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Climate Change and Africa’s Natural Resources

Source: Pambazuka

On the eve of the climate change summit in Copenhagen this December, momentum for action still falls far short of that needed to avert catastrophe. Africa will suffer consequences out of all proportion to its contribution to global warming, which is primarily caused by greenhouse gas emissions from wealthy countries.

But Africa can also make significant contributions to mitigating (i.e. limiting) climate change. Stopping tropical deforestation is one of the most cost-effective means to slow the growth of greenhouse gases. Ending gas flaring in Africa’s oil-producing countries could reduce carbon emissions and, as a bonus, also provide cleaner electricity. read more


Piracy and Washington: The Somalia Crossroads

In October 2008, Human Rights Watch rated Somalia the most ignored tragedy in the world. Almost 1.5 million Somalis are internally displaced, and an additional half million are refugees. Two decades of instability, including a U.S.-backed intervention by Ethiopian troops in December 2006, have failed to put Somalia on the map. If the American public has thought about Somalia at all this decade, it was as the setting of the popular 2001 movie Blackhawk Down, based on the October 1993 battle in Mogadishu between U.S. troops and Somali militia, rather than as a real place where Washington's policies were fueling conflict and prolonging suffering.