The more I learn about African history the more I feel that the arrogance and greed of the colonial (and unfettered capitalist) attitude, in all its varied past and ongoing forms, is one of the most destructive and uglifying evils there is. It's the attitude that the earth, its creatures and plants and (especially native) peoples are all there for the taking. The belief that the earth is ours rather than that we are of the earth. The belief that militaristic might is right. Africa had some problems before the white man came (eg the pre-existing African slave trade facilitated the colonial slave trade). However, a lion's share of the reason so much of Africa is in a heartbreaking shambles has to do with what Europeans started doing here centuries ago. This exploitation is still going on now - much of Africa is still an economic colony and garbage dump for the developed world - and even where it isn't what's been left behind is a gaping wound that is still bleeding out. This has happened and is happening, in one way or another, all over the world. That the planet's on fire (or flooding, or whatever other calamity) is no surprise.