Media CenterFrom the New York Times, A Look at the Impact of Climate Change on Madagascar
Renowned journalist Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times traveled with Catholic Relief Services to Madagascar, which has been devastated by years of drought. He looked closely at the ways climate change contributes to the deep difficulties people face as their crops fail and hunger becomes a reality for far too many. In his New York Times article, he writes:
Southern Africa’s drought and food crisis have gone largely unnoticed around the world. The situation has been particularly severe in Madagascar, a lovely island nation known for deserted sandy beaches and playful long-tailed primates called lemurs.
But the southern part of the island doesn’t look anything like the animated movie “Madagascar”: Families are slowly starving because rains and crops have failed for the last few years. They are reduced to eating cactus and even rock or ashes. The United Nations estimates that nearly one million people in Madagascar alone need emergency food assistance....
As an American, I’m proud to see U.S. assistance saving lives here. If it weren’t for U.S.A.I.D., the American aid agency, and nonprofit groups like Catholic Relief Services that work in these villages, far more cadavers would be piling up. But my pride is mixed with guilt: The United States single-handedly accounts for more than one-quarter of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions over the last 150 years, more than twice as much as any other country.
The basic injustice is that we rich countries produced the carbon that is devastating impoverished people from Madagascar to Bangladesh. In America, climate change costs families beach homes; in poor countries, parents lose their children.