Climate change: The School of the Americas is long dead

An article appeared last week in the Guardian newspaper penned by Arctic researcher Victoria Herrman. It is mild in tone, maybe because academics are generally encouraged to present a calm and authoritative demeanour to the public. The subject matter, however, is rather wild.

It appears that, under the Trump administration, US government data that may support climate change arguments is being disappeared.

Evidence is being quietly abducted from its various abodes in the Internet and disposed of who knows where, in the hopes that it won’t be readily available to mobilise people around environmental action.

Ms Herrman’s request is a simple one: That her president stop deleting her citations.

All because President Trump is a global warming denier.

It would be so much fun to believe this is part of his rather irregular “thinking” patterns but something tells me that he is not yet that far gone into the wilderness of geriatric malfunction.

This is strategic: Acknowledging global warming has all kinds of consequences and there is a certain brand of business that doesn’t like the implications for its bottom line. Solution? Just pretend it doesn’t exist. Just like cigarettes “didn’t cause cancer” and obesity is a character defect rather than the fast food-processed food-highfructose cornsyrup industry’s fault, and the war on drugs definitely “isn’t” fuelling an exceedingly lucrative black market.

What a moment in history to be alive. To belabour the point, of course from an African perspective, there is nothing about the Trump presidency that is unfamiliar.

The novelty comes from observing with some disbelief how a nation that has enjoyed an untoward level of adulation for at least a decade has revealed itself to be just as prone to dysfunction as we the “poor” and “developing” countries are.

There is a certain warmth of fellow feeling here. We can sympathise with the struggles visited upon them by a ridiculous head of state while thoroughly enjoying their discomfiture. It’s not called an African sense of humour for no reason.

So this thing that Trump is doing about deleting climate change information isn’t new and it’s not even particular to his regime and frankly it won’t work, because… technology.

But this is a level of bad news that should be causing us proper anxiety even all the way here. If climate is changing due to global warming (and it is) we “developing” nations are smack dab in the pathway of the greatest harm that will result from it.

I can’t help but think of the invasive army worm currently chewing through food supplies in the region as an analogy, Uganda being the latest casualty of this horrendous, and ironically American, invasion. How exhausting.

Uganda happens to border Kagera Region in northern Tanzania. Yes, that one sitting smack in the Great East African Rift Valley where a recent earthquake wrecked lives and the United Republic of Tanzania’s government responded to the crisis in a less than satisfactory manner.

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By Elsie Eyakuze