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.
July 15, 2016 Zimbabwe: #WageTheft
"An astounding 80,000 Zimbabwe workers in formal employment--out of
some 350,000 workers--did not receive wages and benefits on time in
2014, according to a new Solidarity Center report, 'Working Without
Pay: Wage Theft in Zimbabwe,' released today in Harare." -
July 15, 2016 Zimbabwe: #ThisFlag
"The Zimbabwean regime did not expect Pastor Evan Mawarire to be set
free on Wednesday night. But unprecedented public pressure forced
the magistrate's hand, with a little help from blundering police.
Look away now, Comrade Bob, because Zimbabwe will never be the same
again." - Daily Maverick, July 14, 2016
July 6, 2016 Cuba/Sierra Leone: Reclaiming Slave-Trade History
As recognition grows that the legacy of slavery and the slave trade
is still embedded in the structural inequalities of today's world,
scholars are finding new ways to make the lost connections visible.
One dramatic and inspiring illustration, featured in this issue of
AfricaFocus Bulletin, is the film "They Are We," showing the
rediscovery and re-connection in person with their African relatives of an Afro-Cuban community
which still celebrates their heritage with dances and songs in a
language almost forgotten by current generations even in its
villages of origin in Sierra Leone. The film, first released in Cuba
in 2013, features the story of this rediscovery, in the voices and
faces of the communities who collaborated in the making of the
June 30, 2016 Africa/Global: Air Pollution Threats & Solutions
"Around 6.5 million deaths are attributed each year to poor air
quality, making this the world’s fourth-largest threat to human
health, behind high blood pressure, dietary risks and smoking.
Without changes to the way that the world produces and uses energy,
the ruinous toll from air pollution on human life is set to rise.
... Household air pollution, closely linked to a lack of access to
modern energy services, causes around half a million premature
deaths annually in sub-Saharan Africa, where four-fifths of the
population rely on the traditional use of solid biomass for cooking,
and candles and kerosene lamps are extensively used for indoor
lighting." - International Energy Agency (IEA)
by date | by place | by topic
June 22, 2016
Africa/Global: "Stop the Bleeding" Updates
June 13, 2016
Africa/Global: Don't Be a Fossil Fool
Jun 2, 2016
Liberia/Global: Financial Secrecy at Work
May 26, 2016
Africa/Global: Migrants' Rights Roundup
May 13, 2016
Mozambique: Debt Crisis & the Panama Papers
May 5, 2016
Uganda: Accountability and Child Soldiers
April 27, 2016
Nigeria: Shapes of Violence, 2
April 27, 2016
Nigeria: Shapes of Violence, 1
April 11, 2016
Africa/Global: Panama Papers Tip of Iceberg
Apr 5, 2016
USA/Global: When Elephants Fight
March 23, 2016
Namibia: Meeting Expectations?
March 16, 2016
Africa: Tolerance and Intolerance in Perspective
March 9, 2016
Africa/Global: Making Choices on Climate Future
February 29, 2016
USA/Africa: Rising Opposition to Tax Evasion
February 16, 2016
Africa: Ghosts at the African Union Summit
February 1, 2016
Africa/Global: Accounting Tricks with Coca-Cola