Monday, September 26, 2011

Sleep Well Daughter of Africa, Wangari Maathai

Let us join the people of Kenya in mourning the death and celebrating the life and legacy of Wangari Maathai, environmentalist, human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner.   Maathai died Sunday after a long battle against cancer.    Through her fearless championing of environmental sustainability in Kenya, Maathai helped reveal for all the world how environmental issues are inextricably linked to women's rights, economic justice and fairness, national and international peace and security and the fundamental principles of democratic governance.  

Check out this remarkable tribute by John Vidal in the Guardian UK, which includes this quote from Maathai spoken in England in the late '80s:
The top of the pyramid is blinded by insatiable appetites backed by scientific knowledge, industrial advancement, the need to acquire, accumulate and over-consume. The rights of those at the bottom are violated every day by those at the top... the economic and political systems are designed to create more numbers, population pressures show no sign of waning, deforestation and desertification continue. The people at the top of the pyramid do not understand the limits to growth and they do not appreciate that they jeopardise the capacity of future generations to meet their own needs.
 World leaders are sending tributes of their own.  Read them here.

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