When I was a kid in the late 60s an important story was the Biafran War. I think it was the first time that a famine, a genocide, a civil war was brought into people’s living room every night. It was the awakening of my awareness that Wars and Climate Change Cause Famines. I know that this seems simplistic/naive and that there are larger and long-term issues that also contribute but in my world view these two rank at the top.
As the Vietnam war was the first televised war the Nigerian-Biafra war was the first crime against humanity that was televised into my life experience. Images of starving and malnourished children were across all media platforms – usually alongside coverage of the Vietnam war.
As the Vietnam War helped shape me to become the peace activist that I became later in life, the Biafran War exposed me to the horrors and reality of politics and armed conflicts and the effect it has on the people that pay a hefty price – the non-combatants. The Biafran War made me aware of social injustice and food as a weapon.
Peace, Ecological Balance, and Social Justice are very important to me and the store.
We have had several famines over the course of our civilization. Many of the more recent ones have been human-made/caused. War and climate changes have been the two leading causes of famines. When our climate is not stable, we deal with changes in weather patterns which can mean the death of millions of people.
The UN Warns us that there are almost 20 MILLION people vulnerable to famine at present in Africa. In my world, this is NOT Acceptable.
What can I do about it? What can the store do about it? What can one person – one small business do? Not much, but we can so something and if enough people and business do SOMETHING then we can collectively bring about some positive change in the world and save some lives.
But we also need long-term solutions. We can save some lives today but how about tomorrow or next year. Do we save a life today only for that person to die later from the same or different human-causes? We need to ensure that we change the destructive path our world is on and find solutions to resolve the ecological imbalance of our planet – most notably climate change – and the conflict (war).
It is war that caused the recent largest migration in human history – the Syrian migration and the African environmental crisis has been a very large factor in the African migration.
So what am I, and the store, going to do? Good question!
- Starting on Tuesday, May 30th, 2017 we will set up a Green Onion Cake grill at our Downtown Store/Cafe and sell Green Onion Cakes. For every green onion cake people purchase, we will donate the full price of every Green Onion Cake sold (5$) to an organization working on African famine relief.
- We will spotlight a different organization each Tuesday
- We will do this each Tuesday for the next 6 weeks.
- Our Downtown Store and Cafe is located at 10150 – 104th street
On the scale of things – it is not much – but it is better than doing nothing. Check out the events on our Facebook Page.
The people in Yemen, South Sudan, Eriteria, and northern Nigeria need support. They need food and water. With this series of fundraisers we will help be part of the effort to save some lives BUT it does end with just one action. We need to have long-term plans in place to mitigate and to avoid situations like this in the future.
Many years ago, in the documentary “Dimming the Sun” I was watching, they suggested that pollution in the upper Northern Hemisphere and greenhouse gasses were/are the causes of shifting of the rains in the hardest-hit areas of Africa (most notably the Sahel).
The 1984 Ethiopian famine shocked the world. It was partly caused by a decades-long drought right across sub-Saharan Africa, a region known as the Sahel. For year after year, the summer rains failed. There were many factors at work, but now there’s evidence that among them was global dimming. The Sahel’s lifeblood has always been a seasonal monsoon. For most of the year it is completely dry, but every summer, the heat of the sun warms the oceans north of the Equator. This draws the rain belt that forms over the Equator northward, bringing rain to the Sahel.
IF we do not address Climate Change, 20 million will be a small number of people that will be murdered by our inaction. We need to address the most pressing problem – feeding people BUT we have to address the causes of famines, migration, climate/environmental imbalance, and strife/conflict/war. The number of environmental refugees will be staggering.
Be the Change! Let the Change start with the actions You and I take – together or apart – we are one!