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  • Leave Africa Alone

    Posted on February 8th, 2010 Jo 5 comments

    Today’s news is that the pastoral life in Africa is sustainable, even with a certain amount of Climate Change :-

    http://www.iied.org/climate-change/key-issues/drylands/african-livestock-can-triumph-face-climate-change

    “African livestock can triumph in the face of climate change : Africa’s livestock producers are bucking a trend, by proving resilient to climate change and generating huge economic benefits for their nations and regions, say researchers in a book published today by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and SOS Sahel. It shows how pastoralism is a major economic player and contributor to many African economies and one whose importance is only set to grow as climate change takes hold. “Pastoralists manage complex webs of profitable cross-border trade and draw huge economic benefits from rangelands ill-suited to other land use systems,” says Mahboub Maalim, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, writing in the book’s preface. “Their livestock feed our families and grow our economies. And mobility is what allows them to do this.” The book, Modern and Mobile, shows how livestock play a key role in the economic prosperity in African’s drylands by supporting hundreds of millions of people, and a massive meat and leather industry. “What is remarkable is that these benefits all arise from animals fed solely on natural pasture,” says Ced Hesse, a researcher at IIED and one of the book’s authors. “The financial inputs are minimal but the benefits rapidly extend beyond the herders and their communities to enrich the lives of millions of people involved in the livestock supply chain including consumers in far off cities,” he adds. “This shows how crucial it is to support Africa’s pastoralists for their contribution to wider economic development.” The book shows that contrary to popular belief pastoralists actually profit from climatic variability…”

    Free download :-

    http://www.iied.org/pubs/display.php?o=12565IIED

    I think after the amazing drought and its awful consequences in Kenya in 2009, I’m not entirely convinced by this argument. However, it’s worth thinking about : local practices are usually the most successful in coping with environmental change.

    Plus, African pastoralism doesn’t depend on Fossil Fuel imports or any kind of novel infrastructure. It also doesn’t depend on “trade” with the rest of the World, who use that word to denote their usual plundering activities.

    However, what I am convinced about is that other regions, and their corporations, and state apparatus, should leave Africa alone. Africa doesn’t need “investment” for the sole purpose of growing green beans for Western supermarkets :-

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/africa/06/02/africa.beans/index.html

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6383687.stm

    Africa doesn’t need to be the bread basket for China :-

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7086777.stm

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jul/03/africa-land-grab

    And Africa doesn’t need Genetically Modified crops : it needs rainwater management and indigenous wisdom :-

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jul/19/gm-crops-aid-uk-funding

    http://www.eoearth.org/article/Endowment_opportunities_from_rainwater_in_Africa

    http://www.unctad.org/Templates/Page.asp?intItemID=4723&lang=1

    Download the UNCTAD Report :-

    http://www.unctad.org/en/docs/ditcted200715_en.pdf

     

    5 responses to “Leave Africa Alone”

    1. Exactly Jo, climate loonies should leave Africa alone. Africa doesn’t need her hopes of raising living standards strangled by carbon-crazies and their fantasies about global warming. What Africa needs is economic development, which means more industry and more jobs, and more wealth for her people.

    2. PS, Jo, your patronising cant about how Africans should embrace a poor, pastoral life, is racist to its core. Why shouldn’t Africans strive to enjoy the same standard of living as people in Western Europe and America?

    3. “PS, Jo, your patronising cant about how Africans should embrace a poor, pastoral life, is racist to its core. Why shouldn’t Africans strive to enjoy the same standard of living as people in Western Europe and America?”

      What a pathetic straw man.

    4. Have to agree with the above …this is racist … reminds me of the Missionaries from the Victorian era … wonder how some Greens would react to this ?

    5. The article seems a tad biased to the man-made global warming hypothesis. Phil McG is right of course. As Bjorn Lombarg points out, there are higher priority issues for the third world than MMCC ideology. Disease, food and water have been problems in Africa for centuries. Depriving the populace of relatively cheap hydrocarbon energy is criminal just as it is to deprive ourselves of it in the West.

      Jo is confusing regional with global climate. This is as untenable as confusing weather with climate.

      The 20th century temperatures have been well within the geologically estimated parameters of the past 1,000 years. The majority of the modest warming over the 20th century (0.6 deg C) is likely to have been caused by natural variability.

      Dr Leonard F Khilyuk and Professor George V Chilingar (Geologists) University of Southern California estimates that about 80% of 20th century warming was natural. Since 1998 there has been no increase in global average temperature. The climate model scenarios failed miserably to predict reality, with their doom and gloom ‘run-away global warming for the first decade of the 21st century.

      CO2 concentrations rose as predicted; temperature did not.

      Let’s not waste money on highly uncertain computer scenarios for the future of the planet promoted by AGW advocates. Just a fraction of the money wasted on abating plant food would put nutritional food in the mouths of the people of the poorer nations.

      Talking local climate and weather, it’s well below average February temperatures in the UK. I don’t think we need build igloos just yet though… :-)

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