Year 4, Month 3, Day 26: No Laughing Matter

Newsday runs an AP story on the causes of the famine in Somalia. Guess what factor is accorded a central role?

(AP) — Human-induced climate change contributed to low rain levels in East Africa in 2011, making global warming one of the causes of Somalia’s famine and the tens of thousands of deaths that followed, a new study has found.

It is the first time climate change was proven to be partially to blame for such a large humanitarian disaster, an aid group said Friday.

You should force yourself! March 15:

The role played by climate change in the Somali famine deserves far more attention in our media and politics. There are far too many people who’ve chosen to ignore the humanitarian costs of a transformed climate — some who think that climate science is a wacky conspiracy, some who believe that the impact of increased atmospheric CO2 won’t be felt in their comfortable air-conditioned chambers, some who dismiss any notion of planning for global heating’s effects as “too expensive.”

While the acts of the Al-Shabab militants groups who hindered food distribution were deplorable, those extremists didn’t cause the 2011 droughts that brought on the famine in the first place. That responsibility rests with us — the developed world — and our century-long fossil-fuel binge. Somalia’s misery is a harbinger of what the rest of the world can expect as the greenhouse effect gets worse, and we ignore it at our peril.

Warren Senders

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