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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

African starvation vs Western climate change

Between 5,000 to 11,000 years ago, and for a period of some 6,000 years, the Sahara desert of North Africa consisted of savannas and wooded grasslands, a.k.a. “Green Sahara”. In the middle of that period, some 8,000 years ago, the Sahara climate changed for a period of some 1,000 years and people relocated due to the drought. Sources: Nature, Phys, Science AdvancesUoA.

On 10 March 2017, the United Nations warned that some 20 million people in 4 North African countries are "starving to death" (UN). This area is the eastern part of the ancient Green Sahara which is better known as the Horn of Africa and the birthplace of mankind. Global climate change caused a long period of drought in this area. The UN is begging for money.

Late 2015, the UN (sic !) climate change conference in Paris announced to “extend the current goal of mobilizing $100 billion a year in support by 2020 through 2025, with a new, higher goal to be set for the period after 2025” (source).

It's slight maddening to see the UN fighting to raise money for saving the lives of 20 million people due to climate change, while the UN also commits to spending an annual amount of $100 billion for something that (i) may happen and (ii) is largely outside human control.

I'm puzzled why the immediate certainty of death of 20 million (black) people is less important than the possible long-term relocation of (white) people. I'm also flabbergasted why many people are panicking about the impact of climate change and why few people bother about African mass starvation due to climate change.

The Trump Administration is unlikely to offer help as (i) it doesn't believe in climate change, and (ii) plans to cut federal budgets earmarked for foreign aid (State dept) and climate change (EPA). The budget savings will be transferred to the US defense budget. Following that US announcement, China and Russia have also announced defense budget increases.

Military budget allocations offer less relief to mankind than climate change prevention or foreign aid. Every Euro or US$ spent on feeding people shows immediate relief. Money spent on preventing climate change even accelerates a new Ice Age.

Early 2016, Bloomberg published an intriguing article: "The good news on global warming: we've delayed the next Ice Age". Also see my blog of 23 March 2016. A new Ice Age would (i) hurt more than global warming, and (ii) hurt Western economies more than Africa.

The above perspective never occurred to me until I read an interview with Richard Tol, who is a professor in Economics and the Economics of Climate Change and who also worked on the IPCC. My blog of 22 December 2015 provides an English summary of his Dutch interview: +2 degrees? So what??

Once you let this perspective sink in then your beliefs start changing.

I'm Going Slightly Mad (1991) by Queen - artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2