It is true that our planet is in pretty bad shape right now, and it is true that humans are to blame for a lot of that. However, despite what was recently said on the Weather Channel, it is not true that deforestation in Haiti is caused by hungry kids eating trees. Furthermore (and as you may have guessed), no hungry kids in Haiti are eating trees to begin with.
While on the air Monday, Weather Channel meteorologist Jen Delgado falsely claimed that Haiti's deforestation problems can be attributed to hungry children munching on trees.
On Monday, before Category 4 Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti the following day, Delgado was speculating about how the hurricane could potentially cause more damage to Haiti than to its neighbor, the Dominican Republic, because Haiti has fewer trees. The reason Haiti has "been essentially deforested," Delgado claimed, is because "they take all the trees down, they burn the trees, even the kids there, they're so hungry, they actually eat the trees." Yikes.
Obviously, people weren't too happy with Delgado's claim.
Saying that he was "deeply disturbed" by the false claim, Lamothe Laurent, the former Haitian Prime Minister, wrote to Delgado and the Weather Channel on Facebook, saying, "SHAME ON YOU!"
In response to a viewer who criticized Delgado as "very ignorant," the Weather Channel's president David Clark responded, "We are terribly sorry for an on air error and are taking measures to correct it." He added, "It should not have happened period."
It is true that Haiti has a very serious problem with deforestation, which increases the risk of floods and landslides. According to Columbia University's Earth Institute, only 3 percent of Haiti's forest cover remains nationally. The primary cause, however, is because of people cutting down trees and burning the wood for charcoal production.
Delgado has since apologized, on air and on her Facebook, having apparently figured out that Haitian kids are neither eating trees, nor are they the cause of Haiti's deforestation.