Friday, November 9, 2007

A Global Community.......

This programme on Environmental Policy has brought closer to home the ''smallness'' of the so-called global village. The fact that the burning of coal in China affects the quality of air in Los Angeles, Japan and other parts of the Asian continent and beyond, supports this reality. In the same vein dust from the African continent moves far beyond the continent to affect countries in Europe and the Americas. So also degradation of forests in South America, Asia and Africa, which reduce the numbers of ''natural sinks'' for carbon dioxide thereby increasing global warming. There are so many causes and effects in the unfolding history of global warming and climate change.
Within this week, we looked at the various statutes and policies that address environmental protection in the US, such as the Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), and Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). These laws have been in existence from the early 70s and have been modified over time, adjusting as environmentalism evolved and became more substantive.
It is quite alarming for me personally, when I think that the US has been in the forefront of environmentalism, yet a lot of its citizens are not very informed about the consequences of environmental degradation, which are evident now and will worsen in the future. Imagine that in Africa, very few governments have even started to think seriously about the levels of deforestation, pollution and degradation to the environment in their regions. Our problems are multitude because we are still dealing with issues like hunger, political instability, inequality to name a few.
I really don't know what the future holds for the African continent. It is not that we are not capable of dealing with these issues, the priorities of African governments are very skewered. It is difficult for one to know where to begin to contribute to effecting change and creating awareness that translates into positive action. I constantly ask myself this question....''what can I do for my country, my continent?'' I have not found the answer as yet, but there is hope......always.

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