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Author Topic: Prayer thread for indigenous populations most affected by earth changes  (Read 2188 times)

R.R. Book

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Placing India on the prayer list today in the wake of both natural disasters and in-progress other emergencies unfolding in that country. 

Already one of the world's most populated countries, India has experienced a population explosion in the past two decades, leading it to become numerically, as opposed to proportionately, the nation with the most hunger on earth.  Because the percentage of population experiencing hunger is lower in India than in some other countries also experiencing widespread malnutrition, a quick scanning of food-aid organization publications often shows India left off lists entirely, though the number of people starving there may be many times higher than in some of the smaller nations targeted for aid.

   Country          # Undernourished        %
1    India          190.7 million      10.6%
2    China          150.8 million      15.2%
3    Pakistan        39.6 million      21.7%
4    Ethiopia         32.9 million      35%
5    Bangladesh    26.2 million      16.7%

Causes of Hunger in India:
A Wikipedia article on India explains one of the most glaring ironies of that nation: while it has the 6th largest GDP and the 3rd largest purchasing power parity in the world, many of its citizens are barely consuming enough calories to survive, due in large part to a series of famines.

 The same article incorrectly states that famine in India largely ended in the first half of the 20th Century; several famines affecting around a billion people in the aggregate actually occurred in the late 20th Century years of 1966, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1993 and 2000 ( ).

Year of drought   Places affected   Number of people affected
1966   Bihar and Orissa   50 million
1969   Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana,
          Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh   15 million
1970   Bihar and Rajasthan   17.2 million
1972   Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh   50 million
1979   Eastern Rajasthan, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh   200 million
1982   Rajasthan, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh   100 million
1983   Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala Rajasthan, Karnataka, Bihar and Orissa   100               million
1987   Whole of eastern and northwestern India   300 million
1992   Rajasthan, Orissa, Gujarat, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh   No figures
2000   Rajasthan, Gujarat, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh   More than              100 million

The same article lists major dietary staples as consisting of rice, wheat and lentils, all of which are high in dietary lectins and phytates, which are anti-nutrients preventing the absorption of nutrients in the body.  They are harmless when included as part of a larger diet, but for many in India, these foods comprise the bulk of the diet, and modern laws requiring nutritional fortification were only passed in that country as recently as 2017.

Another Wikipedia article titled "Famine in India" further elaborated that in the 18th-20th Centuries, a series of famines occurred that were due in large part not only to drought, but also to rodents and British colonial mismanagement, which forced a disproportionate amount of Indian land to support export rather than subsistence crops, even with widespread famines in progress.  Much of the Indian population, once weakened by hunger, then became vulnerable to plague and influenza.  No doubt, this policy and its results were at least partly influenced by the Reverend Thomal Malthus' 1798 treatise on how allowing the poor to starve was in their best interests, in spite of centuries of religious teaching to the contrary.

The article continues, adding that an example of modern government mismanagement of agriculture has been in its targeting of funds to areas experiencing adequate rainfall, rather than to drought-stricken regions, which some other publications suggest might have benefited from programs such as reforestation, irrigation and low-interest agricultural loans.

More recently, numerous agricultural losses have been due to a series of catastrophic floods that relentlessly occurred in sequence in 2017, as documented in another Wikipedia article titled "2017 South Asian Floods."  Wiki has five other articles detailing those floods individually, most of which occurred in northern India, affecting 31 million people and destroying 800,000 homes. 

Experts have called these the worst South Asian floods in decades, with long-term food supplies in question due to ruined farmland.

In addition, recent articles in the news of potential civil rights encroachments have included border closings, elimination of most cash, and an enforced dependence upon electronic transactions, all of which could interfere with free movement of Indian citizens away from further potential cataclysms. 

Positive assets of the Indian people include knowledge of subsistence farming among rural populations, a strong family ethic, and a rich and ancient spiritual heritage, as well as proximity in the north to the Himalayan Mountains.

Predictions exist that the Indian sub-continent will find itself seismically thrust beneath the Himalayas, flooding the country with tumultuous water from the Indian Ocean that will make even boating unsafe.

May the poor in  India, who cannot afford other means of escape, evacuate to the mountains to the north of that country, where agriculture is challenging but not impossible.  May they be able to afford mules packed with survival gear, and may they exit with dispatch.

« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 09:19:06 AM by R.R. Book »

R.R. Book

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@ around 25:00, map of distribution of refugees around the world

R.R. Book

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Adding Colombia to the prayer list in the wake of the evacuation of 8 municipalities due to a flood-induced rupture of a hydro-electric dam on the Cauca River, which has wiped out homes and caused evacuation orders affecting 120,000 people.,5208.msg104937.html#msg104937

Colombia, the equatorial gateway from Central to South America, is a culturally diverse country that is unusual in that most of its major urban centers are situated in the Andes mountain range, as opposed to being coastal, with the notable exception of Cartagena in the lowlands.  Bogata', for example, is located at more than 8,500' in elevation in a cold climate for being equatorial.  Its temperatures all this week for example range from daytime highs in the low 60's F to nighttime lows in the upper 40's F. 

Bogata' as seen from Monserrate Mountain.

Other unusual features include a concentration of 20% of the world's plant species in the relatively small geographical area, and a number of rare species of both animals and plants not found anywhere else on earth.  This may be due to the varied topography and climate of Colombia, with its high mountains, access to both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, grasslands, major river basins, and part of the Amazon Jungle.

The Sapphire-throated hummingbird is one of many species only found in Colombia.

Parts of the country remain glaciated:

Much of what Westerners think of Colombia may have been shaped by the constant commentary about it in the news media during the period of U.S. involvement in on-going low-intensity conflict there, in the name of the War on Communism and the War on Drugs, though partly funded by U.S. corporations such as Chiquita Banana and Coca-Cola.  The War on Drugs experienced both success and failure: major drug cartels were broken up, but  grassroots producers eventually expanded coca production, until the Colombian government altered its policy from one of punishing farmers for a lucrative cash crop to one of subsidizing agricultural alternatives.  Meanwhile, this Wikipedia article says that the reason coca production remains a profitable crop for farmers in Colombia is that the demand is so high for it in the U.S., where one in every six Americans freely admits to having used drugs:

Colombian coca crop

The nation has signed on to a number of free-trade agreements, and has considerable influence especially in the Andean region.  The Wikipedia article on Colombia says it continues to provide relief to Venezuela, while respecting that nation's need to work out its own problems internally, and welcomes immigration by Venezuelans into Colombia.

As is true of numerous other South American countries, the Colombian population primarily adheres to the Catholic faith, though all religions are Constitutionally protected.  Life expectancy is nearly 75 years, compared with about 78 years in the U.S.   

Predictions exist that Colombia, with its northern coastal summits in excess of 18,000', will become a key place of refuge for Caribbeans and Panamanians caught in the deluge ( ).  The majority of cities in Colombia are also located in the northern half of the country, making that area not the ideal safety destination. 

In addition, the mountains located off of the Pacific coast to the west are a seismically active part of the Ring of Fire, with several volcanoes.

The eastern border of Colombia comprises the lowlands, and adjoins Venezuela with its dire problems and emigration.  The central portion of the country, around Meta, is known for government corruption and violence.,_Meta

To the south would seem to be Colombia's safe locations, toward the protrusion that adjoins northern Peru and Brazil.   South-central and South-east states are far less populated than south-western states, and tend to lean heavily toward small farms owned by indigenous people.  Examples include the states ("departments") of Vaupes and Amazonas, as well as adjacent states to those:

May the people of Colombia who have lost their homes in devastating floods, and who may be vulnerable to seismic activity and other threats, consider migrating away from cities in the north and volcanoes in the west, toward the southern provinces where indigenous populations have lived and farmed in and near the Amazon Rainforest for thousands of years. 

« Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 05:35:53 AM by R.R. Book »


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Thanks for posting this very informative, and educational article. 


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