Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Why Ignore Africa?


Global warming is altering the human food supply and threatening some of the world's poorest people with hunger. Emissions, primarily from developed countries, are exacerbating flooding, droughts and extreme weather events. Why does climate change occur? A small amount is due to ignorance or miscalculation. A small amount is unavoidable given the present technology and population. But the greatest cause is due to the economic system. Global warming takes place because it is in business economic interests to do so.

The United Nations predicts that in some African countries, crop yields could fall. For poor farmers on the margin of survival, these losses could really be crushing. Gains made in human development in Africa may be reversed if climate change is not checked. Among the threats to human development, that African countries may have to deal with, is a breakdown of agricultural systems due to increased exposure to drought, rising temperatures and more erratic rainfall, leaving millions of more people facing malnutrition. 

African countries are also most vulnerable to the likely impacts of climate change on fisheries. Climate change will change the distribution, conservation and use of the water of the earth and its atmosphere. African fisheries are particularly at risk because semi-arid countries with significant coastal or inland fisheries have high exposure to future increases in temperature, and the linked changes in rainfall and coastal current systems. The high catches that currently allow exports may become a thing of the past, and a high dependence on fish for protein could threaten the health of many thousands as catches shrink. Low capacity to adapt to change due to their comparatively small or weak economies and low human development indices could set back development in countries like Angola, Congo, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Sierra Leone.

In African countries like Ghana, Namibia, Senegal and Uganda, the fisheries sector contributes over six percent of gross domestic product. Rift Valley countries such as Malawi, Mozambique and Uganda, river-dependent fishery nations, are also vulnerable. Researchers found that lake fisheries have already begun to feel the impact of climatic variability, affecting fish production

Global warming also poses health risks. Rising temperatures in the highlands allow mosquitoes and ticks to survive longer, leading to an increase in mosquito-borne diseases and the emergence of new diseases. Malaria, dengue fever and Leishmaniasis, a disfiguring disease caused by sandflies, are good examples. New kinds of Leishmaniasis have been detected across Africa. This type of Leishmaniasis is resistant to all forms of available treatment. This stigmatizing skin disease, which afflicts the infected person with sores and lesions that can cause permanent disfigurement.

Climate has been a major driver of armed conflict in Africa as much research shows and future warming is likely to increase the number of conflicts and armed casualties.

 It is the capitalist economic system itself that is responsible for ecological problems. In fact, not only have workers no influence over the decisions taken by enterprises but those who do have the power to decide - the capitalists - are themselves subject to the laws of profit and competition. Capitalism can only function in the interest of the capitalists, no palliative, no rearrangement, no measure, no reform can subordinate capitalist private property to the general interest. We can only “cure the planet’s ills by establishing a society without private property where humans will be freed from the uncontrollable economic laws of the pursuit of profit and the accumulation of capital.

We live in a world that has the potential to adequately feed, house and provide clean water and decent medical care for every single man, woman and child on Earth. The resources exist to banish material want as a problem for members of the human race. Yet millions throughout the world are malnourished, live in squalor or are actually dying of starvation or starvation-related diseases. World socialism could stop the dying from hunger immediately, and provide the conditions for good health and material security for all people across the Earth within a short time. It would do this by producing goods and services directly for need.



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