NPR’s fuzzy wuzzy reporting in the last few days about the northern white rhino is high school journalism. I’m not suggesting that this story needs the due diligence of Jared Kushner’s Russia contacts, but what is an important battle between science and performance NPR has reduced to a smiling emoticon.
NPR reported as if it were new a crowdfunding campaign for in vitro fertilization to save the last three known surviving northern white rhino. In fact the campaign has languished for more than sixteen months. And there are good reasons it’s languishing.
Except for bribes, dirty deals and billionaire arrogance, Guinea would be one of the most prosperous places on earth.
Any steel around you? Driving a car? Probably wouldn’t without Guinea. How about aluminum? Do you use aluminum foil after dinner? Not without Guinea! So how come Guinea is the ninth poorest country in the world? Too many Piggly-Wiggly sales?
Today is the World’s Poor Day. Oh, sorry, I mean World Malaria Day.
There’s nothing – no war, no geopolitical area, no language, no country club, no store or slum or club or crime gathering of persons that so starkly defines poverty as malaria. It’s easily cured and if cured often and widely enough, it’s effectively controlled. That’s why so much attention is given it: it’s something easily done, which isn’t.
‘Laikipia’ runs off the tongue into conversation exactly like the beautiful waterfalls that burst out of the high jungles over the dramatic cactus landscapes of deep canyons and endless vistas in north central Kenya.
Laikipia was a beautiful story in the 1970s, still compelling two decades later in “I Dream of Africa,” but it’s a grim and dark tale, now.
So there are three parts to the story of Scott van Zyl getting eaten by a crocodile last week in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe has collapsed so completely that yesterday the government ordered that all schools accept livestock for any fees from students or suppliers. We’re predating the Enlightenment here.
Yet one sector continues to flourish: hunting.
“Etete can smell the money. If at nearly 70 years old he turn(s) his nose up at nearly $1.2 bill he is completely certifiable. But I think he knows it’s his for the taking.”
This is an email from a consultant to a top-notch, highly educated, church-going multinational Shell oil executive referring to the bribe offered a Nigerian oil minister so that Shell could get control of one of the largest oil fields on earth. It was published by BuzzFeed working with by Global Witness.
We call this market capitalism. When done with sufficient finesse it’s not even illegal in the U.S. This is how the world goes round. Details at the Secretary of State’s office.
A very dark cloud forms over Tanzania. The country is increasingly unsafe … for Tanzanians. Kidnappings, extra-judicial interrogations and intimidations against opponents of the regime increase day by day.
Last week a popular Tanzanian rapper, Roma Mkatoliki, was kidnapped. Social media went bonkers. Fellow rappers produced a video that by this morning almost 100,000 people had watched on YouTube. The government of Tanzanian can ignore this no longer.
Populism begets dictatorship. Examine Africa to understand our era’s dramatic moves towards authoritarianism.
The weekend’s referendum in Turkey is at center stage. But it’s to the faster developing, least developed and most desperate societies in Africa that you should turn your attention. Strong men are reappearing and stronger than ever, precisely because they achieve their power using the ballot box.
Attitudes towards hunting are changing in the same way that they’ve already changed with regards to the LGBT communities. In remarkably short order hunting of all kinds may be curtailed.
This is a very widespread and expansive cultural change. It applies almost equally to sports hunting as to native society subsistence hunting and even to scientific culling. It is, in fact, the scientific community evincing the most dramatic change. The driver is climate change.
Africa is growing darker than ever.
Recently Kenya joined Rwanda and Morocco in banning plastic bags. The Ministry’s announcement cited numerous reasons, including the UN “Clean Seas’ initiative. But while this strikes a westerner as environmentally revolutionary, it’s little more than window dressing a far more serious problem.
Last year United Airlines made $4.5 billion. Could enraged, disgruntled consumers bring this company down?
Maybe. But you know what, folks? This is your fault. No, I’m serious. You’re to blame: You schmoozled when they touted.
Friday the European Union announced an emergency program to slow the decline of African predators that will focus on mitigating the human/wildlife conflicts that are at the center of this problem.
It’s a pitifully small sum of money, less than $15 million, that I wonder may already have been spent in just creating the working groups, research, guidelines and publications that resulted in the announcement Friday. On the other hand, I really like their approach.
Yesterday South Africa’s highest court legalized the domestic sales and marketing of rhino horn.
Technically, this does not alter South Africa’s avowed adherence to the CITES treaty which bans international sales and marketing, but technically, this is nonsense. The South Africans have loop-holed the international treaty.
Study carefully the picture above. (The inset is mine of South African protests, today.) That’s the website page that millions, maybe billions of people worldwide access to understand U.S. foreign policy. And that’s how it looked this morning: Come Back Later.
As a group of activists in my small town discussed the possibility of creating a new political force, I found particular use in the image above.
Jacob Zuma and Donald Trump are as different as the politics and societies of South Africa and the U.S. Yet the similarities make me wonder if we ought to watch carefully now what’s happening in South Africa as Zuma incrementally destroys the country he leads.
Yesterday the Rand ended a struggled recovery, the country’s bond status fell to the junk floor, there was yet another major cabinet reshuffling, the Deputy President of the country criticized the President, and Parliament began what in America we call impeachment.