Climate Change, Heating Up The Syrian War

It’s an ugly truth to a dawning reality.

A new study confirms climate change contributed to the Syrian War.


The predicted disastrous effects of climate change are no longer ideologies of an impending future, but realities on our doorstep, today.

According to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,

“Compiled statistics show… that water shortages in the Fertile Crescent in Syria, Iraq, and Turkey killed livestock, drove up food prices, sickened children, and forced 1.5 million rural residents to the outskirts of Syria’s jam-packed cities—just as that country was exploding with immigrants from the Iraq war.”

The combined pressure of food scarcity and overpopulation in Syrian cities, mixed with high unemployment and poor government management, helped plunge the country into armed conflict.

This research has provided the first deep look at how global warming may already influence armed conflict, and brings about new thoughts regarding climate change.

Documenting recent irregularities in climate — extreme drought, high winds, heat waves — has produced a new sentiment. Effectively, dawning a scarier reality.


Climate change is no longer solely an issue facing future generations, as many are led to believe. Climate change was an issue yesterday. And it’s worsening, today.


Full article here.

We can rather safely assume right extremists will continue to ignore its call, as denying scientific study has become normal practice. But, perhaps, it will give a new tangibility to the previously impalpable, for others.

Instead of uniting behind, “think of your children’s children!” — the common call for climatologists — the game has changed. Indeed, this increased urgency should tremendously change our outlook.

The common phrase must reposition itself, then: “Think of your life.”

But what do we do with this information? Where does it bring humanity? The fight for a livable future? Appropriate action?

I have an idea, albeit small and a selfish one, in using think of your life.

For two reasons:

First, foresight is not the strongest attribute of the average world-goer. And second, people are self interested. Many pawn the responsibilities of sustainable living on future generations to the thought of “it doesn’t affect me.”

Both points are more than evident through observing mainstream addiction to consumption and profits. As long as THIS quarters sales revenues are 4 % larger than last quarters, who cares to look 10 years down the road?

Now, I don’t endorse selfishness, but there is a hard and heavy lesson for ideologists hidden within this advocacy. As much as we would all love to believe in a quick and total elevation of human consciousness; an explosion of altruism, it’s just not likely. Although I believe it possible, I believe there are quicker and easier ways to address human habit.

It’s called aligning incentives.

If we properly align incentives, the “average world-goer” need not strain his or her brain with heavy foresight or altruistic thought (although advised!). If we can lead others to believe climate change is already an issue for THEM then all they need to do is act in their best interest.

Fortunate for us, THEIR (individual) best interest is OUR (community) best interest, and here’s why:

Solar, wind, and geothermal energy, permaculture, localized, urban and community farming, intelligent design and resource use, electric trains and cars, recycling, reducing, reusing, environmentally friendly technologies and products, etc. etc.

Are now viewed as tools to allow the individual, acting in self interest, to survive. This, subsequently, allows the community to thrive.

And that’s the funny thing about individualism. I’m of the opinion that individualism serves socialism quite well. In the sense that the individual, if truly and supremely concerned with the self, will recognize that the best way to personally sustain is through communal action. Thus, community thrives on self-sustaining thoughts, for it is through community that the strongest sustaining forces exist.


So, it’s no longer some giant, unsolvable issue with the earth, but rather a direct attack on your — and your family’s — life. If you didn’t believe in your “green” responsibility before, you do now.

When you have a stake in your life, you’re invested.

It’s a shot in the dark, and something rather undeveloped. But it gives me hope.

If we can convince everyone into believing they have a unique and personal claim in humanity’s future, properly aligning incentives, then, well, there’s no limit to that sort of community.

And that’s an encouraging thought.

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About tkvogelsang

I'm a people person. I enjoy pointed conversation and mature debate. I admire the great thinkers: those who uplifted reason, scholar, and secondary opinion. I was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, but find i'm nothing like the people there. I'm liberal, but no Democrat; peaceful, but no pacifist; competitive, but no capitalist; ambitious, but no elitist; a "Buddhist Athiest" (someone who reads and strives to follow the Buddha's teachings, but avid skeptic) raised Christian; and many other dichotomies. In many ways, I'm surprised to be the product I am. I love the outdoors. I love gardening, admire sustainable creation and design, endorse creative thinking and problem solving, and strive to learn as much as I possibly can. I am in a constant search for more travel. Travel, to me, is of utmost importance. It opens the mind and heart. I have many mothers because of it. I have many families that have taken me in and treated me as their own child. It's experiences like these that are not discovered at home, and worth experiencing. Just do. Go. You'll like it.
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