TIL in 1958 Mao Zedong began a campaign to eliminate the Eurasian Tree Sparrow, leading to a severe ecological imbalance and contributing to the Great Chinese Famine where 15-55 million people starved to death.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Pests_campaign

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  1. The Four Pests campaign definitely deserves its seat in the pantheon of Worst Ideas, but trying to smelt enough iron to satisfy your nation in your people’s backyards has got to be up there too.

  2. “Great Chinese Famine where 15-55 million people starved to death”. I know China can be oppressively tight with their reporting of data. Especially when it concerns health in reference to government involvement. But a range of 15-55 million seems a tremendously wide point of reference. Why is it so hard to narrow this down?

  3. Yeah, and on top of that, it was officially known as three years of ‘natural disasters’. So much for the talk about disinformation in this day and age.

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