Sunday, September 01, 2013

The Root Causes Of Violence In Syria: Climate Change And Water: But Let's Bomb The Hell Out Of Them Anyway


In all of the saber rattling and propaganda from governments in a rush to more war that will only result in more suffering these two words, climate change are deliberately being left out of the discussion and the media coverage. Yet, the drying of the Fertile Crescent and the results of it cannot be ignored in discussing what led Syria into the civil war that has now culminated into a tragedy leading us to the precipice.

Refugees Hit 1 Million

How did this happen if so many care so much?

A humanitarian disaster of immense proportions and yet, silence. Why? Because once again the politics takes precedence over the human. Based on all media sources and the actions of Syria's government Assad is an unfit and cruel leader who wields absolute power and we have seen that as exhibited by the accounts of those living there. Unfortunately, the "rebels" taking up arms are no better. Composed of entities seeking only the same power (and face it, probably backed by the CIA and other covert organizations) the people continue to suffer and the announcement by SOS John Kerry that the US is giving support to these "rebels" does nothing to end this suffering. In the face of news of a chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus August 21st we now see a rush to war by the US once again dismissing the humanitarian crisis that has unfolded. Military solutions to humanitarian crises are the antithesis to each other.

However, this is a scenario being played out all over the Arab world and the similarities leave one who can connect the dots wondering just what and who is at the crux of it. Ghadhafi in Libya is gone, but now we see instability and war in Mali as arms from Libya made their way conveniently into these other countries which brought in the very elements now needing "cleansing" by the same Western powers that always seem to be in the forefront as well as the same alliance (Iran, China, Russia) on the other side. There is much money to be made in arms dealing and in fomenting wars just like this and banks (that state they are "too big to fail") that deal in it for governments and contractors make huge money from it as well. It is literally the buying and selling of humanity for profit. The effects of climate change in this region are now sewing the seeds for terrorism and being conveniently ignored by those on all sides profiting from it.

For those who are not aware there is also a geopolitical race going on for resources due to new technologies (drone warfare as an example,) climate change (particularly drought in this region of the world affecting agriculture, prices and water) terrorism and competition between developed powers and those emerging like China and Iran. This is making a battlefield out of the world as they compete for these resources particularly natural gas using any means necessary to thwart the progress of the other. And make no mistake about it, climate change is playing a part in this geopolitical battle.

In Syria as in the entire Fertile Crescent drought and water shortages have been causing people in the thousands to be displaced as food and water become scarcer and deserts expand. This leads to the people rising up to demand action and in places in the Arab world that see strong footholds over power, this then leads to civil war and what we now see culminating in Syria with alliances aligning to take advantage of the circumstances to achieve their own geopolitical agenda at the expense of the people caught in the middle.

Syria is endemic of the failure of humanity to care for its people.

As far as the political end to this Assad is not a leader that the people of Syria deserve. Nor do I see these "rebels" as being much better. Perhaps and I know this is idealistic, but perhaps if just once we looked at these humanitarian disasters from a humanitarian point of view rather than a political one we just might be able to find a way to heal people instead of making the rift wider. We must beware of all sides in this because it would seem none of them are truly looking out for the human solution to this.

I fear many more will die as people continue to be used as pawns on this geopolitical chessboard. I find it disgusting to see that these crises continue to kill so many innocents all due to the fact that greed, ideology and religious intolerance have overcome common decency. A humanitarian crisis deserves an humanitarian response. What has transpired in Syria is a warning of what extreme climate change will bring to this world and how it will spiral out of control as long as the wrong people are in positions of leadership that do not have the consciousness to deal with it.

The international community should have seen what was transpiring in Syria long before this most current tragedy. I fear that as climate change gets more of a foothold in the world in places most vulnerable conflict over resources particularly water will be commonplace. Bombing and status quo political solutions must give way to 21st Century thinking that seeks to eliminate the root causes of these tragedies to avoid them. In a world where humanity actually took precedence over the chest beating ego driven political maniacs of this world we might stand a chance. That is the world we should be striving for and the world the people of Syria and all of us need to see in order to save ourselves.


Also see:

Without Water, Revolution

How Climate Change Primed Syria For War

Syria, Water, Climate Change And Violent Conflict

Did Climate Change Cause The Syrian Uprising?


A new study on the Arab Spring and Climate Change, finds evidence to suggest that it was not merely a coincidence that the Syrian revolution began just as the entire country was still struggling to survive after the worst drought ever recorded.

Between 2006 and 2011 nearly 60% of Syria experienced the worst drought ever, turning much of the country’s farmland into barren dust bowls, and resulting in a series of severe crop failures.

Due to the devastating drought and subsequent lack of food and water in rural areas hundreds of thousands fled to the cities, where existing problems were only exacerbated by the influx of new mouths to feed.

End of excerpt.

Syria: Climate Change, Drought And Social Unrest

Peak oil, climate change and pipeline geopolitics driving Syria conflict

Climate Change And The Syrian Uprising


Two days short of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak's resignation, Al Jazeera published an article, headlined "A Kingdom of Silence," that contended an uprising was unlikely in Syria. The article cited the country's "popular president, dreaded security forces, and religious diversity" as reasons that the regime of Bashar al-Assad would not be challenged, despite the chaos and leadership changes already wrought by the so-called Arab Spring. Less than one month later, security forces arrested a group of schoolchildren in the Syrian city of Dara'a, the country's southern agricultural hub, for scrawling anti-government slogans on city walls. Subsequent protests illustrated the chasm between the regime's public image -- encapsulated in the slogan "Unity, Freedom and Socialism" -- and a reality of widespread public disillusion with Assad and his economic policies.

Among the many historical, political, and economic factors contributing to the Syrian uprising, one has been devastating to Syria, yet remains largely unnoticed by the outside world. That factor is the complex and subtle, yet powerful role that climate change has played in affecting the stability and longevity of the state.

The land now encompassed by Syria is widely credited as being the place where humans first experimented with agriculture and cattle herding, some 12,000 years ago. Today, the World Bank predicts the area will experience alarming effects of climate change, with the annual precipitation level shifting toward a permanently drier condition, increasing the severity and frequency of drought.

From 1900 until 2005, there were six droughts of significance in Syria; the average monthly level of winter precipitation during these dry periods was approximately one-third of normal. All but one of these droughts lasted only one season; the exception lasted two. Farming communities were thus able to withstand dry periods by falling back on government subsidies and secondary water resources. This most recent, the seventh drought, however, lasted from 2006 to 2010, an astounding four seasons -- a true anomaly in the past century. Furthermore, the average level of precipitation in these four years was the lowest of any drought-ridden period in the last century.

While impossible to deem one instance of drought as a direct result of anthropogenic climate change, a 2011 report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration regarding this recent Syrian drought states: "Climate change from greenhouse gases explained roughly half the increased dryness of 1902-2010." Martin Hoerling, the lead researcher of the study, explains: "The magnitude and frequency of the drying that has occurred is too great to be explained by natural variability alone. This is not encouraging news for a region that already experiences water stress, because it implies natural variability alone is unlikely to return the region's climate to normal." The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that global warming will induce droughts even more severe in this region in the coming decades.

It is estimated that the Syrian drought has displaced more than 1.5 million people; entire families of agricultural workers and small-scale farmers moved from the country's breadbasket region in the northeast to urban peripheries of the south. The drought tipped the scale of an unbalanced agricultural system that was already feeling the weight of policy mismanagement and unsustainable environmental practices. Further, lack of contingency planning contributed to the inability of the system to cope with the aftermath of the drought. Decades of poorly planned agricultural policies now haunt Syria's al-Assad regime.

End of excerpt.

A warning for the future. We dismiss climate change at our peril.


Please give to Medicins San Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) if you wish to directly help the Syrian people.

Cruise missiles will not solve this.

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