WE ARE TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT!

Rhoda Tsado

An Activist for a Sane Habitat at The Carpenter’s Daughter (A Sustainable Development Initiative

rtsado@gmail.com

There is a tremendous degree of ill-habits and apathy towards climate change in Nigeria. This trend is evident in almost all walks of life. Undoubtedly, it stems from the lack of democracy in most countries in Africa, resulting in the lack of food security, poverty, lack of water security even with the presence of three Niles on the continent, and a bunch of other low points. Hence, even with the effects of climate change on their environment and health, it means nothing to people who have not had direct access to portable water in three years; needless to mention other problems in form of poverty, poor health, insecurity, lack of electricity, illiteracy, and  unemployment. And while the rich can afford to live carbon-free, they don’t. ….Their decisions and lifestyles push us further to the edge. 

If climate change and global warming will continue to occur regardless of whether people are faced with social problems or not, if people’s misconduct towards the environment will not change because they are busy trying to survive, or applying their relative wealth to different ill choices; How can we make a difference as individuals, and architects, urban planners, engineers, doctors, mothers, fathers, business owners. . . . .?

  • What are you doing regarding enlightening others?
  • What are you doing with respect to adopting alternatives to the use of plastics?
  • Are you altering the cityscape while building your dream home, the right way?
  • What is your contribution towards improving green and blue infrastructure?
  • What is the formula you adopt while figuring out what tree is expendable and what tree is not?
  • What happens to the fell trees?

Many mitigating measures are inexpensive and easy to incorporate in our lifestyles, professional practices, and while dealing with clients or our groups. 

A group of researchers recently published a commentary in the journal, Nature; they argue that there is a growing evidence to suggest that irreversible changes to the earth’s environmental systems are already taking place, and that we are now in a state of planetary emergency.

The intervention time left to prevent tipping could already have shrunk towards zero, whereas the reaction time to achieve net zero emissions is 30 years at best. Hence, we might already have lost control of whether tipping happens. A saving grace is that the rate at which damage accumulates from tipping — and hence the risk posed — could still be under our control to some extent.

If this is true, then We must lead on climate change. We are too close to the fringe to sit comfortably. The United Nations new Sustainable Development Goals call for action by all countries, poor, rich and middle-income to promote prosperity while protecting the planet.

Nigeria needs more people who are dedicated, to be at the forefront of addressing prevailing issues, especially those related to sustainable living. I am committed and I yearn to get involved in the works that combat climate change and improve livelihoods. Are you?

Stainless-steel water bottles and recycled bag.

While I cannot do too many great things yet, I do not sit and wait. I do little things towards reducing my carbon / environmental footprint

  • I use and refill stainless-steel water bottles, for myself and my kids when we go out. To deter from buying and drinking water packed in sachet or plastic bottles. 
  • I go to the market and to the stores with my own recycled bags, to avoid bringing home my groceries in plastic bags. I opt for paper boxes/cartons when I have to.
Plant
Vegetables
  • I plant my own vegetables, spices, and flowers.
  • I have also pledged to plant a tree on each of my kid’s birthday, at designated locations, until they are old enough to plant their own trees.

I am happy to take these actions while encouraging and influencing my wards, family, neighbors and community at large.

We can do no great things, only small things with great love

Mother Theresa

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