Monday, August 22, 2011
Global Warming Linked to Famine in Africa
by Shani K. Collins, Your Black World
The impact of global warming has been heavily debated as an environmental and a political issue for years. A recent report issued by a team of researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, found that global warming is in fact the culprit in the East Africa drought that has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Somalians.
The drought is the worst in 60 years, according to researchers. Researcher Chris Funk, who collects climate information to identify the causes of droughts said in a Huff Post interview that he ”saw the potential for trouble in Somalia long before everyone else did, and came to the conclusion that back-to-back droughts that have devastated Somalia in the past year are likely part of a larger trend connected to global warming.”
Funk added, ”The possibility of back-to-back droughts combined with a variety of other factors — including a long-term warming trend, high food prices in the region and the lingering effects of the droughts that choked East Africa in 2007, 2008 and 2009 lead he and his research team to realize that if back-to-back droughts occurred, it would be catastrophic for the region.”
“There are many problems in East Africa,” Funk said, but “there’s been a lot of positive movement in the internal aid world over the last five or six years. Governments and other organizations have been pouring money into the region, and just as importantly, they’ve been directing it toward attempts to make long-lasting, structural changes."
Funk also said: “The situation is not getting any better in East Africa. And if we don’t try to solve those long-term problems, I’m afraid this kind of thing is going to happen more frequently, not less.” ABC News has launched the “Be the Change. Save a Life” Initiative to provide ways to help the crisis. Several charitable organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and Global Giving are listed on the website: http://abcnews.go.com/International/somalia-famine/story?id=14088327
Doctors Without Borders: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org.
Global Giving: www.globalgiving.org. Edesia Global, the makers of Plumpy’nut, a nutritional a peanut-paste with milk powder, sugar and vitamins/minerals, has partnered with Global Giving to assist the famine relief efforts. Plumpy’nut is easy to distribute, and within 4-10 weeks children can make a full recovery. Plumpy’nut is given to the mothers and caregivers of children under medical supervision.
Shani K. Collins is a freelance writer. Visit her at www.shanicollins.com
Posted by Mathew Couch at 6:30 PM