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Scrutiny
  
If not global warming...
The developed world needs to arrest their green house emissions in order to save Africa
28/12/2006

It may not be very long before Africa is completely erased from the World Atlas. If the effects of unending poverty, AIDS & war destroyed almost everything, then global warming is finishing the rest by creating havoc in the region by causing irrevocable damages to the environment. The entire ecosystem, including snow clad mountains, rain-forests, and beautiful beaches, are on the verge of extinction.

The irony is, Africa (constituting 14% of the global population in its 57 countries) isn’t bearing this catastrophe as an outcome of its own insensitivities towards nature, (majority of Africans are poor and thus have negligible access to electricity and transport; Africans contribute only 3% of the global greenhouse gas emissions) but as an outcome of the monstrous green house emissions of its developed counterparts like Australia and Canada with the US leading the pack (constituting only 5 % of the global population and contributing a staggering 25% of the global greenhouse gas emission). Of all the African nations, Nigeria, Liberia and Congo have relatively higher greenhouse emissions and that too on account of oil and gas exploration and deforestation, which in turn is driven to pacify the insatiable appetite of the developed world. It is most unfortunate, for Africa being an egalitarian society, most of the inhabitants still depend heavily on agriculture for their survival, and thus environment becomes all the more critical for their sustenance.
The footprints of the damage are ubiquitous. Over the past 100 years, ‘Lewis Glacier’ – Kenya’s largest glacier – has reduced to 10% of its actual size. Again, in Kenya, more than 10 million livestock has died, leaving almost 67% without any livelihood in the Turkana region as an aftereffect of the drought that started almost 3 years back. It is projected that the world famous Mount Kilmanjaro in Tanzania would be extinct in another decade as more than 80% of its ice has disappeared in the last 90 years, with almost 33% disappearing in the last decade itself. The same is true for Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda, where, since the last decade or so, the glacier area has reduced by almost 75%. In Nigeria too, crops are being wiped out on account of regular flooding in the Niger Delta. Moreover, the climatic changes have also been instrumental in spreading the dreadful malaria in Kenya and Tanzania killing thousands of people. In addition, the rising temperatures at the lakes (Lake Chad has been reduced to a ‘name’; from 25,000 sq.km to 1,350 sq.km today), seas and oceans have affected marine life, biodiversity, tourism and most importantly, the resulting income. Forget the cause of helping Africa through aid and similar other initiatives, the least the developed world could do is to empathise with African ecology, knowing very well how critical it is for their survival. To keep up their own industrial growth at the cost of such underdeveloped economies is nothing less than the new world hegemony.

By:- BE Edit Bureau
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