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Use family planning to fight climate change

By Vision Reporter

Added 28th April 2012 05:43 PM

Changes in average weather condition lasting over decades depict the term climate change.

By Kajjo Darious
Changes in average weather condition lasting over decades depict the term climate change. Signs of this change have been very high or low wet and dry seasons.

Among causes of climate change is global warming, a term used to mean a rise in average temperature of Earth's atmosphere. 

Surprisingly, we have contributed 90% to this rise in temperature through rampant removal of vegetation meant to cool the sun and excessive burning of fossils to satisfy our demand for goods and services.

This situation has increased emission of green house gasses (GHG) into the atmosphere. These gasses have blanketed the earth’s surface thus increasing surface temperature.

This has resulted into heavy rainfalls leading to flooding, displacement of settlements and washing away agricultural fields, prolonged dry seasons drying up potential animal watering points, depletion of palatable grasses in grazing fields and stagnating crop growth thus leaving most Ugandans food insecure at household level. 

Nations Uganda inclusive, have consented to international climate treaties and protocols agreeing to meet sustainable emission levels, increase carbon sinks through reforestation. These some-like macro approaches of reducing global warming look unrealistic. 

The fear to lose profits by cutting  production, low technology for clean production,  desire for growth and self reliance among LDCs has made most global and nation global warming interventions fruitless.

It is clear that 34million out of seven billion people on earth are Ugandans.  This high population triggers high demand for goods and services and ends nations into high production. High production means increasing industrialisation, high resource extraction and thus high emissions levels.

A case in point is, while China produces more to meet demand from its huge populations, USA produces more to keep up economic superiority and a developing country like Uganda calls in investors to boost its industrial production to counter rapid growing demand and to develop and reduce poverty level. 

With is kind of state I do not see an equilibrium position for cleaning the atmosphere among nations. 

In my view, we need to change our behaviour of producing many children. The only way this can be possible is by practicing family planning in each and every household.

One way to achieve this is through universal access to contraceptives, massive family planning champagnes, sensitization and legislating number of children per household. If we are to fight climate change, we need to reduce our demographic figures.

Efforts need to be done to increase family planning practice to reduce our household size as well as lower fertility and birth rates. 

Biologist Wynne Parry proposes reducing our human size. She suggests that we can alter ourselves through human engineering where one chooses whether to have small size children or not. Smaller in size and height (dwarf-like) to reduce demand.

This would mean instead of having 500 buses in Kampala, we would require 80 of them to solve transport problems in Kampala, one car would be enough for a family of 10 people. Much as this would reduce GHG emission levels, this approach may remain in theory forever. 

Family planning does not check on size but checks on numbers at household level. If we can reduce global population, we shall have cut on consumption levels thus reduced destruction of vegetation and fewer locomotives in the transportation and industrial sectors. This will reduce emission levels.

High emissions are a result of demand for goods and services that come as a result of increased population.   Family planning presents a better approach as it focuses on reducing the cause agent “population”. Lets us clean the atmosphere by changing our producing behavior.   

The writer is an Academia and Consultant in Environment, Urban and regional planning

Use family planning to fight climate change

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