Climate Change is a Global Crisis
South Africa Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu hit the nail on the head when he said that tactics used against firms which did business with South Africa in the 1980s, must now be applied to fossil fuels to prevent human suffering. That his assertion came on the eve of the UN Climate Summit, made it particularly poignant.
The 2014 Climate Summit that was held in New York as part of the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly did well to highlight the crisis, but more needs to be done.
The earth has never faced a bigger threat and any calls to act collectively to save it must be taken seriously. Mother Nature has never had it easy; we have subjected her to wars, epidemics and famine and, it has survived. Its resilience is beyond belief.
But that too has its limits and the devastation caused by Climate Change might be the game changer and, not for the better. The earth’s resilience has its limits. It has survived the human race long enough and, as the scientific community now tells us, we are heading for the disaster zone.
The environment is filled with carbon dioxide and the damage by global warming is becoming too scary to contemplate. Experts at the Nairobi-based United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) say we have reached the limit of global warming. The culprits are not a secret; coal, gas and oil. The world has become totally dependent on these resources and ignored the warning signs of the pending disaster.
It is now time to step on the brakes and use alternatives to fossils. It no longer viable to say that the industrial revolution propelled Europe to its prosperity and, that China and India are justified in using coal to create wealth.
It is no longer a technical and scientific detail that we must cut our carbon footprint sharply and immediately. The levels of global emissions are no longer sustainable and its evidence is too obvious to ignore. We are witnessing deadly storms, heat waves, droughts and sky rocketing food prices. The most vulnerable and who, ironically, have nothing to do with the creation of the problems in the first place are the most affected.
Even more ironical is that the developed states, which should know better, are the ones resisting any attempts to rectify the situation. They are putting selfish short term economic and political interests ahead of the survival of the human race.
Diplomat East Africa aligns itself with Tutu’s views. The human race can no longer tinker with these issues. We can no longer continue using fossil fuels as if there is no tomorrow; because there will be no tomorrow unless wiser counsel prevails.
Tutus’s stand is brilliant; we can and should boycott events, sports teams and media programming sponsored by fossil fuel companies. Just like cigarette and beers makers have bowed to pressure and place health warnings on their products, shouldn’t oil companies do the same? Now that Kenya, Uganda and probably Rwanda, have discovered oil, the problem has been brought right to our doorsteps. The rampart deforestation in East Africa has seen water towers dry up. Air pollution due to the huge number of cars on our roads has led to severe air pollution. We shudder when we imagine what the new oil discovery will do to our environment and life styles.
Black South Africa weakened apartheid in the 1980s after it campaigned for the boycott of businesses with links to apartheid. And Tutu put it succinctly - nobody should profit from the rising temperatures and human suffering caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
We couldn’t agree more