Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai, “The Tree Mother of Africa”, On Whether One Person Can Make A Difference

More inspiration from Professor Wangari Maathai, an amazing woman from Kenya who founded the Green Belt Movement there 30 years ago and won the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts.  Since Prof. Maathai started it in 1977, the Movement has organized poor rural women in Kenya to plant over 30 million trees. This is turn combats deforestation, restores their main source of fuel for cooking, generates income, and stops soil erosion. The Green Belt Movement incorporates advocacy and empowerment for women, eco-tourism, and economic justice into the simple act of planting trees.

In this video, Prof. Maathai talks about whether one person can make a difference. She is certainly proof that one dedicated and inspired person can transform the world!


Here is an interview with Prof. Maathai, from 2008.


To go to The Green Belt Movement’s website, click here.

To go to Professor Maathai’s Facebook page, click here.

Click here to go to, the biggest free Internet social network with the objective of planting trees in order to fight poverty, desertification, deforestation and climate change. For every 10 people that join, a tree is planted.

Now go out and get your hands dirty – plant a real tree!

The Science of Climate Change- It’s Elementary

I recently spent an afternoon at Science World in Vancouver, escaping a cold rainy day.  In one corner was a display on how global warming works.  I thought it was worth repeating here, paraphrased and expanded upon.  The explanation went something like this:

Carbon dioxide (Co2) is what is put into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are burned.         Humans, mostly in Europe and North America, have been burning more and more fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil are the 3 major culprits) at an increasing rate since the Industrial Revolution started several hundred years ago.  At the same time we have been cutting down more and more trees.  Trees clean the air by taking in carbon dioxide and putting out oxygen.  Carbon dioxide molecules in the atmosphere trap heat. Therefore:

More Carbon Dioxide + Less Trees to Absorb Carbon Dioxide =

More Carbon Dioxide than ever before in the atmosphere, trapping heat in a way the planet has never experienced before

Now I am not a scientist, and admittedly there are disagreements even among scientists about the rate of heat trapping and its effects on the global climate.  There are also other gases such as methane and nitrous oxide that are also affecting our environment.  But this was such a straightforward explanation, one that a child could easily understand.

Maybe Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Environment Minister Jim Prentice need to spend an afternoon at Science World.