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Opinion: Why Democracy May Not Survive Climate Change

We just heard that the Earth experienced the hottest April in 137 years of record keeping, and it was the 12th consecutive month to set a new record.

May 2015 was the hottest May in records dating back to 1880. That was followed by the hottest June, and so on. A succession of 12 such hot months is unprecedented.

The clever scientists who measure and know these things, said 2016 will be the third consecutive year to set a new global heat record--the first time that's ever happened.

And if it isn't the extreme heat, it is the floods. You get the drift.

A country like Niger could be all but wiped out in the coming five decades. Already, three quarters of it has become desert, and it is ravaged either by extreme heat and drought, or killer floods.

In the Sahel and parts of West Africa, the desperate journeys across the Mediterranean in rickety boats, are in part a flight of environmental refugees.

Reforestation and desert reclamation will do more to reduce those dangerous crossings, than European navy ships.

But is a long-term solution to reverse the march of climate change possible in Africa? It is, but the focus on climate funding and other resources, misses the point. Climate change is a political problem in East Africa, as in the rest of Africa.

Carsten ten Brink

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