[ by Charles Cameron — UBL, global warming, elephants, and Al-Shabaab ]
“Natives with ivory tusks, Dar Es Salaam, Tanganyika” ca 1900, LOC
I’d like to quietly propose a few dots or data points…
Alex Shoumatoff has a fine article titled “Agony and Ivory”, in Vanity Fair:
The riverbank is littered with elephant dung. Andrea kicks apart one of the boluses, and it is full of big, hard-shelled seeds — Pandanus, Drypetes, and Gambeya. A new study has found that forest elephants are essential to central Africa’s forests for tree-seed dispersal. They can carry heavy seeds like these (which wouldn’t get very far on their own) in their gut for 50 miles before voiding them. Another study measures the rapid, prodigious growth of the forest trees and concludes that central Africa is the second-most-important equatorial sink for atmospheric carbon after the Amazon, so elephants are important for controlling global warming, on top of everything else.
Here is Shaykh Usama bin Laden, in his radio message “The Way to Save the Earth” from As-Sahab Media:
This is a message to the whole world about those who cause climate change and its dangers — intentionally or unintentionally — and what we must do. Talk of climate change isn’t extravagant speculation: it is a tangible fact which is not diminished by its being muddled by some greedy heads of major corporations. The effects of global warming have spread to all continents of the world. Drought, desertification and sands are advancing on one front, while on another front, torrential floods and huge storms the likes of which only used to be seen once every few decades now reoccur every few years.
From UBL’s perspective, this is clearly a moral issue:
First, the corruption of the climate stems from the corruption of hearts and deeds, and there is a close relationship between the two types of corruption.
And here’s Shoumatoff again, on the situation in Kenya:
A few weeks ago, two poachers were killed and a ranger was wounded in a firefight in Meru National Park. Al-Shabaab, the Islamist youth militia which is in league with al-Qaeda and controls most of Somalia, has been coming over the border and killing elephants in Arawale National Reserve. Ivory, like the blood diamonds of other African conflicts, is funding many rebel groups in Africa, and Kenya, K.W.S. director Julius Kipng’etich told me, “is in the unenviable position of sharing over 1,700 kilometers of border with three countries with civil wars that are awash with firearms: Somalia, Ethiopia, and Sudan.” Nothing less than a full-scale military operation is going to stop the poaching in the north.
Now, as EM Forster suggested, Only connect!