:

Air-drying your clothes (indoors or outdoors) can reduce the average household’s carbon footprint by a whopping 2,400 pounds a year.

The lint you scoop out of a dryer’s lint trap is evidence of your wardrobe literally wearing away. A dryer shortens the life of your clothing by over-drying items and thinning them out.

Need more tips? Sure, here you go:

* Add a little vinegar to your washing machine’s rinse cycle to soften clothes
* When you do use a dryer, use the moisture sensor, if it has one, so that the dryer will shut off after clothes are dry, rather than continuing for longer than necessary
* Drying clothing indoors can help keep indoor air moist, a kind of low-tech humidifier.

And finally, in case you were wondering, we do try and practice what we preach - we use an indoor drying rack and a backyard clothes line MOST of the time.

Sound good to you? Wait until you read the full article with lots more great energy and time-saving ideas over at Green America: