Environmental capital is the corner stone of any economy of a country. For the other sectors to thrive the environment has to be well taken care off. The worlds ecosystem and its biodiversity has over the years continued to be threatened by continuous human encroachment on forests, water ways and on wild animals’. Exploitation of these natural resources to meet the needs of an ever growing population is the greatest problem.
The burgeoning of human settlement on forest reserves and on water ways has led to nature retaliating in ways such as increased flooding, increased costs of pumping freshwater where residents of urban areas have to pay so much to get clean water in their houses. The disappearance of economically valuable fresh water fish leading to reduction in the global ocean fish catch is also another issue, where families that were largely reliant on fishing as their means of making money now have to look for alternative livelihoods. This goes on to show us that our ignorance of the environment makes us vulnerable especially where we can’t get clean water in our homes. It’s a problem that trickles down to us, its personal and we need to be part of the solution.
The world is currently dealing with the reality of climate change which is one of the negative effects of over exploitation of environmental capital. The conversion of natural ecosystem to areas for human use and also mining of minerals such as coal and oil which are of high economic value is the highest contributor to this menace. Countries may make money from real estate investments and also from sale of these underground minerals but in the long term they will be in trouble. At this point in time when Kenya is looking to get both into coal mining and the oil industry the question on the lips of young people right now should be. What is of more importance right now, conserving our environment capital or having short term economic mileage on other African countries financially by mining oil?
Climate change is considered a boring topic by most young people. It’s not one of the things that will pop up in their discussions over coffee, pizza or a couple of cocktails yet it’s one that directly affects the quality of life they are living now and that of their future.
This lack of interest or what I would could call ignorance on their part should worry us to appoint of enjoining them in this climate change debate. Whether we are aware or not our world’s ecosystem continues to suffer from continued pollution and vandalism by our activities.
Climate change is real and here with us, people are losing lives to diseases caused by pollution, natural habitats including forests and lands bordering oceans have been lost. This is why am choosing to join the climate justice movement. A movement that consists of individuals that intentionally choose to give their time and where possible resources to find the root causes of global warming and then work towards the elimination of such causes. They are the voice of our world that is continuously being exploited by its inhabitants yet it cannot speak for itself.
Climate change is a product of globalization. Its main causes being capitalism and gender inequality embodied in our largely accepted patriarchal system where women end up bearing the largest burden of climate change. The widening gap between the rich and the poor can also be seen as a contributor to climate change because as the rich get richer from drilling oil wells and building mega cities on land meant for agriculture the poor are left to deal with the consequence of their action as they suffer from diseases caused by pollution from things such as oil wells and also drought and hunger arising from there being no land to plant crops in.
Being a biologist I understand that environmentalism should address everyday issues such as water quality and urban safety that touch on our day to day life. The dumping of chemicals into rivers like the Nairobi River by pharmaceutical companies and others make provision of clean water to the public impossible. Littering and the continuous mushrooming of slums in cities make these areas unsafe and contribute to climate change.
It’s time that we opened our eyes to the interconnection of the climate change debate with our day to day life. It’s not an issue that is separate from our personal lives. It’s thus the dearth of young people who are willing to use their voices either through writing, running campaigns or requesting the government to make the climate change issue a priority that worries me. Climate change is a big determinant on how our tomorrow on this planet looks like by alleviating climate change in the wake of a highly globalized and industrialized world we can solve many problems including poverty and gender inequality. Let’s therefore join hands as young people and be climate change ambassadors in whichever way we know how.