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Posts Tagged ‘climate change’

I have been trying really hard. Really, really hard. You know. To be a treehugger. I think the whole concept of being a treehugger is really cool. You get to have the beard, the nice lean and muscled body, tanned and tough as nails. With my sunglasses and Bermuda shorts. Sandals and a knowing look in my eyes. Man. I am so cool. Me, the treehugger. But first, let me find a treehugging job…

The rebel of the forest. Defending the last natural old forests of our precious earth. These beautiful beasts whose breath gives us our precious clean air. The green jungles that hides the therapy for the soul and body. It’s there and we must protect it. And that’s what I do. I live in the forest. Patrolling every inch to make sure these wise old trees stay safe. Safe from the loggers. I am the phantom. I live in the trees at night and run like a tiger during the day. Stopping and smelling the air to see who is here. Who will feel the wrath of the rebel. But… Eww! What is that? What is that smell? It smells like something rotten – must be the dead carcasses. And those creepy crawlies! Worms and bugs all over the place. And the bloody ants crawl up my pants the whole time. And the food stink – fruits day in and day out. I need a BigMac now! And just water and water and water. If it isn’t drinking this foul stuff then it is raining and raining and raining. I now get why they call it the rainforest. It’s always bloody-well raining. Gotta get outta here. I need some fresh air, a warm bath, a beer and a braai (barbecue).

The activist of the seas. I can see myself. Standing at the bow of the boat. Scanning the horizon for those whale-hunters. Now I am the hunter. Like a pirate of old. Ready. Just ready to take them down. They don’t know my rage. My fury. I am the king of the high seas. I have seen things on these seas of mine. Corpses of people. And corpses of animals. Those dead whales we try and save. But not anymore. Not on my watch. I will… Pthu! Bloody seawater sprays everywhere. Standing on the bow wasn’t such a good idea after all. The water sprays everywhere. Salty water in my mouth. My body feels sticky all the time. And all we get to eat is bloody fish and more fish. And crap desalinated water. The boat stinks man. Like dead fish and men who haven’t had a proper wash in months. My hair is a permanent mess. And my hands. My poor hands. Cut to pieces by working the lines and ship each day. Oh, man. It doesn’t help that I get seasick from watching fish-tanks either. Gotta get of this ship. Now! I need some clean linen, a warm bath, a beer and a braai.

Okay. So I can’t be an active treehugger. That’s fine. I’ll just be a greenie. I’ll just live green then…

It’s a good start. I use public transport. Okay, I don’t use it because of any green reasons. I am just too bloody lazy to drive to work myself. I have too short a temper to sit in the traffic all day. And I am too stingy to pay for parking and tolls. But still. It is a good start. Oh, wait. I also have a refillable mug for my daily Starbucks fix. I am saving a few rainforests that way. No cup for me. No sirree, Bob! Not for me. Except when I forget my cup at home. Or when I am too lazy to clean my cup for a refil. Still. It’s the idea that counts though. Doesn’t it?

My problem is that I want cool stuff. The jobs look cool. But it isn’t really. It’s only cool if people can see you do it. And there is no camera following me. Treehugging just isn’t cool enough for me. Me fighting global warming? No problem. Just make it a bit cooler dude. Global warming just isn’t that cool.

I mean really. The iPad is cool. A red Ferrari is cool. The Kinect is cool. So many companies make cool stuff. Not green stuff. But that’s cool. As long as it is cool dude. That’s the problem with treehugging. The stuff that make us want to hug trees just aren’t cool man. And at my age I need to have cool stuff. Because I am not cool enough by just my little older almost middle-aged self.

So gadgets don’t work for me trying to be cool and a greenie. Let’s try something else. Something that says cool and green in a big way.

Let’s buy a Prius! Okay, let’s not. The Prius is just not cool. It’s a lunchbox on wheels. An ugly lunchbox. Come on. The Dodge Challenger. Now that is cool. The Toyota FJ Cruiser. Now that is cool. I can see myself behind the wheel of a brand new red Challenger. Sunglasses and all. Revving the motor while eyeing the guy at the traffic lights. Ready to smell my tires dude? Bye-bye. Oh, and the surfboard on the roof of the FJ Cruiser as I sit on the bumper looking at the waves through my cool Ray-Ban glasses. Now that’s cool. The Prius? Nah. Not so cool. I’ll look like the man I am – on the older side of the surfer group. All I can fit into the Prius is my neat little suitcase and a clean shirt for work.

The problem is that most stuff that makes treehugging easier just isn’t cool. Oh, there is a few cool stuff out there. Wind-farms. That’s cool. Neat Apple-like designs. That’s way cool. One small problem though. I can’t carry it around with me to show it off. And you need to show it off if you want to be cool. Oh, and it will take up the whole bloody backyard. Kids won’t like that I think.

Global warming is even more difficult. I can’t point to it. I can’t go, “See, there it is. There are those damn CO2’s”. Just too little these things. These stupid little molecules. Wind-farm to big and CO2 too little. That just ain’t cool. That’s so way not cool.

But those kids of mine. I sometimes wonder. Just wonder how cool it will be when they grow up. Will it be too warm when they are my age? Might be a bit too warm for them. A little bit too warm to live? And that is so way not cool…

Maybe it is time for a change. Climate change. Now that is way cool!

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No, this is not about Climate Change but about carbon and how companies play around with their carbon footprint. Generally companies have two options (or a combination of the two) on how to deal with their carbon footprint – reduce it or buy your way out of it. Let’s start with the last one first…

It has been very popular for companies to buy a clear carbon conscious. Let’s buy some renewable energy or a few credits here and there. I’m not disputing the benefits of buying renewable energy but I do question whether this is the right method for companies to deal with their carbon responsibility. Companies buying renewable energy or carbon credits as their main strategy to deal with emissions are not dealing with their actual impact. They are not reducing their impact but rather paying a “tax” to keep on polluting. To me it seems to be more in line with a sustainability bribe – I give money to some good cause to keep on doing what I’ve been doing all along; pollute without making my business any more sustainable than before.

That’s why I was really pleased to read that PepsiCo is moving away from buying renewable energy to a strategy that will focus on bringing renewable energy to their operations. That’s smart and that’s sustainable – instead of buying renewable energy they will bring alternative energy to their operations. Smart because they can tailor the method to the location and need. Use solar in places where you have loads of sun; bring in thermal in places where that works or biomass boilers where you create enough garbage. Sustainable because it cuts down on their reliance on other people providing them with energy in an increasingly energy challenged world. Furthermore, it’s sustainable because it’s part of their business – they can’t just walk away from it. This is backed by a strategy to reduce their emissions and work with their suppliers to reduce their emissions as well. Solid plan and a sustainable plan. Unfortunately not every company follows this plan.

We need renewable energy because people like myself or small business can’t always afford to create our own sources of renewable energy. But I do have a problem with large companies seeing the purchasing of renewable energy as their commitment to reduce their carbon footprint. Sorry, you are not reducing your carbon footprint. It reminds me of the good old English saying – Robbing Peter to pay Paul. You are “robbing” emissions and paying for renewables. Your impact haven’t actually been reduced now has it?

Furthermore, the cap-and-trade system is controversial at best and a failure at worst. I support the cap-and-trade system not because it is any good but rather because it is better than nothing in a world where too many companies look for a way out instead of a way to sustainability. But companies who want to be leaders in sustainability should not stop at cap-and-trade as their first and only stop. And they shouldn’t stop at buying renewable energy as their leadership position. Reduce your impact and make the solutions part of your business – then you can start talking like a leader.

Now for my last rant on this topic – the carbon neutral claim…

Come on. Carbon neutral? Really?

We live, we have an impact. We, as individuals and as businesses, will never be carbon neutral. We can reduce and we can offset but we cannot be neutral. But it is worse than that. Buying enough renewable energy or buying enough credits do NOT make you carbon neutral. You have done nothing to actually make your business carbon neutral apart from a nice play on words. Take action, reduce your impact and make it part of your business – that’s more sustainable. But just don’t claim to be carbon neutral.

Do you breathe? Hello. That’s not neutral.

(Full disclosure, PepsiCo is a client of the company where I work and I’ve worked with PepsiCo on numerous occasions but I had no idea this was happening.)

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Palm Oil & Stakeholder Engagement: The Road To Nowhere?

Reuters reported that Unilever is considering buying Palm Oil from Greenpeace target Sinar Mas again. Not surprisingly, Greenpeace is asking Unilever to not go down this road as they just plain don’t trust Sinar Mas. A bit of background – Greenpeace accuses Sinar Mas (and their subsidiaries) of cutting down rainforests to plant more Palm Oil to keep up with the unstoppable appetite of large food companies (and others) – themselves trying to supply us consumers with those goods we perceive ‘we just cannot do without’. The fight between Greenpeace and Sinar Mas is interesting but three CSR and Sustainability issues stand out for me – apart from deforestation.

Firstly, why would Unilever even consider this? The Greenpeace targeting of Sinar Mas will not go away no matter what the independent auditors find. Independent audits have serious flaws (limited access, resources, links with local groups etc) that will make it easy for Greenpeace to shoot it down no matter what happens. Do Unilever really need Sinar Mas this badly that they are willing to take the brunt of a Greenpeace attack? Especially because Unilever said they might buy from Sinar Mas even if they don’t pass the audit – as long as Sinar Mas promises to clean up their act. Unilever is really playing a dangerous game with Greenpeace here. Greenpeace have highlighted the leadership role of Unilever in their campaign and all that goodwill will be flushed down the drain the minute they start buying from Sinar Mas again. I find it an odd decision and would love to know about the business pressures that made them decide this as that might help me understand the point of conflict between sustainability and business reality in this case. Whatever the case, I think the Unilever reputation will take a serious knock if they start buying from Sinar Mas again – no matter what the auditors have to say.

Secondly, and more in defense of Unilever, should responsible companies not put pressure on their suppliers to become more sustainable? Is Unilever not doing the right thing here? Instead of walking away completely, Unilever is using their influence over suppliers to force them to become more sustainable. That is what we ask companies to do – influence suppliers. The clothing, textile and footwear industry (and leaders such as Nike, Timberland and Levi’s) have used their influence to drive change in manufacturers. It’s not perfect but we can at least agree that it is so much better than the working conditions and human rights issues back in the 80s and 90s. Instead of attacking Unilever should Greenpeace (and other activists) not acknowledge that Unilever is trying to use their size for good?

Thirdly, why aren’t they talking to each other? Why isn’t Greenpeace more involved in the audit? Should Greenpeace not work with Unilever to define what that sustainability look like? It would be a breath of fresh air if Unilever and Greenpeace engaged before the Unilever decision to define what the audit should look like, where and what they should investigate and agree on a set of principles – including the independent role of Greenpeace. Instead of doing real stakeholder engagement on this Unilever and Sinar Mas had discussions and agreed on the principles and the auditors – leaving out key stakeholders in the process.

This just seems so unnecessary. Unilever is a good company doing some excellent work in sustainability – a good business with a good impact on development. And they’ve done some innovative work in stakeholder engagement with Oxfam and others. Greenpeace knows that and have said as much in the past. These two don’t need to fight. There are bigger fish to fry. It’s just such a missed opportunity.

(On a completely separate note. I wonder how the Unilever drive for Allanblackia is coming along. They had some high hopes for this tree as they claimed it was more environmentally friendly than Palm Oil and could be of even better use in soaps and spreads. Unilever has done some interesting work trying to make Allanblackia more economically viable. I just hope it doesn’t turn into another Palm Oil nightmare for this world. Early reports indicated that Allanblackia might be one key answer in getting us off our Palm Oil addiction but we’re still waiting.)

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Weather prediction? Nice and sunny...

I’ve never been the biggest fan of weathermen. Or, to be more politically correct, weathercasters. Too often I get my running gear ready for a nice run in the sun and… oops… it’s raining again. Show me a weathercaster and I’ll raise you a shot in the dark. They just don’t get it right often enough for me to judge what I should do or wear on any given day. Really, it should be easy as I live in Seattle but they still get it wrong way too often.

So I find it extremely interesting to hear their views on global warming. According to a New York Times article, weathercaster are more likely to be skeptical about global warming than scientists. It could be plain old jealousy because scientists tend to be right way more often that weathercasters. The one base their theories and projections on research and trends while the other shake one of those magic 8-balls to ‘predict’ the weather in 2 hours time. Of course it could also be that weathercasters are more interested in the now (or 2 hours from now) than the long term. The weather for next year is completely foreign to them so drop the idea of 10 or 100 years – heck, they struggle with 10 minutes…

What I do find disturbing is that the majority of Americans (56%) believe weathercasters when it comes to climate change. Really? You trust these people who can’t adequately predict the weather outside their office 10 minutes from now and who continuously force you to have both an umbrella and suntan lotion in your bag (“just in case”) but you trust them with your longer term future? A sucker born every minute I guess.

Best to pack in loads of sunscreen and a sun umbrella because I see some nasty hot weather coming your way. And heck, I’m not even a weatherman and I know that…

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Today we look at food – from cattle having emission problem to the Chinese just not running long enough. And we end off with a piece on the (not-so) best looking vegetarians contest. Hope you have fun.

1. You got Beef with Climate Change?

It seems as if everyone has some beef with climate change claims. The UN is being slaughtered from every angle by critics. Another UN study is being hammered for having cooked books. Okay, I’ll stop with the meat stories and refrain from using words like fried, raw, well-done, blood or anything else in that line of thinking. But the short of it is that the UN study claiming that the meat trade has worse emission levels than all the cars in the world is being picked apart. The so-called Paul McCartney Lentil-Noshing Plan to help fight climate change – drop the meat in favor of more veggies – isn’t all it claims to be. The study is flawed. Big surprise…

Actually, this new angle of attack does not question the impact of the meat industry. It focuses on the comparison of meat vs cars. The meat angle of the study had a complete life cycle analysis while the car study only looked at emission while driving all these cars. No life cycle analysis from when mining of the metals started to the day the cars ends up as scrap.

I’m no fan of cars claiming to be eco-friendly. Even that hybrid the treehuggers drive have a huge impact beyond just driving it around. (Full disclosure – I don’t drive a hybrid. I can’t fit two kids into a lunchbox… But I do only own one car – very un-American of me. Thank god I am African.) Anyway… I do love meat. A nice piece of steak or lamb chops on the braai (barbeque) is in my blood. More on me and meat and responsibility at another stage though…

What I do have a problem with is the critics now jumping at any chance to claim anything wrong. Look, it’s not as if either Hawkings or Einstein got it everything right. But are you going to argue with the about the bigger picture stuff? Meat has an impact. A substantial impact. Period. They erm… emit gasses from the front and the back that has a huge impact on climate change. You can argue it’s not as bad as cars but that would be like arguing whether being electrocuted is worse than being shot. I prefer to stay away from both options as the end result is pretty much the same.

And I have some more standard beef with the critics as well. How can I believe you if you base your study on something paid for by the beef industry? That’s bad PR research used for bad PR purposes. Live with your responsibility and do something about your impact – don’t argue something as pathetic as: well-at-least-I’m-not-as-bad-as-them. You are bad. Live with it. Accept it. And do something about it.

What should you do? Maybe feed the cattle something they should be eating instead of pumping them full of food they are not meant to digest or “medicine” they are not meant to have. I am also very weary of the meat I eat in the US as there tend to be a complete disconnect between the meat and the eater. Responsibility also lies with the consumer to know how they get their food and what is in there. And it is the responsibility of the meat industry to be transparent about what the feed and inject into cattle and other livestock and how the rear them and slaughter them.

You’ve lost most of your right to bitch about transparency until you practice it yourself. That is the responsible thing to do. And the route to a sustainable solution.

2. How long can the Chinese run?

No, this is not about China being the biggest economic bubble in history. It’s about their kids becoming the biggest bubbles in the world. Apparently more people in China has diabetes than anywhere else in the world. You can make the link between obesity and diabetes from day 1. More importantly, you can make the link between the change in diet from local natural food to fast food addiction and the sharp rise in obesity and diabetes. As the Chinese economy expands so does the waistlines. So what you have is another race that China is winning – more bubbles walking the streets than anywhere else in the world.

Actually, maybe walking isn’t the right word to use because they just aren’t doing enough to shed those pounds. Unfortunately for them, recent studies shows that you need at least an hour of exercise to drop those pounds. Gone are the days of walking 30 minutes and thinking that is just fine. Yes, to stay healthier but not to drop pounds if you are already obese. (Let’s just call it fat shall we?)

I can talk from a personal perspective here. I’ve dropped over 20 pounds in two month by eating properly and running my backside off. The problem for China is that people move to the cities, go live the middle class life of telly, internet and do nothing instead of going out and do something that resembles an activity where you actually break a bit of a sweat. The social and economic revolution that is taking place in China has many upsides for everyone in China. But not everything that grows are good.

I find it odd that the Chinese government is doing so little in controlling the fast food that you can get in China – this from a country ruled by regulations. But maybe fast food companies can learn from their past experiences in places such as the US. Serve people crap to eat but sell it hard as something fun and something beautiful people do and you will succeed in business. However, at some stage it will come back to bite you. Maybe the companies serving bad burger and super sodas can do the responsible thing and tell people what they are consuming. The US is forcing companies to say how much calories are in each of those burgers – hello health care reform! Maybe these companies can take this best practice and tell the Chinese just how much crap they are eating. It might not be the best thing in the short run as people get over the shock but at least it will put your company in a good spot for a sustainable future in China. Imagine that – a sustainable fast food company.

3. Eat like a vegetable and look like one?

We’ll stick to the food topic for our daily fun one – thanks again to ecorazzi. They ran a story about PETA announcing the finalist in the Sexiest Vegetarian Next Door Contest. My first thought? Cool! Let’s see who there leave crunchers are. I was pretty sure they were going to be the cool-and-slightly-mysterious-but-handsome type. Erm… No they are not. I am so glad I am eating meat. And my wife likes Matthew McConaughey selling us beef in the US. Must say he looks healthier than the vegetarians in the contest. I want to be sensitive here but more than a few of the finalists look like the replaced their meat intake with artificial “body enhancers”. I guess botox and implants are vegan approved.

See you tomorrow.

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Look, we are either going to fry or not. This Global Warming thing is just not going away. I don’t know all the science behind it. I get it that there is some controversy. Some saying that it will heat up and others saying either it won’t or nothing we can do about it or hey, wouldn’t it be nice if we all lived in Florida?

I am a social scientist. We don’t believe in strict rules. We like the scientist bit, but know that when we throw the social bit in then it kinda stuff up the science claims. Us social scientists like to think we do real research. But we know we really don’t. But we have opinions. And you’ve come to the right place if you want one… Why is this relevant? Not much – just that I am so not going to try and prove Global Warming. Just not part of my science – sorry. But as a social scientist I did learn that I should take whatever Bush says and go with the other side. He thinks Global Warming is just summer coming early? Cool – I’ll go with the bigger group saying we’re gonna fry.

My biggest reason for going with the guys getting hot about it getting hot? I am just going to play it safe with this one. I don’t want to be Condi Rice who saw the memo but decided that there wasn’t really a threat. No thank you. See where that got us? I am going to play it safe and go with the people who are freaky enough to try and stop Global Warming. So what if it doesn’t really exist – saving the planet from something that won’t happen isn’t that bad. Better than going to war for something that wasn’t there either hey? Consequences a bit better with this one I think.

This feels a bit like the engine light is going wild trying to tell me that I should check out the oil and water. You know you can still drive a little bit further. But at some stage you are going to do permanent damage to that engine. You can ignore it. But at some stage this baby is gonna blow. I don’t like cars that much, but can always buy another one if I really have to. But that’s the bloody problem with this earth of ours. We only have one. I am not brave enough to play chicken with this little sphere of ours. Sorry. Those guys with the big SUV’s have bigger balls than me. They play chicken with trains – I don’t. I know what happens when I hit that train. I lose. I also don’t eat food past the expiry date.

Some guys are working on a few solutions though. The “what if” scenario. One that caught my attention is the polar cities one by Danny Bloom. His solution is that we should build a few cities around the shores of the new ice-free Arctic Ocean. Oh, he hopes we don’t have to – that we might somehow stop this train from hitting our car. We better get off the track then I guess. Danny (some relation to Danny, Champion of the World?) doesn’t claim to be much of a science expert either. Hey, he is a journalist and we know how they spin stories… But he has been using his gift of words and friendship with an artists to create a really good visual of what the cities might look like. It’s his contribution to get the world thinking about tomorrow. He’s not saying it would work. But he is saying that we should start thinking about the consequences. The consequences goes beyond Denver having beachfront properties…

I have my doubts whether these cities would work. It’s a fine idea. It has some really good build-in benefits. For one, you won’t need the air-conditioner for the first few years. The ice might be gone, but it will still be pretty cold up there. But people don’t want to leave their countries of birth. And who owns the Arctic in any case? Canada is already playing chicken with the Russians. And sorry, I just can’t see the Canadians winning – not even in an ice-free ice hockey game. I mean really, the French and English standing together for a minute? Not gonna happen in my lifetime.

I have another problem as well. You can’t let the dog out at all. Not with those polar bears waiting to be fed. And little Fifi is just the kind of pre-meal snack they need to fill the gap. And how am I going to live in a city where the Jones’s have the same cubicle as me? Just can’t do it. And where do I park my Hummer? Do you get good reception there? Sorry Danny, it’s the little things that counts. I want cable, dishwasher and a mall. Gotta get it sorted.

But Danny… Count me in. I’ll join you. I guess I can live without cable if it means surviving for another few years and giving the kids a safer place to live in. And, in any case, I see the walls of your design is made of glass – see through. Cool. Who needs cable when I have a reality show right on the big screen of my wall. And no, I am not talking about the neighbors (TMI)… I can see the sun boiling water outside… Time for a cuppa tea I guess…

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Yes, this whole week I was stuck in conferences telling me the world is going to burn in the next 50 to 100 years. And the rising oceans will act as a temporary cool-down – but then we will drown as they rise a bit too much. Bye-bye Manhattan. Bye-bye Cape Town. Bye-bye London. Depressing. Not really. As you all know I am a natural optimist. I know that we will find a solution. We’ll just first go through all the other bad options before we do the right thing. But I am still stuck on what we can do in Africa. And I can’t find a solution. I think we are stuck in a Catch 22 situation on dealing with climate change in Africa. We are stuck – each time we find a solution it forces us back to our starting point.

I know I have argued that people will first look at the things that will kill them immediately – health, food and war. But the climate change will affect Africa and the impact will be felt way more than in any other region. The impact will be disproportionate. Why? Because we live such a marginal life – always on the edge. And the only way we can survive is through ubuntu – supporting each other with the little we have. This social safety net is build with little chain links that helps us stay connected to each other and connected to life. We only have each other to depend on and our social safety net is each other. When this break we are pretty… hum… stuffed (sorry, wanted to use a harder word). We have seen it when these safety nets break – Ethiopia in the 80’s, Somalia in the 90’s,  Sudan today. The impact is so much worse than anywhere else. Because people can’t share anymore. There is just nothing to share. And people die. Climate change will have a huge impact as we will see consistent crop failures and the breaking of the social safety net. We will help each other until there is nothing left to share. And then we die. So climate change is important. But I just can’t see a way out of it. I just can’t see a way of dealing with it in Africa. How to get beyond where we are.

The first problem is dealing with the money that would be needed to fight climate change in Africa. It isn’t as easy as we think. More aid? Maybe. But from where? One of the proposals is that some of the money that comes from carbon trading should be diverted to Africa’s fight on climate change. I have a problem with that (no surprise there). There will not be enough money generated from carbon trading to deal with Africa and all the other areas that needs to be dealt with. So where will the money come from? More aid from the US and Europe? That could work. Couldn’t it? No.

Aid money is needed for the first fight – HIV/Aids, TB, malaria, food, water, etc. All these areas are already underfunded. So any aid going to fight climate change will be money that should go to the first group of priorities – things that are killing people today. Even if we include the funding in projects aimed at sustainability – farming, manufacturing, trade, investment – the money will still be a diversion from the main aim of improving Africa. And we just don’t have enough money going around at the moment. Look after the first things first. Once that is done you can look at climate change – but not a minute earlier. And we know that adequate aid (and trade) ain’t gonna happen soon.

So what do we do if we get the money from somewhere (and somehow)? How would we spend it? We struggle with basic capacity in Africa already. We struggle to get the medicine to people even if we get medicine for free. We can’t help all the farmers become more efficient even if we get the funding that is needed. We have a lack of capacity to do some of the basics – where do we get the capacity to deal with climate change? Do they want us to hire some more of those western consultants to help us out? Divert some more money away? And what do they know? They can’t even solve it in their own country where they have all the solutions already – how are they going to solve it in Africa?

And what about the infrastructure? We are so behind in providing the infrastructure needed to run our countries – how are we going to build infrastructure for climate change? We have coal – not wind-farms or geothermal. I can picture it now – a huge wind-farm right next the coffee farmer in Ethiopia. That ain’t gonna happen soon either. We have to build the roads before we can build the wind-farm. Shouldn’t we?

Even if we get all that sorted (how I don’t know) – should this be the priority for governments? Can we just get them to govern a bit more efficiently first? Their priority should be to start governing and not to talk about things that removes them even further from the people. They should get their priorities straight. Govern first. Plan for tomorrow next. And then plan for the long term. But first things first, thank you.

Sounds pretty awful doesn’t it? Each solution offers a new challenge that brings us back to our starting point. How to deal with climate change in Africa. Catch 22? More money needed… but elsewhere. More capacity needed… but elsewhere. More infrastructure needed… but elsewhere. More governing… but elsewhere. I just don’t know what the answer is. And, in all honesty, I haven’t seen or found a solution that seems to do the work. Nothing has convinced me yet. But I am convinced of one thing though. That in the end the African people will find a way through this. They will find a solution. They always somehow manages to find solutions when they face the most impossible situations. Throw a war our way – we’ll get through to the other side. Colonize us – we’ll survive. Crops fail – we’ll share the little we have. HIV/Aids killing people – we’ll look after the kids. Somehow we find a way forward.

Catch 22? Not really. That book was written by an American. More like A Long Walk To Freedom if you ask me. But please, just not Things Fall Apart.

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