Earth Day 2008: Worldwide Famine

“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.” (Matthew 24:7)

Today, April 22nd, is Earth Day. Earth Day was started in 1970 when a bunch of activists wanted to raise environmental awareness due to fears of global famine at that time. In recent years, people used Earth Day to raise awareness about Global Warming. However, ironically, the global famine issue is closer to us than ever.

In the past, when I read biblical accounts about the last days, about how there’ll be many wars and earthquakes, I would nod my head and go, “Yep they’re really happening.” But when I read about famines, I had always thought that it’s a problem that would only happen in third world countries. Now, with rising gas prices hampering worldwide import/export, and aided by a perfect storm of many global environmental, political, financial, and anthropological factors, the imminence of famine has finally hit home. It is closer than you may think.

The New York Sun has an article about how, right here in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Mountain View Costco is having rice shortage. Indeed, prices of rice have risen 70% just in the past year in the US. Philippines is having a rice crisis. Food riots erupted in Africa and other countries. The worldwide rice inventory has shrunk significantly in the past few years. I read that people in some poorer countries resort to hunting rats to satisfy their hunger due to food shortage. Some people have termed this the “silent famine” because this food shortage just creeped up on many of us unaware. And the problems we’re seeing now are probably just the tip of the iceberg.

As Christians we need to break out of the four walls of our churches and our homes and talk about this and contribute to just causes. We need to learn from the examples of the disciples in Acts 11, when they shared what they had with others who were in need due to famine:

“… some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius. And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea.” (Acts 11:27-29)

This is the time of act. This is the time to show love.

New York Sun: Food Rationing Confronts Breadbasket of the World
WorldNet Daily: “Silent” Famine Sweeps Globe
Reuters Video: Asia Grapples With Rice Shortages