Today is World Food Day. In my home office hangs a poster from Oxfam Canada. It reads:
Climate change is more than an environmental issue. It is about poverty and human rights. More than this, it is about the rights of women. At Oxfam, we work passionately to end global poverty and advance gender equality. But climate change is blocking the way. We have to stop climate change in its tracks and we have to start right now.
The U.N. World Food Program states:
Climate change is already increasing the risk of exposure to hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity among the poorest and most vulnerable people. Natural disasters are becoming more frequent and intense, land and water are becoming more scarce and difficult to access, and increases in agricultural productivity are becoming more difficult to achieve.
In honour of World Food Day, check out this video on the Beltran Eco-home and Farm. Juan Beltran, left a quadriplegic after a tour of Iraq, says “sustainability is not being dependent on anyone else”.
And then go to “1 Billion Hungry.org” to sign a petition calling on our leaders to work to end hunger. And once you’ve done that, how about talking to at least one person today about the link between human-caused climate change and world hunger?
This summer has been devastating as China, Pakistan, and Russia reel under extreme weather events. Pakistan in particular is in need of humanitarian yet “donor fatigue” is cited as one of the reasons for the less generous aid responses so far. Food crops have been affected both in Russia and in Pakistan, with Russia responding by cancelling this year’s grain exports. In Pakistan, the floods have damaged wheat and rice crops as more than 17 million hectares of arable land lies under water. We already live in a world where one billion people go hungry every day. In a world experiencing climate change, food instability will only grow. According to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, more than 75% of the world’s poorest people live in rural areas, and most of these are small-scale farmers. These are the people most at risk of increased hunger from climate change.
Donor fatigue is not an option for those of us in the richest parts of the world who are directly responsible for the increased suffering around the globe. And let’s not stop with aid relief – take time to send a message to your government that it’s time to address climate change NOW, before it’s too late. And join 350.org’s 10-10-10 work party and make a difference in your community that will send ripples around the globe.
Go to The Humanitarian Coalition (Oxfam, CARE, and Save the Children) to donate to Pakistan Flood Relief.
Click here to tell world leaders to begin to address climate change by putting solar on their residences.
If you are Canadian, go to Canadian Foodgrains Bank climate change page to send a postcard to your MP commending the government for setting aside $400 million to help developing countries adapt to and fight climate change, and to ask that it goes to where it is most effective, and is given in the form of grants and not loans.
To get an idea of the stark reality of food shortages that climate change will bring about, view this slide show prepared by Dr. Peter Carter: Hello. This is the map to the end of our world. Goodbye.