Sahel crop production and vegetation production trends, seen from space…

Sahel trends

From a poster by Lund Earth Observation Group.  Overall this conforms with what the data generally is saying, that Sahel for last 40 years has been on gentle improvement trend in terms of climate, after the very bad 1970s, and with normal variation that sometimes results in very serious droughts and consequent suffering, but as has been known since Biblical myth-times, virtually all of the human suffering in the Sahel is human caused, not climate caused.  If there were open borders people would have left for a better climate, obviously… no farmer chooses to farm in a terrible place for agriculture… but borders are not open, people cannot move the the fertile soils of Iowa, and they are stuck there.  The resulting excess suffering is caused by misgovernance, not by a climate god angered because not enough people are purchasing Prius’s.  Plenty of bad things are likely and likely will happen because of human-induced climate change, there is no need to add the unfortunate woes of the Sahel to the list, for which at present there is little evidence.

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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