Category Archives: Environment
Yesterday a Ugandan man and I were planning an environmental education training for teachers. He was lamenting the poor state of the environment in Uganda and said that he wished Ugandans had the same sense of responsibility towards the environment that Americans have. He said “why can’t we Ugandans see the value of the environment and the forests?”
I pointed out to him that the United States has actually cut down 98% of our original forests, and that we aren’t exactly model citizens from an environmental perspective.
His response was “Yes, but you have something to show for it. We cut down our forests and have nothing – you cut down your forests and put a man on the moon.”
He has a certain point. The rampant resource extraction of the 1800s in the United States made us a very rich country, and until recently that wealth was spread much more evenly across society than it is in many other parts of the world.
So here’s my question to you: Why was the United States able to create national wealth from our resources when Uganda’s resources are just making a few people very rich?
Mark D. Jordahl – Kampala
You know those people who just have to print out every e-mail they get, and every document that gets forwarded to them? I have frequently found myself thinking hard about whether or not to include somebody on an e-mail with an attachment because I know they will print it out, even if it they’ll never look at it again. Entire forests get needlessly cut down for these people.
Well, the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) has come up with a solution. They have developed a PDF-type format that can’t be printed out. That’s right – if you send a party announcement, memo or other document to these folks, you can first save it as a WWF document and know that you have not been an accomplice to the early demise of a Douglas fir or western hemlock tree.
Will it catch on? Who knows, but at least it is creative, and anyone who downloads the free software will probably give some though to whether they want to send their documents as PDFs or WWFs.
So far it is only available for Mac operating systems, but a Windows version should be coming soon.
For more information, go to Save as WWF, Save a Tree
Mark D. Jordahl – Kampala Continue reading
The Rwenzori Mountains and Mount Elgon, the bookends of Uganda, may provide a last bastion for biodiversity in Uganda in a changing climate. While these mountainous national parks get fewer visitors and fewer conservation dollars than the savanna parks with their charismatic wildlife, they might turn out to be the most important ones to protect. Continue reading
Solar cells thinner than wavelengths of light hold huge power potential, Stanford researchers say. Continue reading
The most recent issue of Orion Magazine includes an article by Derrick Jensen, a pretty edgy environmental writer, looking at the psychopathic tendencies of modern society in its attitudes towards the planet. I have certainly seen our relationship to the … Continue reading
The buzz of chainsaws is ringing in my ears as I write this. I live in Kampala, next door to a large lot that was a school up until about a month ago, lush with big trees and flowering bushes. The trees are frequent hosts to numerous falcons, weavers, turacos, gonaleks and a number of other birds, in addition to countless butterflies and lizards. I have always envied the green shadiness of those school grounds when I compare it to the sparse compound in which I live.
But recently the mzungus who ran the school moved out, and within just a few weeks, the chainsaws have decimated most of what once lived on those beautiful grounds. Continue reading