Message from Africa: Whatever Happens, Don’t Ever Give Up

The following is an edited repost from last November:

William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer’s book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind made it to Amazon’s top 10 Best Books of 2009, as well as Publisher Weekly’s Best Book of the Year.  It tells about how Kamkwamba, “a simple farmer in a country of poor farmers” built a windmill about of bicycle parts and other scrap pieces when he was 14, after being forced to drop out of school because of a severe drought in Malawi. He built his windmill to pump water and generate electricity for his home. Now every home in Wimbe, Kamkwamba’s hometown, has a solar panel and a battery to store power. His message to  “all the people out there – to the Africans, and to poor people” is to never give up.

Trust yourself, and believe.  Whatever happens, don’t ever give up.” Here is Mr. Kamkwamba speaking at last year’s TED conference:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crjU5hu2fag]

The situation that we are in is too important to get sidetracked by anti-science deniers and others without the ability to imagine a different, better world. Let’s take Mr. Kamkwamba’s words to heart, and keep up the good fight for real action on global warming. Go to 350.org or my Action, Not Apathy page for ideas on where to start.

If you live in Ontario, and you are reading this before August 25, 2010, please go to the Toronto Environmental Alliance’s website and send the provincial government that the message that you support wind power. The government is considering a 5km exclusion zone for off-shore wind power, which would kill any attempt to install wind turbines in Lake Ontario. The province is open for comments until Aug 24 – click here to tell the province you, like  William Kamkwamba, support wind power! (Thanks to Cheryl McNamara at Carbon Slim for that link)