Donald Trump
Middle East

LETTERS: Stop ignoring threat posed by climate change

In addressing global climate change we are changing the ecosystem that benefits the entire world.

There is some denial in several quarters in the globe on the existence of climate change. Some of this is coming from high ranking people in politics, especially in US and lobby groups associated with powerful profit making organisations. US President Donald Trump who pursues his business ventures and now politics with a lot of zeal has some admirable characteristics and some not. One area his administration has been seen not so keen on addressing has to do with climate change. The denial of the existence of the phenomenon by his administration is palpable. Obviously matters to do with climate change would focus attention on some industries that would be severely affected by new regulations or campaigns to curtail climatic change. Some of the transnational or national corporations whose activities affect or are seen to impact negatively on environment would naturally have to react in diverse ways including politically to protect their interests.

This is understandable but the bottomline is that damages to the environment and the consequences that are seen in ravages of climate change are too severe to be ignored. Oil industry is one that will be affected in the immediate in terms of profits and growth if climate change campaigns were to gain the needed traction. Exploration for more oil and investments in these would be severally affected. However, some of the global oil companies have changed tact to embrace renewable energy as part of their forward looking investment plans. Should we be worried about climate change? Certainly yes. Droughts, floods and other weather conditions in the globe cannot be ignored. With the global population rising, particularly in Africa, Middle East, Asia and parts of America, the world needs more food and better food chain management. Agriculture and health sectors are affected adversely in case of adverse weather patterns. Some scientists attribute the invasion by armyworms in maize farms, as is happening in Kenya, as well as emergence of all manner of pests and diseases affecting diverse crops to changes in global weather. In a sense, the destruction of agriculture is real. Moreover, with pollution becoming intense due to surging energy demands and use of fossil fuels at higher rates means more health problems. Increased urbanisation coupled with inadequate planning means pollution in cities and other urban areas is bound to become more intense. While this is happening, governments are constrained on budgets to adequately care for health of their people. The case for Kenya on this is well known and a typical example. So we need more efforts despite denials by powerful corporations, some government bureaucrats from powerful nations and lobby groups.If we live in denial this does not solve the problem. Instead we accentuate the problem and cause a lot of harm to existing generations and posterity. But there is an opportunity to change this.In rural Kenya for instance, there are many growth and success stories in the dairy industry thanks to robust co-operative movements supporting the sector. The number of households keeping dairy cows in zero grazing units runs into millions. If you add those keeping other domestic/farm animals in a caged type of system that includes pigs and chicken these are quite significant. These animals release a lot of bio methane and other gases into the air. If tapped, some of these gases would reduce carbon dioxide release and effects in the air. Thus tapping animal waste through biogas installation is quite noble and desirable. This will even reduce the destruction of forests and woodlands in search of wood and charcoal for fuel which is very rampant in Kenya. Besides pollution, the said destruction threatens not just the weather patterns but also annihilates wildlife that countries like Kenya need so badly for the tourism industry. In addressing global climate change we are changing the ecosystem that benefits from the household level to the large scale in terms of government priorities and global needs for a safer world. Why this has not been successful has everything to do with the level of advocacy as well as funding. A lot more advocacy and funding are needed in the quest for renewable energy, which is critical in addressing climate change challenges.

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