How to help in Libya and Morocco

Verified Action Steps you can take right now

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Welcome back.

Today’s a little different — I have a whole essay for you about voting rights, but I’m shelving it until next week in favor of some urgent Action Steps to assist in Libya and Morocco.

There’s a lot going on at home and across the world, and an underlying ethos of what we do here is the practical application of what the late Paul Farmer tried to help everyone understand. As author and activist John Green put it:

“(Paul) simply did not accept the idea that inequality of health-care access is natural or inevitable.“

Let’s go.

— Quinn

I’m Quinn Emmett, and this is science for people who give a shit.

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New Shit Giver Mary T. wants to help solve “the outrageous cost of healthcare in the US“.

Spot on, Mary! And welcome to the community.

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Five days ago, Storm Daniel made landfall in eastern Libya, an otherwise desert country where the majority of the population lives on the coast.

The next day, after receiving 16 inches of rain in 24 hours, two fifty-year old dams collapsed, and hours later, “a third of the city” of Derna was gone.

Today, 11,000 are dead, 10,000 more are missing, and over 100,000 people are stranded.

It could have been avoided, in several ways:

One, from The Guardian:

The World Meteorological Organization said the huge death toll could have been avoided if Libya, a failed state for more than a decade, had a functioning weather agency.

“They could have issued warnings,” said Petteri Taalas, its secretary general. “The emergency management authorities would have been able to carry out evacuation of the people. And we could have avoided most of the human casualties.”

But further: In 2011, the US ran point on an international effort to halt Muammar Gaddafi and, eventually, oust him from power for good.

I’m zero-point-zero percent interested in rehashing the Benghazi scandal here, but know that the US and allies pulled out, and Derna especially suffered.

With that void, Libya has for a decade been torn apart by two warring political factions who’ve paid no attention to their vast oil reserves, nor their crumbling infrastructure, already devastated by years of war.

We fucked up, but the Global West and North are even more responsible than you’d think: that is, for contributing drastically more than Libya to historic carbon emissions.

Global heating has made Libya hotter, and warmed and expanded the waters of the Mediterranean, from whence Storm Daniel arrived.

Like when Hurricane Harvey posted up over Houston, storms in the climate era are generally much wetter than ever before, and here we are.

Meanwhile, on September 8th, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck the Moroccan High Atlas mountains, and the death toll currently stands at about 3000. Thankfully, Morocco is a mostly functioning country, so whereas reaching victims and survivors in Libya is a great hindrance to relief groups, Moroccan citizens have been providing relief to their own.

Earthquakes aren’t generally tied to climate change (fracking is another story), but regardless — people are suffering and we can help.

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As always, our Action Steps have been verified via rigorous internal processes. In addition, the following groups are top-rated charities with CharityWatch.

  • Donate to UNICEF USA, who is on the ground providing emergency relief for families and kids

  • Donate to the International Rescue Committee, on the ground providing critical emergency services to families

  • Donate to the International Medical Corps, a first-responder organization providing shelter, water, mobile health services, and sanitation

Remember: Recurring donations of any size go a long way towards immediate and long-term relief.

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