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Originally published May 16 2008

Earthquake and Cyclone Victims: How Can We Help End Suffering Now and In the Future?

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

(NaturalNews) I've struggled all week with the question of how I can best help the victims of the recent natural disasters that have devastated populations in China and Myanmar. It is not a simple matter to ponder. How can people in North America (or other western nations) offer remote help to those who live in regions that have been struck by these natural disasters?

What is the appropriate response from us, sitting here in our "rich" nations, in the comfort of a chair, while we stare at images on our screen that could be from Myanmar, China, Zimbabwe or anywhere, really. Does any of it hit home for us? Do we dare even attempt to experience the magnitude of human suffering taking place in faraway lands that we'll probably never visit anyway and that we often have no real connection with?

Those of us who feel a strong sense of compassion for human beings -- which includes virtually all NaturalNews readers, by the way -- intuitively feel we must do something. But what can we do, exactly? We cannot bring people what they really need: Water, food, blankets... comfort. Even if we tried to go there, we probably could not physically get to the people who need our help the most. You can't just show up in Myanmar and get unrestricted access to disaster zones simply by saying, "I want to help." The authorities there would send you home.

As it turns out, the most effective thing most of us can really do right now is to send money to the right groups who already have organizations on the ground, working to provide lifesaving essentials to the victims of these natural disasters. That's why I've decided to donate $10,000 to the victims of these recent disasters in China and Myanmar. I have donated $5,000 to the rescue efforts in China, and another $5,000 to the efforts for the cyclone victims in Myanmar.

I've made these donations to a group that's on the front lines, engaged in crucial, person-to-person rescue efforts: Tzu-Chi (

Tzu-Chi is a Buddhist organization made up almost entirely of volunteer workers. Nearly 100% of the donated funds go directly to support the people who desperately need essentials like food, water, medical care, a bed to sleep in and a shoulder to lean on.

If you're looking to do something to help these victims in Myanmar or China, I encourage you to consider making a donation to Tzu-Chi at:

It is ultimately the way I've decided I can best help this immediate situation. Of course, I've also recorded several radio shows this week about Earth's climate and the impact of man's actions on our planet. So I've also spent considerable time this week attempting to educate others about why we desperately need to make changes in the way we treat our planet if we wish to avoid even more so-called "natural" disasters in the future.

And that brings me to this question:

Are these natural disasters really "natural?"

Another question comes to mind when considering the events that have taken place here. Are all these so-called natural disasters really "natural" in the first place? Certainly, earthquakes, cyclones, hurricanes, tsunamis and other disasters have occurred from time to time on our planet, even long before humans came along and starting disturbing the climate, but one thing I've noticed in the last six years or so is an apparent acceleration of climate-related disasters.

Could it be that human behavior on our planet -- the poisoning of the air, the oceans, the land, the disruption of ecosystems and much more -- has put in motion an acceleration of climate-related disasters that are now striking populations in China, Myanmar and other regions? In other words, is our man-made disruption of the planet now resulting in a backlash of natural disasters?

If so, they should not be called "natural" disasters at all. They should be called "man-made disasters." If global warming accelerates in the years ahead, for example, and ocean levels continue rising, then when the coastal cities of the world are flooded, wouldn't it be incorrect to refer to those events as "natural" disasters? The rising of the oceans is clearly a man-made disaster, since it was put into motion by our own actions.

Could earthquakes also be impacted by human activity? I am not aware of any particular mechanism by which human activity could directly cause or aggravate earthquakes, but I do know this: Human activity is deeply intertwined with every system and cycle on our planet... often in ways we do not understand. Every action we take -- from detonating nuclear bombs in oceans and underground testing chambers (which the U.S. military has done numerous times), to HAARP weather control experiments -- has an unintended consequence. And many of those consequences, we are learning, can be quite catastrophic.

Preventing tomorrow's disasters means changing our ways today

So while it is important to help those fellow human beings who have been harmed by natural disasters today, it is even more important to pursue a path of planetary change that can help reduce the frequency and intensity of similar "natural" disasters in the future. There is no question that man-made climate change is now altering weather patterns and contributing to floods, hurricanes, droughts and tornadoes. What I'm wondering is this: How much damage will we endure before we wake up and realize this is largely self-inflicted?

The planet, after all, is simply responding to things we have unwittingly unleashed through an unprecedented campaign of pollution and alteration of atmospheric chemistry. We should not be surprised in the least that the effects of our actions would lead to more radical weather patterns, crop failures, famines, infectious disease outbreaks and the like.

As much as the loss of life in the China and Myanmar is emotionally devastating, these events are but tiny blips on the radar compared to the planetary backlash that may be coming. The population correction that's on its way over the next century, due to famine, disease, soil failures, crop failures, fresh water scarcity, climate change, and other similar causes, could result in the loss of a billion human lives on our planet. It is that level of disaster that I hope we can somehow avoid by pursuing radical changes in CO2 emissions, reductions in the manufacture of toxic chemicals, agricultural reforms, ending genetic pollution through GM crops, and other such areas of concern.

Yes, the death of 150,000 people today in China and Myanmar is a massive human tragedy. And yes, we would be right to help those individuals in any way we can right now. But we must not lose sight of the much greater disasters that yet await our human civilization if we do not act decisively to end our rampant destruction of our planet's stabilizing ecosystems. If China, the United States and other prominent polluters of the world do not take immediate action to reverse the rise in carbon dioxide emissions and bring our planet back from the threshold of runaway climatic disaster, we are going to be facing centuries of disasters that make today's China quake death toll seem insignificant by comparison.

What's at stake here, friends, is nothing less than the future of human life on our planet. It is more fragile than you think, and it is endlessly frustrating to realize that the majority of human beings insist on pursuing a path that will inevitably lead to their own destruction.

So please, help those in need today, but don't lose sight of the far more significant goal of preventing the potential collapse of human civilization in the not-so-distant future. We may be able to save a young child from the rubble of a collapsed building in China today, but can we save ourselves from the collapse of a global ecosystem that simply refuses to support the size of the human population that now desperately inhabits the planet?

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