Sunday, August 23, 2009

Reading the morning news...

Whenever I recommend Thomas L. Friedman's The Lexus and The Olive Tree, I struggle to articulate his take on globalization - perhaps because it takes reading the whole book to gain that greater understanding I so wish I could hand to people. Thankfully, my man wrote another typically insightful Op-Ed for today's NY Times. From Jao Flats, Botswana, Friedman connects the dots with 54 year old director of sustainability for Wilderness Safaris, Map Ives:

We’re trying to deal with a whole array of integrated problems — climate change, energy, biodiversity loss, poverty alleviation and the need to grow enough food to feed the planet — separately. The poverty fighters resent the climate-change folks; climate folks hold summits without reference to biodiversity; the food advocates resist the biodiversity protectors.

They all need to go on safari together.

“We need to stop thinking about these issues in isolation — each with its own champion, constituency and agenda — and deal with them in an integrated way, the way they actually occur on the ground,” argued Glenn Prickett, senior vice president with Conservation International. “We tend to think about climate change as just an energy issue, but it’s also about land use: one-third of greenhouse gas emissions come from tropical deforestation and agriculture. So we need to preserve forests and other ecosystems to solve climate change, not only to save species.”

But we also need to double food production to feed a growing population. “So we’ll need to do that without clearing more forests and draining more wetlands, which means farmers will need new technologies and practices to grow more food on the same land they use today — with less water,” he added. “Healthy forests, wetlands and grasslands not only preserve biodiversity and store carbon, they also help buffer the impacts of climate change. So our success in tackling climate change, poverty, food security and biodiversity loss will depend on finding integrated solutions from the land.”

This passage does not include Ives most fascinating - and so widely overlooked - observations on nature so find the entire op-ed here.

No comments: