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    Famines Throughout History

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    You are a member of a panel that has been invited to Westmont College to discuss the causes of famine. Each member of the panel has been assigned to research one of the following famines so the panel can explore shared causes and discuss what can be done to prevent similar outbreaks in the future. As a small group, decide which members will take which topics.

    * The Irish "Potato Famine" of 1846-50
    * The Sahelian (Ethiopian) famine of 1984-85
    * The Sudanese famine (1998-2000)
    * The North Korean famine (ongoing)

    Each individual presentation should include a discussion of the social, political and environmental conditions that contributed to the famine in whole or in part, a description of the extent of the famine, efforts that were made to alleviate human suffering and the extent to which they were successful.

    I have to provide references - no wikipedia please!!!

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    There is abundant information out there about the Irish potato famine of 1846-1850 that helps to examine the issues surrounding these years in Ireland. I believe I have answered posts about this topic before but I am going to address your question with a new answer since you can't use what is in our library pool. As a biologist I have found the conditions surrounding the outbreak of the blight fungus pretty interesting so I will start there and eventually touch on all of the factors you are to discuss. I like to approach this sort of question by formulating an outline based on the points you have been asked to consider and then referring to sources of information about each point.

    The organism that causes late blight of potato is Phytophthora infestans, a fungus that can very quickly reduce a potato crop to rot (for a good summary of some of the history related to the Irish famine caused by this fungus see http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/m2001alt.html - read the whole page). Two things about the potato crop in Ireland made it particularly susceptible to the disease at that time - the first being the small number ...

    Solution Summary

    This solutions gives information regarding famine.