Oct 14 2007

CAN PENGUINS FLY?

Published by at 2:23 pm under climate crisis,floods,gnus

Not if you’re watching.

These documentary film-makers went to great expense to prove the point:

Do Pinguins Fly?

You can find the film at iFilm.

Flying might be the answer.

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Photo: Arthur Morris – Corbis

Do gnus fly?
What do gnus do?
Jumana Farouky of Time tells us that because of the climate crisis “there’s bad news for gnus:”

More than a million wildebeest — also known as gnus — crossing from the Serengeti in Tanzania to Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve and then back again in the search of fresh grass makes for some dramatic action shots, as massive herds travel across the plains before plunging into the Mara River to swim to greener pastures …

This time, piles of wildebeest carcasses line the riverbanks, after 10,000 of the animals drowned trying to cross the Mara at the start of their journey back east to the Serengeti …

The Mara River was especially high this year, after the heavy rains that flooded parts of Africa, killing hundreds of people and uprooting thousands more. Climatologists are pointing to the downpours as proof that predictions that Africa will suffer the most from global warming and climate change are already coming true. The human toll is what makes all the headlines, but the consequences for Africa’s wildlife is just as drastic.

Floods. And more floods. Sorry to repeat myself but … according to James Copnall of the BBC the Ivory Coast town of Grand Lahou is sinking.

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Ivory Coast Lighthouse – Photo: BBC

Once one of the first points of contact between Africans and the French in what is now Ivory Coast, Grand Lahou is threatened by a combination of climate change and other factors.

Some predict the town will be completely under water within 10 years, and it is widely accepted it is doomed unless drastic action is taken …

According to Guillaume Za-Bi, a senior scientist at the Ivorian Ministry of the Environment, the uncontrolled mouth of the river Bandama is attacking the town from behind, while the sea is eroding it from the front.

It is a complicated problem, and one for which it seems global warming is at least partly responsible.

“Climate change is one of the reasons for what we can locally see in Grand Lahou,” Mr Za-Bi explains.

Paging Noah! Anybody out there IM’ing the man? Got his cell number on speed dial? Flooding elsewhere in Africa:

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Log Canoe, Lira Uganda – Photo: Anony Njunga – Reuters

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Flood – Budalangi in W. Kenya – Photo: EPA

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Flood, N.E. Ghana – Photo: Jane Hahn, EPA




Can Penguins Fly? Not yet, but we’re practicing.

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