Mr. Karamagi: Longtime Mrs Mugolewera! You are welcome. How is your family?
Mrs. Mugolewera: My friend, there is no peace, only problems.
Mr. Karamagi: What is the problem?
Mrs. Mugolewera: This thing called environment. Local leaders (LCs) are disturbing us and we all don’t even know what it is.
Mr. Karamagi: sit down lets take some tea first. (They get to the dining table). Now tell me.
Mrs. Mugolewera: The problem is our politicians who are disturbing us to protect the environment we don’t even understand.
Mr. Karamagi: Mrs Mugolewera listen to me. Environment is something very important in the lives of people. By the way, you said people don’t know what it means, is that correct?
Mrs Mugolewera: That’s exactly what I said.
Mr. Karamagi: Now listen; environment is “we the human beings and all that surrounds us” it is actually all that God created because man includes God’s creation, and then he is part of environment.
Is actually the most important part of environment because it controls, uses, destroys, supports and ensures the continued existence of these other components for them to continue supporting us.
Mrs. Mugolewera: Did I hear you say man is the most important part of the environment?
Mr. Karamagi: That is true my friend.
Mrs. Mugolewera: Now which are these other parts of the environment that you mean?
Mr. Karamagi: let’s move out first (they move out). Do you see anything?
Mrs. Mugolewera: Well, I see everything my eyes are able to see.
Mr. Karamagi: You have seen human beings whom I said are the most important part of the environment. Human beings control other parts and make sure they continuously exist.
You have seen land where the majority of our activities take place. You have also seen soil which is important for crop cultivation and vegetation growth, water inform of rivers and lakes. Do you see the wet land in that depression?
Mrs. Mugolewera: No, I don’t. I only remember that area is water logged and has unique vegetation called papyrus, is what I see.
Mr. Karamagi: Alright that is exactly what is called a wetland, some wetlands are permanently water logged while other are seasonal.
Mr. Mugolewera: My friend, you are taking me very far that is not what brought me here. The issue is that Iam facing a problem with our Subcounty councilor. Together with the forest guards they are telling us to plant more trees which we think may reduce on our land meant for crop cultivation.
Mr. Karamagi: Look here my friend, before you have crops, you need to have trees; they are these trees that will make you have continuous production of crops.
Mrs Mugolewera: What do you mean my friend?
Mr. Karamagi: You know, when trees make their food during the process called Photosynthesis, they use carbon dioxide (C02) and water as the raw material and solar energy from the sun as the power supply.
It means that if we don’t have trees, the CO2, a strong green house gas, from whichever source would accumulate and mix with other green house gasses, (methane, nitrous oxide etc) in the atmosphere and form ‘a blanket’ of green house gasses called the green house effect.
In simple terms, this ‘blanket’ of green house gasses only allows the incoming short waves(sw) solar radiation (from the sun) through it since it is a string wave but doesn’t allow the outgoing long wave (lw) terrestrial (from the land) to go through it and escape to space.
The incoming SW solar radiation is not hot. It is only when it changes to LW terrestrial radiation that it heats up. And because the LW Terrestrial originates from the land surface the atmosphere is considered to be heating from below. That is why the HIGHER you go, the cooler it becomes.
Mrs. Mugolewera: You said the green house effect doesn’t allow the out going LW terrestrial radiation to go through it and escape to space. What happen therefore?
Mr. Karamagi: What happens is that this out going LW terrestrial radiation will then bounce back to the atmosphere, hot as it is. When this happens, then that heat will accumulate in the atmosphere and the whole atmosphere will just be warm.
This scenario can be compared to when you sit under atarpaulin (Tundubali) shelter on a hot day (about 33c0). When this happens in the atmosphere, we say there is Global warming.
Mr. Mugolewera: How will this then affect our crops?
Mr. Karamagi: My friend, you very well know that crop growth is supported by rainfall, with global warming there is little or no rain fall at all. In both cases, the growth of your crops will not be assured.
Mrs Mugolewera: Mr. Karamagi tell me more (draws near)
Mr. Karamagi: For rain to be formed, temperature must be low in the higher atmosphere for the water vapour to condense to rainfall.
Water vapour condenses and water drop lets get attached to the very cold condensation nuclei. It is on the these nuclei that rainfall droplets get formed. When the droplet is heavy enough then it falls as rain.
Mrs. Mugolewera: so what can we do as citizens to protect our globe from this problem?
Mr. Karamagi: like I told you we can begin by planting enough trees which will absorb the CO2 that is produced by the world industries and other sources to reduce on the green house effect.
Remember, Global warming is real! Only our effort can change the situation. Just go to your sub county headquarters and get advice on what to do to engage in tree planting. And please do urge everyone to take responsibility of protecting our environment!