Keeping Africa on the brink of starvation

UN and EU government agencies – and tax-exempt NGOs – have brought a plague of locusts

Paul Driessen

Billions of desert locusts have descended again on East Africa. Crawling first, then sprouting wings and flying in hungry hordes [fixed~cr] of 40-150 million or more, they are devastating crops and threatening tens of millions of people with lost livelihoods and starvation. This latest locust plague, says the United Nations, is the worst in 70 years for Kenya, the worst in 25 years for Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia.

Locust swarms can blanket scores or hundreds of square miles at a time, travel 80 miles a day, and consume more than 400 million pounds of vegetation daily, Africa Fighting Malaria cofounder Richard Tren notes. The insects increase their numbers logarithmically, meaning numbers can be 500 times higher in six months. In Ethiopia, on January 9, a massive swarm nearly brought down a Boeing 737 jetliner.

Many fear the voracious insects could soon reach croplands in South Sudan, Uganda, and even Asia. The USA was once plagued by Rocky Mountain locusts, but they are now history – driven to extinction, thanks to active efforts by American farmers.

Despite past history, UN Food and Agricultural Organization officials say this is an “unprecedented threat” to food security, one “of international dimensions.” It’s “a far more serious emergency than we had earlier anticipated,” an African official said. “Please do not wait to act,” FAO Deputy-Director-General Helena Semedo pleaded at a February 7 gathering of “international experts” and African leaders.

Desperate Africans are responding with “time-tested” methods: whistling and shouting loudly, banging on metal buckets, waving blankets and sticks, crushing the bugs – perhaps even roasting and eating them, under UN-approved nutrition programs. In Eritrea, they are using “more advanced” methods: hand-held and truck-mounted sprayers. In Kenya, police are firing machine guns and tear gas into the swarms!

Fenitrothion is a highly effective pesticide against locust swarms. But only in Ethiopia, it seems, are they spraying pesticides from small airplanes. Fenitrothion supplies are extremely limited – and aerial spraying is too expensive for cash-strapped countries, too dangerous in areas wracked by radical Muslim insurgencies, and minimally effective against such massive swarms with so few available aircraft. And it takes days for pesticide-phobic farmers to move cattle and goats out of areas that could be sprayed.

In this era of incredible modern agricultural and insect control technologies, when American farmers get 3-5 times more crop yields per acre than 50 years ago­­ – how is it possible that Africa remains perpetually on the brink of starvation? That Africa faces yet another locust plague of biblical pharaoh proportions? That Africans must rely on absurd “time-tested,” almost totally ineffective locust control methods?

Incredibly, this looming catastrophe is due to policies and programs that have been officially adopted and deliberately implemented by the very UN agencies that are now crying loudest about the horrific situation.

For years now, the FAO, UN Development Programme and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) have been working in cahoots with some of the most radical environmentalist pressure groups on Earth to devise and impose “agroecology” – a perverse combination of socialism, pseudo-ecology and primitive, anti-technology agriculture. The program is financed and advanced by the UN, by European governments via their development agencies and funding of environmentalist NGOs – and even by US taxpayers, who provide 22% of UN funding and underwrite grants to and tax-exempt status for environmentalist groups.

Agroecology is above all political. It rejects virtually everything that has enabled modern agriculture to feed billions more people from less acreage. It rabidly opposes monoculture farming, hybrid seeds, synthetic/non-organic insecticides and fertilizers, biotechnology … and even mechanized equipment like tractors! It claims Dr. Norman Borlaug’s Green Revolution, which saved a billion people from starvation, did little more than put global food production “under the control of a few transnational corporations.”

Acceptance of agroecology tenets and restrictions has become a condition for poor farmers getting seeds, and their countries and local communities getting development loans and food aid. Mid-level bureaucrats get cushy jobs overseeing and propagandizing agroecology campaigns, while ruling elites get more opportunities to siphon off additional millions in international aid money. They still erect roadblocks to Golden Rice, which could save 2 million parents and children a year from blindness and death.

AgroEcology advocates extol “food sovereignty” and the “right to subsistence farming.” They promote “indigenous agricultural knowledge and practices,” to the exclusion of knowledge, practices, technologies and equipment that have been developed in recent decades – and could help end Africa’s perpetual poverty, malnutrition, disease, joblessness and early death. They sow fear about pesticides and GM food.

Instead of transforming and modernizing African agriculture, the UN, FAO, UNEP, and radical groups like Food First, La Via Campesina, Greenpeace and IFOAM Organics International demand “culturally appropriate” food produced through “ecologically sound and sustainable methods,” as only they can twist those terms to serve their sick determination to negate and roll back human progress.

FAO Steering Committee member Miguel Altieri insists that all this will promote “resiliency” in African food production. The locust plague and imminent starvation underscore just how “resilient” agroecology has made East Africa. There’s barely enough food for good times, much less days of droughts and locusts. Modern agriculture could turn much of Africa into a bread basket – but the lunatics won’t allow it.

In 2012, Kenya banned biotech (GM or GMO) food, even as highly successful pilot projects were doubling and tripling crop yields for Kenyan and South African farmers, and ending plant diseases that had devastated papaya and cassava crops. Now, even as locusts wipe out staple food crops, rabid NGOs are pressuring Kenya’s Parliament to ban over 200 pesticides that have been approved as safe for crops, wildlife and people by Kenyan authorities and by regulators in the USA, Canada and other nations.

Meanwhile, well-fed Uhura Kenyatta, president of Kenya since 2013, resorts to the typical cop-out: the locust plague is the result of climate change. And Kenya’s Ministry of Health says, even if there is a severe famine and a threat to loss of life, “every effort” will be made to “source [imported] food from non-GMO sources, failing which emergency GM food may be allowed in.” Shades of Zambia 2002!

Adding to the insanity, in late January the United Nations claimed it needed “more than $70 million from donors” to address the locust crisis. For 2020, the UN budget is $3.1 billion; the FAO’s is $1 billion; the UNEP’s $790 million; and the Green Climate Fund has some $2 billion, plus pledges of some $6 billion.

Surely, these outfits can find a measly $70 million in these bloated treasuries to address a genuine humanitarian crisis – even if they have to claw it away from agroecology and similarly useless programs.

And what about the rights of African farmers who don’t want to practice agroecology, who want to use modern seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and machinery? Do the FAO and UN Human Rights Commission support those rights of self-determination? Why isn’t the HRC blasting the NGOs, EU countries and UN agencies for these human rights violations and the misery, malnutrition, disease and death they cause?

Agroecology burdens African farmers “with systems that my grandfather gave up on 125 years ago,” Indiana farmer and US Ambassador to the FAO and other Rome-based UN agencies Kip Tom told people attending the February 20 USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum dinner. Whereas previous FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva was deeply involved in the agroecology movement, thankfully his replacement (Qu Dongyu of China) is a scientist who seems “willing to work with” American farmers and the Trump Administration “to feed a growing and hungry world,” Ambassador Tom added.

Agroecology represents eco-imperialism at its worst. Under any fair and balanced application of their own beliefs and standards, today’s “woke” environmental, campus and progressive activists would charge the organizations imposing agroecology on Africa with eco-manslaughter. But that will never happen.

President Trump, the Agriculture Department and Congress should loudly and publicly stigmatize the FAO, UN and EU and their NGOs – and terminate any funding and tax exemptions that support agroecology. US agencies should devote their resources to rooting out this perverse system and helping Africa bring modern agriculture, disease control, health and living standards to its mistreated families.

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power-black death and articles on environmental and human rights issues.

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February 23, 2020 10:54 pm

Agroecology – crime against humanity.

Reply to  Art
February 24, 2020 8:48 am

HORDE, it’s spelled HORDE, NOT HOARD. A hoard is a stash of stuff, like a hoard of gold or canned food. A HORDE is a whole lot of people or monkeys or whatever. “The horde of locusts swarmed over the crops”. HORDE. NOT HOARD. Dammit.
I’m seeing this same ignorant misspelling on too many sites. Learn the language first, then post.

February 23, 2020 11:04 pm

I’ve met more than one person who thinks the fundamental drive, the basis of climate activism and “aid” for Africa is racism. They want Africans to live like animals, denying them anything which might help them achieve the same standard of living as the vile racists who promote such schemes.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 24, 2020 3:50 am

Eric wrote:
“I’ve met more than one person who thinks the fundamental drive, the basis of climate activism and “aid” for Africa is racism. They want Africans to live like animals, denying them anything which might help them achieve the same standard of living as the vile racists who promote such schemes.”

You are close Ron – it could be racism, but it is more likely Marxism, following “The Long March Through The Institutions”, wherein Western institutions including professional societies, schools and universities have been taken over by doctrinaire leftists who are still following Lenin’s plan.

The standard Marxist takeover plan for a country is to promise a lot of free stuff, destroy the economy, and then complete the takeover by telling the sheep that Marxism is the One Solution and institute a totalitarian dictatorship, in which you and your cabal live like kings and everyone else lives like peasants. It is a simple, effective plan that has worked in Russia and China, then across South America, Africa and parts of Asia, and is now working in Europe, Canada and Australia, etc. Marxism relies in the stupidity of the average person, and their willingness to be duped by scoundrels.

Regarding the systematic murder, especially of children in sub-Saharan Africa, I wrote this article almost one year ago, and was vilified by my professional association for speaking the truth. I have since resigned from APEGA – one of many leftist-corrupted institutions.

By Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng., April 14, 2019

“On December 6, 2018 I was informed in a letter from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) that I was “the 2019 Summit Award recipient of the Centennial Leadership Award. This is APEGA’s most prestigious award and is given to members of APEGA in recognition of continued leadership in the profession and in the community, attaining the highest distinction relating to engineering or geoscience.” That award has now been withdrawn by the Executive and the unanimous vote of APEGA Council, because of posts I wrote on

Two of my several accomplishments that resulted in the Centennial Award were:

· Innovations, by myself or with colleagues, which created 500,000 jobs, caused $250 billion in capital investment in Alberta and made Canada the fifth-largest oil producer in the world;

· Taking decisive actions that incurred significant personal risks when staff at the Mazeppa sour gas project were afraid to act, which may have saved up to 300,000 lives in Calgary.

APEGA objected to my following posts, which were written as my personal opinions:

“In the 20th Century, socialists Stalin, Hitler and Mao caused the deaths of over 200 million people, mostly their own citizens. Lesser killers like Pol Pot and the many tin-pot dictators of South America and Africa killed and destroyed the lives of many more.

Modern Green Death probably started with the 1972-2002 effective ban of DDT, which caused global deaths from malaria to increase from about 1 million to almost two million per year. Most of these deaths were children under five in sub-Saharan Africa – just babies for Christ’s sake!”
– February 1, 2019

“…radical greens (really radical leftists) are the great killers of our time. Now the greens are blinding and killing babies by opposing golden rice…” – March 10, 2019

“The Green movement is really a smokescreen for the old Marxists – and they are the great killers of our age.” – March 11, 2019

APEGA refused to discuss the evidence, and baselessly claimed the moral high ground.”

peter jones
February 24, 2020 1:31 pm

Well, i think the African situation, really represents the end stage of agenda 21 / 2030, that they have in mind for all of us, but without high tech cities, i think thats why the globalists are so keen to keep them poor whilst sucking out their resources for large profits.

If you read the writings of Marx and Engels in Die Neue Rhienische Zeitung and the writings of the early Fabian Socialists, the Africans as a group seem to be seen as that part of humanity which wont become the new Marxist proletariat quickly enough and must be disposed of as they are just too far behind.

This seems to fit the U.N (founded by globalists) agenda as practiced in reality.

With ideology being more important than improved outcomes for the poor, whilst supporting lots of well paid jobs for U.N employees and bureaucrats.

Because at the end of the day the whole system is designed to engineer long term political control, by the U.N with beneficial schemes merely window dressing.


Reply to  peter jones
February 24, 2020 6:26 pm

Good comment – thank you Pete.

Gary Pearse
February 24, 2020 7:09 pm

Alan, You are too hard on the average person (“being stupid”). The real problem is the 30% (I’m being hopeful on the percentage!) educated (so to speak!) lefties that are all-in with this radical plan -think those who voted for Hillary. They have no idea of course what a miserable life they are opting into for themselves.

Trump got in with the average joe and jane who were at least smart enough to know that this was probably the last chance for them. Hillary even called them Deplorables. How smart was that?

You may be right about Canada though. I was considering emigration from Canada after Trudeau got in but he ballsed everything up and I was sure he’d be turfed out like Notley and Wynn. He would have been if Conservatives didn’t run a no-name with 19th Century positions on what have become lost causes.

WesternEurope is a different kettle of fish. They can’t shake their fascination with their creation, K. Marx no matter how miserable and complete was the failure of this system basically because it doesn’tfit with human nature of the governed or the governors. And look Karl’s proposals were for the times when people were on subsistence pay and lived unbearably bleak, short lives. Karl at least cared about these people.

The modern edition are monsters! You got that right in your article. They not only don’t care about ordinary people, but they are just re-warmed eugenics agents. It’s unfair to conflate this modern ugly human mutation with Marx. Der Fűrer would be outdone by these evil folk if they got what they wanted

Steve Keppel-Jones
February 26, 2020 12:05 pm

That’s a good article, Allan, but I would counsel one minor change: when you describe the Greens as “blinding and killing babies”, that’s a bit harsh to my mind. Sure, their policies are having that effect, but pushing harmful policies and actually murdering babies in person are different acts and different levels of evil. The Greens describe our viewpoints, for example, as “killing the planet”, which we know is false, but we shouldn’t stoop to their level.

Curious George
Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 24, 2020 7:02 am

Does “they” include Al-Shabaab?

Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 24, 2020 2:19 pm

You’re an idiot. Pesticides cause cancer and monocropping is horrible for the environment.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 24, 2020 10:00 pm

Hi again Eric.
I do expect that racism does play a part as you say – I wrote this not long ago.
Best personal regards, Allan

OK, since Karin Hermes has started the conversation, let’s talk about the sensitive issue of race – as it relates to the radical green movement.

The title of my April 2019 paper states:

But let’s take it further as Ms Hermes has done, and “play the race card”:

Yes, I said it , and I mean it. Greens always profess their virtue, but I reject that false claim. It is clear that greens have long regarded little black kids and little yellow kids as disposable, as long as green delusions are satisfied.

In 2016-2017 I had a difficult experience as mentioned in this paper, in which I took significant risks to protect the lives of about 300,000 people. This experience has changed me, hopefully for the better. I feel a greater obligation to call out the child abusers and child killers in our midst and to shine a bright light on their heinous acts.

Have some labelled my statements “hate speech”? Yes, and it has cost me.
Are my above statements true? Yes, without question.

No regrets, Allan

By Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng., April 14, 2019

“…radical greens (really radical leftists) are the great killers of our time. Now the greens are blinding and killing babies by opposing golden rice…”

“In the 20th Century, socialists Stalin, Hitler and Mao caused the deaths of over 200 million people, mostly their own citizens. Lesser killers like Pol Pot and the many tin-pot dictators of South America and Africa killed and destroyed the lives of many more.

Modern Green Death probably started with the 1972-2002 effective ban of DDT, which caused global deaths from malaria to increase from about 1 million to almost two million per year. Most of these deaths were children under five in sub-Saharan Africa – just babies for Christ’s sake!”

“The Green movement is really a smokescreen for the old Marxists – and they are the great killers of our age.”

Michael J Rosati
Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 26, 2020 1:19 pm

Dear Eric – Excellent point, sir. My disgust has no words for how the indigenous peoples of ancient cultures are pawns for such brutal greed. I can only wonder who would offer an improvement.

Zig Zag Wanderer
February 24, 2020 12:04 am

Yeah, it must be climate change. I mean, who ever heard of plagues of locusts in Africa before! You see, proof!

Ivor Ward
February 24, 2020 12:05 am

If you don’t keep Africa in poverty and on the edge of starvation it would take away the source of the modern slave trade. Where would Europe be without a source of slaves to drive down wages and keep the proles in check. The Quangos, NGO’s etc doing it are the useful idiots. Those controlling it are the real problem. See Davos and Bilderberg for further information.

Reply to  Ivor Ward
February 24, 2020 3:57 am

Bloomberg is closer.

Andy Mansell
February 24, 2020 12:07 am

Earlier this year I heard some XR creature on BBC radio, (of course), comparing Trump to Pol Pot for ‘climate crimes which will cause millions of deaths’, she was quite happy to be saying it too. What, then, does this make the greens?

Pariah Dog
Reply to  Andy Mansell
February 24, 2020 1:37 am

Chamber Pots.

Reply to  Andy Mansell
February 24, 2020 3:57 am


Ronald Bruce
February 24, 2020 12:11 am

If you keep them poor keep them starving communism looks much better all.the, time that is what it’s really all about.

Reply to  Ronald Bruce
February 24, 2020 3:04 am

Correct Ron.

Deliberate destruction of the economy is the leftists’ path to a Marxist dictatorship. Ruin the economy and then tell the sheep you will be their savior – it has worked across Africa and South America – note Zimbabwe and Venezuela.

It is now working in Europe and also in Canada under Trudeau and his Marxist cabal.

On Sunday 23Feb2020 the $20 billion Teck oilsands project was shelved, thanks to Trudeau’s deliberate inaction and the terrorism of a handful of foreign-paid activists.

Trudeau was delaying his decision because THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR ECONOMY IS PART OF HIS PLAN.

This is the article that Trudeau’s $600 million “bought” Canadian press would not print.

by Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng., October 1, 2019

A highly credible gentleman wrote me as follows, concerning his recent conversation with an Ottawa insider.

The insider, he said, had been working on an advisory group to the Trudeau government. The group was not formed to discuss policy for the 5 year horizon that governments are usually interested in but to develop policies for the further future, 20 to 40 years out. The implication was that the group had concluded that the present economic model was flawed and had to be replaced. “Unregulated consumerism was unsustainable and people would have to learn to make do with less. The government would have to have more control over people to enforce their austerity and the wealth of developed nations would have to be redistributed to help undeveloped nations.”

Flight Level
February 24, 2020 12:17 am

Until someone gets hurt. These pests will paint layers of gluey substance on your windshield in a matter of seconds.

Which, with the help of heat (yes, windshields are permanently heated to prevent icing&fog and make them less brittle in case of shock), will cure into a substance beyond what wipers can handle. It’s actually a big mistake to try to wipe them as it will make the coverage more uniform.

In the engines they behave as a continuous flow of sticky dough and AFAIK no engine is certified against it.

With the numbers they would clog all Pitot tubes resulting in a very uncomfortable absence of reliable airspeed indication.

Very illogical threat knowing that solutions that actually work exit.

February 24, 2020 12:18 am

We are being “encouraged” by our Lords and Masters to eat insects to solve man-made global warming (as it used to be called).

So surely the solution is in the problem.

Mr Gore can set an example here I feel?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Jones
February 24, 2020 12:25 am

Dr. David Bellamy was all in to this in the 70s/80s, eat worms and bugs, even ate a cake made of worms on a kids TV show once. Not for climate, but food shortages/alternatives. He was, largely, ridiculed for it. How times have changed.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
February 24, 2020 2:23 am

Bellamy had integrity, he never accepted the deal.

shortus cynicus
Reply to  Jones
February 24, 2020 5:08 am

Michael Moore wold have an havier impact.

Patrick MJD
February 24, 2020 12:22 am

My friend in Kenya tells me the locust have been there for several months now, just eating everything in sight. And not much is being done about it.

February 24, 2020 3:47 am

By the way, you can eat locusts. They’re good. Also easy to catch in bunches when they swarm.

Reply to  chaamjamal
February 24, 2020 9:37 am

I don’t like grasshoppers. (I know locusts are a little bit different). One time, I found this huge spider living in our hedges. So every day when I arrived home from work, I’d find a nice, juicy grasshopper and flick it into the spider’s web. During the first few days, he’d eat the grasshopper (actually, suck out his guts). After the first few days, he’d go hide when I gave him his daily ration. Finally, the spider disappeared.

February 24, 2020 4:01 am

Outstanding essay.

February 24, 2020 4:12 am

Ethiopia alone has the resources and national coherence to handle this on its own? 1980’s me says “ouch”.

February 24, 2020 4:45 am

NO, this is garbage.

ALARMIST behavior and pure misinformation.

Reply to  Sheri
February 24, 2020 5:38 am

No rebuttal, no additional facts or info?
For all your contribution and lack of critical thought, you are easily replaced by spam bots.

Reply to  RHS
February 24, 2020 10:00 am

I posted the reasons why a day or so ago (which you may have missed, of course) and some below:
NO ONE has ever stopped swarms of locust. WE LUCKED OUT IN THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE that the locust simply went extinct. Therefore, pesticides and so forth have little or nothing to do with control.
If you do not catch the outbreak when the locust are under about 1/2 to 3/4 inches in size, YOU LOSE. Huge amounts of pesticides are needed to kill them thereafter.
Australia and South America have such outbreaks as are occuring in Africa, yet no whining by Driessen about how horrible that is. I posted a link below. Did Driessen blame the evil enviros for the Australian outbreaks?????? I don’t see that. Nor South America did the enviros get slammed by Driessen. Did he admit there IS NO WAY TO CONTROL THE SWARMS. NO NO NO NO
He simply attacked all the evil people who may disagree with him. He simply lacks facts through 90% of his rant. Driessen entire post has no more facts than my comment did. So, yeah, I call complete bunk on this alarmist.

If you had read further down…..

Greg Freemyer
February 24, 2020 5:00 am

I don’t know the solution, but the adoption of monoculture farming doesn’t sound like it. Nor does GM crops.

I’m not saying advanced nations like the US could have the exact same problem, but I am saying the main article above seems like it is using the locusts plague as an excuse for a unrelated rant.

Spraying pesticide from crop dusters sounds like the only solution, but even in the US I wonder if we have the resources to do that in truly broad scale.

Reply to  Greg Freemyer
February 24, 2020 5:31 am

The US has no plagues due to LUCK and purely due to LUCK.

Reply to  Sheri
February 24, 2020 5:43 am

Not really, the last plague of locusts in the US was roughly 100+ years ago.
Our tilling and other farming practices disrupted the egg laying cycle of the Rocky Mountain Locust and they died out in less than 5 years.
That wasn’t luck.

Reply to  RHS
February 24, 2020 10:01 am

We do not know that. The science is not there. It’s a guess. Please link to articles backing your statement.

Reply to  Sheri
February 24, 2020 6:15 am

“The locusts, farmers grimly quipped, ‘ate everything but the mortgage. ‘” In 1875, the largest locust swarm in history was recorded over the Midwest — 198,000 square miles. … For 19th century American farmers, a sudden locust cloud must have literally looked and sounded like a biblical plague.”

Modern methods, primarily plowing the fields, ended the locust swarms, not luck.

A lttle education would do wonders for you, Sheri. It is clear you are deeply concerned. Take a good look at the results the various strategies have produced, and decide which has been the most successful. The US and its methods are not your enemies. The NGOs are not your friends.

Reply to  jtom
February 24, 2020 10:03 am

Again, please provide links. I’m also guessing Australia is using primitive farming methods as is South America and would like links to that too. If they have locust, they have primitive farming by your explanation.

Reply to  jtom
February 24, 2020 10:09 am

I missed your original link.

“Scientists debate the reason of the extinction with general consensus pointing toward cultivation of farmland” I’m certainly going with consensus. I’m joining the AGW crowd tomorrow since they have consensus too”.

If it was plowing etc and the locust disappeared in 27 years, DURING A DROUGHT, then all we need is plowing for 30 years and no rain.

Reply to  Sheri
February 25, 2020 8:04 am

Bit of a strawman there Sheri. Scientist of the day 100+ years ago likely were not gathering reams of data on the life cycle and extinction of NA locusts. It’s to late for scientist today to gather those reams of data, all they can do is study what notes are available, study related insects of today and come up with their best guess, aka consensus. They’ll not be able to “prove” or “disprove” the plowing caused extinction at this late date so it will remain a hypothesis and not advance to fact. Even if they were able to prove plowing wipes out locust in Africa via experiments they still wouldn’t be able to prove that’s what killed of locust in NA.

That’s nothing at all like how consensus is getting used with CAGW.

Reply to  jtom
February 25, 2020 2:19 am

jtom: I would like to apologize for having spent four or five hours reading scientific studies on locusts before writing a blog article for my children’s blog. I did not realize I could have just read “” and had all I needed to know. Henceforth, I shall attempt to read only one source since actual knowledge is a complete waste of time. I see now the problem is actual studying and learning, since knowledge will get you accused of believing the NGOs and other horrible entities, much like AGW denial will get you accused of being in bed with big oil. It’s wrong for me to have gone to the dark side by reading actual research. To be a skeptic, “research” should be only on write-ups that hate the government, agree with how wrong everything in AGW is, and no one dare think differently or learn anything that might be controversial or against the skeptic consensus. You have saved me sooooo much time. I can write whatever the consensus is and forget those silly studies. After all, science is about agreement and reading the most popular magazines for your information and I temporarily forgot that. Again, I am sorry to have read actual studies and appeared to be a tool, as you so kindly pointed out. Have a nice day.

Reply to  Sheri
February 27, 2020 7:00 pm

Sheri, you said the US had no plagues due to luck. I simply provided the evidence you requested attributing the lack of locusts, which the US unarguably experienced, was due to farming methods.

My apologies for there not being peer-reviewed research over a hundred years ago on the topic. There is other documentation on this, easily found on the web. However, I doubt if you could find it since you could not even find a link that was in the middle of my short post in a stand-alone paragraph.

I have no doubt that the one or two articles you might have found on the subject in the four or five hours you spent becoming a world expert on the history of locusts (with emphasis on the US) was sufficient for your childrens blog article. I suggest your next blog should be an instructional in how to be a tool. You are eminently qualified.

Reply to  Sheri
February 24, 2020 2:37 pm

In ~1988 I encountered swarming grasshoppers (is there a difference between grasshoppers and locusts, other than where they live?) in west Texas, went on for miles. I was driving on US 290, I think it was, somewhere between Junction and Austin, when the sound of the road changed. I finally stopped to see why, and saw the road nearly covered in flattened grasshoppers, and quite a few living grasshoppers on the shoulders. I don’t recall a problem with the windshield, so they were probably still immature. When I got to my destination I spent some effort trying to find something about it in the news, but nothing. Can anyone provide any additional information on this?

Reply to  Red94ViperRT10
February 24, 2020 5:52 pm

Locusts and grasshoppers are related-they belong the the “family”. Locusts form swarms under certain circumstances when the population gets too dense. Over several generations( a few months each) they change into locusts and eventually swarm

February 24, 2020 5:23 am

Perhaps Bill Gates will say something? or Oprah? some of her African girls must be affected?

February 24, 2020 5:30 am

Shall we safely assume Australia is hated by the rest of the world and therefore subject to plagues? Same as poor Africa? Sure.

Reply to  Sheri
February 24, 2020 5:41 am

The article had more to do with what additional can be done regarding plagues of locusts, not the fact plagues of locusts exist.

Reply to  RHS
February 24, 2020 10:12 am

That is what I am addressing: Can anything be done to stop the swarms. If nothing worked in the past and nothing works now, we are wasting money on these ineffective methods.

The article is actually about how AGW alarmists are killing Africans with their methods. Read the title.

Ian E
February 24, 2020 5:30 am

Really – they increase their numbers LOGARITHMICALLY??? That would be manageable; EXPONENTIALLY – not so much!!!

Michael S. Kelly
February 24, 2020 5:33 am

“[Agroecology] claims Dr. Norman Borlaug’s Green Revolution, which saved a billion people from starvation, did little more than put global food production “under the control of a few transnational corporations.””

Sooooo, “agroecologists” are transphobic? That observation should be sufficient for their woke brethren (and cistern) to rip them apart in a cannibalistic orgy.

shortus cynicus
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
February 25, 2020 1:19 am

Love it – need to fight languege-masters wirh languege !

February 24, 2020 5:37 am

In a year or two, when all these angsty 8-12 year olds start believing more and more that the earth has only a few years before it exterminates the human population, and they start killing themselves…then what?

Reply to  NeverReady
February 24, 2020 4:42 pm

Cicadas will come out whose vibrating abdomens produce a new sound. It will sound like they are lurking around chuckling away.

February 24, 2020 5:39 am

Where are entrepreneurs when we need them?
Use large nets and fans to collect millions of locusts into a chilling area where they are immobilized, cooled, frozen and packaged for transported for cooking and storage. And later, eating.
The starvation that this locust plague will bring in the next six months will justify ANY effort to recoup the protein being lost to these beasts.

David Blenkinsop
February 24, 2020 6:09 am

If there were a concerted effort to eradicate as many locusts as possible while they are still tiny, before they grow wings, that could make a real difference. Possibly migrations of the large ones would be pre-empted, if enough of them could be wiped out while still at a young stage.

What we’d be talking about here is the spreading of lots of granular pesticides, especially on the edges of grasslands or other areas where there is full time food for the tiny little ‘hoppers’ to eat. Then maybe follow up with some spraying, including aerial where ground sprayers can’t get in or would take too long, etc.

Then, who pays for it, is it even allowed, ‘nasty chemicals’, etc?

Coach Springer
February 24, 2020 6:40 am

Everything will be fine if we send them a couple of wind turbines and some “environmental justice.”

George Davey
February 24, 2020 6:49 am

Can anyone explain why Africans “need” help farming?

Reply to  George Davey
February 24, 2020 7:55 am

Because every solution has a problem, especially when the consequences don’t have to be dealt with by those who set the policy.

February 24, 2020 7:50 am

A yes, again clueless Leftist elites who think they know everything, and believe like Bloomberg, “Farming requires no gray matter. Just dig a hole, put a seed in it, cover it up and you’re done.”

Leftists’ profound ignorance on pretty much everything dooms their misanthropic plans as their disastrous African agricultural policies so clearly show..

Clay Sanborn
February 24, 2020 8:21 am

Something wrong with the math? “40-150 million or more” [locusts] consuming “400 Million pounds of vegetation daily”. That would be at least a pound/day per individual locust. I don’t know, maybe that is possible. Anyway, they are devastating critters.

Reply to  Clay Sanborn
February 24, 2020 11:22 am

The column reads, “.. flying in hungry hoards of 40-150 million or more, “. How many such “hoards” is not mentioned.

Clay Sanborn
Reply to  dollops
February 24, 2020 9:29 pm

Ah, now it makes sense. Thanks

Kevin A
February 24, 2020 8:23 am

Agroecology = Eugenics the only difference will be far more deaths. Meanwhile those in charge of creating this mess and milking it keep filling their bank accounts.

February 24, 2020 9:09 am

I am shocked. Frankly shocked that the UN and everyone else has missed the obvious solution. Solar Power Towers!

Install solar power towers across Africa to supply electricity to the billion plus that have none. And as a bonus you will have air fried locust as a bi-product to feed the starving millions.

A liitle hot sauce and you have “Africa Wings”. Some cold beer made possible by refrigeration from the newly installed electrical grid and overnight you have a massive industry.

An forget unemployment. An army of workers swill be required to go out every night to collect the fried wings. And these same workers will be using their paychecks to buy the Africa Wings and cold beer. So you have a sustainable industry!!

February 24, 2020 9:34 am

30+ centuries ago, Moses sold locust to a starving people as “mana from heaven”. What he was missing was a great hot sauce and a really cold beer.

Air fried locust and diablo sauce. An instant success. Bite into an Africa Wing and your hand automatically reaches for a cold beer to put out the flames. A few mouthfuls of hot sauce and everything tastes like chicken.

Reply to  ferdberple
February 24, 2020 5:07 pm

Manna of the Moses desert sojourn epic was mentioned being a small globular sustenance appearing after the night which could be processed (flattened to reduce moisture); however, left fresh & unprocessed spoiled as the day progressed. Someone modern once suggested it was a form of microbial growth enhanced by night time desert moisture flux & thus constantly appearing on surfaces before dismutating.

It was judaic dietary law (I don’t known if Moses formulated this specific rule) that specified locust were permissible to eat. The Israelites might have had some warm mead to drink, but since Mexican’s didn’t get over there until relatively recently they obviously had to scarf their locust without hot sauce.

February 24, 2020 9:41 am

It’s my understanding, that these hoards of locusts originated from the southeastern Arabian peninsula, a normally dry region, which had been hit by torrential rains and a typhoon in the past year. Too bad they didn’t nip this problem in the bud, by spraying in that area, when the infestation first arose.

Bob boder
February 24, 2020 9:54 am

I hate to sound like this and i don’t want to see anyone suffer or starve, but until these countries develop a system of personal liberty, followed by a civil society the only thing that improving agricultural infrastructure does is increase an already out of control population. Safe water and food means nothing without liberty. You increase the water supply and the population grows to match it, you increase the food supply and the population grows to match it, then when hard times come all that has happened is the disaster affects that many more people and that much more suffering leads to even more horrible societies.

Reply to  Bob boder
February 24, 2020 11:48 am

Right you are. Only modern capitalist development (which would require plentiful, reliable and inexpensive energy – primarily from fossil fuels) will slow the population growth and make them rich enough to deal with events such as this.

Matthew R Marler
February 24, 2020 10:42 am

Crawling first, then sprouting wings and flying in hungry hoards of 40-150 million or more, they are devastating crops and threatening tens of millions of people with lost livelihoods and starvation. This latest locust plague, says the United Nations, is the worst in 70 years for Kenya, the worst in 25 years for Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia.

Locust swarms can blanket scores or hundreds of square miles at a time, travel 80 miles a day, and consume more than 400 million pounds of vegetation daily, Africa Fighting Malaria cofounder Richard Tren notes. The insects increase their numbers logarithmically, meaning numbers can be 500 times higher in six months. In Ethiopia, on January 9, a massive swarm nearly brought down a Boeing 737 jetliner.

Mathematically, that seems sloppy. If 140 million locusts are eating 400 million pounds per day, or more than 2.5 pounds per locust. They are voracious, but an individual can’t eat a pound per day. “500 times” in 6 months would be exponential, 10 doublings of the population in 6 months.

The essay is informative, but seems like an assembly of a lot of irrelevant complaints. Hard to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.

Matthew R Marler
Reply to  Matthew R Marler
February 24, 2020 10:46 am

10 doublings of the population in 6 months.

oops! 9 doublings

Reply to  Matthew R Marler
February 24, 2020 11:53 am

“…hungry hoards of 40-150 million or more..”

Notice that hoards is plural. That would be 40 – 150 million per hoard. There’s no mention of how many hoards there are. I recall reading that there are billions of them.

The only mistake is using the word “logarithmically” instead of “exponentially”.

Smart Rock
Reply to  Art
February 24, 2020 1:29 pm

I wonder if the hoard of hordes is being whored by the hoarder?

Bill Parsons
February 24, 2020 10:47 am

“Meanwhile, well-fed Uhura Kenyatta, president of Kenya since 2013, resorts to the typical cop-out: the locust plague is the result of climate change.”

Without naming any names, you’ve gotta thank our trusty American educational system. (Amherst)

Kristi Silber
Reply to  Bill Parsons
February 24, 2020 4:00 pm

Bill Parsons,

I went to Amherst. What does his alma mater have to do with anything? (Or the fact that he’s well-fed, for that matter?)

Naturally, it’s simply assumed that climate change couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the locust problem. Of course not! Because it can’t have anything to do with any problem, or the whole narrative of skeptics starts to crumble.

And, of course, any research done on climate change must be poorly done, based on rotten data, misinterpreted, and most likely politically-driven. Research like this piece of trash, which is necessarily unbelievable and wrong.

“In 2014 and 2015, post-monsoon extremely severe cyclonic storms (ESCS)—defined by the WMO as tropical storms with lifetime maximum winds greater than 46 m s⁻¹—were first observed over the Arabian Sea (ARB), causing widespread damage. However, it is unknown to what extent this abrupt increase in post-monsoon ESCSs can be linked to anthropogenic warming, natural variability, or stochastic behaviour. Here, using a suite of high-resolution global coupled model experiments that accurately simulate the climatological distribution of ESCSs, we show that anthropogenic forcing has likely increased the probability of late-season ECSCs occurring in the ARB since the preindustrial era. However, the specific timing of observed late-season ESCSs in 2014 and 2015 was likely due to stochastic processes. It is further shown that natural variability played a minimal role in the observed increase of ESCSs. Thus, continued anthropogenic forcing will further amplify the risk of cyclones in the ARB, with corresponding socio-economic implications.”

Bill Parsons
Reply to  Kristi Silber
February 24, 2020 8:01 pm

Kristi Silber,

I went to Amherst. What does his alma mater have to do with anything? (Or the fact that he’s well-fed, for that matter?)

Naturally, it’s simply assumed that climate change couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the locust problem. Of course not! Because it can’t have anything to do with any problem, or the whole narrative of skeptics starts to crumble.

The reason they still call large swarms of locust “Biblical” – is because the phenomenon has happened before, in fact thousands of times over the thousands of years since that literary “record” was created. The Arabian Peninsula has had storms and droughts as well.

Perhaps you think that extreme weather, or swarms of locust, are ominous signs that something evil this way comes… But don’t you think it’s on you, if you’re on about global warming, to prove that these events are anything out of the ordinary on a millennial scale? I mean a one-off shows nothing. So really, you’ll have to do some historical, archaeological and “deep climate” research to show why a swarm of locust is concerning.

When you come back from your tour of ancient history, you might want to take a look at who Jomo Kenyatta and his son Uhuru (by his fourth wife) are, how their family has stayed in power, how much prime Kenyan real estate they own – and how they came by it, the number of people they’ve bullied, murdered, intimidated and destroyed in Kenya, the fraud, the lying, the stolen elections… but other than that, he’s a wonderful guy.

As for Amherst, my daughter spent four years there, long enough for me to get a pretty good idea of the department to which she chose to devote herself. They seemed to be a coterie of more than a dozen very bright, talented liberals, with one self-avowed conservative, who has subsequently retired.

How “Freedom” Kenyatta came to endorse global warming is likely the same way that any other irredeemably corrupt politician latches onto it. First, he sheds the responsibility for actually developing his county and can frame its current misery deterministically: “My-motherland-as-ongoing-victim-of-those-rich-developed-(white)- nations”. It’s the same schtick his father and he used to transfer 500,000 acres from the Colonial whites to the Kenyatta family for safekeeping. In other words, he smells money. Grants for “researchers” alone have skyrocketed in the last decade – and every one of them will spew “facts”, unsupported by empirical and historical evidence, about Kenya’s destruction at the hands of CO2. Grants will follow.

The criticism of being “well-fed” is mild. Did he become a scumbag at Amherst? Probably not. He just got away with it.

February 24, 2020 3:23 pm

With the Enviros it’s all about the 1840’s, minus the firewood, cows and whale oil of course.

Kristi Silber
February 24, 2020 4:28 pm

Yep, I have to agree with many here: fricking libs want people to starve. All part of their strategy, and their hatred of humanity, and their socialist plots, and globalism, and indoctrination, and anti-Americanism, and the Deep State, and irrationality, and on and on – they are at heart simply awful people, every dang one of them. Whereas conservatives care about Africans, always ready to support them through aid, expertise, support for groups that innovate to increase economic development of small communities, build micro-grids in villages far from energy sources, working with farmers to increase disaster resilience…yep, conservatives are the nice guys. That’s why they are so disappointed that we pulled out of the Paris Agreement, which had a mandate to help those in the developing world.

Apparently, one problem is that there isn’t enough pesticide to fight the plague. And it’s so huge that the territory simply can’t be covered, especially in dangerous regions.

The idea that Africans could simply shift to modern agricultural methods is laughable. That takes investment. Or would it be better if multinationals came in and took the profits away? We all know (don’t we?) what happened to small farmers when large-scale ag took over in the U.S. – they were SOL. Plus the whole ecosystem is different: many parts of Africa do not have the deep, rich soils that characterize our bread basket.

Agriculture must be tailored to the social, economic, political and environmental conditions in any area.

If it’s true that some NGO is pushing to ban all pesticides in Kenya, that’s wrong of them. However, we don’t have any idea whether they are likely to succeed, anyway. There will always be kooks pushing bad ideas – like converting Africa’s agricultural economy to something that is not at the moment practical or beneficial.

Bill Parsons
February 24, 2020 10:49 pm

While my previous response seemed to have been caught in a filter – or cut – I composed another, less vituperative, and free of the names Uhuru Kenyatta so richly deserves. I’ll post here in part to address your statements about agriculture in Kenya.

The current President Kenyatta, like his father, is corrupt. He buys and peddles influence, stole the last two presidential elections through gangland intimidation (an election commissioner tying to fix their ballot counting system disappeared mysteriously), and the extended Kenyatta family has managed to misappropriate 500,000 acres of farmland seized from white colonialists and intended for displaced Kenyans.

In one of the most clement climates in Africa, Kenyans are failing to thrive, with 53% living below the poverty line. It has a mild climate and riverine farmland with fertile soils. It’s on the equator, but with ecozones from savana to alpine. Much of its land is ideal for growing profitable, exportable crops and supporting internal “food independence”, yet the country is still dependent on food aid, and a “substantial number” of its people are starving to death each year. (Wiki) The primary limiting factor to crop success is drought, which is actually relieved by the monsoon rains that come twice a year. More rain is better, assuming they can learn to capture it and take advantage of it.

My conclusion is you need look no further than their country’s dynastic leadership to account for this failure to thrive and adapt. Developing a working agricultural system isn’t something you do on a micro-scale. You start at the top where you need to fix the transportation networks, sewage and water systems. You build build schools and electric grids. You empower and support local governments with just, enforceable laws. Every villager for himself won’t work when they are fighting against thieving local tribal governments, quaint as they may seem to tourists.

Results: the right crops get planted, harvested and transported to market; people have real jobs and get paid to do them; there is adequate housing, medical care, etc. In short, you have a working society. Till the dictator goes, there’s not enough trust to do this. If Uhuru Kenyatta didn’t learn his dirty tricks at Amherst (accused by the ICC of crimes against humanity for post-2007 election violence), he most likely did get the tone of anti-colonialism and victimization from his liberal education there.

… some trouble posting. One more time…

February 24, 2020 11:11 pm

this is going to sound really weird, but think about it. get vacumn cleaners that empty into grinders and collect and grind up the bugs, and compose them and use them as fertilizer. when life gives you lemons make lemonade

February 25, 2020 4:33 am

Same in Australia with aboriginals as the socialist smotherhood complex with their victim/oppressor dichotomous view of the world seem to want to keep the indigenous folk as their totally dependent time warp poodles. The Red/Green man’s burden it seems and the irony of it is completely lost on them.

Ron B. Liebermann
February 26, 2020 10:40 am

There is the obvious point: Human population growth in Africa is out of control. If we feed the Africans, they will eventually destroy the entire continent of Africa. Nobody wants that. So the solution is to cut-off their food supplies. Africa is a nature zone. It’s not supposed to have any people at all.

[Might be sarcasm, but the tone is genocidal. Mod]

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