Drought, climate change and Syria

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Firstly, I really love this song.
Secondly some food for thought on the war in Syria and it’s connection to climate change.

”DAMASCUS, 9 September 2010 (IRIN) – A top UN official warns that Syria’s drought is affecting food security and has pushed 2-3 million people into “extreme poverty”.
(http://www.irinnews.org/report/90442/syria-drought-pushing-millions-into-poverty)

Background:

The drought lasted between 2006 and 2011, affecting its most fertile lands, turning almost 60 percent of the nation into a desert and killing about 80 percent of cattle by 2009.
The water shortage and drought drove up unemployment in agriculture and dislocated 1,5 million farmers in Syria. Many of them went to the cities to find work (also filled with an estimated 1 million refugees from Iraq). Meanwhile, the government in Syria severely mismanaged their water, land and food resources making an already strained situation worse.

In December 2010 the Arab spring starts in Tunisia, with Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immolation. On March 15th 2011 protests begin in Syria after 15 schoolboys wrote anti-government graffiti on a wall, which led them to be abducted and tortured by the regime – missing for a week.

The connection between drought and climate change

Now, droughts come and go and some are natural some are due to climate change. However many reports show that droughts hits more often and lasts longer. GRACE measured groundwater usage between 2003 and 2009 and found that the Tigris-Euphrates Basin—comprising Turkey, Syria, Iraq and western Iran—is losing water faster than any other place in the world, except northern India.

Also, the reasons for the war in Syria are complex. One could not argue that climate change alone led up to it, but it added to the mix.

Here’s more information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbkNcvGHZwc and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rEpnXd6xqM

 

I originally posted this text at Gods Jukebox (a forum for music lovers), combining my love of music with my interest in sustainability issues. The song that went with this post was ”The Drought” by Horse Feathers.

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