by Hannes Wessels
While I am acutely aware of the damage being done to the environment by man I have long questioned why the finger of guilt is resolutely pointed at the leaders of the industrialised West and the people who live and work there. It seems the countries making the most determined efforts to act ecologically and environmentally responsibly are those most harshly judged while those behaving most irresponsibly avoid censure. The trend has been set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) led by Rajendra Pachauri who when not engaged in saving the world writes novels that could qualify for a ‘Bad Sex in Fiction Award’.
As in so many other social, economic and political arenas there is one set of standards for Europeans and another for Africans and never the twain shall meet. Africa boasts the highest population growth and is probably the worst equipped to sustain it. Recent estimates suggest the population of sub-Saharan Africa will quadruple to four billion by the end of the century. Africa is being ecologically degraded faster than any other but we hear little about it. Thousands of desperate Africans are already fleeing their homelands for Europe; one can only imagine what sort of exodus awaits as the population explodes.
Deforestation to meet the massive demand for charcoal is out of control. Siltation of the rivers is widespread and the inland waters are being heavily netted leading to the destruction of aquatic life. Dust-bowls are growing and all forms of wildlife are being decimated to the point of extinction. In many areas the damage is probably irreversible.
To give you an example of the double-standards that apply. Every year virtually the entire land mass is torched, deliberately pumping mountains of pure carbon into the atmosphere. Figures for Africa are scarce but Australia, registered a carbon footprint from bushfires of 165 million tonnes in 2009. Bear in mind in Australia they make strenuous efforts to curb wildfires; in Africa they burn on purpose and there are virtually no constraints. The Australian figure is almost certainly paltry compared to Africa but the Aussies are under scrutiny because the ‘eco-fascists’ know very well there are wealthy ‘white capitalist pigs’ there with a conscience who can be infused with guilt then fleeced.
Needless to say, when it comes to Africa there is a thundering silence from the ‘Global Warmists’, Greenpeace, UNESCO, The ‘Greens’ and a legion of quangos claiming to be dedicated to saving the planet. The reason is quite clear. Very few want to hear about the Africans behaving badly because that falls flat with the ‘politically correct’ media that peddle the falsehoods inculcating a sense of misplaced guilt among the fools in the West who watch and believe what they see on television. And for the politicians of those same countries who then like to ride this particular bandwagon the mere thought of criticising anyone in authority in Africa is abhorrent. Self-flagellation is a much easier option. But most importantly the Africans, even if they had the money, would never pay for their actions so why bother with them.
As this environmental tragedy unfolds it is instructive to note the World Wildlife Fund which in 2010 had an income of $750,000,000 is conspicuous by its absence from the African field of ecological degradation. Just what they do with this money is unclear but in a lifetime, much of which has been spent in rural and wilderness areas, I have seen little sign of WWF activity aimed at saving wildlife or the environment. I have seen swanky WWF 4×4’s but mostly in urban areas.
As if this budget was not enough for doing so little, James Delingpole in his book ‘Watermelons’ reports the WWF was also part of a cunning scam to skim off a chunk of the $60 billion that was to be raised through the sale of carbon credits. All this money in the hands of faceless bureaucrats accountable to nobody! Forgive me for suspecting the ‘global warming’ alarm might be one of the biggest cons in history.
Fuelling my suspicion it’s just on seven years since former US Vice President Al Gore warned us the arctic ice cap would disappear if the pale-skinned plunderers in the West did not ante up tens of billions of dollars to pay the bureaucrats and third world despots who could save the world. ‘The North Polar ice cap is falling off a cliff,’ the great man warned us while accepting his Nobel Peace Prize. ‘It could be completely gone in summer in as little as seven years. Seven years from now.’ The ice-cap is now 43% larger. One would have thought ‘Honest Al’ might have taken a little time off from his mission to save the planet to explain this anomaly but maybe we are all too stupid to understand!
I have just spent some time with my friend Dick who is a self-employed man of limited means. The National Parks authority in the area have two vehicles. One is used for shopping and the other to take children to and from school so there is no transport for anti-poaching or environmental control. To fill the void Dick rises every morning at dawn to conduct a patrol using his own old pick-up and goes looking for snares. Thanks to him the remaining game in the vicinity has been granted some protection but it’s a tough and lonely struggle against many adversaries. Backing Dick wouldn’t look great for Al Gore and the gang and the WWF Range Rovers might loose some of their shine in the thickets so he’ll probably have to go it alone.