The battle to save humanity is a climate conference

Pia Ranada
The battle to save humanity is a climate conference


I arrive in Paris to cover this make-or-break conference, but I feel like I’m going to war – a war against apathy and ignorance, against despair and inaction

If only the war against climate change involved a clash of superheroes, stupendous feats of karate, or a heart-stopping motorcycle chase through grimy alleyways.

But those spectacles are reserved for the movies. The defining battle against climate change takes place in a large conference venue in the outskirts of Paris.

It involves not men in tights, but men and women in suits and bright-colored ID straps. (READ: Standing up for PH in Paris climate summit: Meet 6 key negotiators)

It involves not days of hurling fireballs at each other but days of going through thousands of phrases of a document, deciding whether to use “shall” instead of “should.”

Instead of the power to move at the speed of light, the men and women of climate negotiations need to possess the power of determination and strength of will to stand up for their country’s interests; and open-mindedness and understanding to stand up for the interests of the entire world. 

The goal is not even to beat a foe. The goal of these negotiators is to forge the world’s plan on how to beat the foe: climate change.

What’s at stake here?

Literally, the world’s fate.

If negotiators fail to reach an ambitious agreement in Paris, the world could warm by about 5°C. To put it into perspective, 5°C is the same temperature difference between today’s world and the last Ice Age.

A world that much hotter would mean catastrophic heat waves in Africa, sea level rise that would submerge island-states in the Pacific, and much stronger typhoons in places like Southeast Asia. 

Tomorrow, I arrive in Paris with other Rappler journalists to cover this make-or-break conference.  

And though it really is just a conference (complete with press kits and exhibition halls), I feel like I’m going to war. 

The war we will wage is against apathy and ignorance, against despair and inaction.

Because though the odds seem insurmountable, humanity can still turn things around. But humanity needs to be unified. We need to make the shift to more sustainable lifestyles, more sustainable economies together. 

We will report from Paris so that you, our Rappler audience, will know how you can be part of this both global, and individual, call to action.

And if you want to wear tights and a cape while you’re at it, be my guest! –

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at