Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Famines, climate and politics

"Famines have as much or more to do with authoritarian politics as they do with climate fluctuations and crop yields"

Amartya Sen, cited by Jeffrey Sachs in "The end of poverty, economic possibilities for our time", chapter "India's market reforms", who then adds:

"Sen's insight is sometimes carried too far, however, with the claim that democracies never have famines. In the extreme climatic and demographic conditions of Africa, where highly vulnerable populations rely on rain-fed agriculture in arid regions, droughts can cause famines even in democracies."

This will be more and more the case with the consequences of global warming !

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