Africa is being sold. It is torn apart by greedy Americans and Chinese, and some african themselves who are not educated enough to be able to see all sides of the coin called capitalism. Sadly. Africa’s “privileged” knows the value of this amazing continent – its opulent richness and they sell it away for virtual non-existing currency so they can live like those in the “developed” world without much benefits to the rest of African society (little they know about the price we here in first world must pay for our “privileges” but never mind that).
And I was pondering about climate change (as one does…does one actually??) and how to adapt for the future, how to make our habitats more self-sufficient in terms of clean energy, general self-cleaning and healing so that the air we breath is not harmful, and water we drink is not poisoned, and sunrays we absorb won’t give a skin cancer etc etc etc. The problem in the “developed world” is our already existing, cherished for centuries architectural infrastructure. For example – if we are really serious about implementing concepts of living architecture, making bricks that breath and photosynthesise, building walls which filter and dismantle metal particulates from factories and exhaust pipes, changing our heating system from that one which releases loads of greenhouses gases to something which for example purely relies on a clean sun / day light energy to warm up and keep that warmth for 24 hours – we would need to torn so many buildings down. Or if not torn, alter them – replace the paint covering their walls, glass in their windows, plumbing system inside etc etc. That is one GIGANTIC JOB. We would lose some pretty awesome architectural monuments and I guess we would make a lot of people homeless for some time, or if not homeless they would need to move somewhere else – to places they wouldn’t necessarily like very much.
And here is the thing. Something which we seem not to appreciate over in Europe or North America has a huge value in Africa – that is almost non-existing infrastructure. Those in power exploit that very shrewdly and rudely to their own advantage. But the fact that there is not much money for gigantic skyscrapers with solid heavy foundations and most cities, towns and villages are either built using local traditional materials or – in a huge proportion – out of scraps of anything found anywhere – mostly stuff “developed” world dumps in there – means that this continent is perfect to implement some of those amazing green ideas of self-sufficiency, clean energy, adaptivity to a climate change etc. And I am not talking here “Masdar City” – not the over-the-top designish lavish urban construction….(well, perhaps in some part of the Sahara?). But simple solution for simple people who are happy to be wherever they are, in the warm red coast of Atlantic Ocean (or Indian Ocean), surrounded by unstructured nature, in their unstructured cities made out of modules off all sort of rubbish.
For example – can we make a paint which will suck in pollutions from the old exhaust pipes of old cars which are (again) dumped in here by us in Europe, because we don’t want to drive in them (because they produce too much pollution -see the bloody paradox in here?). Or can we use all these rubbish to plant non-edible shrubs and bushes – creating an extra layer of a garden and providing more oxygen? What are out there other ideas?
The bottom line is that this “unstructuredness” might turned out to be the most important thing on this planet. In fact it might be a saviour of “sustainability” of our so-called “developed” world – unstructured saving structured, and it seems that structured cannot be without the help of unstructured. Because you see, when you face uncertainty you are in much scarier place if everything around you was ordered and organised. But if things were always kind of shifty, moving, coming and going – this uncertainty to some extent has always been part of your life. It is thus a natural mode of being. One adapts to whatever is in this moment in here and one doesn’t place importance to many trivial things and doesn’t let those things to dictate how to be.
So that is a core of adaptability. It is why we cannot let Africa to be shaped by rich Americans and Chinese, we need to preserve the wilderness in most of forms (except bad things obviously such as FGM, famine etc), we have to stop exploiting its wealth for a wrong reason, but look how really we can, as whole planet benefit from this wonderful vibrant, messy, moving land. Well, possibly it might sound pompous, but look at the land of our greatest grandparents as a source of wisdom. Because apparently our current edition of homo-sapiens in the end of the day (or rather the beginning) came from there.