By Henry Onwubiko
Finally, the last of the legendary movies, which we watched as child-refugees in the United State, savored by our hungry minds, was the Star Trek series, with its characteristic interplanetary and intergalactic wars, against an imperative and much needed peaceful coexistence which appeared magical and most profoundly impressionable to our superstitious past. Perhaps its was the technology of people dissolving outside the spaceship and reappearing in different planets and galaxies, shrinking distance and time at the speed of light; projecting a future for the present internet era that hooked everyone. Here too, the doctrine of White Supremacy governed the hierarchy of the crew, with Captain Kirk, the Anglo Saxon, not the most intelligent or the fittest, at the helm of a diverse representation of humanity as Captain Ahab presided over the ship, The Piquod in his obsessive hunt to destroy the great White Whale. The irreversible laws of globalization has accelerated humanity into the space age with an emerging consciousness of our collective responsibility towards each other and a vision to care for the earth, the orbiting spaceship and lonely human habitat; and what was once fiction is now fact.
Donald Trump insists on being the ship’s obsessed captain, brooding with nostalgia to return to the past, while stockpiling nuclear and non-nuclear weapons and building the world’s largest nuclear powered war ships to retard human progress. It is an established fact that the ice caps of the poles of the earth are rapidly melting due to global warming; that the rise in temperature is due to carbon dioxide emission from non-renewable hydrocarbon energy source from capitalist driven industrialization such as crude oil, coal, fossil fuels and other hydrocarbon sources; that this increase in temperature has eco-catastrophic consequences that are already evident in Africa as the expansion of the Sahara and its resulting famine. In Nigeria, global warning has affected the length of the planting rainy and dry harvesting seasons. This had led to poor yields, smaller fruit sizes and the washing away of the pollen of flowers due to the unpredictable fluctuating rains with the resulting poor fruiting. Even the patterns of migration of birds most noticeably the hawks are effected. Also in Africa many coastal cities near the Atlantic Ocean are under threat of being submerged by the swelling ocean and in Nigeria, the famous Bar Beach of Lagos has continued to expand with the rising ocean, threatening to swallow many homes.
Yet Donald Trump has not only cut funding meant for the maintenance of the environment by 31 percent below that of his predecessor, but has ensured that no money will be budgeted for emission reduction by the most industrialized nation on earth. Humanity has the bright option to adapt to renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind and hydropower-sources of clean energy-that will gradually reduce hydro-carbon emission, lower global warming and thereby prevent a looming eco-catastrophe. Such prospects were agreed on in the Paris Climate Accord, where it was accepted for the world to chart a new course in industrialization with a more healthy renewable and environmentally friendly source of energy. But President Donald Trump not only withdrew American support for the Paris Climate Accord, but has stepped up American industrial engagements by the development of special tools for coal mining, encouraging the use of crude oil and petrol for automobiles, and ignoring the fact of global warming. He has also intensified campaigns in Africa’s oil producing states, such as Nigeria and Angola by delivering new machineries for crude oil extraction to encourage multinational oil industries such as Texaco, Mobil, Exon and others, to defeat the Paris Climate Accord in Africa.
African nations must seize this moment and ride on the waves of the irreversible force of globalization. With abundant sunlight they can harness solar energy through a win-win collaboration with China that leads the world in the production of renewable energy technology. While wind and solar power are also applicable, solar power is more practicable because it is easily harnessed in Africa and more useful to lighting up whole villages.
Donald has nothing to offer Africa but the intensification of neocolonialism, the robbery of her raw materials in return in which Africa serves as a vast market for Western manufactured goods, and as a wasteland for its discarded hydrocarbon guzzling tukumbo cars and outdated products. Its colonial and neo-colonial policies were geared to encourage dependency, against genuine educational development or technology transfer for Africans; the imposition of religious and social discrimination under the cover of executive orders; the use of Western money lenders such as the World Bank and IMF to devalue Africans currencies; to lend money, and extort it back through importations of their second hand goods. The West stagnate our economies and social development and through its multinational oil corporations destroy the environment, farmlands and fishing waters; sell arms to various ethnic nationalities, religious and terror groups, and above all produce unsettled refugees with its wars to destabilize regional integration.
Walter Rodney, the great Pan Africanist scholar in his monumental book, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, had warned that African states will remain underdeveloped unless they severe their economies radically from the umbilical cord of their parasitical colonial and neo-colonial masters, organized under Western Imperialism. For Africans to continue to follow the colonial and neocolonial yoke of the West and to accept its brutal renewal under the leadership of Donald Trump with his anti- globalization escapades of protectionism, racism, economic nationalism, White Supremacy and anti- immigration, enforced by a narcissistic proclaimed right of the West to bear the largest guns at home and abroad is, to retort the great African muse Chinua Achebe, to behave like the foolish fly that follows the corpse into the ground.
► Prof Henry A. Onwubiko, is a Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.