My article today is inspired by my facebook post of 1st November, 2016 ” With the raising diesel emissions in Nairobi everyday, trust me, I don’t desire to live here longer”. I was consoled by some of you who encouraged me to be here at least for one month. So am staying. But thats not all, I have a lot of questions concerning the quality of the life am living. David S. Landes in his book The wealth and Poverty of Nations illustrates how countries have used their different background to raise into great metropolis. Many still try. Since the early times we have been dependent on the natural resources as a means of survival and sustenance. We have also used this to develop areas which we have occupied. Today, Man still uses his brain and knowledge to push the limits of life.
We are always looking for other places apart from the earth, where we can live and work. Apollo 11 was the first spaceflight that landed humans on the Moon. Mission commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the Lunar Module Eagle on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC. Armstrong became the first to step onto the lunar surface six hours later on July 21 at 02:56:15 UTC; Aldrin joined him about 20 minutes later. They spent about two and a quarter hours together outside the spacecraft, and collected 47.5 pounds (21.5 kg) of lunar material for return to Earth.
Its 46 years since the Apollo 11 landed on the moon, we have not been able to make it our next settlement, build skyscrapers and sip wine on the shores of lake moon. The construction and operation of a space station has had both positive and negative impact on our economies. Countries that have been enemies have shared the space vision and tried to work together, ignoring all their differences at least for the space sake. While in space, blowing up millions of dollars, they have taken a new citizenship of space while wearing the flags of the countries they represent. Today, Space is a luxury of space scientists and the rich and famous, who are soon plotting their exodus on a million dollar expenditure. The sad note is that, with all the discoveries, be it in science or whatever, there has not been any other home than the earth, the dwelling of mankind.
If this is the dwelling of mankind, why has man allowed it to die? The world today is supported by only three rain forest, The Congo, The Amazon and Indonesia. Indonesia for example is one of the poorest most corrupt country on earth, Congo on the other hand has been at war with itself for many years. The warlords have smuggled timber from the forest in exchange for firearms and other equipment to support the war. But thats not the only problem, Individually we have had a negative impact on our environment, the way we live, on what we eat, what we wear, how we get to our work places. Over 50% of our flesh water has been used to produce beef, clean oil and irrigate our plants. Most of that is lost, never to be found.
The third world countries have taken their frustrations to the environment. With no means of sustenance, we have misused our great resources to benefit the needs of the few. We consider planting trees for timber as opposed planting trees for medicine. This trees end up consuming all the water from the streams leaving them dry and we, looking for other sources of water. In Nairobi for example, tall towers have sprung from the wetlands, places where water was stored during wet days to be used during dry days. We do that while not considering we still have shown our intention not to leave our culture. We cultivate land, big and small, Nairobi still has a National Park seven kilometers from the CBD and its still a place you meet with Maasai grazing their cattles.
The damage we have done to the sea is already enough, and this is the reason why I have come to my desired conclusion. I maybe here, but not for long, I want to be somewhere where life still exists, where the environment is not crying for its creator and where nature and man are in a harmony with each other. Am sorry to say that that place, is not in the cities. The realisation of the danger we have created has come 50 years too late. The reaction is slow, we still want to live that life without adjusting and making sacrifices. So the degradation continues. The earth is getting hotter and the sea are raising as a result of greenhouse gasses. Human activities is having a great negative impact to the environment. Man has pride himself in how he has created financial district from the earth. Cement, sand, water, e.t.c all put together to create what we call today the concrete jungle, his dwelling place. As sung by Bob Marley “where the living is the hardest”.
Let’s listen to the earth as it cries, and lets listen to our later generation’s desire to inherit a world that is not a poison to them but a source of life. One of my favorite commencement speech also one of the shortest said “Ladies and gentlemen, we have left you a perfect world. Please don’t screw-up” For me, this might not be the case if I decide not to do something. But if we sit and watch how the world is falling apart, the next shortest commencement speech will be, “Ladies and gentlemen, we have screwed-up the world, so deal with it”