The result of drought in eastern Africa.
May we look upon our treasure, the furniture of our houses, and our garments, and try to discover whether the seeds of war have nourishment in these our possessions. John Woolman
I appeal to everyone living in the United States to reflect, repent, and reform. The United States is sucking up the resources of the entire world in order to satisfy the “American dream” of ever increasing consumption in a vain pursue for happiness. In order to obtain this “prosperity” the US must intimidate and militarily control as much of the world as it can. That this leads to poverty, suffering, conflicts, and wars in other countries is of little concern to the greedy American capitalist system. Any country that opposes United States dominance is considered “evil.” Resistance to the American empire is met with terror abroad and fear mongering in the US. In order to secure this unequitable use of the world’s resources, each and every American gives the US government more than $4000 per year to pay for current and past military spending. Each person in Burundi, now the poorest country in the world, has an average income of $284 or 7% of what an American spends just on the military alone. Is this fair? Is this just?
Some say the world will end in fire, (global warming)
Some say in ice. (nuclear winter after nuclear war)
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
Crops in Kenya that should be ready for harvest have withered in the field due to a lack of rainfall. Picture from Lutheran World Relief
The recent drought in eastern Africa is the worst in sixty years. As if mother nature wants to compensate for her former stinginess, she now pours deluges producing destructive floods. Global warming is melting the glaciers on Mt. Kenya and Mt Kilimanjaro so that the millions who depend on the melt during the dry season will soon be left without water. Higher temperatures means that the rain that does come evaporates more quickly leading to reduced yields. Hunger, malnutrition, and escape to slums in the burgeoning cities increase.
A woman fetching water in Kaaliro, Uganda from a dried up well. The community is threatened by the strong drought that has dried out the river bed. Picture from Lutheran World Relief
Africa with 14% of the world’s population produces 2% of the world’s greenhouse gases while the United States with 4% of the world’s population produces 25% of the world’s greenhouse gases. Nonetheless regardless of the drought in California and hurricane Sandy, Africans suffer disproportionately from the effects of global warming. As warming continues to increase, the negative effects in Africa are going to escalate to a level that is hard to predict. Please keep these developments in your attention span.
President Trump during his election campaign unrealistically promised to increase the US gross domestic product by an annual 4%. In truth the gross domestic product of the US needs to DECREASE by at least 4% per year. American must become poorer so that others may survive. Are Americans up to this politically unpopular task? The moral campaign against slavery in the United States strikes me as an equivalent, appropriate antecedent.
The United States dominates and controls the world’s resources because of its mighty military establishment and its “exceptionalism” that God somehow gave it the right to promote only its own excessive standard of living. The US military is not only a major world polluter in its own rights, but its dominance, now the never ending “War on Terror,” brings death and destruction to targeted, frequently Muslim, areas of the world. It is no more than a continuation of the crusades and its methods and torture mirror the Inquisition. For a local example, since 1993 in eastern Africa, US policy with direct and indirect military involvement in Somalia has continued the destabilization of that country with the spill-over of continuing terror attacks in Kenya.
We need a new world order not based on American hegemony and dominance. What can Americans do? What are Americans willing to do? What will this “brave new world” look like? How do Americans work towards its reordering of the earth so that it is sustainable, peaceful, and includes concern for the health and livelihood of every human being on earth?
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From 1998 to 2016, David Zarembka was the Coordinator of the African Great Lakes Initiative of the Friends Peace Teams. He continues his peacemaking work in East Africa with Transforming Communities for Social Change (TCSC) and Friends Church Peace Team (FCPT). He has been involved with East and Central Africa since 1964 when he taught Rwandan refugees in Tanzania. David is married to Gladys Kamonya and lives in western Kenya. David is the author of A Peace of Africa: Reflections on Life in the Great Lakes Region.
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