Francesco Femia has identified in a new culprit in the Syrian civil war: climate change. While it’s not the direct cause of the conflict in Syria, Femia, co-founder of the Center for Climate and Security, argues that climate change created a “powder keg” in the country, creating the conditions that made the civil war more likely.
According to Femia, climate change had caused a massive drought in Syria that, coupled with the Assad regime’s resource mismanagement, created a “large-scale environmental and human disaster.” He believes the crisis led to massive migration into urban areas, which were already hard-pressed economically, sparking large-scale civil unrest. This unrest eventually became a civil war.
While Femia made clear, in an appearance on public television’s Moyers & Company, that he was “not making any causal claims about climate change causing conflict,” he called climate change a “threat multiplier” that ”makes other threats to human security worse.” (This February, the Center for American Progress released a report, to which Femia contributed, laying out a range of theories about global warming and the Arab Spring.)
Following the fashion of blaming just about every type of weather phenomenon on “climate change,” Femia argued that climate change can lead to “either a drought or a major storm or an amount of rainfall that’s unusual and leads to flooding. It’s not just scarcity, it’s too much, too little and unpredictably.” Unfortunately for Syria, climate change meant drought — and, apparently, civil war.
Via the Daily Caller.