Climate change. No. Why worry?

A web report on the BBC of Friday, 9 December 2005, 22:18 GMT wondered “…as the UN meets in the Canadian city of Montreal to discuss climate change, what role does Africa play in global warming?” And now we have the climate madness rolling out all-over again in New York.

The non-governmental players, having held their Climate March, still not satisfied with the shenanigans of their empty promises, un-holding COP after COP, and hey, so-called industrialization that accounts for much of the environmental damage that we could as well live without.

And the struggle rocks on!

The brief report further said scientists had predicted the world’s average temperatures would rise from between 1C and 5C in the next century as a result of damaging greenhouse gas emissions with prospect of more severe storms and floods, more droughts and more deserts.

The bad

The scientists further added Africa’s highest mountain Kilimanjaro had lost 85% of its ice cap over the past 100 years and Britain’s chief scientific advisor David King said, “Africa is the most vulnerable
continent to climate change”.

The abstract of Thomas J. Crowley’s thesis on ‘Causes of Climate Change Over the Past 1000 Years’, he wrote: The combination of a unique level of temperature increase in the late 20th century and
improved constraints on the role of natural variability provides further evidence that the greenhouse effect has already established itself above the level of natural variability in the climate system. A
21st-century global warming projection far exceeds the natural variability of the past 1000 years and is greater than the best estimate of global temperature change for the last interglacial.

He is joined by Camille Parmesan whose thesis abstract on August 24, 2006, Ecological and Evolutionary Responses to Recent Climate Change, indicates that: Predator-prey and plant-insect interactions have been disrupted when interacting species have responded differently to
warming. Evolutionary adaptations to warmer conditions have occurred in the interiors of species’ ranges, and resource use and dispersal have evolved rapidly at expanding range margins. Observed genetic shifts modulate local effects of climate change, but there is little evidence that they will mitigate negative effects at the species level.

On their part, Peter G. Jones and Philip K. Thornton of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Colombia and International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Kenya argued in
their abstract that: The impacts of climate change on agriculture may add significantly to the development challenges of ensuring food security and reducing poverty. We show the possible impacts on maize production in Africa and Latin America to 2055, using high-resolution
methods to generate characteristic daily weather data for driving a detailed simulation model of the maize crop.

Although the results indicate an overall reduction of only 10% in maize production to 2055, equivalent to losses of $2 billion per year, the aggregate results hide enormous variability: areas can be identified where maize yields may change substantially.

Climate change urgently needs to be assessed at the level of the household, so that poor and vulnerable people dependent on agriculture can be appropriately targeted in research and development activities whose object is poverty alleviation.

As Malawians there is no need to worry about our staple food production rates. With the current political will in food security, many have benefited from the subsidy programme that famine is a far
shot. Climatic conditions have also played faithful to poor farmers.

With hard work, necessary and adequate farm inputs and techniques, climatic change will take millions of years to rob us of our food security.

The BBC feed had the following reactions:- “It is disappointing that the BBC continues to propagate the almost certainly mistaken view that the melting of the Kilimanjaro ice cap is caused by global warming. As the highly respected science magazine, Nature, reported: “Although it’s tempting to blame the ice loss on global warming, researchers think that deforestation of the mountain’s foothills is the more likely culprit,” challenged a Daniel based in the United Kingdom.

“I think our only undoing towards a “healthy environment” here is deforestation, which, compared to the emission from western economies, is almost negligible. Is there anything we can do? Unless the West does something, our efforts will be fruitless. We Africans are just pawns, the “kings” should lead us,” felt Bushy Keakabetse, Molepolole in Botswana.

“Fossil and oil consumption tend to be the main causes of global warming,” said Lieutenant Kigigha from Colchester in the United Kingdom.

The scare

The following research article, ‘Climate Change Hits Poor Hardest in U.S.’ by Douglas Fischer briefs of a study that found that the poor will be disproportionally affected by global warming, even in the U.S.

The research said: Climate change is disproportionately affecting the poor and minorities in the United States – a “climate gap” that will grow in coming decades unless policymakers intervene, according to a University of California study.

Everyone, the researchers say, is already starting to feel the effects of a warming planet, via heat waves, increased air pollution, drought, or more intense storms. But the impacts – on health, economics, and overall quality of life – are far more acute on society’s disadvantaged.

“Climate change does not affect everyone equally in the United States,” said Rachel Morello-Frosch, associate professor at School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley. “People of color
and the poor will be hurt the most – unless elected officials and other policymakers intervene.”

“Watching this unfold is akin to watching a movie where disparate and seemingly unrelated storylines converge to denouement that is “decidedly tragic,” they wrote.

Minorities and the poor already breathe dirtier air than other Americans… As higher temperatures hasten the chemical interactions that produce smog, they are going to feel the most impact.

“If we protect those who are most vulnerable, we will protect all of us.” Wrote the researchers.

Lucky enough most of us in Africa do not live in big cities where cars and other machinery pollute the air and blow out a share of their menace towards the greenhouse gas concentration. Most of us are not heavy smokers as are likely the depressed people in developed countries, and neither do we live on non-organic food stuffs that are a product of bio-chemicals and other intoxicating non-natural orgasms that help plunder soil fertility.

The reactions are varying, most distancing themselves from the sensation of climatic change the west would like Africa to embrace. We do not survive on diary products and fancy apples. In Malawi we believe in nsima and ndiwo – products of organic effort. Some people wonder: “Are there still really people who take this climate change crap seriously?” and, “Translation: global warming
doesn’t care about black people.”

“Everyone here seems to have missed the important thing. Temperature is not a significant cause of pollution. It has been WELL DOCUMENTED that not only have storms NOT gotten stronger, the basic science indicates global warming (as predicted by the IPCC) will WEAKEN storms by lowering the temperature gradient between the poles and equator. The drought/flood conditions have been shown to be related more to the /PDO/Tradewind complex (the warm or cold ocean currents affect
available moisture… and the roughly 60 year ocean current cycle is actually responsible for about 1/2 of the warming since 1980 (look it up!). The poor being hurt by a shift to green jobs is NOT the result of climate change but the result of a bunch of politicians and greens trying to stop a “problem” that’s never shown signs of being severe.”

“According to the climate change people, we’re beyond the tipping point, peak oil, and global geothermal catastrophe is inevitable. In other words, the world is ending. A few years after they come to that conclusion, they follow up with “women and minorities affected most”.

“When two elephants fight, the grass suffers from the impact of their fight. I mean what impact will Africa make in improving the environment if the so-called First World doesn’t see the need to
improve the environment? Africans are friendly to the environment and you can prove this by the way they depend on it,” closes Alfred Kenyi from Adelaide in Australia.

Good news

In a article of 29 September 2006, ‘Climate change is good for Scotland – professor’, by Louise Gray, Professor Lomborg says: Climate change in Scotland will lead to ‘fewer deaths from cold, arguing
reducing carbon emissions will have little effect and accuses lobbyists of ‘scaremongering’ such as former United State vice-president Al Gore, has led to a “hysteria” so that governments
are wasting resources on climate change that could be spent  tackling global poverty leading to public ‘hysteria’.

The professor told the Scottish Parliament: “Cutting carbon emissions believing that will have make much of a difference is almost illusory” and that Scotland’s leaders should accept that climate change would be good for the country instead of spending millions of pounds cutting carbon emissions, a leading academic claimed last night.

He said: “When you scare people into hysteria, you are not very likely to make smart decisions.” In developed countries like Scotland, he said the temperature increase of two degrees would lead to more species and fewer deaths from the cold.

Also, he said any effort to reduce carbon emissions would have little effect, except to slow global warming by a matter of years. Therefore, Prof Lomborg argued that the millions of pounds should be diverted into improving the general environment so generations to come could cope better with climate change.

He said: “If you care about Scotland’s flora and fauna, you should focus on setting aside national parks and all the things that typically degrade nature like over-fertilisation, industrial pollution
and those kind of things that have huge impacts.

Spiritual bearing

And then comes the spiritual side of the coin. The article ‘Cool on Climate Change – New Christian coalition says fighting global warming will hurt the poor’ by Sheryl Henderson Blunt posted on 26th September 2006 said: a new coalition argues Christians need not heed warnings that millions
will die from human-induced global warming and says we should seek more practical ways to help the world’s poor.

Human emissions of carbon dioxide are not the main cause of global warming, the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance (ISA) said in a document released in July. The ISA, a loosely affiliated group of more than 130 theologians, scientists, policy analysts, and others, said the consequences of global warming for the poor have been exaggerated.

Activities that produce carbon dioxide—such as “breathing, building a fire to cook or keep warm, driving a car or tractor, or burning coal to produce electricity … [are] morally good and necessary activities that God intended for us,” said Wayne Grudem, research professor of Bible and theology at Phoenix Seminary.

“It seems very unlikely to me that God would have set up the earth to work in such a way that these good and necessary activities would actually destroy the earth.”

The ISA is responding to the Evangelical Climate Initiative’s February statement “Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action,” signed by 97 evangelical leaders. The statement claimed that “[m]illions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors adding the… theories that support catastrophic global warming are so uncertain,” said climatologist Roy Spencer, an atmospheric scientist who consults for NASA and co-authored the ISA report.

“The public is being misled by those who claim we can greatly reduce global warming by conserving energy, reducing emissions, and buying hybrid cars.”

It fashionably reminds one of the reforestation exercise advocated by the first administration that supported the Plant a Tree campaign through Carlsberg Malawi’s bottle top collecting initiative and the current tree-planting month.

The mind fails to see why we should be concerned and bark ourselves hoarse. Developed countries must be left to worry alone as they themselves (‘greater’ nations of the South) bear high responsibility in causing global warming and its effects.

Malawians must not join these ‘scaremongers’. Let them consider redirecting their efforts in more rewarding areas of eradicating HIV and AIDS pandemic and reducing poverty. Why fight their war when we know the man of colour will probably never gain from this new animal? We must respond with disdain.

If anything, we should be on their necks forcing that they reduce their pollution. We should be kicking South ass – really, and be demanding for meaningful adaptation support.

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1 thought on “Climate change. No. Why worry?”

  1. Wawa says:

    Industrialisation is choking us. Africa in particular.

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