(3BL Media/Justmeans) - There has been speculation and concern among many factions, including the US security community, that the onset of climate change will usher in economic, political and social unrest, leading to additional conflicts around the world. In a report released last fall, the DoD referred to climate change as a “threat multiplier.”
Now, a new report just released in the proceedings of National Academy of Science claims that climate change was a key factor leading up to the current conflict in Syria.
The study points to a severe drought in the region during the period 2006-9. The drought led to crop failures that caused some 1.5 million people to migrate to the cities. It turned the country from a food exporter to a net importer, driving food prices up. These changes exacerbated problems in the already-stressed cities when pro-democracy demonstrations broke out, ultimately becoming violent and turning into an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad who had all but ignored the breakdown. As rebel brigades formed to stand up to government forces, the conflict erupted into a full-scale civil war in which some 200,000 lives have already been lost.