Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Approaching Climate Change through Text!

Image from wttw.com
Have you ever thought about places across the world who do not use technology as much as we do or have you ever thought about living your daily life without a cell phone?  I know I have not, but there are places like Zimbabwe who do not have access to cell phones and technology the way that people in developed countries like the United States do.  It is hard for people who live in places like Zimbabwe to communicate effectively due to this technology dilemma. 

Image from southafricain1.com
The issue of climate change is one that has been more heavily debated in terms of "is it real?" or "is it not real?" over the past couple of decades.  Many experts on this issue see climate change as a major issue that is affecting the people and the environment all across the world.  A current article from allafrica.com presents information about how program developers, civic society, environmentalists and other interested stakeholders met in Harare to discuss ways of how the mobile phone could be used to communicate information about climate change effectively in places like Zimbabwe.  A competition funded by the US government called Apps4Africa was held to encourage local people to create country-specific applications for climate change and global warming.  Many Americans entered the challenge with knowledge of what climate change can to do to places who are not aware of its’ effects and hope to provide places like Zimbabwe with the appropriate technology to allow them to understand the affects of climate change.  With the increase in technology spreading worldwide, the use of these types of climate change applications will provide information about protecting oneself from effects of climate change and how to reduce behaviors that are not friendly to the environment in Zimbabwe.   With the use of the mobile phone, people who live in places like Zimbabwe no longer have to travel long distances by foot or bus to deliver these same messages of sustainability against climate change.  The mobile phone is now being used to deliver bulk messages to the public on topics such as education texts on sex, HIV and Aids.  In my opinion, this is a step in a positive direction on informing undeveloped countries on the effects of issues like climate change that can change the world around everyone in a negative way.

The issue of whether or not people believe in climate change is up too them, but it is important to realize that this is an issue that does hold some truth so I feel that it is better to be safe than sorry!!
Image from wikispaces.com

1 comment:

  1. Here is an article that reports a 4-5X increase (up to 56%)in mobile phone use in Zimbabwe from early 2009 (when coalition government started up) to mid 2010 (when this news item was posted):


    At this rate, the poster's initial statement that mobile use is less common in developing countries like Zimbabwe may not hold true for (or even be true today)! Anyone know what rates of access to mobile phones are like for other African countries?

    An important perspective on how to try to get things done, Ta'Lissa, thanks!