Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Earth Day

Residents in the Langue de Barbarie section of Saint Louis in Senegal create rock or sand bag barriers to hold back the advancing sea

Photo IRIN/Phuong Tran

You may or may not think that the changing climate has anything to do with human activity on this planet.  You may or may not think that there is anything we can do about it.  The fact remains that the climate is changing,   and that the people who suffer the worst are those who can least afford to do anything about it.

The photo above shows the efforts of local people in Saint Louis, on the coast of Senegal, to combat steadily rising sea levels.  They think about it all the time.  Further north, the Sahara Desert is growing by 1000 sq km a year and people are having to travel further and further in desperate search of water.  In Mozambique, the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers flood with increasing frequency.  In Chokwe, people are learning to build grain silos in trees to keep the crops safe from floodwater.  Some communities are being moved to resettlement sites but then no longer have access to their farms or livelihoods.

Earth Day is not only about the environment, it's about people too.  People need to be able to live.

To those who have hunger, give bread.
To those who have bread, give a hunger for justice.
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  1. A very thoughtful, interesting post.

  2. I wonder if the people in the Netherlands are also having a problem with the rising water. I couldn't find out anything about that. Are they having to raise the height of the dikes? Since they are so much closer to the Arctic ice caps, one would assume.

  3. I did read where they my have to spend upwards of US$2 Billion a year there on dike maintenance, but don't know how much of that is for new construction due to the rising oceans. But apparently they are also affected.

  4. A. indeed it is about the people too. Until this moment, I was thinking of the need to do something about the environment but you awaken me to another fact, the survival of people.

  5. By the way, whatever brick walls you are hitting right now. I believe you can overcome them.

  6. @Max, I think the Netherlands are well enough off to look after themselves, and they are probably the experts.
    @BK, yes, I think a lot of people forget who is going to be affected, and how. And thank you for your kind words re the brick walls. :)


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