When a government develops an unsustainable population that it does not feed nor employ, and climate change worsens the conditions, social chaos ensues, notes Thomas Friedman at the New York Times. He argues that unemployment and food shortages, especially for young people, were important drivers in the current Syrian civil war. Population levels in Syria exploded in the 1980s and 90s. Between 2006 and 2011, a drought wiped out the livelihoods of many farmers with big families. Without government help, many had to flee to cities. There, work was scarce. Lack of food and work drove many teenagers and young men into the revolution, Friedman’s interviews revealed. As climate change and growing populations further stress water supplies, expect more civic upheavals throught the world, he says. Indeed, Syria’s neighbor, Iraq, is already developing a similar crisis. There, dramatically decreasing river levels from upstream Turkish dams, combined with drought, will soon deprive an estimated one in 3 Iraqi farmers of their livelihoods and affect other activities as well, reports Julia Harte at National Geographic Newswatch, and this already has some locals speculating about the possibility of water wars.
Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.
For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=mary-ellen-harte
Without water, revolution. This Syrian disaster is like a superstorm. It’s what happens when an extreme weather event, the worst drought in Syria’s modern history, combines with a fast-growing population and a repressive and corrupt regime. In an age of climate change, we’re likely to see many more such conflicts. New York Times. Opinion, 19 May 2013. [Registration Required] http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/19/opinion/sunday/friedman-without-water-revolution.html?ref=opinion&_r=1&