Africa And Climate Change Effects:An Inversely Proportional Relationship

A few weeks ago,several southern African countries were severely struck by Cyclone Idai,one of the worst cyclones to ever hit Africa and the southern Hemisphere in general. It caused over $2 billion in damages and took the lives of more than 1000 people,these numbers being lower bound estimates as the true extent of the damage and death incurred will probably never be known.

Although it has not been explicitly stated that Cyclone Idai was a direct result of climate change, the severity of the damage caused by the cyclone can be credited to this phenomena. Because of rising sea levels as a result of the warming up of the planet,the amount of flooding experienced by the impacted countries as a result of the cyclone was much more intense and the amount of rainfall experienced also added to the intensity of the flooding.

As a result of warmer sea surface temperatures which are a direct result of climate change, more energy is being availed during the formation of these cyclones which makes the mainland impact much worse than it would have been without the presence of these factors of climate change. Climate change also increases the probability of the seven ocean and atmospheric conditions needed for the formation of cyclones to coincide and hence increasing the frequency and intensity of these cyclones.

Africa has the world's smallest cumulative carbon-dioxide emissions,a factor contributing the most to the greenhouse gases effect which causes global warming but unfortunately,it is bearing the most cost of something it is not contributing much to as witnessed by the devastation of Cyclone Idai. To make matters worse,because of poor and archaic infrastructure,African countries are unable to handle the devastation brought about by these remnants of climate change which makes the loss of lives and destruction much more severe.

The United States of America, the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases which are the major causes  of global warming,under the leadership of the Trump administration ,decided to pull out of the Paris Accord, whose mandates included reducing greenhouse gas emissions to counter the effects of climate change. This move means that the aforementioned country gets to continue to emit these harmful gasses for the good of their industries whilst African countries are left to deal with the consequences of their actions,a position which is not fair at all to Africa.

As devastating as the impacts of climate change are on populations,what is more painful is that the biggest culprits contributing to it are still dragging their feet in coming up with measures to counter its devastating effects and some of them even go to the extent of denying the existence of climate change all together.

 The sheer ignorance is not only appalling but also utterly inhumane as these countries seem to not care less about the thousands of lives being lost as result of their actions. It makes one think if these countries would take the same stance if these loss of lives and property were happening within their own borders and whether they are of the stance that African lives are less important than the prosperity of their own industries. As the old saying goes,actions(or lack of actions in this case),speak louder than words.