The ghastly weather tragedy in the Philippines has become a huge humanitarian crisis.
The official death toll has climbed past 2,000, and thousands more suffer wounds inflicted when 200-mph winds and monster waves demolished coastal cities. Nobody can guess how many more bodies will be found in debris of collapsed homes and devastated countryside.
The ordeal of survivors is horrendous. They're trapped with nothing to eat, no safe drinking water, no shelter -- not even a secure place to sit or lie down. Desperate mobs are looting buildings for food and ripping up pipes for water. The injured lack medical care.
International relief efforts are snowballing. Conscientious people should donate or aid however they can.
This historic storm, like last year's ruinous Hurricane Sandy, is sure to fan more debate about climate change. Ironically, it struck precisely as a U.N. assembly in Warsaw met to evaluate how much global warming is worsening weather tragedies.
"We cannot sit and stay helpless, staring at this international climate stalemate," the Philippines delegate in Warsaw declared. "We refuse to accept that running away from storms, evacuating our families, suffering the devastation and misery, having to count our dead, has become a way of life."
Brazil's delegate said the horror of Typhoon Haiyan "comes as a strong and timely reminder for countries to act" against greenhouse gases that heat Planet Earth, raise sea levels and make storms more violent.
Simultaneously, news reporters unearthed a half-finished report by the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It predicts that humanity will suffer ever-worse weather calamities as the planet continues to heat.
"Looking into the future, we see increasing risks that are more pervasive and more severe with greater amounts of climate change," said Dr. Chris Field of the Carnegie Institution for Science, who helped draft the report.
A Tuesday analysis in the Los Angeles Times was headlined: "Lesson of Typhoon Haiyan: Tackle climate change, or it will tackle us."
Indirectly, the typhoon will inflict another blow against West Virginia's coal industry. Each billion-dollar weather atrocity triggers more calls to limit carbon pollution that is loosed into the sky. Since coal is the foremost polluter, it draws the strongest attack.
Appalachian Basin coal mining is suffering relentless decline. Typhoon Haiyan certainly won't help.