On Monday, October 30th 2017, the United Nations (UN) reported that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had reached record highs. The Guardian noted that last time Earth experienced similar CO2 concentration rates was three to five million years ago, when the sea level was up to 20m higher than it is now.
What does this mean for Africa? Despite a twelve-fold increase in CO2 emissions since 1950 the continent contributes less to global CO2 emissions than Japan. Despite this Africa is especially vulnerable to temperature increases caused by CO2 concentration.
Decisions made to survive in the short term have disastrous effects in the long term. Those living on the edges already forced to strip trees and shrubs have lost the option of acting in their long-term interests, and at this rate many other Africans will soon find themselves in the same position. Unless many things inside and outside the continent begin to change, options will be one of the first things to run dry.