Submitted by admin on Fri, 2010-05-14 15:29.
Submitted by admin on Thu, 2010-05-13 14:48.
This is one of the easiest of the Tanzanian endemic birds to find.
The "best option" (i.e. the shortest-time/least-cost locality) for "getting" this endemic is to spend at least one night at the delightful Ndutu Safari Lodge. This excellent lodge in an excellent location is nestled within the ecotone that forms the boundary between the dry steppe of the westernmost NCA (the Ngorongoro Conservation Area) and the short grass plains of the easternmost Serengeti, (it straddles the border in fact) and is only an hour and a half westward from Olduvai Gorge, the "cradle of mankind". Oldupai is actually far closer to the sound of this Maa word which they use for the lance-leaved wild sisal or mother-in-laws's tongue: Sansevieria ehrenbergiana). It's about three hours at a 'relatively comfortable' pace west from the Ngorongoro Crater ascent road.
If you don't stop at Ndutu you have to trek into the Seronera bushlands, at the hub of the Serengeti National Park tourist system, and suffer yet more $50 per head park fees, high camping fees and/or some seriously inflated lodge prices. Amongst a huge variety of 'good birds' around Ndutu Safari Lodge Fischer's Lovebird is absolutely abundant, coming to drink in hordes outside the restaurant, as is Rufous-tailed Weaver and the Usambiro Barbet is tolerably common.
If you happen to be coming north from Mwanza on the main road alongside Lake Victoria-Nyanza stop-in at Speke Bay Lodge because they are here too; in the 30ha of largely mown grassland and semi-natural bush that this lakeside hotel maintains.
A strange form (or some form of intermediate taxon between this and Red-necked Spurfowl) of this endemic, with deep maroon-coloured legs, occurs albeit in very small numbers around Lobo Wildlife Lodge, in the north-eastern Serenegeti, and occasionally they can be seen along the road toward the Klein's Camp corner or else toward the vast "Arabiya" private hunting concession which lies just to the east.
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Submitted by admin on Wed, 2010-05-12 12:24.
Biodiversity in Africa's Protected Areas is declining Fast
(a note from Birdman: I have exercised considerable restraint here - no footnotes!)
The status of Biodiversity is progressively declining in African Protected Areas according to BirdLife International. This was unveiled during a side event today (sic!) hosted by BirdLife during the on-going SSTTA meeting attended by Government delegates from all over the world.
In total, BirdLife is working in 22 countries in Africa in over 1,200 IBAs. While all countries have increased efforts to conserve biodiversity, much more is still to be done. The side event in Nairobi, Kenya, shared results from a monitoring project of Protected Areas at 117 sites, across seven African countries, implemented by BirdLife and RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) and funded by the European Commission.
The monitoring results clearly show that the state of biodiversity in Protected Areas is declining. Sites identified as being in a poor state increased from 43% in 2001, to 57% in 2008.
At the same time there has been a general increase of threats facing Protected Areas. "The results of our monitoring indicate that the pressures on biodiversity have been increasing, falling far short of the target to reduce biodiversity loss", said Dr Muhtari Aminu Kano - BirdLife International's Global Policy and Advocacy Advisor.
Delegates at the meeting heard how BirdLife used a simple 'State, Pressure, Response' Model for the monitoring of African Important Bird Areas (IBAs), of which 46% are Protected Areas.
The data from the monitoring have been used to develop indicators to show trends over time within IBAs. These results form important components of the suite of indicators suitable to track biodiversity progress towards the 2010 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) target, and wider sustainable development around the globe.
"The results also show that if proper management responses are put in place it is possible to improve the state of biodiversity and reduce pressures", said Achilles Byaruhanga - Executive Director of Nature Uganda (BirdLife Partner).
"This was well demonstrated through the sites monitored in Botswana - Central Kalahari Game reserve, Okavango Delta and Mannyelanong - where comprehensive and effective uses of existing management plans have been instituted".
BirdLife told delegates that it is important for policies to be implemented and alternative livelihoods be provided to reduce the pressures facing Protected Areas and ensure that governments start moving towards meeting their biodiversity target under the CBD.
"BirdLife's monitoring tool is a useful tool and can be used by Governments to identify threats, assess their impacts and that of conservation action while at the same time helping to develop solutions", said Dr Julius Arinaitwe - BirdLife Africa Partnership Director.
"BirdLife supports a post 2010 commitment (sic!) by Governments (2020 target) that urges for urgent action to halt biodiversity loss; to reduce pressure on biodiversity, prevent extinctions, restore ecosystems while equitably sharing the benefits, thus contributing to human well being and poverty reduction", concluded Dr Arinaitwe.
Submitted by admin on Tue, 2010-05-11 19:15.
Never Mind the Pollitix Here's the Soil Moistures: http://wxmaps.org/pix/soil10.html
Submitted by admin on Sun, 2010-05-09 07:09.
Submitted by admin on Wed, 2010-05-05 13:58.
Last year birdman happened to assist several Canadian birders with planning their birding trips in Tanzania. One individual was simply outstanding, so much so that he might wish to remain anonymous! Nevertheless here we present part of a brief trip report which he sent to me. A few gleanings from five wonderful days very well spent, up in the Udzungwa mountains, during October 2009. I have decided to post this gem of gen up on the bird-grid because such useful bird watching information is, for Tanzania at least, rather hard to find.
So here it is for the benefit of all mankind! "Thanks for the gen Mr. WA!"
Birding the Udzungwas on a Binstrap
.. The next morning we took the bus to Ilula and then hired motorcycles for 30,000 Tsh per person (ca $20) to take us to Udekwa, this is not to be recommended as it is a very scary sixty five kilometre drive with maniacal drivers, very dangerous. We went first to the gate of the Udzungwa National Park where of course nobody spoke any English. Then we returned to Udekwa village and tried to track down a local hunter-poacher, someone who might be a good guide. If one of our boda drivers had not spoken some English we would have been ruined. Eventually, that is after a few hours, a man was contacted by telephone, but he was far away, so he told us to go to the new forestry department office, responsible for Kilombero Nature Reserve within which the forests are located. Although he was far away he said definitely that he would be at our village by evening. The ranger in charge at KNR was not around and the workers told us that we must get our (forestry) permits from the offices in Iringa. But then surprisingly they changed their minds and said okay they would help us out. Anyway they charged us $30 US per person per day for entry, plus a tent charge of $30 US per night for camping.
Note that anyone contemplating visiting here should definitely get the permit beforehand in Iringa. They were also supposed to provide us with a forestry guide; and the national park staff were adamant that we take an armed guard; but after tortuous negotiations they relented and we were allowed to go with just a guide. After two wasted days things were at last looking-up!
So we walked the six kilometres back to the National Park gate, seeing Black-lored Cisticola and some non breeding bishops that looked good for Mountain Marsh Widowbird. The guys at the Udekwa gate let us sleep there (such amazing generosity from TANAPA staff!) and we were thrilled to discover that Usambara Nightjar was common thereabouts, including one sitting in the road. the guide arrived as promised at 0600hrs and off we set, passing Chui Camp (which btw is as far as a vehicle can be driven).
We had been told to go to Ndumduru forest, but our guide told us that "the partridge" did not occur there.
Therefore, on a whim, we went instead to Matumbo forest and we spent the next five days camping there.
The walk in to Matumbo from Chui camp took us less than three hours, but would take most people over five hours. The birding was brilliant on the way-in highlighted by two Kipengere Seedeaters, along with numerous Yellow-browed Seedeaters, Black-lored Cisticola, Eastern Saw-wing and Olive-flanked Robin Chat. We arrived at the pleasant Matumbo camp which is situated on the edge of a pathetically small patch of steep hill/riparian forest. Our guide had to go back to the village to find some food and didn't return for over 24 hours, so we had the place all to ourselves - just brilliant! The trail up to the camp is good, yet inside the forest there is no trail, just poachers trails and buffalo trails. The first thing I did was familiarise myself with a network of trails that I could walk along quietly and then spent much of the next five days doing just that - creeping quietly along the trails. The guide was great for taking us deeper into the forest; but it was so thick and so dry that we were very noisy, and I saw far more alone than with him. So the birding was very tough but brilliant!
Udzungwa Forest Partridge - for most global birders this will be the prime target of a trip to the Udzungwas. We got just a glimpse of one bird running through the undergrowth. Hence untickable! This is a seriously tough bird one that is mostly trapped-out from the area immediately around camp, although the one I saw was only some 500 metres from the where we stayed. Note that feeding scrapes became far more obvious about an hour and a half's walk from camp. According to Barnabas they also occur in Moofa forest and Ruala forest; the latter is allegedly the best place to see them. I don't know why he waited until the end to tell us that... or maybe I do ... it's a five hour walk beyond Matumbo so he probably did not want to go over there. In his trapping days he used to cut a narrow trail and bait that with rice in order to snare the partridges; so this could be a strategy one could use when trying to see them.
Rufous-winged Sunbird - rarely seen in this forest; good views, a pair in a large marshy clearing adjacent to camp; another male higher, when we walked toward Moofa forest.
Usambara Eagle Owl - decent day light views of a roosting bird that we flushed
Iringa Akalat - seen three times, good views
Swynnerton's Robin - seen twice, really great views
Dapplethroat - two sightings, both brief
- only one pair
Again no sign of White-winged Apalis
; I think the forest is too low elevation for Moreau's Sunbird
and Mrs Moreau's Warbler
--- wish we had had time to check out Ndumduru.
Other birds included lots of Sharpe's Akalats
and White-chested Alethe
, Usambara Nightjar, African Cuckoo Hawk
, many Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo
and the mammals were great - Iringa Red Colobus
is easy to see here and I saw Abbott's Duiker
three times, plus a refreshingly large number of the "large mammals
" - Harvey's Duiker
, Elephant Shrew
, Angola Pied Colobus
, Tree Hyrax
, heard Elephant
and Spotted Hyaena
and even saw fresh Leopard
Regretfully we had to say goodbye to this forest, the one place in East Africa which I really didn't want to leave.
We saw Anchieta's Tchagra on the way out and our motorcycles met us at the Udekwa gate (they had been involved in an accident on the way up) and we pulled-out one last mega on the ride down - Uhehe Fiscal on the edge of Udekwa village - probably the best bird I've ever seen from a motorcycle! We made it down from the mountain without incident.
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Submitted by admin on Wed, 2010-05-05 08:50.
Changing rainfall patterns across East Africa wreak havoc
(on economic growth, on livelihoods, even claiming human lives)
All credit to: Frank Nyakairu of AlertNet posted on 4 May, 2010
May 4, 2010
"Unusually heavy rainfall brought about by the so-called El Nino season has killed hundreds and displaced thousands in the east and the Horn of Africa, worrying aid agencies who say the weather is becoming more unpredictable and destructive.
Since the beginning of the year, the rains have caused flooding and landslides in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
"The patterns of rainfall have changed and are becoming destructive to livelihoods," Nelly Muluka, spokeswoman for the Kenya Red Cross Society, told AlertNet.
She said 100 people had been killed since the start of the year and 67,000 had been affected.
El Nino, which means "little boy" in Spanish, caused abnormally heavy rainfall in 1997/98 in East Africa, where last year severe drought also hampered economic growth (sic!).
Kenya: a landslide in western Kenya after relentless heavy rains killed 10 people last week and more were buried in the mud.
Ethiopia: According to a U.N. report, 14 people died in the Hudet and Moyale woredas (districts) of Ethiopia's Somali Region last week while more that 100 people were buried in a major landslide in Uganda's Bududa region in March.
Uganda: The government plans to relocate more half a million people from Bududa, a landslide-prone mountainous region in the country's east.
Tanzania: Over 9,000 people in Kilosa district have been forced to take refuge in classrooms from floods that have affected some 33,000 people around the country.
Experts say rainfall is becoming less predictable, falling over shorter periods but in a more violent way. Unusual weather events - including storms, drier spells and fluctuating temperatures - are happening more often, they say.
"We have had floods and landslides before but we are seeing an increasing trend of erratic rainfall in this region and we would argue that climate change is a contributing factor," Marc Wegerif, economic justice campaign coordinator at global charity Oxfam, said in a telephone interview from the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam. Last year, drought, for a fifth year running, drove more than 23 million east Africans in seven countries toward severe hunger and destitution. The drought dried rivers and crops and wiped out livestock in many parts of the east and the Horn of Africa. Though rains brought relief to drought-stricken areas, increased food production and lowered food price inflation, the unusual intensity of the rains is destroying crops and washing away roads.
Wegerif said that the short interlude between extreme weather patterns - between drought and erratic, unusually heavy rains - will have a severe impact on agricultural productivity.
"The two phenomena are related in many cases and our prediction shows that we could see a loss of up to 50 percent in food productivity," he said. "
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Submitted by admin on Mon, 2010-05-03 11:01.
Do they know it's Nature over there?
Having been a life long birder, I see it clearly, we're stuffed.
Observing every day the consequences of what we humans have been doing to the living surface, the vitality, of this Earth, has been as dispiriting as Nature has been uplifting. Documenting Disaster has become such a daily torment that nowadays I can scarcely shepherd my feelings for the future in a direction that is, even remotely, optimistic.
Will the pain ease? Perhaps. Maybe by working-it-all-out, autobiographically, I can help other nature lovers, as much as I've been helping myself. I shall try.
Submitted by admin on Tue, 2010-04-27 07:01.
A design classic, the Clubtails - Gomphidae - are a large, widely distributed and 'primitive' i.e. enduringly successful dragonfly family represented by about 110 species in sub-Saharan Africa.
This is: a male Ictinogomphus ferox or Common Tigertail who is commencing "sky-pointing"; a typical thermo-regulatory pose when conditions are getting too darned hot.
So expect to see more of this behaviour in the future!
Photo taken: 1100hrs April 23, 2010 along a very recently cleared drainage line in 'young' Yellow-barked Fever-tree woodland (Acacia xanthophloea) of the Tanzania Plantation Corporation's newly designated Namalok Nature Reserve, which as you can see from the next picture is just below Kilimanjaro, in northern Tanzania.
Eight other Odonatid species (i.e. dragonfly and damselfly) were present at this one sheltered, yet open, 'hot spot'.
Also Ovambo Sparrowhawk, several Black Crakes, Pallid Honeyguide, the nominate form of Black-headed Batis, Zebra Waxbill and hundreds of Taveta Golden Weavers.
The Tiger Clubtail, as it is also called, is remarkably common and like many dragonfly species nowadays it is increasing at the TPC wetlands.
Certainly it's a bird of my future!
Oldoinyo-i-Borr (in Maasai) with resurfaced snow from TPC Rest House, Tanzania April 24, 2010
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Submitted by admin on Fri, 2010-04-16 14:31.
And now folks here's a guest blog by my good friend here in Africa - Jomo Ndege Lu. Of course his views do not in any way equate to those of the top slots at the Corporation.
The Snows of Kilimanjaro briefly resurrected - Easter Saturday 2010
Spinning crosses, turbines great and white, shall be erected everywhere to crucify both land and sea.
It shall be done.
Here in Africa as in Europe, through the Middle East, into Asia and far beyond. It's been demanded by city-centred corporations living in the golden-land.
For it shall help to enlighten the world; even the shanty poor in power-starved Africa.
It's Good, it's Clean, it's Wind Power.
These giant windmills will stand in great gatherings, of up to a hundred or more. In every sense they are a major imposition on the land. Yet they have been spun as environmentally-friendly, so surely that ordinary people think - they must be harmless.
"They've been branded ecological!"
Unless, that is your a flying bird or bat, especially on migration, flying low, perhaps cloud-hidden, wind-drifted, or at night. Imagine it, you are passing along an age old flyway, a flock of travelers and now you have to pass between those towers that block your way. So you must run the gauntlet. Maybe then your flock will slip within range of those colossal, sucking, spinning blades. This is happening now, in many places, on bird migration routes. But, of course, information detailing these avian disasters is often buried, certainly seldom is it widely publicised. Because the powerful ones know we must not be held back by caring about such unimportant things. The fate of migrant birds - for heaven's sake! These windmills are the future of our energy, vital if we're to engineer the final technological solution to our economic fix. Centrally-controlled electricity generation and distribution is fundamental to our mission. There will be far less scope for profit if we fail to extend electric power to every global prole. We must continue growing the Empire of Greed.
Into the valley - Scots power - for Mordor
Each spring, for years uncounted, lucky northern Europeans have welcomed with quiet joy the return of the summer birds. Those we consider our migrant birds coming home having survived two migrations and our winter in Africa. Wonderful birds, both great and small, flying north, a thousand million of them, returning with the sun having escaped the months of darkness, in sunlit southern lands. They will have wintered in places, where until very recently birds might lead relatively unmolested lives. Each foraging in 'the wild' as their kind had always done. Yet at the same time feeding alongside, amongst, diverse yet small-scale human endeavours. People living in organic, physical conditions, similar to those europeans endured 'back in the dark times'. That was before we learned to read, to write and felt the need to conquer with our power. Increasingly, during the last two hundred years since industrialisation took-off, we've acted as if we have outgrown 'the wild', dashing our troubled energy like the wind right around the world.
Yet more and more we recognise that in that race we've overwhelmed ourselves. We've developed the land, as if it were our own. Seemingly we have made it ever more productive. Forced it into satisfying our insatiable needs. The accelerated development of Europe and North America, especially since the early 1900s, has been achieved in part, by ever more efficient agriculture. However, when verbalising ideas like "efficient agriculture" we should try to think outside the field boundaries, try to imagine the cumulative effects on the ecological systems (life on Earth) of our intricately interdependent energy networks. The immense chains of food production, distribution and consumption that we've laid down. Energy networks that require ever more sophisticated technology and complex toxins, and ever more power to keep them up and running. Until now that power has come from fossil fuels, especially we have sucked and burnt ever greater seas of oil. And it seems a paradox that these mind-boggling networks have required ever fewer people, and associated living creatures, working, toiling, out there on the land itself.
But in so doing we've weakened our land, dangerously damaged its fertility, eroded our soils, polluted our water systems, destroyed Earth's non-human nature - the so-called biodiversity - all of life that we've pushed aside, apart from man. Now we've undermined the very fabric of our earlier successes. And as one result, in Europe (let's ignore for a moment the havoc we've been wreaking elsewhere), ordinary countryside i.e. "unprotected sites", not nature parks and animal reservations, places that are healthy for nature, good for birds and bird watchers, have become increasingly hard to find.
White Storks pass the "Home of God" - Masai: Oldonyo Lengai
During the hundred years of our success; until the bipolarities of twentieth century geopolitical history began to fuse into one suicidal economic mission; inaccessible swathes of tropical Africa escaped much of the rape of nature being perpetrated elsewhere. Admittedly many of these areas were far from "pristine", for humans certainly evolved in Africa, if not elsewhere, yet in some large part Africa remained by comparison with the land of progress, only somewhat ragged, especially around the edges. Until today.
Now that situation is changing and changing incredibly fast. Each day the winds of development blow stronger, gusting increasingly from the east. And daily the withering incursions cut deeper, ever deeper. In the slip stream of globalised investment a new yellow mega fauna can be found blasting and bulldozing the banker's roads inland from the coast toward the very centre. With all the sounds of thunder, forcing massive penetration, they shall now complete the task. To disembowel and consume the moist green abdomen of Africa. At last we've made it. Civilisation is crashing into Congo watersheds. Here to erase forever the trails of okapi and gorilla, the nests of chimps and elf-like prints of pygmy. In haste we shall render unto brown mush, and electronic mammon, Africa's - and perhaps our world's - last great leafy wilderness.
Twenty first century Battle for Africa - the yellows scramble
Africa's number one problem today is not Malaria, not Aids, not even over-population per se, and certainly not Al-Qaeda, nor even the rampant corruption which facilitates "foreign investment" on such very favourable terms.
It's a lack of fuel wood. We're fast running out of cooking charcoal. Africa's exploded human population, principally it's younger women, must now hack to pieces and then incinerate our woodland, burning it as charcoal, to boil our daily gruel. All across the continent, hills everywhere - in every sub-saharan country, have been or are being stripped naked, divested of their woody growth. Everywhere unpalatable wiry scrub and lateritic barrens are gaining the upper ground. They spread from left and right, regardless. As a direct result foothill farmlands turn to dust. And once and wherever it rains, great gullies further rip apart the hillsides. Downstream seasonal watercourses over-boil their banks in increasingly violent episodes of terra cotta spate. They carry all before them into great swollen rivers who drain into even greater lakes where the supply of oxygen has become too tight to mention.
Largely as a consequence of this destruction, as much as of climbing levels of CO2, Africa's climate is oddly malfunctioning.
That's as clear as day. Weather patterns are changing, seemingly overnight. Of course one would think that when faced with such massive interconnected problems, any rational global civilisation would see that drastic changes to the way we think and act must be made and made today. For example, low emissions wind power might become part of an energy solution if people in Africa (and elsewhere) could be both enabled and persuaded to cook their food with electricity. If that were the case I would have no difficulty embracing carefully sited wind energy developments as a fundamental necessity. As a necessary evil (for wild birds for sure) which truly cannot be avoided. Necessary that we might all share a future.
However reality is different. For the rural population of Africa, villagers always accustomed to living simply, day-by-day, a continent-wide emergency now threatens.
Faced with overwhelming insecurities the great new cities of Africa offer the only alternative to 'rural aid addiction'. The only real hope of relief, of fending-off starvation, for their family. And so into the cities pour the youth. Yet even there, in overcrowded quarters, the invincible adversary is already out and about collapsing hope, especially in the wee small hours, claiming human lives his own. In the end of course he's inescapable, but it seems he's begun his greatest ever recruitment campaign. A landslide victory for death, perhaps as early as 2012 - well within the Mayan times, surely that's the only outcome possible for Africa at least?
As for the flocks of migrant birds, for over thirty years they're been hit at every turn, decimated, deprived of food. Increasingly such species are denied the diverse foraging opportunities they require by the scar tissue, ulcerative melanomas, crawling like mycelial cancer over Africa's skin. In three decades I've witnessed the vast skies of Africa become almost empty of many of their most beautiful migrant birds. As you would expect the bigger fowl were the first to go, where smaller birds might perhaps hang-on.
But of late in northern Tanzania, in the boreal winter now ebbing, to see a flock of say twenty Wood Sandpipers, fifty Common Swifts, or a hundred Barn Swallows, or ten Yellow Wagtails was a wonderful surprise, a godsend, rather than this old birder's daily bread. Indeed it'll be a miracle if as many individuals return to breed in Europe, of any species you care to name, as did just a year ago.
Lake Victoria-Nyanza from 35,000 feet March 7, 2010 - algae enough to ... drink?
Why are things worsening at such an alarming rate?
Of course it's not simply because there are so many more people on the ground; every day, so many more mouths to feed, so much more wood that must be found and cut, new fields to break; every single day. Rather it's that ever more people here are being exposed to the grinning propaganda of globalisation. They are being "educated" by those in power to believe that somehow they too can grab the prizes. The chattels of the wealthy. No longer must they wait, and wait so meekly, for heaven's wealth redistribution.
Yes, even in God-fearing Africa. "Get it Now!" has become the order of the day.
Anyone who claims to have even a passing interest in Nature ought to be able to acknowledge this by now. As it is done outside Africa, so it seems, it must be done in Africa.
And an individual's worth shall be measured almost exclusively by his or her ability to selfishly appropriate the goods, gadgets and glamour of the Great Mall beyond our borders. Why is this so? The indoctrination of greed is absolutely essential to expand our sacred economy. Only growth can keep the smart dark-suits, our business-friendly leaders, happy. Only with growth will we let them continue - laughing all the way - back to their patron saints.
So I believe this will be the last environment for humanity, a living space, delivered by market fundamentalism.
A mall, a global slum of bling and bull. In many zones it's already arrived - and if you love and need wild nature then it's a sinister, stinking place.
Whole urban districts now appear as if they're owned and run, if not by some alien invaders orbiting our Earth, then by real evil heartless brutes; the bureaucrats of ever-smile, that's triumphant capital.
Western Real Egret
Just like people everywhere the poor folk of Africa are compulsive communicators.
Almost all love music and sweet, sweet talk.
So, despite the poverty and supposed feckless ways, there exists the potential for some quick profits here in Africa.
Apart that is from the "unimaginable wealth still to be made" by ripping-out Africa's raw materials, exporting them just as fast as is humanly possible.
One way to profit is by flooding Africa with cheap phones and carbonated beverages.
Then charge africans as much as they will bear, to top-themselves-up with airtime and heavily-sugared sodas.
In the sky-high bunkers, head quarters of those distant corporations, it's long been recognized that africans will buy-into, at least this fragment of, the "yes we too can get it" dream.
It's seemed a good enough bet that they'll mortgage themselves, just as much as they are able, to sniff the life of promise: affluence with ease. Just witness all the garish advertising billboards, sprouting polyp-fashion along the new-mycelial roads.
"Yes! You can get it."
The easy life, leisure time and laconic smiles.
So the smiles and smirks they're oozing, from each and every roadside, all around the continent.
It's party-land. Broadcast by each and every telecom-network.
It's "Your world of freedom ..."
Freedom on the road
Of course all these mobile phones need charging. So africans can be sold that power too. Seemingly there are few who care where that electricity comes from. Even fewer here in Africa who'll ever own a solar power monkey! So in go the concrete dams, filling-up reservoirs for HEP, and here come the great white spinning windmills. For a while the networks are happy, so the governments are happy, and the mainstream media, well of course they're pretty and happy too.
"Yes let's be quite clear about this: we are all happy because .. well hey! This is awesome! It's the cool power of globalization."
Power, progress. It's our addiction, development (ecological destruction) is fundamentally necessary. We're powerful, and increasingly we're told, we're clean and green as well.
But, as we all should know by now, power corrupts and, at least for silly old birder me, this model, our model, of global power already exacts too high a price.
A meteorite made by hand!
See it as premature species extinction.
Today Birds - Tomorrow Man
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