While You Were Munching

North Kenya: “This is the last of my food…”  (photo: Giro555 via Flickr)

You’ve given thanks for today’s grub, and now you’re dopey from the soporific effects of holiday gluttony. You’ve scraped the plates into the garbage disposal and kvetched about fitting all the leftovers in the fridge, or moaned about loosening your belt.

Shopped, cooked, eaten, stowed. Check, check, check, check.

Now add another item to your check list: a much-needed guilt trip.

•  Climate change may have contributed to instability in these strife-filled locations: Libya, Mali and the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, Syria.

•  Climate change has been and is killing people in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia, even as I type this due to starvation rising from persistent drought and resulting famine.

•  Climate change caused the two-day black out for 670 million Indians — that’s 1.5 times the population of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico combined without power for two days. Mind-fricking-boggling.

•  Climate change effects from 2012 will result in increased food insecurity [PDF] for hundreds of millions of people for the next year and longer. If India didn’t have enough water for its crops, where will it buy food for its population? From the U.S. and Canada, which suffered huge crop losses? Even fisheries are negatively impacted.

There, guilt trip. Check.

On Monday after the turkey has worn off and the leftovers are gone, perhaps you’ll contact your Congress critter and demand immediate, proactive, and effective policy on climate change right after the turkey doldrums wear off.

Wish you and yours much to give thanks about this holiday.

Blogger since 2002, political activist since 2003, geek since birth. Opinions informed by mixed-race, multi-ethnic, cis-female condition, further shaped by kind friends of all persuasions. Sci-tech frenemy, wannabe artist, decent cook, determined author, successful troublemaker. Mother of invention and two excessively smart-assed young adult kids. Attended School of Hard Knocks; Rather Unfortunate Smallish Private Business School in Midwest; Affordable Mid-State Community College w/evening classes. Self-employed at Tiny Consulting Business; previously at Large-ish Chemical Company with HQ in Midwest in multiple marginalizing corporate drone roles, and at Rather Big IT Service Provider as a project manager, preceded by a motley assortment of gigs before the gig economy was a thing. Blogging experience includes a personal blog at the original blogs.salon.com, managing editor for a state-based news site, and a stint at Firedoglake before landing here at emptywheel as technology’s less-virginal-but-still-accursed Cassandra.
15 replies
  1. Starbuck says:

    Jeeeze! Rayne on our parade is just waht we needed!

    As kids, the guilt trip was laid when we didn’t finish all the food on our plate. That included (gag!) Broccoli (gag!)

  2. Valley Girl says:

    Thanks Rayne.

    I’m still thinking about how to get this message out, to people who don’t “get it”.

    I’m thinking back to your comment about the apples, and trying to think outside the box.

    I have a friendly relationship with the manager of my local Publix, so I might try to talk to him about “rising food prices”, to get his take, and tell him mine.

    I hope the following makes some kind of sense.

    But, maybe some individual stores (part of a chain) could find a way to tell customers why food prices on particular items are rising, or why some things are unavailable. Climate change.

    It would be good to have a list of food items particularly affected.

    It might be a losing battle, b/c I’m not sure that major chains would want to even tiptoe into this territory. Because it’s POLITICAL.

    Of all of the “chain” grocery stores I know about, Wegmans is the most socially responsible. Sorry, I can’t right now give links to back this up, b/c I just can’t remember the evidence.

    But, they might be the most responsive to this kind of effort.

    Best, VG

  3. guest says:

    ” contact your Congress critter and demand immediate, proactive, and effective policy on climate change ”

    But they have problems too, ya know! Like the fiscal cliff CRISIS! Only a few more weeks to act before 90’s levels taxes on the rich and social security benefits payable in 2040 cause unthinkable levels of cosmic injustice and moral suffering to the ruling class of both parties, which will NOT stand.

    Seriously, the frivolous dilettants preoccupied with such manufactured crises are not people who can be reached with a sternly worded phone call or email. Anything more radical than that might mean soylent green shipments for the Ethiopians in the new year.

  4. Gitcheegumee says:

    Has ANYONE even mentioned the WalMart workers and the Black Friday strikes?

    Who’s Really to Blame for the Wal-Mart Strikes? The American Consumer

    The Atlantic ‎- 5 hours ago

  5. Eric Hodgdon says:

    @Valley Girl:
    In 1929 Congress stopped increasing the membership in the House. See Public Law 62-5. Today we have three times the population, so it’s not hard to reason why they can’t hear the people. The design was for 1 rep per 30k population, while today the average is around 1 rep per 700k population.

    I’ve written an amendment to increase the membership over 3 elections to reach at target of 7830, however this number is negotiable. The total number would be 10,333 if strict adherence to the design were followed. Where and how the additional members were added is for another post.

  6. Eric Hodgdon says:

    The guilt and blame mentioned here would, in my opinion, presupposes knowing beforehand the consequences of actions taken. As with the governments we have, we weren’t able to choose beforehand, nor control afterwards, upon reaching adulthood, or knowing at all until the 1980s what the effects were of our activities.

    However, the point of your piece is fully understood.

    Side note: Has pollution from Europe changed the weather patterns over N. Africa? Seems I heard something on this.

  7. erichwwk says:

    “No substantial famine has ever occurred in any independent and democratic country with a relatively free press” —Amartya Sen

    “I believe that the brutalisation of empire also made the pointless slaughter of the first world war possible. A ruling class that had shut down its feelings to the extent that it could engineer a famine in India in the 1870s in which between 12 million and 29 million people died was capable of almost anything. Empire had tested not only the long-range weaponry that would be deployed in northern France, but also the ideas.” — George Monbiot

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/08/empire-torture-kenya-catastrophe-europe/print

  8. Bill Michtom says:

    “Climate change has been and is killing people in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia, even as I type this due to starvation rising from persistent drought”

    I’m pretty sure this is the first instance of typing due to starvation rising from persistent drought and resulting famine.

    I suspect it will improve if you’re more careful about guilt-tripping.

    Thanks for the ideas, though, Rayne.

  9. Gimme Shelter says:

    Jane Holtz Kay, a Prophet of Climate Change, Dies at 74

    Jane Holtz Kay calculated in her 1997 book, “Asphalt Nation,” that in less time than it takes you to read this sentence, Americans riding around in cars and trucks will dump another 180,000 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere — and thereby accelerate global warming and hasten the advent of catastrophic flooding in coastal cities like New York.

    Ms. Kay, an architecture critic who died in Boston on November 5 at 74, based her prediction on government statistics and well-established scientific evidence. Her book, subtitled “How the Automobile Took Over America and How We Can Take It Back,” proposed ways to reverse the environmental damage caused by suburban sprawl: by returning to the city, using public transit, living one’s daily life, as much as possible, within walking distance.

    But, like so many other messengers, Ms. Kay said she felt like a voice crying in the wilderness. People either believed they were “powerless to do things” about the looming disaster, she told an interviewer, or were angry at her for being such a Cassandra-like scold. “ ‘This is kind of old stuff,’ ” she quoted them as saying. “So — ‘So what?’ ”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/21/science/earth/jane-holtz-kay-predictor-of-climate-change-dies-at-74.html?ref=obituaries

  10. Rayne says:

    An aside: There are times when I wonder at the wisdom of vaccinating the entire population against common childhood illnesses. Many survive to adulthood who would otherwise perish from the disease of ignorance. ~sigh~

  11. Eric Hodgdon says:

    I’m here to help.

    One person has the power of one person. Yet, I’ve discovered that by adding one’s together, the sum grows. All it takes is the right amount of one’s to make a difference.

    Finding some background material helps other ones to realize where and what power is.

    http://www.aeinstein.org

    The power is within us all. Who else will learn these concepts?

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