"Africa’s rapidly growing human population is predicted to more than double by 2050 – a staggering increase of three and a half million people per month. There is no question that this increase puts wildlife and habitat under enormous pressure. Urbanization, infrastructure development, cultivation – all good things in themselves, but they will have a terrible impact unless we begin to plan and to take measures now.”
So says William Saxe-Coburg.
Having imposed and benefitted from the grossly exploitative and oppressive socio-economic systems that enabled dynasties like his to become vastly wealthy and help spread imperial tentacles over pretty much all of the globe - now he is concerned about African wildlife.
This man - remarkable only for his inherited vast wealth, power and privilege that was gained through the exploitation and oppression of the working peoples of his own land and the hyper-exploitation and oppression of Africa and its peoples, and whose ancestors hunted African big game for sport after having exterminated much of the natural wildlife of Europe - now says that the problem for African wild life is that there are too many African people.
No matey - the problem always was and remains people like yourself and all your ilk whose individual annual carbon footprint is probably equivalent to a 100,000 or more poor Africans.
Look to the social and environmental cost of your own obscene privilege and to your own culpability in the destruction of Africa's wildlife, which cannot be separated from the damage wrought on its peoples.
Consider the role that imperialism - in both its old and new forms - has inflicted and is still inflicting on that continent and who has benefitted, and still benefits most from it.
Ask yourself, who makes the bulk of the money out of the vast mineral wealth of Africa? Who orchestrated the destruction of Libya - the country with the highest standard of living in Africa - at a point when a new movement of African unity was beginning to grow? Who conspired in the assassination of Patrice Lumumba to kill the seeds of an earlier movement? Why is Zimbabwe an international pariah when other corrupt and brutal regimes are supported and the UK continues to fail to honour the Gleneagles agreement? What have any of the European powers done to compensate for the damage they have done to that continent in the pursuit of individual, dynastic and imperial profit?
Who throws away cell phones like they are disposable items after having used them for playing games and communicating drivel while tiny Congolese children mine the rare earth metals needed for their construction? If there was ever an illustration of the obscenity of the world - it is this. The region that was seized and raped by the head of another branch of the Saxe-Coburg family - the indescribably brutal Leopold II - now uses child labour to supply the rare earth minerals the first world needs to maintain its dominance.
No, William Saxe-Coburg - you - the very embodiment of inherited, undeserved extreme privilege - do not get to lecture us on African conservation.