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Old 9th March 2021, 05:54 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
This famine is said to be the worst known famine in Europe in relatively recent times.
One could argue about Stalin.... Or Bengal.
But they're not "in Europe".

Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
One million out of circa 8.8m over ten years died of famine and related disease, whilst a further 1m emigrated, mainly to the USA.
Actually emigration was about 1.3 million, ~70% went to the USA.

Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
The cause here was potato blight and ruined crops, leaving the largely landless population - who rented between 2.5 ha to 15 ha of land from the Anglo-Irish or English aristocracy, for example the Earl of Lucan - and were left stricken in the crop failure years. Many of these aristocratic landowners never actually visited their estates, except perhaps once or twice in their lifetime. They would hire rent collectors to collect the money on their behalf. They did not think twice about evicting them for non-payment.
The main trigger was the general cultivation of a single strain of potato. and dependence on that staple.
Land politics was, and is, complicated and nuanced. The government response was mixed and semi-random; one of the main problems was the ideological commitment to 'laissez-faire' economics and the hidden hand of the market, mixed with the general contempt for the poor.
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Old 9th March 2021, 05:57 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Airfix View Post
Climate change is making the planet wetter, with more rain, there's an increased likelihood of crops rotting in fields.

So with climate change, there's an increased risk of famine.
That is a gross over simplification.
Take the UK as an example. The main threats to food supply are the rise in sea-levels, which directly threatens East Anglia and the most productive land in Britain, and the medium term prospect of the diminution in the Gulf Stream, which will drastically cool the islands.
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Old 9th March 2021, 06:01 AM   #43
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People should bear in mind that the effects of potato blight in Europe in the late 1840s are not limited to Ireland. There is a very good reason 1848 is referred to as the 'Year of Revolution' and much of that movement (and the rise of nationalism, population migrations and civil unrest) was down to food insecurity.
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