On carbon diets
Every human has an ecological footprint (of carbon and waste), because the planet fully sustains us. However still, some more than others. In the context of Africa, it is important to understand that; approximately 60–70% of the population in Africa lives in rural areas, and approximately 60–70% of Africa is made up of rural areas. Due to slow growth and development, the lifestyles of these people are in many ways, carbon diets. As Africa aims to become developed, it would be important to maintain this feature that is reminiscent of lack of development but is also synonymous with sustainable growth; a tamed footprint Click to tweet.
If you reward yourself every time you credit the climate action bank, for example when you upcycle clothes, you reward yourself by going on a shopping spree, then it is possible that you are cancelling out your carbon and waste neutral gains. But if you were aware of this, would it not help keep you in check? So, beware of the opportunities you have, big and small, of bagging the gains.
For example, rinsing rice to get rid of the starch simply means a lot of water going down the drain. The water is not recycled in most cases, it’s completely lost. There are glitches in our lifestyles that pose environmental problems, and even as we succeed in other climate action areas, examples such as rinse-rice-water-waste present an opportunity for us to do better #muchtodo.
As we ponder, ‘what other opportunities exist for us to do better’ it is important to very well consider and accept the possibility that there are areas of sabotage that we will never be aware of; after all, the notion of perfect knowledge is elusive, and human perception, limited click to tweet.
Window of chance or smoke screen?
In light of a possible runaway greenhouse effect, there is technology that could reportedly buy us some time, e.g., solar geoengineering, has been well known and documented for a while now. Despite the fact that it would not held reduce the actual level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere or the acidity in the oceans, it might help regain comfortable global temperatures.
It would not fundamentally solve global warming, but it would give us time to make the climate truth a global truth, in order to effect a new way of life that is carbon and waste conscious.
But, would it really? Given more time, we would probably postpone the panic till later, and continue to push the business as usual cart until we ran out of substrate (used in solar radiation management). Windows of opportunity exist and should be seized. However, these should lean more towards actual improvements, and not opportunities for the usual posturing click to tweet.
That’s because, we have met Mother Earth’s goodwill with none of our own (whether we are aware of the malice or not, is no defense). To still persist, and pursue room for negotiations with the planet, for Earth to sustain us a bit longer despite our debilitating presence, without changing our ways, would pass for the worst joke of all time and space click to tweet. This planet does not need us. In fact, I struggle to think that we have changed the planet’s fate in any unusual way. What we have done in a very collective and direct way, however (with no doubt), for absolutely all other life on the planet, is that we have affected their chances at life #betterwithoutman
Stella Nyambura Mbau PhD
Founder & CEO LOABOWA