By Samuel Nota
Today, the silver screen version of the popular book series The Hunger Games debuted to considerable fanfare. But while a starving society is portrayed in the movie as a piece of dystopian fiction, The Hunger Games highlights a very concerning reality: about 1 billion people around the world are hungry and fight on a daily basis for some sense of food security.
The aid group Tearfund has used The Hunger Games’ box office popularity to launch an education campaign about the daily “hunger game” that leaves 1 in 7 people in the world going to bed hungry. The truth, they argue, is that The Hunger Games’ dystopian setting is not pure fiction.
Why does food scarcity remain such a big issue today? Factors such as climate change, increased food prices, increased energy costs, and gender inequality are leading us towards a future of conflict not unlike the setting of the movie and books.
Even in today’s world, “natural resources are becoming scarcer, further contributing to conflict,” according to Tearfund. Economic and social barriers also stand in the way of people having enough to eat.
The Hunger Games is not as firmly rooted in fiction as we might hope. As Tearfund suggests, a global future of food insecurity is not only a possibility, but a reality for about a billion people in the world today – and potentially more in years to come.
Samuel Nota is an AlertNet Climate intern.