Famine: It’s Not Just A Foreign Thing

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We watch the famines that roll by in foreign nations and most of us have a mixture of feelings. Sympathy at the suffering, anger at those nations rulers for not doing more…there’s a gamut of emotions particularly for the children who are powerless to do anything about it. What rarely crosses our minds though is ‘how would I cope?’. The reason this doesn’t enter our heads is that we live in lands of plenty, where food has always been available, and always will be…or will it?

Famine has many causes. War and civil strife with populations always on the move is a major contributor in countries like Sudan. Itinerant populations don’t plant crops, there’s little point when you are constantly upping sticks and fleeing either from your own government or from one of the numerous militia groups that roam the countryside.

Syria, a country wracked by civil war is another example of conflict leading to food shortages and history is littered with other examples where the cause and the outcome are the same.

There are also numerous examples of famines caused not by war and conflict, but by heat and cold, by drought and flood and there is no reason at all that a weather related famine could not happen in the first world.

The weather is changing around the globe, not as a result of global warming in my opinion, but just as part of a cycle the Earth goes through.

On a personal level I believe the planet is actually cooling, more and more scientists are changing their mind about global warming, quite simply because the planet isn’t warming anymore.

A cooling planet will present problems we haven’t had to deal with before, growing zones will change, and with it the foods that we eat. More and more weather related incidents will prevent haulage from moving foods from the warehouses to the stores. The unprepared will be hungry, even if it is just for a few days until the latest storm passes.

What though if it doesn’t pass in a few days?

For three years running large swathes of the UK were under water. Arable land lay under feet of water, tainted with salt from sea flooding in many places. Like the United States the UK works on a just in time delivery network, a network that wasn’t working too well at the height of the floods due to power cuts that prevents the computer systems from listing what needs to go where, even where the electricity supply was working so many towns were cut off physically by the water and downed bridges that the trucks delivering the food couldn’t get through.

Now for a small country like the UK this is not insurmountable, boats float on water and nowhere is more than a hundred miles away from somewhere the power is still on, more often than not it’s much less than that, so stuff can still be moved to where it’s needed. If however this was a truly national crisis, where for example the whole country had no power we are talking a different thing altogether. It would be chaos.

Now scale this up to a country the size of the United States. A country much, much bigger than the UK. The United States has an area of 3,790,000 square miles against 94,600 square miles for the UK.

To put it another way your country is just under 41 times bigger than my country.

Try to imagine the logistics of keeping the whole country fed if a proportion of it is in famine conditions. If it was the west of the US that was experiencing shortages due to drought, as California has for a few years, then the food supply for the whole country is reduced. What they do produce will most likely stay in the state to feed the people of California. Think of it like this, you wouldn’t grow a garden full of veggies then give them all away without saving enough for yourself first would you? This will leave the US in a really odd situation where the parts of the country WITHOUT the weather issues end up being the parts of the country with reduced food on the shelves.

As we have seen with winter storms that food goes very fast when people perceive there is a problem coming, and there is a problem coming, and it won’t be too long before it gets here.

The dictionary definition of the word famine is:

fam·ine (făm′ĭn)

noun

1. A drastic, wide-reaching food shortage.

2. A drastic shortage; a dearth.

3. Severe hunger; starvation.

So simply not being able to afford the food that is available would put people into a state of famine. We are already on the road to food shortages and price hikes, we are already on the road to famine.

The most important thing you can do right now is plant food. In tubs that you can move if you live in an area that regularly floods. Gardening as a hobby is rapidly going to become a thing of the past, gardening for survival is going to take it’s place. Don’t wait. Now’s the time. Plan, plant and survive because there’s a very good chance that famine is coming to you at some point in the near future.

Take care

Liz

3 thoughts on “Famine: It’s Not Just A Foreign Thing”

  1. The drought in California has already affected us here in Ontario. We get a great deal of our produce from there and of course, the pricing has reflected the problems in Cali. The produce manager of one of the major supermarkets in our area commented that they’ve had difficulty getting certain items. When I mentioned the drought, she was surprised because she hadn’t heard of it. It’s been going on for a couple of years so I found it difficult to believe she had no idea.

    When I couldn’t get what I wanted from that store, I went to another supermarket and was really surprised by what I saw there. Not only was there an even more limited selection of produce, the management had posted a sign there. It read that due to the California drought some vegetables and fruits weren’t available.

    Really brought home how fragile our delivery system was for food. Especially when it comes from a drought stricken area. Add in a little political/economic turmoil and there’ll be almost nothing coming into the stores.

    What was more shocking was the realization that so many people were totally unaware of what was affecting the foods that they were hoping to buy.

    kk

  2. I agree we should be talking climate change rather than global warming. It still upsets me that NOAA actually changed actual data from the past to make it look like the hiatus in warming starting in about 1995 didn’t occur. They apparently used some statistical mombojumbo to justify it. Articles I read twenty years ago suggested that a megadrought was over due. Some evidence suggests that the demise of a large number of aboriginal North Americans predated Columbus and was therefore no caused by European disease.
    The plagues in Europe have been blamed on the famines caused by the little ice age. Ice core studies have suggested that there was significant warming before the little ice age. I think the problem with the politicians pushing the global warming theory so hard is two fold. They can make money from things like carbon taxes and from their brother in law’s subsidized green energy business. Secondly too many people believe that humans can change the course of nature every time. They have lost the belief in a higher power.
    So, if you want to eat learn to grow and or forage your own food. It takes more time than most people think. While you are at it study up on ways to cope with the changes of weather that are sure to come. Put some food by for the bad year and learn to make do with what you have.

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