The typhoon in the Philippines reminded us all of Mother Nature's destructive power. Even in a technologically advanced 21st Century, we remain dangerously exposed to the worst she has to offer. But this doesn't have to be the case. We have the capability to utilise a wealth of information and state of the art scientific analysis to significantly improve survival rates when disasters hit.
For the two weeks since the typhoon, these bodies have been laying face up - staring into the alternating blazing sun and pouring rain. The smell of decomposition was overbearing, but I couldn't look away from the little girl in the white dress. It seemed so wrong for her to be left to the elements like that, and stared at by anyone passing by.
On the way to Salcedo we passed through several towns - all affected to varying degrees by the power of the typhoon. The worst was Hernani - most houses had been washed out to sea or destroyed. The ashphalt had risen up together like mountain ranges combining - the force required to do that is incredible.
In an undiplomatic, tearful outburst at the current UN Climate Change conference, The Philippines representative told delegates their meetings have been called "an annual gathering of carbon-intensive useless frequent flyers." Judging by the successive failure of these international gatherings to reverse humanity's disastrous trajectory, many observers would agree with that frank assessment.
The aid debate shouldn't be restricted to an argument about ring-fencing. It must also be about how we help people find their own ways out of poverty, identifying the most effective ways to help people become resilient to increasingly extreme weather conditions and to find financial independence and celebrating them. Even when they're in the form of committee meetings.
You're watching TV and a fundraising appeal for Syria comes on. There are shocking images and no one can deny the serious needs of the men, women and children on the screen. But you don't reach for your debit card at the end. Something in you has not been moved quite as much as when you saw such an appeal for the tsunami victims in 2004.