Title: Climate Change for the Novice
Author: Dike Kalu
Publisher: Charleston, SC, USA
Reviewer: Henry Akubuiro
If you think climate change and its repercussions are hoarse, it’s high time you came out from the cocoon of ignorance to embrace the reality. For many of us in Nigeria, the erosion of the ozone layer isn’t our headache; but, unless we work in concert as quick as possible, with the rest of the world, the headache would be permeating soon.
In writing this book, Kalu has taken cognisance of the fact that change is the most important event that impacts planet earth in our time because of its capacity to affect life drastically.
The author has considered it imperative to deepen our knowledge of the consequences of climate change, especially in developing countries, where such awareness is limited because it hasn’t received the attention it deserves. Thus, this book fulfils the demands of students and the public, who wish to learn more about climate change and the way forward.
Kalu’s book isn’t a work of fiction, but it begins with a typical dramatic exchange between a student and a professor on a sabbatical in a Nigerian university. The student is unsettled by the comment by a TV host describing global warming as fluke. This exchange gives rise to the discourse on global warming.
Aside introductory explications on global warming and climate change, other topics covered in this book include greenhouse effect, impacts of climate change, solutions to climate change, search for alternative energy sources, and Nigeria’s peculiar challenges in the wake of the global menace.
Kalu, in the opening chapter, leads us to the benumbing realisation that the earth has been warming at an accelerated rate lately with an increase of about 1.4 degree Fahrenheit in atmospheric temperature since 1880 and a small but significant increase in temperature in all earth’s continents since the beginning of the twentieth century.
In case you don’t know yet the implications of global warming, Kalu provides the answer: “… if the temperature of the earth continues unchecked, this will make life on planet earth as we currently know it to be no longer possible. This is because the obligatory change that will occur in the climate will eventually lead to untold difficulties and, with time, to the destruction of the world’s infrastructure” (p 22).
The causes of global warming and climate change are treated in the second chapter. They include natural and human causes, as well as sceptics and deniers. While the natural causes are related to the sun, human causes include large scale manufacturing that preceded the industrial revolution and the introduction of fossil fuel, which resulted in the production of greenhouse gases.
Greenhouses, he says, are used as production facilities for flowers and green vegetables that high temperatures to grow. If the amount of greenhouse gasses in the earth’s atmosphere increases, more heat will be trapped by these gases and the earth’s atmosphere will become correspondingly warmer, explains the author.
The impacts of climate change can’t be underestimated, despite anybody’s pretended ignorance. Apparently, changes in the climate, Kalu says, in the fourth chapter, are already occurring worldwide in different places at varying degrees, including transportation, water supplies, people and their homes, livelihoods and human health.
Developing countries, this book tells us, are prone to the deleterious consequences of climate change due to their heavy dependence on natural environment for sustenance; living in substandard unplanned dwellings in areas prone to storm surges and flooding; lack of infrastructural and technological capacity and resources to adequately respond to natural disasters; awareness on the magnitude of the impending calamity isn’t available to all.
To fight climate change, the author moves for a combat strategy that will be acceptable to all, adaptive measures, mitigations, modifying our individual actions, among others. Above all, he canvasses support for alternative energy sources, especially solar energy.
The merits of Kalu’s Climate Change for the Novice …. are manifold –he enriches the knowledge of the novice on climate change and global warming and how to overcome them, but his style is somewhat ambiguous. The book started as drama and ended as a textbook. This typifies stylistic confusion as its best.
Just don’t do it!
Title: Good Moral Citizens
Author: Sogo Kehinde
Reviewer: Henry Akubuiro
Don’t just do it! This is a familiar deterrence to a potential aberrant child. It is easier to break a china ware, but much harder –even if possible at all –to pick the pieces together. Chastening isn’t the same as deterrence, you know.
Moral obscenity is on the rise. It is a trans-border phenomenon that calls for urgent familial attention in homes. Sogo Kehinde has risen to the occasion by dangling a scribal carrot for today’s youths through his book, Good Moral Citizens, to guide against wrong decisions and negative attitudes.
In the streets, on the roads, everywhere, we see the alarming speed with which moral values have been on a downward trajectory. Kehinde is convinced that, with purposeful education, our domestic anomalies would be nipped in the bud.
Don’t ignore God: the author begins his moralisation. He emphasises the essence of obedience from all. Irrespective of your religion, the author recognises the supremacy of God, and we cannot but elect to fear Him, give Him our hearts and depend on Him on whatever we do.
Sequel to venerating God is respecting our parents, which is why the author, in the second chapter, highlights this to the reader. He writes: “The role of your parents includes bringing you into the world. Imagine your mother carrying you in her womb for nine months…” The extent to which we imbibe the good teachings of our parents, he hints, determines how far we can go in life.
Just as he cautions the children not to disobey the law –for they are rules and regulations out in place to regulate our behaviours –the target audience is cautioned against being lazy. Laziness can lead to failure in life, which is why in a child’s formative years, he has to be discouraged from this shameful practice.
Kehinde advises the child not to hate and not to covet what belongs to others, while making efforts to improve his lot. This book on moral precepts also educates the child to avoid abusing people. The danger of abusing people is that you may abuse a wicked person who may curse you and ruin your life. The book also cautions against spreading rumours.
Likewise, the book advises the reader not to ignore mutual respect and not to pollute the environment. He strives to inculcate in the youths that the habit of burning tyres all over the place poses a health hazard to the environment.
Children are cautioned against vandalising public facilities. This begins from vandalising things in classroom. If unchecked or undeterred at this stage, children may grow up thinking they are on the right track.
In today’s Nigeria, where the love of money has been elevated to a mantra, Kehinde sees the need to sound the alarm bell: Don’t Embezzle Money. Hence, he tells the reader that aggrandising alone what belongs to all is tantamount to being a destroyer, leading to loss of integrity at the end.
This amazing book has a chapter that condemns women of easy virtue. By cautioning the youthful female reader not to be a prostitute, the book says any mistake made in that regard is capable of ruining the life of a young girl.
As a schoolgirl, writes the author, “the moment you start dressing half nude, exposing your breasts and lap, attending parties where alcohol and cigarettes are freely served and running after rich men, you are indeed on a smooth road to prostitution” (p 36).
Related to this is being a human trafficker, which comes up in the next chapter. There are subsequent chapters on examination malpractice, ritual killing, cultism, drug addiction, armed robbery and religious fanaticism.
Writing on kidnapping, the author says the seizing and carrying away of persons by force or detaining them against their will is to be frown at. The bottom line is that anybody can make it without vice.
Similarly, he discourages the young minds from leading the life of a prodigal, even as he advises them not to be cruel to the handicapped, who struggle to succeed in life. “Physically challenged people should be treated with consuming passion,” he writes (p 73).
In this age of Boko Haram’s extremities, the author considers it wise to lecture the young never to allow terrorist to terrify Nigeria. Addressing Nigerian students and youths in particular, he says they should be patriotic and nationalistic enough to report to the police any terrorist activity.
Sogo Kayode’s book is very relevant to the Nigerian school curriculum at the intermediate level. Almost every topic under the sun pertaining to child education is included in this slim piece that isn’t only easy to read but overpowering in its moralisation.