My heart broken, I stood on a forested Ethiopian hillside and stared in dismay at the eroded and barren bluff on the other side of a ravine.
“I was here when this hillside looked like that,” my traveling companion said. Our guide, a farmer who lived at the bottom of the hill, told me that the forest that Food for the Hungry (FH) had helped plant brought back both rain and wild animals. “I grow more crops now,” he said.
That was my first trip overseas — a decade after the overwhelming famine that took more than 400,000 precious lives. Survivors I met recounted stories of eating grass and tree bark. . . until even that was gone. The earth was parched, the water had evaporated, the animals had either died or left. Climate was only part of the tragic story.
Women and children walk for hours to find water in an evaporating stream.
And now, more than 30 years after that awful time in history, Ethiopia is mired in yet another drought. Scientists blame a particularly strong El Niño, which they attribute to climate change.
What matters to me is this:
Is Climate Change to Blame?
The above statistics aren’t totally because of climate change, but according to the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), the undeniable fact is that, for whatever reason, weather patterns worldwide have changed, and people are suffering as a result. And that’s not OK — not with the NAE, not with FH, and not with me.
FH was one of several organizations that worked with the NAE to develop a document called “Loving the Least of These: Addressing a Changing Environment,” which points out that:
- Warming temperatures are causing rising sea levels, which contaminate fresh water sources
- Melting glaciers and ice caps are diminishing fresh water streams and water supplies
- Rainy seasons are erratic, causing farmers to lose crops or not plant at all
- Storm systems are becoming more destructive to life and property
We’ve prepared an easy-to-read eBook to help you see the impact of a changing environment and your role to ease the resulting suffering. It’s called The Startling Link Between Conservation and Hunger: Simple Ways You Can End Poverty While Stewarding God’s Creation, and we’re offering it to you as a free download. In this eye-opening eBook, you’ll discover:
- How conserving Earth’s resources can end poverty
- The impact of climate change on real-life people
- Simple habits for you to help save the planet
. . . and the people in it!