Monday, November 16, 2015

Of Course Bernie Was 100% Correct To Link Terrorism To Climate Change


I was just driving home and the NPR host was talking about a poll on Climate Change. By the time I started paying attention, I had missed the details or who had done the poll. I figured I'd find it on Google when I got home. But I can't find it. And it was interesting because the findings were at odds with what most of us assume about Climate Change. First of all, they found that Americans believe it's caused by man and say they'd be willing to pay to ameliorate that. And not just liberals in San Francisco. Every state. Both parties and independents. Yes, Republicans as well as normal people. Mississippi and Arkansas as well as Massachusetts and Maryland!, the only culprits: corrupt politicians in hock to corporate special interests.

Well, that's good. And it's a world-wide phenomena. A Pew Research survey earlier this month showed that in the rest of the world there's widespread concern and broad support for limiting emissions. Leading up to the global climate change summit that kicks off Nov 30 and is scheduled to last nearly 2 weeks. 118 nations are sending delegations. Pew reports that "majorities in all 40 nations polled say it is a serious problem, and a global median of 54% consider it a very serious problem" and "a median of 78% support the idea of their country limiting greenhouse gas emissions as part of an international agreement in Paris... Americans and Chinese, whose economies are responsible for the greatest annual CO2 emissions, are among the least concerned [although] even in China and the United States, where overall concern about climate change is less intense, large majorities support an international agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions."

Across the world conservatives and reactionaries are less convinced that climate change is a problem than are progressives. "This is especially true in the U.S., where Democrats are much more likely than Republicans to see climate change as a problem, to believe its effects are being felt now, to think it will harm them personally, and to support U.S. participation in an agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions."

Young Americans are generally more concerned than their elders about climate change. Americans ages 18 to 29 are significantly more likely than those ages 50 and older to see global warming as a very serious problem (52% to 38%), to believe it will affect them personally (34% very concerned vs. 21%), and to support U.S. participation in an agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions (85% to 60%). Younger Americans are also more likely to think rich countries should do more than developing nations to address this problem (51% to 34%).

The partisan divisions found in the U.S. are reflected in several other relatively wealthy democracies. Some of the greatest partisan differences exist in Australia, where disagreements over global warming within the ruling, right-of-center Liberal Party contributed to the 2015 ouster of Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his replacement by Malcolm Turnbull. Just 31% of Liberals expect global warming to harm them personally, compared with 65% of Labor Party supporters and 72% of Greens. Similarly, only 44% of Liberals think rich countries should do more about climate change than developing nations, while 54% of Labor and 67% of Greens want wealthy societies to bear more of the costs.

In Canada, Germany and the UK, followers of conservative parties are also much less likely than followers of liberal or green parties to believe they will be harmed by climate change. And in Canada and Australia, supporters of conservative parties are less likely to think rich nations should do more than developing countries to address this issue. Meanwhile, in Germany, adherents of the Green Party are significantly more likely than those of both the right-of-center Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union and the left-of-center Social Democratic Party to expect more from rich countries.
The only real take away on Climate Change from the Democratic debate Saturday night was that reactionaries (from both parties) and corporate media jumped on Bernie for bringing up a connection between climate change and terrorism. It was too difficult for small, stunted minds-- like debate anchor John Dickerson, who couldn't define "terrorism" beyond the specific events in Paris Friday night.

Sunday morning, writing for Time, Justin Worland, tried explaining how Climate Change-produced drought in Syria contributed to instability there.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders used the terrorist attacks in Paris to call for action to address climate change at a primary debate Saturday. But, while the plea attracted ridicule across the political spectrum, many academics and national security experts agree that climate change contributes to an uncertain world where terrorism can thrive.

U.S. military officials refer to climate change as a “threat multiplier” that takes issues like terrorism that would pose a threat to national security and exacerbates the damage they can cause. A 2014 Department of Defense report identifies climate change as the root of government instability that leads to widespread migration, damages infrastructure and leads to the spread of disease. “These gaps in governance can create an avenue for extremist ideologies and conditions that foster terrorism,” the report says.

The parallels between the situation described in the government report and the situation on the ground in Syria are striking. The worst drought on record in the Middle Eastern country has created instability for farmers and threatened the food supply. At the same time, the government has struggled to hold on to power across the country in the face of militant groups and millions of Syrians have fled their homeland.

“I’m not telling you that the crisis in Syria was caused by climate change,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a speech last month. “But the devastating drought clearly made a bad situation a lot worse.”

Indeed, a paper published in the academic journal PNAS earlier this year argues that climate change helped create instability and fighting in Syria. The Islamic State, commonly known as ISIS, arose in the country in large part due to that instability.
You can contribute to Bernie's campaign and to candidates for Congress who have endorsed him, on this ActBlue page.

Labels: , ,


At 11:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, but Sanders would have been "more right" to link terrorism to unsurprising retaliation to our long term war on Islam. For example:

One quote: "In the last five decades, around 10 million Muslims have been murdered because their countries did not serve the Empire, or did not serve it full-heartedly, or just were in the way. The victims were Indonesians, Iraqis, Algerians, Afghanis, Pakistanis, Iranians, Yemenis, Syrians, Lebanese, Egyptians, and the citizens of Mali, Somalia, Bahrain and many other countries."

The population of "the West" needs to stop its ritualistic, cloyingly narcissistic, public mourning and instead learn the history its governments have made but strain to keep secret.

John Puma


Post a Comment

<< Home