The Climate Change Safari Park
COPENHAGEN – As Barack Obama prepares for his inauguration, it is worth contemplating a passage from his book Dreams from My Father . It reveals a lot about the way we view the world’s problems.
Obama is in Kenya and wants to go on a safari. His Kenyan sister Auma chides him for behaving like a neo-colonialist. “Why should all that land be set aside for tourists when it could be used for farming? These wazungu care more about one dead elephant than they do for a hundred black children.” Although he ends up going on safari, Obama has no answer to her question.
That anecdote has parallels with the current preoccupation with global warming. Many people – including America’s new president – believe that global warming is the preeminent issue of our time, and that cutting CO2 emissions is one of the most virtuous things we can do.