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Reading the world on Blog Action Day

Blog Action DayMore than 9000 bloggers are devoting a post to climate change today as part of Blog Action Day, an annual initiative started by Change.org to unite the world's bloggers in reaching their millions of readers.

Register your blog to add your voice!

This is the Global Voices entry.

Over the next couple of months Global Voices is going to be following environmental and climate change issues extra closely. We're hoping to amplify unheard voices in the debate around the United Nations meetings in Copenhagen in December (COP15).

In November, on Conversations for a Better World, a blog sponsored by the UNFPA, two of our authors, Eduardo and Belen, are going to be cross-posting stories about population dynamics and climate change. I know they'll be looking towards Latin America.

Throughout October, Global Voices bloggers have been mentoring 31 young men and women from Africa and Denmark who are organizing an online campaign under the auspices of MS ActionAid in Copenhagen, Denmark. They've asked us to relay stories about ‘what developing countries need to help correct damage from climate change’. So we'll try to do that too.

Some mentor entries

For Blog Action Day, Jillian encouraged her readers to visit the blog of her mentee Edith, while Ali says his mentee Peter turned the tables on him and inspired him to write a post on climate change.

Another mentor, Gayle, has written a longer post highlighting the situations of farmers in Ghana, Australia (her own countries) and Zimbabwe (her mentee John‘s country).

Gayle used Twitter to put the call out for farmers in Australia. To her surprise, she was re-tweeted by ABC Radio in Australia, and came directly in touch with several farmers by email. She read interviews with Ghanaian farmers online, and even spoke to one directly.

And among dozens of links and interesting sources, Gayle found information on how local communities use traditional knowledge in rural Ghana to cope with climate change.

Gayle did something that bloggers on Global Voices do all the time. She went looking for voices you rarely hear speaking for themselves in international mainstream media.

In the past week on Global Voices

Bhumika Ghimire wrote a post today about the future of bio-gas in Nepal, including a video by a Japanese university research team that shows how bio-gas is used in rural Nepal.

A landslide caused by Typhoon Ketsana in a village in Pampanga province. Photo by Flickr user susancorpuz90

A landslide caused by Typhoon Ketsana in a village in Pampanga province. Photo by Flickr user susancorpuz90

Earlier this week, Mong Palatino wrote about how Filipino bloggers are drawing connections between climate change and the devastating floods in Manila that killed more than 500 people.

Saffah Farooq wrote about how citizens of the low-lying Indian Ocean island state of the Maldives, feel their fate may be decided by the success of treaties like the Kyoto Protocol.

Wildlife blogger Samuel Maina in Kenya, wrote about how Kenyans are so desperate for rain they are awaiting El Niño rains that may displace thousands with mixed feelings.

There is a constant flow of stories on Global Voices’ environment topic feed by bloggers all around the world.

Looking ahead

On this Blog Action Day, where we celebrate the collective power of bloggers to push for change, we'd like to encourage everyone not only to write about climate change but also to read what other people are saying.

Over the next many weeks, we're going to be overwhelmed by news stories by journalists quoting politicians, activists, and many others – but when the UN meetings are over and the cameras are off, the people who face the consequences of climate change immediately, will still be telling their stories on the internet in hopes of reaching people who care.

As we say at Global Voices, ‘The world is talking. Are you listening?’

For those far removed from the front lines of climate change, listening and linking is one the few ways we can succeed to make the problem feel real and in need of solutions today.

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