Global warming, or climate change as environmentalists prefer to call it during colder seasons of the year, is now considered a root cause of Middle Eastern violence, according to liberals.
The Washington D.C. based liberal think tank Center for American Progress is hosting a panel with Tom Friedman, Anne-Marie Slaughter, and Michael Werz this Thursday discussing the Center’s new volume on “Climate Change and the Arab Spring.” According to a CAP’s media advisory:
The volume outlines the complex pressures exerted by the effects of climate change on the convulsions which swept through the Middle East in 2010 and 2011, exploring the long-term trends in precipitation, agriculture, food prices, and migration which contributed to the social instability and violence which has transformed the region, and offering solutions for progress.
The idea is not completely new. In November 2012, liberal thinkers at the American Security Project released a report titled “The Arab Spring and World Food Prices.” In the report Andrew Holland writes:
One of the most important events over the past decade has been the Arab Spring of 2011 that brought down dictators in Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, and Egypt, and continues to reverberate through the region. Although the proximate cause of the unrest was the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, a fruit vendorin Tunisia, empirical evidence indicates that a spike in local food prices across the Arab world was responsible for setting the stage.
Over the last two decades, there is a strong evidence that food price increases have led to increased political unrest.
By late 2010, global food prices had increased by 40% over the year, largely due to drought and wildfre in grain exporting regions of Russia and Eastern Europe, as well as by unprecedented foods in grain-importing Pakistan.
Holland pins global warming on the violence that came out of Syria recently, saying that for a number of decades the Assad regime “had ignored water conservation issues and agriculture in general.” :
When the drought destroyed farming communities, it sent new migrants to the cities – most of which were not from the ruling Alawite minority. This placed great strain on urban populations, and exacerbated ethnic and religious strife. This strain is evident in the ongoing conflict within Syria.
In July of 2010, Democrats abandoned efforts on their own climate bill, realizing that it was an unpopular political move at the height of the burgeoning grass roots’ activism across the nation. It was not an issue of if the Democrats would lose the House; it was an issue of how badly they were going to lose the House. As a result, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D – NV) decided not to take up the House-passed climate bill.
Senator Barbara Boxer (D -CA), Chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, plans to push through a comprehensive climate bill through her committee to the Senate floor by the time the weather warms up, so expect to see a climate bill debated on Capitol Hill by the summer.