“I’m going to stand on top of the bow and I’ll be waving my hands furiously and I’m going to be saying, ‘Look over here, you’re hitting an iceberg and you need to stop now,’” said Freetown, Sierra Leone, Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr. “And I’m hoping that there’ll be enough of us doing the same thing for it to make a difference.”
On a train hurtling toward Glasgow, the mayors of Seattle and Freetown, Sierra Leone, greeted each other like long lost sisters, bonded by years of Zoom calls and collaboration in the fight against climate change, AP reports.
They lead cities on different sides of the economic and climate divide — one in the cool, northwestern corner of the one of the world’s richest nations; the other the capital of an impoverished country in the tropics of west Africa.
But Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and her Freetown counterpart, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, are both on the front lines of global warming, working to ensure their cities are prepared for rising sea levels, torrential rains and extreme heat.
On Monday, they traveled to the U.N. climate conference in Scotland with a group of big city mayors to demand that world leaders follow the science and act now to head off a catastrophic increase in global temperatures.
Aki-Sawyer describes herself and other city leaders as the captains of small boats trying to warn an ocean liner of the dangers ahead.
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