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Is The Copy Cat, "Cut And Paste" Mentality Working Against Climate Adaptation In Africa?

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Stanley Ijeoma

May 5, 2014


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Countries in the tropics, especially in sub-Sahara Africa like Nigeria; seriously need to apply some out-of- the-box adaptation initiatives that have multiple positive implications for economy as well as the public health of their citizens as well as the global environment. For example, Africans have adopted many western conventions that are not only out of alignment with their culture and climate, but that divest these countries of local economic opportunities while increasing local and global co2 emissions. Suits and coats make sense in colder “freezing” climates but not in a tropical “frying” climate like Nigeria’s where temperatures peak 45 degrees Celsius! This vestige of colonial days makes these people uncomfortable while requiring importation of materials they could easily be produced in country using local resources while maintaining national identity as well as avoiding unnecessary co2 emissions from the shipping and aviation sectors. I am designing a project that seeks highlighting multiple local and global environmental benefits if massive switch to locally made apparels as an adaptation measure to promote public health of citizens in a changing climate is encouraged by “reforming” the psyche of Africans to embrace new ways of life in tune with emerging realities of climate change! I will be happy to welcome partners and supporters of this proposed initiative. What are your views?

Samuel M.

May 6, 2014


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Is The Copy Cat, "Cut And Paste" Mentality Working Against Climate Adaptation In Africa? very important question. the answer is yes, but I see a much deeper problem than suits and coats being imported. more of the world's population growth is occurring in underdeveloped countries in Africa than anywhere else. living standards will rise inevitably as these countries compete with the ambition to "copy and paste" the successes of India and China and join the developed world. as a result carbon emissions from Africa will soon begin to rise exponentially. Africa is too poor and growing too fast to implement the kind of alternative energy solutions we're discussing here and the US, China, and India are too far behind in solving their own energy problems to help. what I'm saying is we should be more concerned with how to help Africa grow sustainably. that's just my view.

Tom Morris

May 7, 2014


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I agree that actions taken to combat climate change must be tailored to the local conditions and incorporate local customs that can assist in such actions. You raise an interesting point that local products do save emissions used in transportation.