Saturday, January 8, 2011

It Comes Down to a Cupholder?

In northwest Kenya, near Kakuma refugee camp, it's all about water. Children wave plastic yellow containters by the side of the road, begging for water.  Under the searing sun, I saw an emaciated man digging in a dry river bed, trying to find water. Around the camp, people carry plastic baggies filled with water rations.

Things are reduced to basics: water, food, toilets. I had a meltdown there, just trying to make it through the day.

In many parts of Africa, the short rains did not come this year. There have always been cyclical droughts, but climate change and deforestation have made the problem worse. It was very hard to see it first hand.

We all know, or should know by now, that the U.S. is, per capita, the second greatest emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the least, but is among the areas feeling the greatest impact of climate change.

And so I've been carrying around a pain in my heart when I read, in the Columbus Dispatch, an article about how fuel efficiency is not driving auto sales: "You have about 5 percent of the market that is green and committed to fuel-efficiency," said Mike Jackson, chief executive of AutoNation, the largest auto retailer in the country. "But the other 95 percent will give up an extra 5 mpg in fuel economy for a better cupholder."

No comments:

Post a Comment