In the age of climate disaster, our lives are dispensable- joint statement about Storm Daniel

We publish below the common statement by the initiative against war and extractions in Turkey-Cyprus-Greece “Kazma Birak-Μας σκάβουν τον λάκκο-Don’t Dig». The initiative was kick-started by 70 (mainly) environmental organisations in the tree countries. Read the statement in Greek and in Turkish here

Mediterranean Storm Daniel: 

In the age of climate disaster, our lives are dispensable!

Storm Daniel is wreaking havoc across the Mediterranean. It has already resulted in the loss of 15 lives in Greece, 7 in Turkey and 4 in Bulgaria. On September 12 it was announced that in Libya, the death toll reached a horrifying figure. It is reported that at least 5,000 people have lost their lives and thousands more are missing. In all countries the floods have destroyed crucial infrastructure facilities, roads and thousands of houses. Thousands of animals have been drowned alive, while the soil will need time to recover so as to  be cultivated again. The cost is devastating and poor people will be hugely affected not only now, but for years to come.

The IPCC, in its latest report on the Mediterranean region, had warned about extreme rainfall events and noted the potential for sudden flash floods. This warning, combined with actual records of flash floods in Spain, Italy, Turkey, Bulgaria, France, and Greece, emphasizes the urgent need for proactive measures to address these climate-related challenges. However, nothing has been done until now. Capitalist states and companies have turned a deaf ear even to their own green washing institutions. 

As we have done in our recent statement about the wildfires in Greece and Turkey, we point to the fact that there are three main reasons for these colossal casualties: the climate crisis, haphazard urbanization and the dismantling of public services. All three are consequences of capitalism prioritizing profit over the needs of living beings. Strengthening urban infrastructure in a participatory and democratic way according to the needs of living beings is our top priority to prevent further loss of life. We join our forces to demand urgent protective measures to prevent the loss of lives and livelihoods: flood prevention projects (not based on profit of construction companies but on the natural flow of water and nature based solutions with respect to the environment), protect natural reforestation or intentional if necessary ect. We also need to demand the drawing up of evacuation plans and the organisation of the state machine to deal with such disasters, which will definitely be frequent in the coming years. Finally, to mitigate the effects of climate change, we need international cooperation to stop oil and gas extractions, phase out fossil fuels, re-tool production, etc. The energy, plastics, car, arms and construction industries will fight tooth and nail against these measures, to protect their profits. But if we want to preserve life and the environment we need to sweep away these capitalist forces which stand in the way of a decent and ecological life. 

We are ready to do our part, and we call on everyone to join the movements against the climate crisis and environmental degradation to prevent further loss of life.

Kazma Bırak Campaign International Coordination

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