They might have been able to get away with this back in the ’60′s when access to information was scant. Images on TV of emaciated children holding bowls of milk would send people scurrying to write generous cheques to Oxfam. Marketing to Americans’ natural compassion was an easy sell. The current program of selling the idea of pervasive world hunger by tying it to the spurious cause of our day is either thinly veiled crappy marketing or simply pandering to the new generation of gullible people in America.
There’s probably somebody hungry in the world somewhere, but the chance that it’s linked in any way to global warming is as likely as a fat chicken in Ethiopia as one of my good friends is fond of saying. People who count these kinds of things claim that Americans ( and that means Canadians too ) throw away over 400 pounds of food per person per year, so there’s no shortage here in North America or indeed most Western countries. Unfortunately, this wasted food can’t just be transferred like a journal entry to those in the world who could legitimately use the food. Indeed, in this part of the world, the people who are actively in the food distribution business such as McDonalds and KFC are demonized for providing too much cheap food.
According to Oxfam, ““The changing climate is already jeopardizing gains in the fight against hunger, and it looks set to worsen,” In addition, Oxfam said. “A hot world is a hungry world.” The people who penned this little slogan have obviously never spent any time in the tropical Amazon rainforest where it’s hot 365 days of the year and yet things still grow there like body hair at a lesbian convention. They must also have never considered that in Saudi Arabia, where the average temperature is over 100 degrees for half of the year and yet few are starving there either. The heat=hunger argument looks iffy.
So how is it that global warming only affects people in some parts of the world whereas in others, people have so much food that they’re throwing it away? This disparity of reality can be solved by looking closely at exactly which constituencies are served by Oxfam. Their website claims ‘over 90 countries’, but when you look at the list: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/what-we-do/countries-we-work-in The Philippines, Egypt, South Africa, Russia and the UK are probably not their main focus spots. The vast majority of those countries served by aid are in continental Africa. Interestingly, many of those countries listed are in the midst of on-going tribal and religious wars. Anyone in the farmer business in any of those countries is not going to be interested in farming or ranching if someone is likely to plant a bullet in them.
The issue of hunger in these countries is one of security and political stability not one of a few hot days ’caused’ by someone driving their SUV. Adding more tax to a gallon of gasoline will no more alleviate hunger than would taxing Listerine in America solve halitosis worldwide. It’s all hot air.