Secretary of State John Kerry had some sage advice for African leaders at the U.S. Africa Summit this week: Don’t build farms because of, you know, Global Warming.
Some context: In 2013, the number of malnourished individuals in Africa numbered 239 million, or nearly a quarter of the population.
For those who are unaware (as Kerry seems to be), hunger is caused by a scientific condition known as “lack of food.” Since the agricultural revolution first ignited in the Middle East several millenia ago, one of the best ways to produce food is building and maintaining a farm.
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According to Kerry, the reason why these life-saving farms shouldn’t be encouraged is because of the threat of Global Warming:
“Certain agricultural processes can actually release carbon pollution and actually contribute to the problem in the first place. It’s a twisted circle. Always complicated. But we also know that there are certain ways to change that.
For example, rather than convert natural areas to new farmland, a process that typically releases significant amounts of carbon pollution, we can, instead, concentrate our efforts on making existing farmlands more productive.”
As Mike Miller pointed out at IJReview:
Without getting into the whole global warming debate, the fact remains: it is a debate. While some data is inconclusive, other data suggests that the planet hasn’t warmed for nearly 18 years – or more. What isn’t a debate is that without food, people starve to death.
Here’s my best advice for African leaders who want their people to have enough food: Ignore John Kerry. Most of the world does anyway.