Coronavirus was a black swan event like The Spanish Flu. Happened before but long forgotten until it hit us in March 2020
Omicron virus could be the end of Covid 19 just as the final phase of the Spanish flu was the most infectious but very mild - giving anti bodies for all that eventually ended the Spanish Flu after 3 years in 1920
Now there is another looming Black Swan event all forgotten in human history - "FAMINE"
Great Chinese Famine
|Country||People's Republic of China|
|Location||Half of the country. Death rate were highest in Anhui (18% dead), Chongqing (15%), Sichuan (13%), Guizhou (11%) and Hunan (8%).|
|Total deaths||15–55 million|
|Observations||Considered China's most devastating catastrophe. Result of droughts, floods, the Great Leap Forward, people's commune and other policies.|
|Consequences||Termination of the Great Leap Forward campaign|
History of the People's
Republic of China (PRC)
|Generations of leadership|
The Great Chinese Famine (Chinese: 三年大饥荒, "three years of great famine") was a period between 1959 and 1961 in the history of the People's Republic of China (PRC) characterized by widespread famine. Some scholars have also included the years 1958 or 1962. It is widely regarded as the deadliest famine and one of the greatest man-made disasters in human history, with an estimated death toll due to starvation that ranges in the tens of millions (15 to 55 million).[note 1] The most stricken provinces were Anhui (18% dead), Chongqing (15%), Sichuan (13%), Guizhou (11%) and Hunan (8%).
The major contributing factors in the famine were the policies of the Great Leap Forward (1958 to 1962) and people's communes, such as inefficient distribution of food within the nation's planned economy, requiring the use of poor agricultural techniques, the Four Pests Campaign that reduced bird populations (which disrupted the ecosystem), over-reporting of grain production, and ordering millions of farmers to switch to iron and steel production. During the Seven Thousand Cadres Conference in early 1962, Liu Shaoqi, the second Chairman of the PRC, formally attributed 30% of the famine to natural disasters and 70% to man-made errors ("三分天灾, 七分人祸"). After the launch of Reforms and Opening Up, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officially stated in June 1981 that the famine was mainly due to the mistakes of the Great Leap Forward as well as the Anti-Rightist Campaign, in addition to some natural disasters and the Sino-Soviet split.
Policy changes affecting how farming was organized coincided with droughts and floods. As a result, year-over-year grain production fell dramatically in China. The harvest was down by 15% in 1959 compared to 1958, and by 1960, it was at 70% of its 1958 level. Specifically, according to China's governmental data, crop production decreased from 200 million tons (or 400 billion jin) in 1958 to 170 million tons (or 340 billion jin) in 1959, and to 143.5 million tons (or 287 billion jin) in 1960.
The excess mortality associated with the famine has been estimated by various CCP officials and international experts, with most giving a number in the range of 15–55 million deaths. Some specific estimates include the following:
Some outlier estimates include 11 million by Utsa Patnaik, an Indian Marxist economist,[note 2] 3.66 million by Sun Jingxian (孙经先), a Chinese mathematician, and 2.6–4 million by Yang Songlin (杨松林), a Chinese historian and political economist.
Due to the lack of food and incentive to marry at that time, according to China's official statistics, China's population in 1961 was about 658,590,000, some 14,580,000 lower than in 1959. The birth rate decreased from 2.922% (1958) to 2.086% (1960) and the death rate increased from 1.198% (1958) to 2.543% (1960), while the average numbers for 1962–1965 are about 4% and 1%, respectively. The mortality in the birth and death rates both peaked in 1961 and began recovering rapidly after that, as shown on the chart of census data displayed on the left. Lu Baoguo, a Xinhua reporter based in Xinyang, explained to Yang Jisheng why he never reported on his experience:
Yu Dehong, the secretary of a party official in Xinyang in 1959 and 1960, stated:
There are widespread oral reports, though little official documentation, of human cannibalism being practiced in various forms as a result of the famine.: 352 [a] Due to the scale of the famine, some have speculated that the resulting cannibalism could be described as "on a scale unprecedented in the history of the 20th century".
The Great Chinese Famine was caused by a combination of radical agricultural policies, social pressure, economic mismanagement, and natural disasters such as droughts and floods in farming regions.
During the Great Leap Forward, farming was organized into people's communes and the cultivation of privately owned plots was forbidden. The agricultural economy was centrally planned, and regional Party leaders were given production quotas for the communes under their control. Their output was then appropriated by the state and distributed at its discretion. In 2008, former deputy editor of Yanhuang Chunqiu and author Yang Jisheng would summarize his perspective of the effect of the production targets as an inability for supply to be redirected to where it was most demanded:
The degree to which people's communes lessened or worsened the famine is controversial. Each region dealt with the famine differently, and timelines of the famine are not uniform across China. One argument is that excessive eating took place in the mess halls, and that this directly led to a worsening of the famine. If excessive eating had not taken place, one scholar argued, "the worst of the Great Leap Famine could still have been avoided in mid-1959". However, dire hunger did not set in to places like Da Fo village until 1960, and the public dining hall participation rate was found not to be a meaningful cause of famine in Anhui and Jiangxi. In Da Fo village, "food output did not decline in reality, but there was an astonishing loss of food availability associated with Maoist state appropriation".
Along with collectivization, the central government decreed several changes in agricultural techniques that would be based on the ideas of later-discredited Russian agronomist Trofim Lysenko. One of these ideas was close planting, whereby the density of seedlings was at first tripled and then doubled again. The theory was that plants of the same species would not compete with each other. In natural cycles they did fully compete, which actually stunted growth and resulted in lower yields.
Another policy known as "deep plowing" was based on the ideas of Lysenko's colleague Terentiy Maltsev, who encouraged peasants across China to eschew normal plowing depths of 15–20 centimeters and instead plow deeply into the soil (1 to 2 Chinese feet or 33 to 66 cm). The deep plowing theory stated that the most fertile soil was deep in the earth, and plowing unusually deeply would allow extra-strong root growth. While deep plowing can increase yields in some contexts, the policy is generally considered to have hindered yields in China.
In the Four Pests Campaign, citizens were called upon to destroy mosquitoes, rats, flies, and sparrows. The mass eradication of birds resulted in an increase of the population of crop-eating insects, which had no predators without the birds.
Beginning in 1957, the Chinese Communist Party began to report excessive production of grain because of pressure from superiors. However, the actual production of grain throughout China was decreasing from 1957 to 1961. For example:
This series of events resulted in an "illusion of superabundance" (浮夸风), and the Party believed that they had an excess of grain. On the contrary, the crop yields were lower than average. For instance, Beijing believed that "in 1960 state granaries would have 50 billion jin of grain", when they actually contained 12.7 billion jin. The effects of the illusion of superabundance were significant, leaving some historians to argue that it was the major cause of much of the starvation throughout China. Yang Dali argued that there were three main consequences from the illusion of superabundance: