Last December, the Filipino delegate to the UN Climate Change Conference in Qatar broke down in tears when appealing to the conference to show greater urgency.
Nadarev Sano wept as he recalled how Typhoon Bobha had resulted in 1,000 deaths that month, linking it to global weather changes.
This weekend's Typhoon Haiyan was more severe in every respect and latest estimates suggest that more than 12,000 people have lost their lives as a result of the storm.
The question that returns more and more, as weather patterns become increasingly dynamic, is whether these events can truly be considered "natural disasters" any more. The truth is, these events are not entirely natural but whipped up through our failure to properly confront and tackle the human impact on our weather systems.
And the other awkward truth is that those that contribute most to climate change do not share equally the burden of its effects. Rather it is disproportionately the poorest and most vulnerable who are its victims.
With the rising death toll and up to 10 million people affected, the super-typhoon Haiyan has triggered one of the largest aid efforts in years and GOAL's emergency response team has landed in the Philippines to assist with water and shelter.
For many years, we have been working on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in many of the countries in which we operate.
However, the events of the weekend proved immune to even the best laid plans. The Filipino government has done more than many others in preparing evacuation plans and other contingencies.
Almost 500,000 people were able to get to evacuation centres and in this way the local authorities' plans resulted in many lives being saved. However, it has emerged that many of the evacuation centres were destroyed by the typhoon resulting in many of the deaths.
Yesterday I received a call from Raul, a nurse living in south Dublin. He is orginally from near Tacloban, the capital of Leyte Province and the centre of the storm damage.
His wife's family, also from Tacloban, were happily all accounted for but Raul has not heard from many of his cousins and extended family in the region. He came to our office in GOAL and offered to help in whatever way he could. We are examining whether we can send him out to the Philippines to help in the recovery operation.
Our team landed yesterday and over the next 48 hours we will continue to put in place our emergency response on the ground drawing on our experience from previous crises in Syria, Haiti and South East Asia. By the end of the week, we will begin to distribute water purification tablets and assist with the setting up of transitional shelters. Co-ordination will be a vital issue as needs become more acute. Over the first 48 hours, affected populations can draw on reserves and local stocks but these will run out very quickly.
If aid fails to get to those in need very soon, security could quickly deteriorate. Already, there are widespread reports of looting as people attempt to retrieve stock from damaged food outlets. People are hungry, thirsty and desperate. Panic can overwhelm the relief effort.
The government of the Philippines will be the central co-ordinating body and will provide the kind of central planning that has been missing in previous emergencies. But national DRR strategies can only ever be a small part of a global approach to the issues.
There are many statistics that illustrate the extent of climate change and the following one is fairly instructive – of the total increase in CO2 since prehistoric times, 20pc of it has occurred in the past 10 years.
Climate change is now not just an environmental issue but more recently has begun to feature in economic analyses. When fund managers and investment advisers routinely consider the future effects of a changing climate, it means the people who really influence decisions are beginning to sit up and take notice.
A typhoon like Haiyan could reduce the Philippines's GDP by 5pc. It leads to greater urbanisation as rural dwellers migrate to cities. Marginal and coastal land becomes abandoned and land disputes begin to tip carefully calibrated political balances.
Sadly Nadarev Sano's pleas fell on deaf ears. The conference in Doha last December used the language of "loss and damage" which could place a "good neighbour" principle on a legal footing but as long as Russia, China and other big polluters fail to commit to real targets, weather systems like Haiyan will be the norm rather than the exception.
GOAL has launched an emergency appeal and donations can be made by phoning 01-2809779 or through our website, www.goal.ie.
Barry Andrews is CEO of GOAL