African sirens of apocalypse: UN climate report warns of worse to come

By Jehron Muhammad

(Word count: 844)

Earlier this year the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that despite Africa’s weather becoming extreme, climate change is about to get so much worse, likely leading to a changing world that is “sicker, hungrier, poorer, gloomier and way more dangerous.”

The AP story headline, which could have been taken from Nation of Islam patriarch Mr. Elijah Muhammad’s weekly news organ Muhammad Speaks (1961-1975), where international news specifically about revolutionary struggles from around the globe, with emphasis on Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and U.S. and scriptural prophesy, including Mr. Muhammad’s prophetic insights, went hand-in-hand. Those prophetic insights included the end of the world as we know it, would come together with hard indisputable news. That AP headline, the “Sirens of apocalypse: UN climate report warns of worse to come.”

According to the UN report if the Global-North, which includes the United States and European nations caused global warming it “isn’t limited to just another couple tenths of a degree, an Earth now struck regularly by deadly heat, fires, floods and drought in future decades will degrade in 127 ways with some being ‘potentially irreversible.’”

Maybe it’s already too late and Mr. Muhammad’s prophetic predictions are coming to pass.

Last week BBC reported, “Along with much of East Africa, the Lake Turkana region (which stretches from the Kenyan Rift Valley, in northern Kenya with its far northern end crossing into Ethiopia) has now had four failed rainy seasons, killing hundreds of thousands of animals and pushing millions of people to the brink of starvation.

“What is extraordinary about Ms (Anna) Elibit’s situation, however, is that just a few months earlier she lost hundreds more animals, not to drought but to flooding.”

During a wide-ranging phone interview focusing on climate change with this writer, Penn State professor in department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences, who is also director of Center for Education, Engineering and Design in Africa, discussing water problems on the continent, including flooding said, “People can’t handle this. Cities can’t handle it. Farmers can’t handle it. And then there is these secondary impacts like cholera outbreaks or the creation of more malaria. So it’s a rough problem and you know the countries don’t have the adaptation capacity at this point to deal now with this stuff.”

Professor Jenkins who has traveled extensively in Africa and whose research mainly focuses on the continents climate, weather, air quality and health, explained, “As someone who focuses on climate we are looking at some really important tipping points.”

In addition, the climate scientist revealed, “(This is something) we do not yet have the science to understand.” What he said the science does reveal “is that intense rainfall is increasing in the form of flooding. And it’s very difficult to predict this, thats one thing. But secondly, on the (African) continent you have urbanized areas, like Lagos (Nigeria) which has nearly 20 million people. When you get this kind of flooding in built (urban) environments with concrete, asphalt you can’t control that kind of water.” He noted, “Its going to do its damage.”

In fact, reported Nigeria’s Vanguard newspaper rain water mixing with sewage, people are “lamenting” what they described as infrastructure degradation. In one complex with over 1000 residents, one person said, “If you look around you, an estate of over 1000 residents, is without a functioning sewage and clinic.”

In a study on Lagos flooding by, the main causes of urban flooding in the Lagos area of Nigeria showing global climate change, poor urban planning, urbanization, and anthropogenic activities.”

The research concluded that flooding inside of Lagos State has been on rise for past two decades. The catastrophic loses associated with climate change, largely due to increased volume of rainfall, including flooding incidents which have led to loss of lives and destruction of property.

Responding to this writers opening question concerning what will happen during the upcoming climate change summit next month or COP27 or as its being called, “The African COP, in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt, Professor Jenkins said its going to be “hot” in terms of the damages the Global-South, including Africa, and other developing nations will be weighing in on.

“They brought this topic up last year at COP26. Really and there was no movement on that because no one wants to put out the money in my opinion. (This is money the Global-North pledged, but then reneged on that pledge.) It would be a lot of money. So it’s going to be pushed, in particular because of what (recently) happened in Pakistan with the massive floods, and we also had massive floods across Africa. So my feeling is that this is not going away. It can’t, it really can’t go away.”

UNICEF reporting on the flooding in Pakistan penned: “Torrential monsoon rains triggered the most severe flooding in Pakistan’s recent history, washing away villages and leaving almost 10 million children in need of immediate, lifesaving support, in need of assistance and at increased risk of waterborne diseases, drowning and malnutrition.”

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