Should we really hit the breaks?

Today we continue from where we halted the discussions yesterday, Africa faces a much grave problem because the resources we have and intend to exploit are also being eyed by these super power nations who literally uncover control the state of politics within the different regions. To fully understand this article i would suggest you take a read on the article published yesterday, then walk with me through a revolutionary journey set to change the face of Africa as we know it.

As we stated clearly before, Developed nations are fighting against high carbon emissions yet we (Uganda) seem to be headed towards a direction they are fighting so hard to get out of.

The first feature required of a powered down society would be reasonable levels of well being even though in terms of normal economic measures most people would be poorer there is difficulty in measuring hidden wealth of nations. With such forms of wealth not being effectively captured by levels or growth of a society’s GDP

Societies should be measured in terms of quality of life and not only in terms of GDP or GDP per person.  Multiple research has shown that after a level of income in a society has been achieved then increasing personal incomes do not necessarily turn them into more well being. Their demands and needs in fact seem to increase depending on their desires.

Many existing goods and services are wasted as unnecessary products, in fact excess of these goods and services may build resentment to those who can not access it. More goods and services which most people cannot acquire produce resentment and less wellbeing.

Take an example of oil prices they are sky rocketing each day yet they are produced in abundance in the oil producing countries. These prices are not even determined by the nations that produce them. Nigeria for instance produces 1,938,542.73 barrels of oil per day (as of 2016 ranking) and currently estimated at over 2million barrels per day yet it’s citizens cannot afford fuel, even basic paraffin for the poor masses to light up their houses in the dark are a problem.

Society as a whole is weaker if there is inequality. There is always more resentment felt by the deprived against the richer people. Such resentment is what greedy political power hungry individuals feed on to generate riots in all parts of the world. This cuts across all the way from Europe USA and back to Africa, straight from the Black Lives matter movement in USA, Neoliberal riots in the UK 2011, Sars in Nigeria and even walk to work in Uganda which was solely sparked because of the rise of fuel prices and inflation.

It is quite easy to lure a society that has so much imbalance and inequality into such destructive behaviors because of the strong resentment they feel towards their counterparts. It is on the basis of inequality that we had the first ever French revolution that created the political landscape as we understand it today, this made us witness multiple other revolutions hence creating the new world order.

A materialistic culture has fostered greed among young people, this especially to because of the gap between what is represented in the media, social media and all communications power houses as good life for young people vis a vis what they can actually acquire/afford. The reality of life and what we perceive it to be.

The irony of the life we live today.          

The current media endlessly circulates images of the good mobile digital life and stress the essential importance of global brands, products and services to that life. The lavish lives that we young people so admire in most cases involve high carbon emissions and are dangerous to the environment.

Low carbon innovations are needed as we move the direction of oil explorations. Oil is crucial to the development of the nation but it also comes with not only economic social and political side effects but it also processes and has environmental effects.

To combat this and avoid destroying the natural resources/ environment that supports our survival, strategic plans have to be undertaken and this should not only be left to the section of persons but rather the whole society should participate in this.

Even those that consume these products (oil) should actually even participate Jukka Gronow notes “ consumer is as much the heroic innovator as the entrepreneur” it is necessary that the innovators invent low carbon localized goods and services with the state/ government providing pre conditions for starting up and scaling up.

Vaxjo a Swedish city ambitiously developed a fossil fuel free future and national plan landed in 2005 aimed at making Sweden an oil free society. It is now half way to becoming Fossil Fuel Free. an incredible 51% of its energy comes from sources such as Bio mass, renewable electricity, and solar. Over the last decade emissions have been reduced by 30% per person to 3.232 tons of CO2 annually well below European and world ratings. The city is on its way to become the world’s first fossil free city.

They are on their way of achieving this without sacrificing lifestyle, comfort and economic growth, petrol is still available but carbon emissions are heavily taxed. Their plan is to reach zero carbon emissions in the future. They are investing in bio energy combined heating and power systems.

This is the direction developed societies are headed; it’s important that we take note of such developments and rethink the steps that we are taking towards development.

The first editions of the Kira Motors in Uganda were electric and solar vehicles yet we insist on mass production of diesel run vehicles. Is this the right direction towards technological revolution?   

Should we hit the brakes or reverse the gear?

L.T

Futurist Richard Buck minister fuller said that “you can never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model absolute.”

Society is measured in terms of quality of life of prosperity but not growth.

It is not so much reverse gear needed but a different gear altogether.

The probability of a united Africa is One in five and it seems unlikely to gain fraction except in relatively equal societies of which they are depressingly few or even no-existent in this world.

So how do we fight the forces of indifference and build a unique new world order, with Africans at the forefront.

There is only one way to the top which is up, and only one way to the finish line and that’s forward. So as we drive this vehicle towards integration we have to ideally understand the social, economic, and environmental dynamics involved.

Published by Thomas Lamony

Lawyer, Writer, Environmentalist, APS/Special Duties-State House Uganda, Artist of the mind. "There is no end to the writing and reading of books, neither is there an end to human evolution." The mind is a kitchen, cook something.

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