No more cop outs on climate, please
Our man at the helm has been at the climate change summit, Cop28, in luxurious Dubai, a place better known to his countrymen as the hub of our illegal gold trade and the source of homeward-bound bags of cash.
Needless to say, there is no “filter down” into the economy of all that loot.
I digress. The president described Zimbabwe as a ‘virgin’ land open for eco-friendly investment in mining and industry and he promised to reinforce the country’s total commitment to climate goals.
It sounds like rubbish to me. Trees are being lost at an alarming rate for firewood, markedly by city dwellers, because of lengthy daily electricity blackouts that have persisted over years of corruption, lack of foresight and mismanagement.
According to Global Forest Watch, Zimbabwe has been losing more than 365,000 hectares (not far short of a million acres) of trees annually over the past decade.
Illegal mining has left scarred, eroded landscapes and marshy-type ‘wetlands’ are being built on with abandon. The important ground water ecology is under siege. We don’t have clean running water on tap nor electricity on hand for ill-maintained pumping stations.
As one government minister once declared of the wetlands: “We can’t let a few frogs and lizards stand in the way of our development.”
In Dubai, the head of Cop28, Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber, chief executive of the UAE state oil company, argued there’s no solid proof that cutting back on fossil fuels will keep global warming in check. He would say that, wouldn’t he?
Aware of the enormous profits of the oil giants lately, Cop28 delegates were negotiating even more lucrative oil deals for themselves behind the scenes.
Global warming skeptics say climate has been changing throughout the ages. Catastrophic droughts, floods, heat waves and other disastrous weather events have always happened in the past.
Whatever people think, our man at the helm must get a grip on the rudder before the shipwreck is complete. That’s the reality. No more cop outs, please.