How Climate Change Has Helped Isis. Really.
The Debrief: Prince Charles has linked climate change to the Syrian conflict but he's not entirely out of line...
Prince Charles has upset some by suggesting that one of his favourite topics – climate change – has had a hand in the Syrian conflict. To some, after the Paris attacks, it seems like a shameless pandering to the left-wing. Instead of blaming Syria’s problems on an evil force of violent psychopaths in the form of Isis, he’s seen as banging his old biodegradable hemp drum, opportunistically piggybacking on a horrific incident to get his own politics across.
Here’s what he told Sky News: ‘There's very good evidence indeed that one of the major reasons for this horror in Syria, funnily enough, was a drought that lasted for about five or six years, which meant that huge numbers of people in the end had to leave the land.’
What he’s saying is far from ridiculous and the following cartoon will explain to you exactly how climate change had its role in accelerating the Syrian conflict.
Charles perhaps got a few people’s hackles up by prefacing his climate change comments with the pretty dreadful ‘I told you so’ of ‘We're seeing a classic case of not dealing with the problem because, it sounds awful to say, but some of us were saying 20 something years ago that if we didn't tackle these issues you would see ever greater conflict over scarce resources and ever greater difficulties over drought.’
But it still holds that climate change’s influences on the Syrian conflict are real. Of course, Isis is an evil cell of extremists justifying their bloodthirst by insisting it’s based in religion. But just as it’s worth considering how these terrorists have recruited European youngsters to fight for them, it’s worth considering how they offered purpose to just some of the 1.5 Syrian farmers left unemployed after widespread droughts.
A spokesperson for Friends of the Earth told The Debrief: '1 degree warming is already causing sea levels to rise and leading to more extreme weather events such as floods and drought, and will negatively affect food production and water stress.
'One of the contributing factors to the Syrian refugee crisis has been the punishing 5 year drought in rural Syria between 2006 and 2010. Scientists say that climate change is making drought in Syria twice as likely.
Paris will be hosting the COP21 climate change summit at the end of November, where charities and ecological groups and ministers will join together to try to reach a promise that no-one will let the world get two degrees warmer. And Prince Charles will be there, too!
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