World Bulletin / News Desk
Despite so many pressing evidence of cause of climate conflict, a US scientist claims that climate change was the main driver of the Syrian uprising. According to research which warns that global warming is likely to unleash more wars in the coming decades, with Eastern Mediterranean countries such as Jordan and Lebanon particularly at risk.
According a report in The Independent, experts have long predicted that climate change will be the major source of conflict as drought and rising temperatures affect agriculture, putting a further strain on resources in countries where governments already have conflict and are unstable.
“Added to all the other stressors, climate change helped kick things over the threshold into open conflict,” said report co-author Richard Seager, of Columbia University in New York.
“I think this is scary and it’s only just beginning. It’s going to continue through the current century as part of the general drying of the Eastern Mediterranean – I don’t see how things are going to survive there,” Professor Seager added.
He names Turkey, Lebananon, Israel, Jordan, Iraq and Afghanistan most in danger from drought because of the intensity of the drying and the history of conflict in the region, he says. Israel is much better equipped to withstand climate change than its neighbours because it is wealthy, politically stable and imports much of its food. East African countries such as Somalia and Sudan are also vulnerable along with parts of Central America – especially Mexicois politically unstable, with a high crime rate, short of water and reliant on agriculture, Prof Seager said.
Asked if the conflict was about the drought, Faten – a female farmer who did not want to give her last name – said: “Of course. The drought and unemployment were important in pushing people towards revolution. When the drought happened, we could handle it for two years, and then we said, ‘It’s enough’,” the report said.
With demand for basic commodities such as wheat and copper set to soar over the next two decades, relatively small shocks to supply risk causing sudden price rises and triggering “overreactions or even militarised responses”, the Chatham House think-tank has warned.