This morning’s BBC News Hour had a heart wrenching story on the UN World Hunger swap meet where various African countries met to discuss how much the taxpayers of the world’s rich nations should pay to keep African leaders’ Swiss bank accounts full. What struck me, besides the sorry story of poverty and hunger, was the claim by the BBC announcer himself that Kenya’s current drought was “the first clear result of global warming”. What a load of hooey.
PBS’s Nova has a program on evolution airing and in last week’s episode, Chapter 4, there’s a fascinating discussion of rapid environmental change in Ethiopia’s Rift Valley (just north of Kenya) between 4 and 2.5 million years ago. A lake 1800 meters deep appeared and disappeared several times over that period, completely changing the environment in as little as 500 years. The hypothesis of the scientists studying this geological phenomenon is that it was these rapid changes and the need to adapt so often and so quickly back and forth between a jungle environment to a grassland habitat that forced humans to evolve.
Whether (weather?) that theory is true or not, to say that the current drought in Kenya is “caused by global warming” is preposterous and unfounded on fact.