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Famine Declared in Four Countries

Famine Declared in Four Countries

Unread postby dohboi » Wed 01 Mar 2017, 19:46:06

https://robertscribbler.com/2017/03/01/ ... /#comments

Famine Warning Issued in Four Countries Following Worst African Droughts in Decades

Abnormally warm West Pacific sea surface temperatures — in part driven by a weak La Nina, in part driven by global warming — produced changes in atmospheric circulation that considerably reduced rainfall over Eastern and Southern Africa during 2016. As a result, places like Rwanda, Kenya, Eithiopia, South Sudan, and Somalia experienced some of their worst droughts in decades.


According to the Famine Early Warning Network, more than 70 million people are facing hunger around the world in 2017. The primary causes include drought, military conflict, and lack of ability of nations to access food on the international market. Four countries — Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria — now face famine. And drought and conflict stricken Africa is the primary hot-spot for global hunger. Climate change has likely worsened this situation by adding to the intensity of droughts and heatwaves now affecting the region...

Additionally, conflict combined with the after effect of a 2014-2015 drought has disrupted food and water access in Yemen. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s falling purchasing power following a 2015 drought has rendered it unable to reliably procure food locally or on the international market.

These synergistic factors have forced plummeting food production and food security throughout Africa and nearby Middle Eastern countries. And now four nations — Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen and Nigeria — have been placed under a famine alert. In these countries alone, 20 million people face starvation and the world-over more than 70 million people are under threat from hunger...

Conditions in Context — Climate Change Proliferates Drought, Food Insecurity

2017’s famine alert is Somalia’s second in six years and its third in 25. And the various famine alerts that are presently ongoing all occur in states that have suffered from drought and water stress in the past five years. Instability and conflict are often identified as the cause of food stress. But drought is a trigger condition under which multi-year instability and conflict can emerge (as we have so vividly and tragically seen in Syria). In this way, drought and conflict interact in a chicken and egg relationship to produce reduced food security. And it’s a situation that’s exacerbated by warming global surface temperatures.

Unfortunately, with global temperatures likely to increase by another 0.3 to 0.6 C over the next two decades, food stress and related instability are a rising risk for this and other regions of the world. More intense drought, shifting climate zones, and changing precipitation patterns all help to increase that risk. And, at this point, the various food crises the world is presently experiencing are difficult to divorce from it.

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Re: Famine Declared in Four Countries

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Thu 02 Mar 2017, 01:26:33

Some of this is amazingly stupid. Yemen for instance, consistently imports 90% of it's food. Of course now the inevitable calls for massive relief aid, so starvation can be staved off, religious nutters can keep popping out babies with no visible means to feed them.
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Re: Famine Declared in Four Countries

Unread postby Shaved Monkey » Thu 02 Mar 2017, 02:33:13

The government spent too much money on arms to import food.

Singapore imports 90%
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Re: Famine Declared in Four Countries

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Thu 02 Mar 2017, 04:24:27

Singapore is spitting distance to a bunch of extremely agricultural regions. It's not a real country, it's a city State on a tiny island.
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Re: Famine Declared in Four Countries

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 02 Mar 2017, 05:13:24

I think there are a LOT of areas in the world that import a huge percentage of their food. And a long time ago I heard the argument that importing food is often really importing water.

So there are three factors at work here.

There are regions that COULD produce most of their own food but don't because currently it's more economic to import mass produced food. Newfoundland and the Bahamas come to mind.

There are ARID regions that should never have developed the population that they currently have. They import water via food. Saudi Arabia. Egypt sadly was once a food exporter but now can't feed itself. (The Land Export Model of Water?)

There are food rich or even exporting areas that are exporting water via food that they can't replace. FOSSIL WATER. California, the USA mid West, India.

Each of these will be hit differently and will react differently in different time scales.
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Re: Famine Declared in Four Countries

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 02 Mar 2017, 11:00:39

Good points, all.

When Newf writes: "There are regions that COULD produce most of their own food but don't because currently it's more economic to import mass produced food"

Keep in mind that this is also because of the neo-liberal free-market mantra that absolutely everything in the world should be sold to the highest bidder, that even something as crucial as sovereign food security should always and ever be sacrificed to the Great God of Commerce.

There's a lot of crazy to the history of these places, of course including lots of bad effects and after effects of colonialism, but also (and including) exploding population growth (Yemen quadrupled its population in the last few decades, iirc) fueled by religion and by oil revenue, but also much land is used to grow drugs.

But I'm pretty sure that many of these areas are still actually exporting food, dates from Yemen, for example. So there is lots of crazy to go around. The question (to me) is whether there is now a both sane and humane (balancing Newf's two polls laid out in another thread) way of going forward that is remotely politically feasible.
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Re: Famine Declared in Four Countries

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 03 Mar 2017, 17:38:06

Doh,

I hope for it but I doubt it.

It strikes me that we are still too connected to our last few hundred thousand years of evolution. We will respond in Neolithic terms. Unfortunately Cogs point of view seems to me to be the most likely.

Not that I like it or embrace it. But one should be prepared for it.
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Re: Famine Declared in Four Countries

Unread postby dohboi » Sun 05 Mar 2017, 05:18:56

Things are turning bad in a hurry in large portions of the African continent.

www.reuters.com/article/us-somalia-disa ... SKBN16B0MW

Somalia says 110 dead in last 48 hours due to drought
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Re: Famine Declared in Four Countries

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 05 Mar 2017, 10:25:36

One could say it is due to drought. Or one could say it was due to climate change. Or it's was due to over extraction of available resources. Or poor family planning. Or uncaring governments. Or because the West didn't respond.

It's all how you want to spin it.

Bottom line is, if you want to live you need to make the necessary provisions for yourself, if you can. I think it will be increasingly common that cries for assisstance will go unanswered.
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Re: Famine Declared in Four Countries

Unread postby dohboi » Sun 05 Mar 2017, 21:08:54

With pretty much any occurrence, there are more than one causes that can be pointed to. Nothing different here. Some are more immediate, others set up the circumstances that make it more likely for that immediate cause to create the incident.

So, yes, things are pretty much always more complex than any article title or even a whole article or entire book can convey.
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Re: Famine Declared in Four Countries

Unread postby yellowcanoe » Sun 05 Mar 2017, 22:20:44

Remember Band Aid from 1984? Ethiopia had been hit with a civil war, drought and famine. Band Aid helped focus international attention on the situation and get more aid delivered to Ethiopia. Since 1984 the population of Ethiopia has grown by over 250% from roughly 40 million to over 100 million. That kind of population growth makes famine inevitable as the dependency on imported food keeps growing. Somalia which is adjacent to Ethiopia has a much smaller population but it is growing at almost 3% per year and the fertility rate is over 6 children per woman.
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Re: Famine Declared in Four Countries

Unread postby dohboi » Sun 05 Mar 2017, 22:59:59

If supply of food equated with population growth rate, Kansas would have one of the biggest problems with population growth in the world.

It's always much more complex than that. But yes, increases in population don't help.

Right now there is a vicious cycle in many of these areas, since instability actually tends to lead to higher birth rates, and over-population can lead to instability...

As I said above, there's lots of crazy and lots of stupid to go around. One factor rarely considered is that up till a few decades ago, Somalia was about half covered in forest. Foreign companies came in and pretty well denuded the place, leaving it much less able to support itself. That wasn't population, that was a few greedy companies willing to wreak havoc on a locality and walk away with the cash. This is type of thing is happening nearly everywhere you look.

And we won't even mention GW... :roll:
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Re: Famine Declared in Four Countries

Unread postby Shaved Monkey » Mon 06 Mar 2017, 21:46:30

UAE is going to import compost from Australia
Obviously going to try and grow some food

A HIGH-profile delegation of United Arab Emirates investors and politicians has toured the Bundaberg region looking to invest.

The interest comes after a ground-breaking deal was signed to export Bundaberg compost from the port to the UAE for the first time.

Natural Organic Soils Of Australia (NOSA) have set up a new compost facility in the region which turns sugar-cane mill mud into fertiliser for export.


https://www.news-mail.com.au/news/exclu ... e/3151472/
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Re: Famine Declared in Four Countries

Unread postby Shaved Monkey » Mon 06 Mar 2017, 21:53:00

Shaved Monkey wrote:UAE is going to import compost from Australia
Obviously going to try and grow some food

A HIGH-profile delegation of United Arab Emirates investors and politicians has toured the Bundaberg region looking to invest.

The interest comes after a ground-breaking deal was signed to export Bundaberg compost from the port to the UAE for the first time.

Natural Organic Soils Of Australia (NOSA) have set up a new compost facility in the region which turns sugar-cane mill mud into fertiliser for export.


https://www.news-mail.com.au/news/exclu ... e/3151472/


Its a shame that stuff is good stuff, full of molasses kills nematodes,spinosad was developed from the bacteria in mill mud
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinosad
It was used locally to re-fertilise farms,Bundaberg is a massive farming area biggest sweet potato and macadamia producer in Australia and probably the world .
Most tomatoes and other summer crops are grown there for supermarkets year round.
Organic matter is gold it should be banned from export
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Re: Famine Declared in Four Countries

Unread postby dohboi » Tue 07 Mar 2017, 04:11:56

A couple updates on the main post:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/03/c ... 00288.html

UN Chief: World must act to avert famine in Somalia:

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres makes emergency visit as worsening drought leaves 6.2 million hungry.

....

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/03/s ... 11077.html

UN: South Sudan blocks desperately needed aid

Government restricts UN peacekeepers and creates obstacles to aid, humanitarian chief says, charges officials dispute.


Elsewhere in Africa:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/03/z ... 45875.html

Zambians seeking food aid killed in stampede

At least eight killed as many affected by humanitarian crisis caused by severe regional drought scramble for handouts.
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Re: Famine Declared in Four Countries

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 07 Mar 2017, 07:58:04

dohboi wrote:A couple updates on the main post:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/03/c ... 00288.html

UN Chief: World must act to avert famine in Somalia:

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres makes emergency visit as worsening drought leaves 6.2 million hungry.

....

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/03/s ... 11077.html

UN: South Sudan blocks desperately needed aid

Government restricts UN peacekeepers and creates obstacles to aid, humanitarian chief says, charges officials dispute.


Elsewhere in Africa:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/03/z ... 45875.html

Zambians seeking food aid killed in stampede

At least eight killed as many affected by humanitarian crisis caused by severe regional drought scramble for handouts.


As unfortunate as it is I can't blame the government of South Sudan from blocking the UN, they tried without success for decades to get help when they were being abused by the government of Sudan before the country was split into North/South countries. It is hard to trust the people who always sided with your abusers in the past when they offer 'aid' of any sort.
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Re: Famine Declared in Four Countries

Unread postby dohboi » Tue 07 Mar 2017, 09:34:15

Interesting point. I had forgotten about that. Still deeply tragic.
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Re: Famine Declared in Four Countries

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 13 Mar 2017, 08:52:24

An explanation of Indian Ocean dipole and impact on E Africa here.

“Things will not improve any time soon. As with El Niño, global warming means the Indian Ocean Dipole has become more extreme in recent years. In East Africa, these severe droughts will become the norm.”

http://theconversation.com/dipole-the-i ... rica-74011
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Re: Famine Declared in Four Countries

Unread postby Tanada » Mon 13 Mar 2017, 09:17:59

dohboi wrote:An explanation of Indian Ocean dipole and impact on E Africa here.

“Things will not improve any time soon. As with El Niño, global warming means the Indian Ocean Dipole has become more extreme in recent years. In East Africa, these severe droughts will become the norm.”

http://theconversation.com/dipole-the-i ... rica-74011


Here is an interesting little bit you might have forgotten. From about 12,000 ybp to about 7,000 ybp the Indian Dipole was in the position it seems to be tending towards now. In that period the Sahara was a vast lush Savannah biome, not the desert we have all experienced for all of recorded human history.
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Re: Famine Declared in Four Countries

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 13 Mar 2017, 09:27:39

Well, "lusher" than the current Sahara, certainly. But savanahs aren't exactly 'lush' in the rain forest type of way.

But yeah, many models I've see show some greening of the Sahara as a possibility. Of course, human over-exploitation is a very powerful means of desertification, too.

Also, we've already blown past the temperature that the earth was at during the peak of that "Holocene Optimum" and we are on our way to other hotter regimes, though, as always, it will take a while for systems to 'catch up.'
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