Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Aid to Africa and Climate Change Intimately Linked

The BBC reports that Tony Blair's top two agenda items for the upcoming G8 meeting (aid to Africa and climate change) are intimately linked.

Britain's leading scientific society points out that the people in Africa are particularly vulnerable to climate change. This is because the weird and wacky weather patterns we are seeing (such as extreme temperatures, changes in rainfall, decreased arable land) will cause increased disruptions on fragile environments.

In such places, even a small shift can produce devastating results. Plus, in Africa 70 percent of people rely on small-scale, rain-fed agriculture.

A coalition of green and charity groups is arguing that efforts to reduce poverty in Africa are therefore hopeless if we in the G8 countries don't reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In essense, aside from all the other things the industrialized world has done to mess with them, we are making it harder for them to support themselves by wrecking their environment.

It is doubtful that this will be accepted, of course, considering the US is STILL not admitting that humans have anything to do with climate change.

*sigh* It all makes me so mad, because the whole conversation about aid to Africa frames Africans as these needy and helpless people that cannot take care of themselves. But their own means of self-support have been steadily eroded over the last couple of centuries. And it continues!

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