Talking Points on Climate Change and the Environment
Watch eloquent short video by Archbishop Desmond Tutu
"The destruction of the earth’s environment
is the human rights challenge of our time."
Global warming and environmental damage from the
fossil-fuel industry already affect all of us, although responsibility
lies primarily with the rich industrialized countries and the newly
industrializing powers. Africa is the most vulnerable continent,
but extreme weather and sea-level rise have hit New Orleans and
New Jersey as well as Lagos.
When industries make decisions based on short-term profits,
encouraged by government subsidies to established industries, they
systematically discount damages from "externalities." Visible
results include the devastation of oil-producing areas in the
Niger Delta and of coal-producing areas, whether in South Africa or West Virginia.
The longer-term consequences in rising temperatures and more
extreme weather will be even more devastating.
Action to combat climate change depends in part on decisions made in international
conferences, where the primary obstacles to action are
the rich countries and the newly industrializing powers. But
efforts at many other levels are also of decisive importance.
Fossil-fuel divestment campaigns, as they grow and multiply,
can affect investment choices. So can technological innovation.
Notably, clean energy can already be more cost-effective than large-scale fossil fuel plants
in supplying distributed energy access to Africa.
install off-grid solar panels in Kirambo, Rwanda.
November 19, 2015 Africa: Boosting ICTs
The "AfricaRising" narrative can be a misleading stereotype,
celebrating economic and technical progress without taking into
account the enormous failures to deliver the fruits equitably to the
majority of Africa's people. But one area in which some boosterism
may be appropriate is the rapid advance of information and
communication technologies (ICTs) on the continent.
November 11, 2015 Africa/Global: Follow the Money
"New research from the Tax Justice Network shows that the gap
between where companies pay tax and where they really do their
business is huge ... even developed countries with state-of-the-art
tax legislation and well-equipped tax authorities cannot stop
multinationals dodging their tax without a thorough reform of the
global tax system. ... [these practices have] a relatively greater
impact on developing countries, whose public revenues are more
dependent on the taxation of large businesses."
November 5, 2015 Europe/Africa: Dialogue Unlikely at Migration Summit
"There is no dialogue. What we are seeing from the EU is a monologue
that seeks only to impose its own agenda," a high-ranking African
Union official said anonymously in an interview with the Afronline
newsletter. While there are strong critiques of the European
position from both African and European civil society, his
prediction is unlikely to be proved false when heads of state gather
in Valetta, Malta next week.
October 28, 2015 South Sudan: Hard-Hitting Report from African Union
"Based on its inquiry, the Commission finds that there are
reasonable grounds to believe that acts of murder, rape and sexual
violence, torture and other inhumane acts of comparable gravity,
outrages upon personal dignity, targeting of civilian objects and
protected property, as well as other abuses, have been committed by
both sides to the conflict."
by date | by place | by topic
October 20, 2015
Africa: Tax Tricks, Mobile Phones, and Beer
October 13, 2015
Africa/Global: Health Challenges & Threats
October 6, 2015
South Africa/Global: Piketty says "Tax the Rich"
September 30, 2015
Africa/Global: Climate Action Beyond Paris
September 21, 2015
Africa: Internet Usage Rising Rapidly
September 14, 2015
West Africa: Tax Giveaway Follies
September 8, 2015
Mozambique/Africa: "The Eloquent Peasant"
August 3, 2015
Africa/Global: Climate Change Roundup
July 29, 2015
USA/Africa: Obama Visit Roundup
July 21, 2015
Africa/Global: "Stop The Bleeding"
July 14, 2015
Burundi: Diplomacy Falling Short
July 6, 2015
Africa/Global: People's Test on Climate
June 30, 2015
South Africa: Marikana Perspectives, 2
June 30, 2015
South Africa: Marikana Perspectives, 1
June 22, 2015
Africa: AIDS Struggle Continues
June 15, 2015
Eritrea: "Rule of Fear, Not Law"