Year 4, Month 3, Day 27: Who’s That Knocking At My Door?

From the Davidson County Dispatch (NC), more on the Somalia famine story:

Scientists with Britain’s weather service studied weather patterns in East Africa in 2010 and 2011 and found that yearly precipitation known as the short rains failed in late 2010 because of the natural effects of the weather pattern La Nina.

But the lack of the long rains in early 2011 was an effect of “the systematic warming due to influence on greenhouse gas concentrations,” said Peter Stott of Britain’s Met Office, speaking to The Associated Press in a phone interview.

The British government estimates that between 50,000 and 100,000 people died from the famine. But the new research doesn’t mean global warming directly caused those deaths.

Ethiopia and Kenya were also affected by the lack of rains in 2011, but aid agencies were able to work more easily in those countries than in war-ravaged Somalia, where the al-Qaida-linked Islamic extremist group al-Shabab refused to allow food aid into the wide areas under its control.

One-worlders unite! March 15 (making up for not doing a letter yesterday due to massive gig commitments):

As the evidence substantiating the existence of human-caused planetary warming has accumulated to the point where it’s absolutely incontrovertible, former climate-change denialists have gradually changed their tune. The new line is either that addressing a global crisis is somehow too expensive, or that the consequences of a runaway greenhouse effect will be felt only by people somewhere else.

The news that climate change has been fingered as the primary cause of the 2011 famine in Somalia probably won’t change any minds. After all, Somalians are nothing if not “people somewhere else.” But aside from exemplifying a grotesque moral irresponsibility, such an attitude is simply incorrect. As the ramifications of industrial civilization’s fossil-fuel binge become apparent in floods of climate refugees and increasing numbers of deaths, national boundaries are going to become less and less relevant.

We — all of humanity — live on a single planet. There is no “somewhere else.”

Warren Senders