Saturday, September 8, 2007

Three weeks two days and counting...

Today, I counted the number of days I've been at Bard, and realised it has been three weeks and two days!! How time flies when you're having fun.
It has been a truly exhilarating and mentally challenging three weeks plus. I am beginning to think like a biochemist, an economist, a statistician and a lawyer (almost). Seriously though, these past weeks have really exposed me to the scientific, economic and policy implications of issues like global warming, the use of pesticides, nuclear and other human-generated waste disposal, green house gases and by-products of energy waste disposal.
At the root of all this information are the various questions we need to address as future policy-makers. The most pertinent to my mind, would be (and I'm really focusing on US environmental policy, and perhaps thinking also about the differences in approach between developed and developing economies ) - why are current policies not working and how do we change that? I also think about what this means for Africa, particularly since a majority of African coutries are yet to address problems related to environmental degradation.
This and other pertinent questions are not easily answered, due to the fact that environmental policy has economic implications, which can lead to a landslide of negative effects. At the same time, there are also implications that have the potential for severe environmental degradation.
How do we find the balance as policy-makers between science/technology, economics, legislation/policy and environmentalism?


Adam N. Mukendi said...

Hi Ije,
I believe that you will understand better then us environmental issues from now as you are learning them from a country which refuse to ratify policies related. The truth is that 'The common ground will come with compromising'. If not what can be say to a poor African country which the power generated by coal combustion covers 60% of its need in electricity? Who has to compensate if this country as to give up on his traditional way of electricity production to adopt green house methodologies? Isn't these environmentalist alert a denial to the development of african countries? A rational Africanist could argue that: Western came to colonise and exploite the continent. They have controled the scare resources market and now that under the African Union, regional cooperation start to take off, the same capitalist countries are telling African to adopt other methods of production which they know that we can’t afford.
Sorry Ije for being so long. Many things can be say on these issues. The fact is that our planet is dying and we still not ready with a unanime plan.
Wish you the best in your class. I wish that you raise the voice of African.


Ijeoma Uche-Okeke said...

Dear Adam, thank you for your post and I apologise for responding so late. It is indeed a quandry. The US is a law-maker and a law-breaker. The big brother that watches everyone but itself. It is indeed a complex issue. I am struggling to make sense of it myself.