Response to an op-ed in the New York Times by Nicholas Kristof: As Donald Trump Denies Climate Change, These Kids Die of It
Mass starvation is not the proper subject for satire. Yet, Kristof’s article pushes the limits. The article is an attack on the United States and Donald Trump in particular. “American technology helped create the problem.” The problem being the drought in Madagascar. Kristof’s recurring accusation is the U.S. is responsible: “We Americans may be inadvertently killing her infant son,” and “The United States single-handedly accounts for more than one-quarter of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions over the last 150 years.”
Kristof recognizes that much of the food aid comes from American, yet his “pride is mixed with guilt.” He informs us, “I flew halfway around the world and then drove for two days to get to these villages, pumping out carbon the whole way.” He does not really feel guilty. Otherwise he would sell his expensive Canon camera, miss a few meals, and don sackcloth and ashes. He will not do this because he is entitled. Like the leaders of Madagascar he does without little because he is part of the caring elite.
Kristof lets us know that “In America, climate change costs families beach homes.” In Madagascar it costs children their lives. Climate change is “disproportionately caused by carbon emissions from America.” The greatest contributor of carbon emissions is mainland China. Kristof makes no mention of this. He also makes no mention of the July 3, 2008 statement Obama made about “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”
“Africa’s drought and food crisis have gone largely unnoticed.” One of the reasons the media is not interested in covering the food crisis is because they are partially responsible. The press played a large part in the destruction of Rhodesia, the breadbasket of southern Africa. Zimbabwe has been suffering from droughts since 1979. Like expectancy has declined from the 60s to the mid 30s.
Kristof suggests that a villager has more knowledge than Trump, “The most basic starting point is for the American president-elect to acknowledge what even illiterate Madagascar villagers understand: Climate change is real.” This reporter should be nominated for the New York Times’ prestigious Walter Duranty Award.