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Famine And Climate Change by City Tech Blogger Zhenghua Li

Climate change is changing people’s lives every way. Many natural disasters that affect people are also caused by climate change and famine is one of them. Famine is one of the worst disasters for people. When there is drought and ecosystem damage to a local area, famine may happen; people become hungry and many starve to death. In the article ”Making famine history”, the author gives a definition of famine: ”a wide-spread lack of food leading directly to excess mortality from starvation or hunger induced illness”(Cormac). Under starvation, people’s morals become lax and vague, and they also lose their dignity in searching for food. Furthermore, starvation makes weak people weaker, and illnesses spread like a grim reaper hanging around people. This is how bad famine can get.

Many famines have happened in the human history and every time it has happened it has caused wide spread death around a country or region. Back then people couldn’t adapt to famine disasters and had to rob others for food for them to survive. According to the article `Making famine history’ “Today’s high-profile famines are, by comparison, small. That in Niger in 2005 pales into insignificance compared to one that robbed the same country of up to one third of its people in 1931”.

But how does famine happen? How does climate change create more famines? As part of humanity, what should we do to prevent or adapt to famine? Are people today bringing less famine to our society?

Famine has many causes. Lack of rain brings drought, broken ecosystems bring unbalanced insect numbers. These are the major causes of famine. Climate change is seeing global temperature increase, causing warm places to be hotter and cool places colder.  Also, climate change makes the four seasons become unidentifiable, which is what plants really depend on. Because of climate change, it might cause some places to have less rain, the growing cycle of plants to be impacted in a way that makes farmers have less food production. Furthermore, because some animals or insects couldn’t adapt to climate change and the different environment, part of the ecosystem would be destroyed and lost. The balance of the ecosystem would be broken, and some insects which like to eat plants would grow in large numbers, like 2020 the Locust Plague. This series of events make famines even worse and cause more death.

How can people adapt to the famine? Since the industrial revolution, people have found many new ways and technology to adapt to the famine. For example, artificial precipitation. When there is drought, people could send up a rocket with dry ice, the solid form of carbon dioxide, which could absorb heat around the air. By sending dry ice to the clouds, it could form rainclouds faster and eventually create rain. In 2020, many countries were suffering from the locust plague, and Pakistan was one of them. To solve the locust plague for Pakistan, Chinese experts suggested sending ducks to eliminate the size of locusts. Based on the BBC’s report “An agricultural expert behind the scheme says a single duck can eat more than 200 locusts a day and can be more effective than pesticides. (BBC)” . Ecosystem issues use an ecosystem way to solve problems and is a way people use to adapt to the famine nowadays.

Famines historically are among the worst disasters around the world. As people learn more, there are many new ways that could stop or prevent natural disasters such as famine. Even to this day, famine is still happening somewhere around the world and it will only become worse as the climate changes. What we as individuals can do to help others who are suffering from famine is not to waste food in our daily life.


Work Cited

Gráda, Cormac Ó. “Making Famine History.” Journal of Economic Literature, vol. 45, no. 1, 2007, pp. 5–38, http:ww.jstor.org/stable/27646746. Accessed 5 Apr. 2022.

“China May Send Ducks to Battle Pakistan’s Locust Swarms.” BBC News, BBC, 27 Feb. 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-51658145.


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