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Famine and Global Warming?

May 11, 2007

Read this insightful article on cyclical famine in places like Africa. Consider Greg Easterbrook’s recent article in Atlantic Monthly about the poverty-sustaining nature of global warming, where he argues the poorest countries are the hardest hit. Consider alongside this fact that China has now succeeded the US in harmful emmissions.

How do we respond? Do you think that Easterbrook is correct in his analysis of Global Warming and poverty-ridden countries? Could it be that politically liberal issues should be more central for political conservatives?

One Comment leave one →
  1. sam permalink
    May 14, 2007 11:21 pm

    easterbrook’s analysis is mostly narrative, yet correct in the bit of substance he puts out there. the temperate zones shift pole-wards, and everything near the equator and not near water gets into a serious bind. we also know that the current climate change is in part natural, a response from the last ice age. if humans are contributing, any human-initiated measures to counter warming will only be temporary, so we’d better think of ways to cope, fast. i suppose on a geologic scale, fast means decades, so governing bodies, with 4 year (or so) lifespans, don’t really put warming on their radar.

    stafford’s article on the turkana people illustrates the simple fact that there’s not enough resources to support humans living in the african desert right now. the land isn’t really arable, and the weather’s not cooperating. *should* people continue to live there? do they have a right to, as the world continues to fund food relief efforts? is their way of life worth subsidizing, so to speak? stafford implies that food aid is only a stopgap measure to solve the symptoms, not the cause of the problem. the cause is that desert farming can’t sustain large numbers of people.

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