Climate Change is Not Causing Famines

Just Facts  Published December 15, 2022 

While showing heartbreaking footage of children starving in Somalia, CBS News blamed their plight on climate change, but the facts reveal an entirely different story.


CBS News segment by host Norah O’Donnell and correspondent Debora Patta:

Somalia has a long and terrible history of droughts, experiencing 10 severe droughts from 1964 to 2011:

Somalia contains 1/1,000th of the earth’s surface area:
“Somalia … Area total: 637,657 sq km”
“The surface area around the globe is 510,072,000 square kilometers.”

Rigorous studies show that earth’s rainfall patterns haven’t significantly changed over the past century:

The earth’s natural vegetation productivity has actually increased over the past several decades:

The portion of the world’s population that is undernourished declined from 13% in 2001 to 9% in 2020:

The average number of daily calories needed to lift the undernourished people of the world out of that condition declined from 172 in 1992 to 88 in 2016:

Somalia has a problematic climate and is experiencing a severe drought:

As a scholar explained in 2011, “Famine stops at the Somali border,” and “Rainfall is not the controlling variable for this differential outcome, because rainfall is not really variable across these borders where Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia meet:

Somalia is wracked by civil war and Islamic extremism that imposes Sharia law on large parts of the nation:

Somalia has one of the most corrupt governments in the world:

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization complains that Somalia has “very high humanitarian access constraints” due to “armed hostilities, bureaucratic impediments and inference, and impassable roads during the rainy season.”

Covid-19 lockdowns have caused food shortages and prices to increase, hurting the world’s poorest people the most:

Note that in the very first month of the Covid-19 pandemic, Just Facts warned about the effects of lockdowns on food and other necessities by writing this: “If certain industries adopted the social distancing extremes that many people have embraced, this would shut down food production and distribution, health care, utilities, and other life-sustaining services. Even under far more moderate scenarios where people who are not in these industries shun work, all of those necessities and many more aspects of modern life depend on the general strength of the economy. Thus, overreacting can ultimately kill more people than are saved.”

In 1989, William H. Mansfield III, the deputy executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme, wrote that “concern about climate change impacts has sent storm warning flags aloft in the United Nations” because global warming would “disrupt agriculture” and “adversely” affect “food supplies”:

In 2007, Newsweek reported that China was undergoing “serious food shortages due to global warming”:

In 2008, Newsweek reported that “the potential nightmares of global warming” include “starvation due to drought”:

CBS News footage reproduced under the “fair use” provision of U.S. copyright law for “purposes such as criticism” and “comment” (17 U.S.C. §107).

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December 15, 2022 11:58 pm

Somalia has seen constant civil war for the last 30 years and yet the birth rate is extremely high I looked up some facts and figures about Somalia .
Somalia and New Zealand had the same sized population in 1950 .
That was close to 2.5 million .
New Zealand ‘s population is now over 5 million but Somalia’s has gone to over 13 million and that is despite 30 years of civil war .
Somalia is more than twice the size of New Zealand but a lot is desert or semi arid .
Like so many News media outlets CBS blames all bad out-comes on climate change with out even looking at other causes .
I remember as a child being told to eat all my dinner and that starving children in Africa would be glad to eat what I did not want .
Not much has changed except back then we did not have this constant ranting about global warming and climate change .
According to Google New Zealand feeds more than 40 million people around the world each year.

Reply to  Graham
December 16, 2022 5:05 am

High population growth is because of, not despite perpetual war. When people struggle, they breed more and disregard their environment. When you don’t have gas, you hop the fence and strip the national park of wood. And you kill the tiger that endangers your friends and family when they do it. Poverty and war both drive population growth and environmental destruction.

Last edited 1 month ago by aaron
Reply to  Graham
December 16, 2022 10:37 am

And that is despite New Zealand having endured several years of a socialist government apparently intent on destroying our previously-benign living standards. Their hatred of the farming industry is illogical since we depend on food exports for our standard of living, but for them nothing beats socialistic ideology!

Reply to  mikelowe2013
December 16, 2022 12:54 pm

Those conservative governments shouldnt have signed the Kyoto and Paris climate treatys then. a bit UKs Cameron commit the country in 2016 to 30% reduction by 2030 and then resign in 2016

Reply to  Duker
December 16, 2022 4:11 pm

The climate madness has affected politicians of all parties because of the incessant news media that WE have to do something to stop the world from over heating .
Zero carbon is a delusion that will never even start to happen unless Nuclear power is embraced by most countries .
The modern world runs on energy and with 8 billion people on this planet more and more energy base load will be required.
I would point out that New Zealand has very low emissions from our electric power generation .
We are told that we have very high emissions because of our farmed animals enteric methane which is absolute nonsense .
Farmed livestock do not add one atom of carbon into the atmosphere simply because all of the fodder that they eat has absorbed CO2 and the minute amount of methane emitted during digestion is broken down into CO2 and water vapour within 10 years in the upper atmosphere .
Also we feed 40 million people around the world ,why are they not importing our emissions with the food ?

December 16, 2022 1:19 am

CBS News goes out of it’s way to blame everything on climate change. In actuality, it’s hard to grow crops anywhere when armies are charging across the land shooting at people.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  doonman
December 16, 2022 3:38 am

Somalia is in a Civil war with multiple factions, a situation that is common the world over and throughout history. The situation will only improve once the population get tired of killing each other, or accept a dictator as being preferable to civil war.
Either option can take decades to reach

Reply to  doonman
December 16, 2022 3:57 am

In wartime, not only is agricultural production reduced due to conscripting farm workers and shortages in various commodities like fertilizer, water, power, etc .. but the armies will feed themselves first at the expense of the civilian population. Famine and war go together like hand in glove.

December 16, 2022 1:47 am

There hasn’t been “climate change” anywhere on Earth at all.

Reply to  prjndigo
December 16, 2022 9:38 am

I’m sorry, prjndigo, but there has, everywhere. Climate changes constantly.

Reply to  Disputin
December 16, 2022 10:46 am

Thereby you demonstrate our need for a new descriptor – one describing the commonly-accepted understanding of “climate change” over longer preiods of time, whereas Disputin correctly (?) refers to changes over shorter periods of time as we all recognise them. Perhaps Disputin really means “change of weather”? So perhaps the differing opinions covers the difference between weather and climate? Yet that hardly covers seasonal variations. Can someone offer more precise definitions of suitable words?

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Disputin
December 16, 2022 12:24 pm

Well, maybe restate.

There IS “climate change” (as in, NATURAL changes to the climate).

There is NO “Climate Change (TM)” (as in, changes supposedly driven by human CO2 emissions).

Mark Whitney
Reply to  Disputin
December 17, 2022 9:22 am

Climate is always changing, so there is no change in climate. The only way climate could change is if it didn’t. > ; }

Peta of Newark
December 16, 2022 2:38 am

At last we get something right:
Quote:Climate Change is Not Causing Famines
Then after that we get the now usual blizzard of minutia, squirrel-spotting, buck-passing, kindergarten & junk-science, Cause/Effect errors, misinformation, irrelevance and trivia – predicated ultimately upon the joint-equal loves of: Self and Money

Sorry: Climate change and famines are caused by one and the same thing, a slow inexorable process which becomes a permanent state once it reaches its endgame.

Yes there are ‘tipping points’
So look out for it happening near and around where you live and do try put the brakes on it as best you can. tia

Else: Learn how to Walk like an Egyptian and Speak like a Somalian

Give you a clue quote:”because rainfall is not really variable across these borders where Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia meet

That’s nice because, blow your mind, plants don’t really need any great amount of rainfall to thrive and grow. Once they get started, they make their own. If. Need. Be.

Now, visit Somalia on Google Map, zoom out to a nice big view spanning Nigeria thro Yemen centred on Radom National Park, ish, then ask it to show ‘Terrain’
See the pretty colours?
Apply your best Geologist’s Hat, get down & dirty and concern yourself with what that terrain is actually made of.

Now go out and broadcast the news, tell them all what you’ve just realised and worked out – that how and with a modicum of basic and pre-existing technology, you can pretty-well fix ALL of Somalia’s current woes.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 16, 2022 3:40 am

If I had any idea what you are trying to say I might be able to agree/disagree

Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 16, 2022 10:11 am

No one here has a clue what you are trying to say Peta .Are you on the sherry ?
Droughts have happened around the world as long as man has been here.
You have most probably never had drought in your part of the UK .
Grass and all vegetable plants will die in a drought and many young trees and shrubs will also wither and die .
Have you never heard of trickle irrigation that keeps many horticultural crops alive and producing in New Zealand ?
Please tell us in simple language that us peasants can understand how YOU would solve the famine problem in Somalia .

Mark Whitney
Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 17, 2022 9:26 am

With that level of logic and discourse, Peta must work for government. > ; }

December 16, 2022 2:45 am

Leftist are trying to bankrupt Dutch farmers (who are world’s 2nd largest food exporters) by preventing them from using fertilizers and are severely restricting grazing land area in order to meet their insane CAGW CO2 emission targets..

If Holland met their crazy CO2 targets, the affect on global temperatures by the end of the century would probably be around 0.005C…

it isn’t CAGW that’s causing famine and food shortages, it’s stupid and ignorant Leftist political hacks imposing insane anti-human economic and ecological dictates that destroy economies, and in the long run, hurt the ecology and humanity’s ability to feed itself, raise the poor out of poverty and thrive.

John Hultquist
Reply to  SAMURAI
December 16, 2022 9:51 am

By Dutch, I assume you mean the Netherlands. The Country is the 6th largest exporter.
Chart here:

This doesn’t alter your argument. However, I have also read that one of the things the Country is looking for is more land on which to build infrastructure and homes. How that fits with reducing climate change is a mystery. A mystery to me, anyway!

michael piscopo
December 16, 2022 4:22 am

Famine has been Africa forever. Today famine is being used to evacuate people who are creating the overpopulation in the world to other countries so the mineral wealth in their countries can be exploited. The world population has triple in my lifetime alone, and 2/3 of that s from the African continent. They’re inconvenient to monied progress now.

December 16, 2022 4:24 am

Famine is a product of bad policies. Witness Sri Lanka.

It’s a phenomenon always discovered too late, i.e. when people begin to starve as the food runs out. That seems an obvious statement but Sri Lankan’s are rioting now, when it’s too late. The time to riot was when the ban on fertilisers was announced – a bad policy.

Farmers in the UK are being ‘encouraged’ to sell productive land. Farm land in the US is being bought up by Bill Gates, is that land productive? The Dutch are being forced to ‘sell’ their farms and reduce fertiliser use. Europe in general will struggle for fertiliser over the coming years. China is also buying up US farmland. I trust Bill Gates less than I trust the Chinese in this respect. Gates has expressed his desire to reduce the world’s population, to my knowledge the Chinese haven’t.

The time to do something about bad policy is now. But no one will.

December 16, 2022 4:47 am

2022 land biosphere net carbon uptake from CO2 emissions is estimated at 3.4gigatons for 5.1 gigatons water captured by photosynthesis, a dry mass increase of 8.5 implying a 28.3 wet mass increase and 24.9 km^3 of water capture, possibly more than sea level rise from global warming.

There are several processes that create positive feedbacks in biosphere growth, so uptake lags concentration growth. (increased carb production is shared with symbiotes and soils which make phosphorus and nitrogen available, slowly relieving other nutrient constraints, epigenetic responses, lengthening of growing season due to CO2 which are often conflated with warming, etc…). This thread on risk/uncertainty has many great resources.

Last edited 1 month ago by aaron
December 16, 2022 5:21 am

Starvation is being driven by the greentard movement intentionally. They publicly and openly tell the world that is their goal, reducing the number of people on the planet.

Rud Istvan
December 16, 2022 6:03 am

The last declared Somali famine was 2011. 260,000 died out of a then population of 12.38 million. As of now the Somali population is 17 million. A reliable extrapolation is that at least 360,000 Somalis will die of famine in 2023.

December 16, 2022 7:19 am

Just sayin’……climate comes in cycles….the earth was in the Little Ice Age and has warmed o the point that another cooling can be expected if the cycles of the last 10000 years repeat. Wars rsult in less population….UK shows big dip in 1917-1920 and WW2. Ruzzia has not recovered yet from Stalin purges and WW2. Czar Ras-Putin will have sacrificed another 100000 Ruzzians before the end of 2022.

John Hultquist
December 16, 2022 9:39 am

Norah O’Donnell lives in Washington, D. C., and New York City’s Upper West Side neighborhood with her restaurateur husband Geoff Tracy.
I suggest Norah and Geoff visit Somalia where the main mode of locomotion is a pair of sandals. They can fix some fine food for the locals and pass out Gift Cards to his Washington eatery.

December 16, 2022 10:32 am

Well, sure climate change causes famines. But what causes climate change? The unstated implication is climate change is unnatural and must be caused by humans. This is unfounded by any facts whatsoever.

December 16, 2022 10:48 am

Correct, famines are being caused by elite nut jobs and their wars on CO2, fertilisers etc – ask the people of Sri Lanka

Michael in Dublin
December 16, 2022 3:21 pm

Anyone with any reasonable familiarity with Africa knows that there is no good reason, despite floods and droughts, that it should be producing more than enough food for all its inhabitants and for export. Corruption, crime, civil war, mismanagement and terrible leaders are at the root of its failure as well as imposing Western political views and supplies of arms from Western manufacturers.

December 16, 2022 4:41 pm

Just Facts ==> The most important fact missed (at least I didn’t see it) is that the population of Somalia has DOUBLED from, about 8.9 million in 2000 to over 16.4 million today.

Somalia could barely support its 2000 population — now it is almost hopeless. If the UN was doing it’s job, the nation would be dissolved and the government would be replaced with an international body that cares about its people….

B Zipperer
Reply to  Kip Hansen
December 17, 2022 6:28 pm

Yes, population growth and bad governance.
But the UN does not do dissolution of governments – thank goodness! since it’s incompetent on much what it currently does. See WHO, IPCC, UN Peace Keepers, UNHRC, …
The USA does not do very well with nation building. Our most recent debacle is Afghanistan where ethnicity, tribe, & religion, plus endemic corruption overwhelmed any well-meaning efforts..
Somalia is Afghanistan, without the poppy fields.

Dave O.
December 16, 2022 4:52 pm

History says that most famines were caused by colder than normal weather.

December 17, 2022 5:15 am

Stage crafting again

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