Monday, February 18, 2008

Global warming in Africa – Who's to blame, what to do?

Africa isn't responsible for global warming and climate change, but still suffers most of all continents and will continue to do so if rich countries continue with their large emission of greenhouse gases. The great irony lies in the fact that Africa has the lowest per capita fossil energy use of any major world region but is most vulnerable continent to climate change. This irony will continue even further because Africa is too poor to handle the problem by itself. Furthermore rich countries should be having at least ethical obligation to work on this problem, since they are the ones that caused it, but there's still much more words than actual work and real action is still desperately needed.

And the signs of climate change in Africa have become more than obvious in form of spreading diseases, melting glaciers in the mountains, warming temperatures in drought-prone areas, sea-level rise, etc.. Climate will shortly become totally unpredictable in Africa as countries will face either torrential floods or severe drought during a season which will even worsen already weak food and water supply and cause many deaths.

Predictions are horrifying - a minimum 2.5°C increase in temperature in Africa by 2030. This will cause many drylands and could even result in dry up of surface water. Biodiversity of this continent will be also severely affected and many animal habitats will lose their necessary conditions and in warm sub-Saharan Africa, between 25% and 40% of animals in national parks may become endangered.

Africa's greatest peak Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania will lose its ice by 2020 if current rate of ice melting continues and there are also disappearing glaciers in Uganda and Kenya because of warm temperatures. In many parts there's also sea level rise which causes the loss of coastal land and is projected to rise by extremely high 25cm by 2050, and like this all isn't enough trouble, there are also many diseases such as malaria that are direct result of higher annual temperatures and cause death of many African people, especially since Africa lacks many hospitals and roads to existing ones.

So where is the moral of rich countries? Where is the required quick action needed to help these people in winning this fight, this terrible war against climate which they didn't even started? Where's the necessary money needed for roads, schools, clinics and other improvements in most vulnerable areas? Africa’s politicians are too weak and many of them still unaware of this problem and so they need help, help of those that did the damage, help not only to protect their environment, but to protect their lives.

There's really not much Africa can do unless rich countries do two things: cut greenhouse emissions and give substantial financial aid. Without this Africa will not only be unable to fight, but unable to survive once natural disasters like floods, droughts, earthquakes, landslides become more frequent and once diseases like malaria and cholera strike heavily on Africa's population. I

If anybody deserves help than this is certainly Africa. Africa is our last chance to show humanity and moral responsibility if there’s some humanity still left in us.

Global warming in Africa - Will Africa survive?

No comments:

Post a Comment