Category Archives: climate change in Senegal

Happy Earth Day, Bonne Journée Mondiale de la Terre 2010

While readers in the United States are still busy doing the millions of activities organized this year to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day,  I’m just closing up shop on my favorite one to date.  I spent the day in Thies, Senegal’s 2nd largest (but rapidly developing) city, giving a talk about climate change.  […]

Dakar, then and now

If I had a 100 cfa coin for every time un dakarois has remarked how much the city has changed in the last 5/10/20 years, I’d be awash in bus fare.  These two graphics, taken from UNEP’s Africa:  Atlas of Our Changing Environment,  say it all.  (And lives up to this publication’s media blurb: “As […]

Climate Divide: The Common Blind Spot of China & U.S. pre-COP15

The last few days have been busy ones for announcing opening positions for the COP15 negotiations.  The United States announced on 11/26 that it would reduce the total tonnage of its greenhouse gas emissions “in the range of” 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050.  These numbers reflect targets specified in […]

Talking Turkey at COP15

Good news!  The White House announced today that President Obama will attend the COP15 meeting on Wednesday, December 9, on his way to Oslo to accept the Nobel Prize the following day. In the nick of time, for scientists have recently given policymakers even more incentive to come to Copenhagen prepared to talk turkey (in […]

Meditations on slavery past and present

UNESCO World Heritage site Ile de Gorée bears witness to West Africa’s role in the Atlantic slave trade.  An island in the ocean just a short ferry ride from downtown Dakar, Goree also bears witness to the plight of sea-level human settlements that are slowly slipping under water (58mm rise in sea level since 1993). […]

A Bend in the Road: The Copenhagen Two-Step?

Newsflash:  Why are we all going to Copenhagen if President Obama agrees with other western countries that they are not ready to make a real deal?  As the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum wrapped up four days ago, participating world leaders backed a two-step process offered by Danish PM Lars Lokke Rasmussen that would […]

Rich and Poor States on the Bumpy Road to Copenhagen

In the run-up to the COP15 meeting in Copenhagen this December, developing countries have voiced concerns about climate change’s disproportionate effect on them.  The Prime Minister of Grenada, Thomas Tillman, spoke at a meeting of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) the day before the U.N. General Assembly opened its September 22nd session.  AOSIS’s […]

The Changing Siné-Saloum Delta

The Siné-Saloum is the picture of ecosystem adaptation.  Freshwater from two rivers, the Siné and the Saloum, meets the salty water of the sea.  Mangroves thrive in this brine and spread their root tentacles out a few centimeters at a time, trapping delta detritus and providing a scaffold for its accretion to neighboring land.  Oysters […]

Up and Coming Senegalese Artists

The Institut Français Léopold Sédar Senghor has become an oasis for us. An island of calm in the middle of chaotic downtown Dakar, we retreated there during our first blackout to see the movie Home, Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s climate change documentary which features his famous aerial photos.  The mildly air conditioned salle de cinéma, combined with […]

Sizzling Senegal these days

Life in Senegal went from a simmer to a boil two+ weeks ago, when my Dell Latitude D630 stopped working.  On Friday night, I was happily pulling together my next blog entry on the Vermont-Senegal connection (see my next post).  On Saturday morning, I pushed the on button and . . . silence.  Darkness.  Fear.  […]