Calling Africa to action on climate
Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai and George W. Bush agree on one thing: developing nations need to do more to curb the threat of climate change. (Of course, they don’t agree on the much more vexing question of whether overdeveloped nations — one highly overdeveloped nation in particular — should do anything to address the ballooning problem …)Speaking last week at a UNEP climate workshop, Maathai, who presently serves as Kenya’s deputy environment minister, told journalists, “There’s no reason why our African governments can’t control greenhouse emissions, but quite often we make excuses. …
“We say, for example, we’re poor and so we can’t impose taxes,” she said. She hinted at support for a new tax structure with environmental aims, criticizing the fact that firewood and charcoal cost Africans less than electricity. “In the long term, using wood will cost us more. It’s a very expensive resource.”
But while noting that Africans “can do a lot with little things” — tree-planting, to which she’s dedicated much of her life, for example — she said it was important that Kyoto get support from the big powers “who are largely responsible” for climate mayhem. “When we act, we challenge those who are not doing as much as we think they should.” (Hint, hint. Not that hints — or blunt instruments, or anything else — have been shown capable of penetrating the thick skulls at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.)
(I penned this post before seeing that Geoff D. beat me to the punch — but I figure I’ll put it out here anyway. I guess we know who’s faster on his feet, or at least his fingers.)
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