Is There an Elephant in the Living Room? Or Did Manmade Climate Change Cause Syria’s Civil War and the Rise of ISIS?

elephantGuest essay by E. Calvin Beisner

Did manmade global warming cause the Syrian civil war and the rise of ISIS?

A new paper, “Climate change in the Fertile Crescent and implications of the recent Syrian drought,” PNAS, March 2, 2015, summarized its findings by saying, “the 2007−2010 drought contributed to the conflict in Syria. It was the worst drought in the instrumental record, causing widespread crop failure and a mass migration of farming families to urban centers.”

It went on to say, “Century-long observed trends in precipitation, temperature, and sea-level pressure, supported by climate model results [emphasis added], strongly suggest that anthropogenic forcing has increased the probability of severe and persistent droughts in this region, and made the occurrence of a 3-year drought as severe as that of 2007−2010 2 to 3 times more likely than by natural variability alone.”

It concluded its summary, “human influences on the climate system are implicated in the current Syrian conflict.”

Not surprisingly, global warming alarmists jumped on the news.

AP’s Seth Borenstein called it “one of the most detailed and strongest connections between violence and human-caused climate change.”

Eric Holthaus, writing in Slate, led his report by saying, “One of the most terrifying implications [of climate change] is the increasingly real threat of wars sparked in part by global warming. New evidence says that Syria may be one of the first such conflicts.”

He cited Retired Navy Rear Adm. David Titley, a meteorologist who’s now a professor at Penn State University, as saying, “you can draw a very credible climate connection to this disaster we call ISIS right now.”

But the case isn’t quite so clear. Holthaus also cited Titley as saying that after decades of poor water policy “there was no resilience left in the system” and “It’s not to say you could predict ISIS out of that, but you just set everything up for something really bad to happen.”

A “climate connection” isn’t the same thing as a “manmade global warming connection,” and “climate model results” aren’t exactly convincing support for anything.

Consider first the measures of temperature and rainfall for the region. Are those two factors sufficient to explain the drought—or even much of it? Eyeballing graphs in the PNAS paper suggests not.

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In the Fertile Crescent, of which Syria is part, the Palmer Drought Severity Index (which uses a scale from +3 to -3) worsened from about positive 0.2 to about negative 0.8 since 1930. That’s significant but not likely sufficient to explain the severe 2007–2010 drought.

More important, what caused the drought?

The Fertile Crescent experienced about a 7% decline in winter rainfall since 1930, most occurring before 1980, leaving only about 3% during the period of allegedly manmade warming. Not much there to explain.

If you accept the figures from the Climatic Research Unit, home of Climategate, annual surface temperature in the Fertile Crescent rose by about 0.5 C˚ since 1930, again about half before 1980, leaving about 0.25 C˚ since then, but that’s not sufficient to explain the drought.

So, with so little change in precipitation and temperature, why the major increase in drought, and, more important, what caused the conflict over water?

Part of the answer is embedded in Holthaus’s own words: “After decades of poor water policy.” Got that? Poor water policy.

But there’s a second, more important culprit, and neither Holthaus nor Admiral Titley mentions it, though it’s obvious in the bottom portion of Kelley et. al’s graph.

Syria’s population multiplied 11 times since 1930, from about 2 million to about 23 million. At the same time, its industrial and agricultural water use multiplied even more. Eleven times as many people coupled with burgeoning industry and agriculture mean you’re going to use a lot more water—and hence face water shortages, especially with “poor water policy.”

But assume for a moment that higher temperature and lower rainfall, not population growth, actually drove the drought. That doesn’t explain what caused either one, and the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded in its 2012 report on extreme weather that it was impossible to demonstrate a connection between global warming, manmade or natural, and increasing frequency or severity of extreme weather events, including droughts.

Even assuming that global warming contributed somewhat to the rise in annual surface temperature and the fall in winter rainfall, that doesn’t mean human activity drove the global warming. The computer models on which the IPCC depends simulate warming from rising atmospheric CO2 at double (and more) the observed rate, and none simulated the complete absence of observed warming over the last 18+ years, so they’re wrong and provide no rational basis for any belief about the magnitude to human contribution to global warming.

At most, human activity has contributed only a fraction of the global warming observed over the last 30, 50, 100, or 150 years, which means it can have contributed only a fraction of the half-degree increase in annual average surface temperature in the Fertile Crescent and only a fraction of the slight decline in rainfall, and hence only a fraction of a fraction of the increased drought and a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the conflict over water.

Rising population coupled with “poor water policy” is a far greater cause of conflict for access to water in Syria.

And as causes of Syria’s civil war, those pale into insignificance compared with religio-political conflicts. Elephant in the living room, anyone?

E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., is Founder and National Spokesman of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.

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127 thoughts on “Is There an Elephant in the Living Room? Or Did Manmade Climate Change Cause Syria’s Civil War and the Rise of ISIS?

  1. Roger Andrews debunks the claim:
    Below are the rainfall records for six GHCN stations in Syria. They show no sign of any “extreme drought in Syria between 2006 and 2009 …. the worst in the country in modern times”. Rainfall over the period was close to normal.
    go to this link to see the charts
    http://euanmearns.com/blowout-week-62/

    • Remind me not to select that Rear Admiral to be my PhD Mentor (on Ice cream making.)
      If I was going to have a Rear Admiral be my coach, it would have been Rear Admiral Grace Hopper.
      G

    • A few days back WUWT post also debunked the claim.

      “Rebutting the claim: Did Human-Caused Climate Change Lead to War in Syria?”
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/03/04/rebuking-the-claim-did-human-caused-climate-change-lead-to-war-in-syria/

      At that post I pointed to this.

      Abstract
      Evidence for Holocene environmental changes in the northern Fertile Crescent provided by pedogenic carbonate coatings
      …..For this period a trend towards higher temperatures is suggested. In the mid-Holocene, the mean rate of coating growth was 2–3 times higher than in the early Holocene. Both δ13C and δ18O reached their maximum values during this time and the direction of changes of the δ13C and δ18O curves became similar. The combination of data suggests that this period was the most humid in the Holocene and on average warmer than the early Holocene. At ca. 4000 cal yr BP secondary accumulation of carbonate ceased, presumably reflecting a shift to a more arid climate.
      http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yqres.2007.01.002

  2. It is a possibility. The “Moche” in now what is the west coast of south America effectively wiped themselves out through war and fighting BECAUSE of drought/famine etc. Climate change (Something not new) a possibility, but certainly was not driven by CO2 emissions. There society fractured and they started fighting and sacrificing people to the “God’s”. Also, apparently, climate change lead to drying of Egypt on the Nile and “Lucy” standing upright!

    • Same with the Mayans. The decline from the classic period coincided with drought, especially in the south. The more northerly cities were the last to fall. The theory is that the drought caused food supplies to fail, followed by wars, butchery, and the dispersal of the population from the city centers. Happily, there are many Mayans around today. Just visit the Yucatan. Now they’re all Catholics.

      • See
        http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2009/06oct_maya/
        Pollen studies in some areas showed zero forest land.
        “We modeled the worst and best case scenarios: 100 percent deforestation in the Maya area and no deforestation,” says Sever. “The results were eye opening. Loss of all the trees caused a 3-5 degree rise in temperature and a 20-30 percent decrease in rainfall.”
        It looks like the Mays brought on their own disaster.

    • Well when you cut out people’s hearts, and then chop their heads off to roll down the pyramid steps, along with their torso, for the masses to play games with, then you can run out of people to grow food.
      But what is the explanation for the Incas abandoning Mach Pichu ? Is that possibly an el nino or la nina situation, or don’t they last long enough to cause a major upheaval ??
      g

  3. I would much more likely link the conflicts in Syria and the rest of the Sandbox to the great “Man-Made Global Warming” fraud by way of the insane diversion of food crops into the production of fuel ethanol as yet another part of the “renewables” crapfest.
    The world’s grain markets tend reliably to treat the products of industrial agriculture as fungible. Wheat and rice and barley and rye and corn (“maize” to the Brit-speak types) and suchlike are pretty much equivalent, and you can throw sorghum and soybeans in there, too.
    Divert corn by the hundreds of thousands of tons into the fuel ethanol boondoggle, and world prices in the grain markets are – ceteris paribus – gonna go up like a sonofabitch, and the poorest people in the Third World are gonna become hungrier and hungrier by and bye.
    Thus the “bread helmet guy” showing up in so very many of the 2011 “Arab Spring” demonstrations.

  4. Well, by deed and action ISIS is the personification of evil, so it makes far more sense to blame the Syrian drought on the Devil, rather than supposed made made global warming in the region, which seems to be negligible.
    Anyhow, ISIS is a post drought phenomenon. I suppose it all goes to show alarmists will use anything to try and add flesh to their dodgy ‘science’.

    • Thank you. I was wondering how long it would take a commenter to see that the timeframes of the war and the drought don’t match. Indeed, the end of drought is the time when social disorder is LEAST likely.
      A really sad commenatry on how low the alarmist will stoop to lie.

    • Yeah instead of pulling out random statistics why not ask the Syrians why they are fighting? I asked this before on that other page but these pseudo-scientists believe it is better to reconstruct the situation with bad graphs and poor understanding to justify request for more grant money.

  5. It is a very long time since The Fertile Crescent was particularly fertile. The name comes from the early civilzations which started in th is area thousands of years ago (Iraq – Syria -Palestine). It has long since lost its lushness.

    • Wasn’t the garden of eden in Iraq between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Don’t see it having anything to do with Syria.
      If Mohammad was a peaceful dude with his newly invented religion, you can’t exactly say that the mohammedans who followed his path, were anything of the sort.
      Tammerlane after whom the elder of the two Boston Marathon bombers was named (by his delightful mother) seemed to be pretty good at cutting heads off and burning a few people, which has a significant effect on getting passive and unarmed people to say “I believe.”
      Has any other major world religious group got a history of using massive and totally vicious blood baths to encourage compliance ??
      And please don’t give me some Spanish Inquisition, as an example.
      Taking advantage of the ignorance of the masses to assert a controlling influence over them, is one thing, and has led to many religious sects; but giving them an “or else” choice is not mainstream religious persuasion.
      In my view; the single greatest scourge to ever inflict the human species is organized religion.

  6. “Rising population coupled with “poor water policy” is a far greater cause of conflict for access to water in Syria.”
    Does the Kelley et al say that climate was the only factor? or that it contributed as a factor? They quantitated and gave a probability for their hypothesis, but you say their could be “a far greater cause of conflict” with no measurement.
    Weak.

  7. Isn’t ISIS like, a very recent event? Don’t think it’s anything to do with change in climate (/weather), more likely a continuation of the trouble in Middle east that has been going on for decades now. There’s always some war/trouble etc. going on there, and I don’t think that will ever change.
    These climate researchers/scientists don’t know nothing. Soon they will probably say something about the Ukraine crisis claiming that it’s somehow linked to climate or something like that.

  8. For over 50 years Syria exported war into it’s neighboring countries. That Vulture has come home to roost.
    For over 1000 years Islam has preached war against all others. Now they are fractured into many groups of “others” and are turned against their neighbors. The industrialized west is not the cause of this. Warlords that use Religion as their tool are. pg

  9. As Netanyahu said the other day, ” in this case the enemy of my enemy is my enemy”. This wisdom was not known by those running the US when they celebrated, dare I say supported, the “Arab Spring”.

  10. World Wide Fewer Droughts, Fewer Floods, Fewer Major Storms Explain Why The World Is At Peace!!!! —
    says climate scientist.
    Silly climate claims refuted by simple facts. But the alarmists will just go on to their next Chicken Little story. How do you parody stuff as crazy as this?
    Eugene WR Gallun

  11. Its sad to say but the Western Powers seem to have adopted policies that are directly contrary to their national interests.
    The proof is easy to find.
    Arming the mujahadeen in Afghanistan led to AL Qaeda , 9/11 and the mess of what Afghanistan is today.
    Attacking Saddam in Iraq over non existent weapons of mass destruction led to the barbarism and irrationality of ISIS.
    Overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya was another unnecessary mess which backfired spectacularly
    The arming of the Syrian opposition which we now know included ISIS is another ongoing mess.
    Thousands of pitiful refugees have died trying to escape from Iraq ,Syria and and Libya in sinking boats trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea.
    How western leaders like Cameron, Obama, Hilary Clinton, Blair and Bush sleep at night escapes me!
    A new ongoing threat even more significant that the chaos above is the situation in Ukraine .
    The violent overthrow of the elected government cheered on by Victoria Nuland has resulted in a civil war in the heart of Europe.
    Russia on one side USA and the UK on the other.
    Germany and France are not keen to follow the gung ho drift further into what could become a nuclear war.
    The connection between the above and Global Warming alarmism escapes me; but perhaps the complete lack of rational forward thinking is there amply displayed in all their policies.

    • Bryan, the answer is simple, stupid is forever and they seem to rise to the top in a democratic forum. On the other hand, the brutal seem to gain traction in the dictatorial setting. We need those “philospher kings” of which Plato spoke. Apparently they are few and far between.

    • The responsibilty for the destruction of these nations can be directly laid on the U.S. State Dept and CIA (is there a difference?).

    • The sad state of foreign affairs world wide is an unpleasant reminder of the prelude to World War I. None of the “Great Powers” understood where their interlocking alliances could lead. None had any way to short circuit reflexively bad policy, such as declaring war in compliance with a treaty. And above all, none had learned from the American Civil War, arguably the first “industrial” war. None of the supposedly great military or political minds could envision how much technology would contribute to the devastation and brutality of an industrialized world war.
      And then the great minds forgot everything and stoked the same fires for a repeat in World War II.
      Where is Hari Seldon when we need him.

  12. I was expecting an explanation regarding the elephant. None was forthcoming. Drought is a weather pattern variation. A couple years of drought is a short-term weather pattern variation. A multiyear/decade drought is a long term weather pattern variation. These variations are caused by oceanic/atmospheric semi-permanent teleconnected disruptions. So what flipped/moved/disconnected? What semi-residential atmospheric pressure system changed from one location to another? What warm or cold pool shifted where? What pattern stalled in neutral/nada/nado? This piece needed a meteorologist expert. Why was one not used to write this up? Like, we have several, even an in-house one.

    • Pamela, More important than the “what” of your questions is the why, for which we see very few provable answers.

      • Jim G1:
        “…More important than the “what” of your questions is the why, for which we see very few provable answers.”
        You ask a question that bears more on your comments than on others. Ask yourself, and let us know.

      • Much is known about the why of weather pattern variations. Combine these patterns with fluid dynamics, self-feeding circular feedbacks, and known teleconnected patterns, and the why begins to surface. As to the ultimate why, spin a gloppy, variously viscous, two layered and sub-layered fluid and gas, peppered with variously shaped boundaries, and impinged upon by varying gravitational forces as things orbit around us and we orbit around the Sun, and you have the ultimate why.

      • We do a fairly good job of quantifying Pamela’s apt descrition for the very short term weather forcasts, for longer term, be it weather or actual climate, not so much. Even something a simple as seasonal fluctuations we can say little more than that it will generally be colder in winter, but how much, when and where, very little can be very accurately predicted. Too many variables whose complex inter relationships are not well understood in terms of quantification.

    • The warm AMO mode Pamela, and if you look at the precipitation graph above, the drying later in the 1990’s and from 2005/6 correlates with periods of increased negative North Atlantic Oscillation. All the wrong sign to be associated with increased fording of the climate.
      I suspect that seasonal rainfall totals would be the highest if the NAO was more positive in winter months, and turning negative in the early spring.

    • An elephant needs no explanation and sits where it likes.
      The gist of the post was that neither weather nor climate explains much about what has happened in Syria. 500% population growth, industrialization, and poor water planning for the whole region is more than adequate explanation.
      The USA has a similar problem in California, particularly southern California. Plopping 40 million people(up from ~4 million in 1920) in the midst of a recurrent desert is a recipe for disaster. Half the residents and most of the water planners have been expecting a big drought and water shortages for years. It’s happened before, but now the possibilities of a technical solution are much less tenable, since most of the water is already imported from other states that also need it.
      Fortunately Californians are still mostly civilized people.

  13. Another case of you’ll give me how much money to show the conflict is the result of AGW and not the politics of Obama following after the politics of Bush? The art of pulling strings to confuse the public just get worse. Politicians long ago learned to pay attention to who the public trusts and then try and use them for political advantage. Scientists used to be very high in the public’s trust.

    • Would you care to explain just exactly how California’s population growth and wastage of water has led to the occurrence of a short period of drought.
      California historically is a desert, at least south of Monterey; so all that is happening is a return to its normal climate.

      • Sure. But now 30+ million people live in that desert. Neglect and bad decisions about water use and storage since the 1970s have made a bad situation worse.

  14. …strongly suggest that anthropogenic forcing has increased the probability of severe and persistent droughts in this region, and made the occurrence of a 3-year drought as severe as that of 2007−2010 2 to 3 times more likely than by natural variability alone.”

    [bold was mine] So… nothing definitive then, but the message is out there as if it’s a fact.
    We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

  15. Why give this idiocy even a moments life in the conciousness?
    “Stoopid is as stoopid does”

  16. Of course CAGW caused good muslims to be upset and give us ISIS.
    CAGW and those bad muslims
    CAGW those bad muslims and that video
    CAGW those bad muslims that video and those cartoons
    CAGW those bad muslims that video those cartoons and western music
    CAGW those bad muslims that video those cartoons western music and gays
    CAGW those bad muslims that video those cartoons western music gays and naked women
    They’re very unhappy people.
    Maybe it wasn’t so much CAGW


    • mikerestin
      March 8, 2015 at 8:01 am
      Of course CAGW caused good muslims to be upset and give us ISIS.

      …and naked women.”
      Um, if CAGW is causing women to be naked, I might become a supporter.
      /grin

  17. Homeland Security, state partner on climate change study
    http://www.pressherald.com/2015/03/08/homeland-security-state-partner-on-climate-change-study/
    For instance, increased temperatures are affecting seasonal energy demands, straining the capacity of electrical transmission lines.
    Increased precipitation linked to climate change is creating more surface runoff into lakes and also increases the salinity of coastal aquifers, which supply drinking water.
    Transportation infrastructure – especially low-lying roads, marine terminals and rail lines – are being threatened by unexpected storm surges. Much of that infrastructure was built long before planners recognized climate change as an issue.
    And higher global temperatures are requiring more cooling of wireless and cell tower equipment.
    The project, largely conducted last year with cooperation from a host of state and local agencies, was part of the department’s annual Regional Resiliency Assessment Program, but the first to have a specific focus on climate change…
    Last year, scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration concluded that the Gulf of Maine is warming at a rate faster than 99 percent of the world’s ocean water.
    Those rising temperatures, combined with ocean circulation patterns, have caused sea levels to rise in the Northeast at higher rates than other areas. A recent study by the University of Arizona showed that the waters off Portland rose at an unprecedented rate in 2009 and 2010.
    Sea level rise contributes to beach erosion and coastal flooding, which in turn leads to deterioration of infrastructure.
    …Climate change and its underlying cause are still a polarizing political issue at the national level, but the Department of Homeland Security – acting on an executive order signed in 2013 by President Obama – has shifted focus toward climate change effects…
    =================
    They are bats shit insane.

    • The proposed workshop on May 7th will be an excellent opportunity for the AGW crowd to spread madness to the unafflicted. I wish there were an organization that could send skeptics to such meetings, but the local security would probably view this unfavorably. I note that one can comment on the article only by logging in through Facebook.

    • I didn’t quite catch how that increased precipitation of fresh water leads to increased salinity of “coastal aquifers.”
      In the case of the San Francisco Bay area, where we don’t exactly have any coastal aquifers; well besides the Pacific Ocean, we do have increased salinity in the Sacramento / San Joachin / Mokelumne delta system, but that is entirely due to diversion of those river waters to build goof courses in Southern California, and otherwise try to turn those deserts into tropical paradises.
      When you artificially lower river flows, then the natural tidal flows in a river delta cause the salinity to migrate upstream. All of SF Bay is just a part of the delta system.

  18. ISIS has affiliates in LIbya, the SInai and the Philippines.
    And Boko Haram just pledged allegiance in Nigeria.
    That’s a very widespread drought.

  19. Which just happened to coincide with a premature evacuation of Iraq, assassination of the regime in Libya, and expanded wars throughout the Middle East, Africa, And Asia. Presumably all part of the so-called “Arab Spring”.

    • I agree that it was a mistake. Perfect hindsight. But Americans are emotional, and wanted revenge for 9/11. It didn’t matter that Iraq wasn’t the culprit.
      The worst aspect was trying to impose democracy on a region without a democratic culture. That only works when you’ve completely beaten the enemy into submission, like Japan after WWII.
      Another major blunder was legitimizing the Moslem religion, which is a much stronger force than civil government. If we had any sense, we would push to make Islam an outlaw religion. Or at least, insist that it must have a clear hierarchy. That way we could threaten the boys at the top, and they would keep their troops in line. But now it’s worse than the Wild West. Any old mullah can issue fatwas.
      ISIS is a natural outgrowth of Islam. It fills the vacuum created; it has ever been thus, for the past 1400 years. It will never change, unless it is compelled to change. But who is going to do that? We have a President who is arming ISIS. And what happens when one of those evil groups gets its hands on a nuke? Is there any doubt? The only question is: Tel Aviv, or New York?
      But that’s all in the past. The chickens are coming home to roost now, and we have to deal with the problems they caused, and which we reacted to.

      • ISIS is a natural outgrowth of Islam.

        No it’s not. It’s a direct consequence of our bombing Iraq, and the stupid decisions we made, starting with breaking up their Army on Day One. Not to mention the ancient hatreds we unleashed when we killed Saddam. Those, too, were the result of British, French,and American decisions made after WWI, interfering where were had no right to and doing it in an imperialistic way–wasn’t ESSO once called Imperial Oil?–because we wanted to secure their oil.
        Colonel Pat Lang (Ret.) was the director of the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency), in charge of Special Forces in Vietnam, and the US Military liaison for 10 years in the Middle East. He also taught this history at the US Army War College, IIRC, and is a contributor on Fox News. Here is one of his explanations of what is going on from last June. His comments below the post are useful too. As Lang has said on many occasions, if you don’t understand the history, you arrive at simplistic solutions that make the situation worse. He calls the President’s current advisors the “Children’s Crusade” for their lack of understanding. http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2014/06/httpwwwnytimescomreuters20140613worldmiddleeast13reuters-iraq-security-region-insighthtmlrefworld.html

      • Colonel Lang on June 12, 2014.

        The Iraq crisis becomes more and more interesting. Today we are learning that ISIS has made some sort of temporary common cause with former Iraqi Army (sadddam period) people to include a large number of men who are members of the “Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order.” The naqshbandiya is the largest Sufi order in the Islamic World . Izzat Ibrahim, the redhead who was Saddam’s VP is a member and is reputedly recognized at least temporarily by ISIS as something like field coordinator for the campaign. Izzat’s nephew is an Iraqi Republican guard general who commanded an armored division and a mechanised infantry division in the war with Iran as well as holding the post of chief of military intelligence during that war. His name is Sabr Abd al-Aziz Al-Douri.
        Contrary to public delusion in the USA, the former Iraqi Army had many capable and well trained officers. The speed and effective direction of this offensive seems to me to show the participation of such officers as Sabr- Abd al-Aziz al-Douri.
        If that is the case, then Maliki’s army is in a real “world of hurt.” pl

        Lang speaks Arabic, and taught it as well at the US Army War College. He also served in Yemen years ago. Again, read his comments.
        http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2014/06/httpenwikipediaorgwikisaber_abdel_aziz_al-douri.html

      • If we had any sense, we would push to make Islam an outlaw religion.

        Oh, that’s really smart. Outlaw the religion of a quarter of the globe’s population. How about understanding what it is, because from your remarks, you have no clue. As Monckton has noted on several occasions, Islamic Science gave us the scientific method.
        In fact, Europe would probably still be mired in the Dark Ages if it hadn’t been for Islamic Science that brought culture, science, mathematics, jurisprudence, astronomy, botany, chemistry, engineering, universities, libraries, and architecture to a stupid Europe through the hub of Cordova, Spain. While the kings and queens of Europe were sleeping in single-room barns with their animals and a hole in the roof to let the cooking smoke escape, the Moors had a city of a million people with paved roads and raised sidewalks. Christian monks and Jewish scribes made pilgrimages to Cordova to learn of its secrets and science. That’s how we know about it. That was 900 AD. Where do you think Copernicus got his ideas? While Europeans were struggling with Euclid’s Fourth Principle, Moorish Science was teaching trigonometry. One of their compounds is still protected. It’s a UNESCO site. Look up Al-Hambra (Alhambra). They built that in 884 AD. Our engineers weren’t able to replicate their irrigation feats bringing water down from the Sierra Nevada mountains in Andalucia, irrigating their fields, and supplying the fountains that lined streets and filled private gardens until the 20th C. Even as late as 1400 Ad, one of their universities in Timbuktu had 22,000 students.
        As someone I read recently said, “You wouldn’t have an iPod without Islamic Science.”

      • To polycritic: Could you please point me to an article or talk or interview in which Lord Monckton addresses the wonders of Islamic science?

      • Actually, I wouldn’t lay the blame for ISIS on killing Saddam.
        The real problem was the US putting the Shi’ites into power without ensuring any form of sufficient representation for the formerly Sunni minority rulers.
        It is this political divide which coincides with a sectarian divide in Islam which underlies the rise of ISIS.
        However, the civil war in Syria has relatively little to do with even the above – the roots of the Syrian Civil War are very clearly marked out in the “liberating” of Libya via Qatari and Saudi money and subsequent shipping of weapons and fighters into Syria to continue to cleansing of Saudi enemies in the Middle East – with US and Turkish complicity all along the way.

      • imoira March 8, 2015 at 6:03 pm

        As for the “wonders” of Islamic Science, do your own homework. I assume you’re old enough to do that. I’m neither your librarian nor your historian.

    • Well when George W Bush cut down all of the Cedars of Lebanon, it started an era of drought in the region. After all, if you don’t have any more trees, why would you need precipitation.
      Gaia simply moves the water to where she has trees to grow.

    • Not to mention the 2.5 million Iraqi refugees that streamed into northern and eastern Syria as a result of our illegal bombing of Iraq stressing their resources more.

    • I’ll cut the politicos a break on Isis in Iraq. After WW-II Europe and the Far East were a mess. The Marshall plan in Europe and MacArthur’s implementation of the Potsdam plans in Japan lead to a pretty complete and civil reconstruction, but it to over 7 years. This would give some indication that civil and political reconstruction is possible after a war. Given the political conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan the politicos should have been prepared to push for 10 years of occupation and reconstruction. Instead they opted for a low budget, short term fiasco.

  20. Does anybody even bother to look at the history of that region? There have been wars in that part of the world even before Abraham walked the earth. Even if you don’t believe in the Bible, you can look at archaeology, provided ISIS hasn’t destroyed it yet, to see about all the wars and conflicts fought in the area. Conflict in this area runs thousands of years deep. And we are supposed to believe that people who have been fighting for thousands of years would be peaceful if not for man-made climate change? Really?

    • Or that a simple police action that was approved by the UN (somehow became illegal because it was bush after all?) would cause these people to fight one another? They’ve been fighting amongst themselves for centuries they are as barbaric is it comes. People should stop and think that everyone is like them. Mirror fallacies everywhere. People of the time were still frightened by Sadam’s use of Chemical weapons (not nukes). Of course we would invade. People have such short memories. Forgetting that Sadam did launch scud missiles at Israel and Saudi Arabia during the Golf wars. Sadam was unpredictable and that was scary enough.

  21. It is all part of the mantra “Anything bad is as a direct, indirect, result of AGW”. All of course “supported by climate model results”, (since when did a computer model replace reality? When associated with AGW of course!).
    I can add one more thing that has been caused by the computer models; high blood pressure (mine). So global warming is responsible for more health issues.

  22. The next article up is on sunspots and mortality in Norway. You know; your basic astrology all dressed up in fancy statistical correlation which, naturally, the author studiously annihilates with reasoned argument on data, method, etc. All very civil. The problem remains that so much of this kind of nonsense (Syria and drought, Polar bears and Sea ice, Butterflies vs modern agriculture, Wind mills are free energy) occupies so much of the public dialogue that so many otherwise well meaning folk are taken in by one or more of these propositions and due to an overall lack of decent reporting folk don’t even get the opportunity to understand issues. A shame that the greatest republican democracy in the world has been brought to this low by what amounts to a new Luddite movement called environmentalism.

  23. Societies throughout time have responded to climate changes, especially drought, by migrating, warring with neighbors and merging with others. For example, in addition to the collective stupidity of their Colony in Panama project, the Scots had the additional misfortune of a climate growing colder and less hospitable to the grain and cattle agriculture that had made them wealthy. They were force to merge with England in 1707(?).
    The issue at hand is whether this drought in the Middle East is human caused. There is no proof of causation. The good Admiral and Seth Borenstein do not understand “proof” in the scientific use of that term.

  24. So, in the 5,000 years leading up to the start of CAGW the Middle East was a hotbed of peace.

  25. Global warming is responsible for increases in everything from angina to zenophobia…………….. apart from dyslexia………… that’s caused by florida in the water

  26. I’m down here in the Phoenix heat feeling quite pacific. My friends in Toronto, however, are grumpy. For $1 million dollars I am prepared to do a study on the contribution of climate change to road rage in Canada. “Right” outcome guaranteed.

  27. “Leptis Magna turned particular attention to increasing the production of olive oil, while both wheat and oil became the major products of the province in general. Vast quantities of these were assessed by the government at Rome and during this first century B.C. Africa became one of the major sources of supply for the grain dole to the populace of Rome.” http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/Africa/Libya/_Texts/MATCIS/Background*.html
    After the LIA shifting sands revealed the ruins of Leptis Magna. For the most part the Roman Warm Period helped agriculture in dry places, and helped populations grow. Cooling brings on the desert. The primary premise: warm is bad, is nonsense. –AGF

  28. While this paper discusses drought and its implied impact on Syria and the ongoing Sunni / Shite violence it misses the point that the seeds for this violence is, in the case of the Sunni / Shia, historical and not drought driven. Furthermore, once Turkey initiated the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) starting back in 1969, downstream Tigris and Euphrates volume shortages were inevitable.
    “The issue of water rights became a point of contention for Iraq, Turkey and Syria beginning in the 1960s when Turkey implemented a public-works project (the GAP project) aimed at harvesting the water from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers through the construction of 22 dams, for irrigation and hydroelectric energy purposes. (The overall project is estimated to be ~80% complete as of 2014.)
    GAP is estimated to double Turkey’s irrigable farmland. The increase of agricultural activity of GAP in its incomplete state is visible clearly on the USDA graph above. Cotton production increased from 150,000 metric tons to 400,000 metric tons, making the region the top cotton producer.”
    In fairness to Syria they put together a plan back in 2001 (The Syrian National Strategy Report for Sustainable Development) and initiated a dialogue with its neighbours, the World Bank etc. as the impact of GAP and reduced water flows increased. Somewhat predictably, as the report “Blue Peace Rethinking ME Water” notes, since 2011 there has been zero progress.
    The problem is far greater than any implied impact of an increase of 0.5 Deg C can bring in what is a very arid part of the world undergoing a large population growth.
    By comparison, since starting their Desal program in 1999, Israel has Desal Plants coming on line since 2005 with an ongoing planned capacity expansion program being executed together with water / technology sharing agreements being negotiated with the PA and Jordon.
    Iraq / Syria: a case of PPP and with zip to do with climate.
    http://www.desalination.biz/news/news_story.asp?id=7946&title=Israel+and+Jordan+seal+water%2Dswap+deal+
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tigris%E2%80%93Euphrates_river_system

      • The effluent from a Desal Plant has a much higher concentration of salt than sea water. Given that “The water of the Dead Sea has a salt content of 29%, compared to 4% in the oceans and is consequently substantially denser.” it would make sense to use that effluent to raise the level of the Dead Sea which has been decreasing for some time. I believe the term is “Brine Diffusion”.
        “In the case of the Dead Sea, the change in water level is due to intensive human water consumption from the Jordan and Yarmouk Rivers for irrigation, as well as the use of Dead Sea water for the potash industry by both Israel and Jordan. Over the last 30 years, this water consumption has caused an accelerated decrease in water level (0.7 m/a), volume (0.47 km³/a) and surface area (4 km² /a), according to this study.”
        In layman terms the level has dropped from (approx.) -300′ (+/-) to -400′ (+/-) over the past three decades.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Sea_salt
        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090304091514.htm

  29. We sponsored a young woman from Iraq, a translator who had worked for the US army and associated infrastructure projects. She lived with us for 9 months, my better half spent close to seven years in Iraq from 2004-2011. Those who claim things were better off under Saddam have little knowledge or memory of the type of regime he led. It is akin to saying the rats and roaches you don’t see in the night aren’t really so bad. The disastrous adoption of a Sharia inspired Iraqi constitution with a weak dysfunctional parliamentary system, thank you state department once again, and the subsequent abandonment of Iraq by the US beginning in 2009 has led to the current situation. It doesn’t take much analysis to see the complicit approval of the Obama administration as Iran gains control of Iraq.

  30. Strange that so many studies find links between bad weather/climate and increasing CO2 and rarely find a link with benefits.
    Strange because the earth has been greening up the past several decades.
    Cognitive bias.
    Also strange that I’m the denier for giving more weight to observations.

  31. Oh crap drought and poor water policy sounds familiar. California should be violently uprising soon.

  32. The most probable cause of the drought is the drought-prone history of the region, but it is also possible that it was caused by CAGW alarmism.
    The recently posted satellite CO2 graph showed a yellow region over Turkey, which meant CO2 release from that area. This is NOT from industry; it is from a recently constructed DAM in that nation, killing life, which decays to methane, which oxidizes in the atmosphere.
    We are not just trying to restore the definition of science on this site. We are also trying to save life. The first life killed by that dam was nonhuman life and mostly not human symbiotes, but “the environment.”
    Around a year ago, there was a post on this site about environmental crimes by building dams. One in the Amazon (also a major CO2 generation area by satellite) endangered a rare turtle, and the one in Turkey was specifically predicted to cause drought downstream in the Tigris or Euphrates–that is, in Syria and Iraq. Part of the essense of real science is correct prediction.
    The truth MATTERS. It is life and death.

  33. What’s the point?
    Stress motivates aggressive societies to assault others.
    Food especially of course.
    Could be too much rain at wrong time which causes crop failure (sometimes in an early stage as happened to root crops a few years ago in SW BC – though IIRC lettuce did fine), sometimes rain or snow at a late stage preventing harvest. (E.g. snow on grain pushes plants to the ground and the wetness further hampers harvest. One farmer in the Peace River area of NE BC/NW AB started leaving his wheat crop in the field for cattle to eat directly, good exercise for them to get out and paw down to eat it, he of course was ready to fill in with stored hay or such.)
    Could be drought, could be frost in late spring or early fall. After some dry years farmer in NE BC woke up to the realization that water storage was a good idea – gosh, people learned that half a century earlier – used to bulldoze a big hole called a “dugout”, spring snow melt would fill it, at least animals then had water
    Life is tough, rational societies cope or move. Irrational ones don’t.
    As climate alarmists are irrational they’ll claim anything.
    What’s bothersome is city suckers who vote for them.

    • Abundance causes war too. Population growth caused by abundant food cause social pressure for expansion, these are the wars that cause extermination of native populations. War caused by draught and famine are ussualy quite localized and short lived do to easy exaustion of resources.
      There is little shortage of food in these areas do to the ease of import because of the oil wealth in these areas. The only areas that are feeling the affect of famine and draught are the ones that are being affected by the war not the other way around.

  34. Good post.
    Hey, don’t we all know by now that CAGW causes everything bad that happens? I mean don’t we?
    🙂

  35. I take it they didn’t attempt to apply the null hypothesis:
    If anthropogenic climate change were not occurring, the Syrians would not be fighting.
    I’m thinking that 4000+ years of human history in the region might dictate otherwise.

    • Rod,
      There is a great similarity between climate alarmists and vaccination alarmists.
      The same mindset that worries about ‘climate change’ are the same kind of crazies who are afraid to vaccinate their kids.
      They are both insane, IMHO.

      • You got that on the bead, and it’s a case of the reversal of reality. Wise folk vaccinate because there is absolute proof the danger exists, and it is cheaper to prevent than remediate. Wise folk also wait for positive proof of AGW danger before abandoning the current paradigm and taking radically destructive steps to correct a problem which currently is a phantom menace that exists only in the abstract. (IMHO of course.)

      • The only similarity is bad method of knowledge, otherwise you two are lumping different people together inaccurately for your purpose.
        In fact some skeptics are very religious so like believe in creation theory. Some of course are not religious.
        The cartoon is of course a typical smear technique, very common with the ideology underlying CAGW true believers.

  36. Oh, I suppose I should have mercy on any nonscientists is here and explain that methane is CH4, and in a 20% oxygen atmosphere, that quickly becomes CO2 and H2O.

  37. Kelley et. al. in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences claims “human influences on the climate system are implicated in the current Syrian conflict” and the author replies “But the case isn’t quite so clear.” This must be the understatement of the century. It’s ridiculous to think you can predict war from climate. I’m surprised anyone has even bothered to reply. The National Academy of Sciences sounds prestigious, but it obviously doesn’t have much quality control when it comes to papers on global warming.

  38. Since most conflicts (perhaps all) in this region are religious conflicts, I guess that the religion of man made climate change can be lumped in there also.

  39. THey have been pushing the climate change caused Syria’s wars for a few years now, and Syria’s war was highlighted in the Years of Living Dangerously series along with the Texas drought. I critiqued the show, first half about Texas, second half outlining how Syria’s land use policies were the real culprits.

  40. Even if there is no such thing as AGW, droughts will still happen and the faithful will celebrate as they do for any misfortune.

  41. The elephant in the room is that there is no evidence that recent climate variation is anything other than normal natural variation and it’s provably so:
    It has frequently been stated that 2oth century warming was “unprecedented” or “cannot be explained”. This article sets out to test this assertion on CET the longest available temperature series. I find the CET data rejects the hypothesis of ‘climate change’ (>58%) & current ‘global warming’ (>72%) and that overall global temperature has not changed significantly more than would be expected.
    http://scottishsceptic.co.uk/2015/03/06/proof-recent-temperature-trends-are-not-abnormal/#comment-31481

  42. “… Or Did Man made Climate Change Cause Syria’s Civil War and the Rise of ISIS?”
    That title and excuse the AGW causes everything unfortunately caused me to remember the script:
    “Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.”
    The insinuation that something unusual or disproportionate is happening ignores all data showing next to no change detectable from CO2 rise over the past 18 years.
    Straining on a gnat, while pretending it’s a camel.
    Something out of nothing, nothing out of something … classic conjuring.
    With emphasis on the ‘con’ prefix.

  43. OK. Let me see if I got this.
    Since it’s less than 30+ years it’s “Weather” and not “Climate”. (or do I have that backwards?)
    But Man’s CO2 controls the “Climate”. And because of that, the “Weather” that makes up the “Climate”?
    So … the “War on Coal” is a covert attempt to defeat ISIS and institute a jobs program?
    Did I miss something?
    (Maybe I should breath into a paper bag. The increased CO2, the magic molecule, should make it all become clear.)

  44. Did Manmade Climate Change Cause Syria’s Civil War and the Rise of ISIS?”
    Did Manmade Climate Change Cause Nigeria’s Northern Conflict and the Rise of Boko Haram?”
    Did Manmade Climate Change Cause XXXXXX Civil War and the Rise of [Insert any civil war fighters]?”
    Once again we are being deluged by speculative drivel. Enough of this already.

  45. I’m always entertained by those who proclaim that a drought causes hunger and famine. This isn’t the 1600’s, we have something called international trade. Think about it. The U.S. had a couple of years of drought, how much hunger, famine, rioting and radicalization did that cause? None!
    The reason that there is hunger in the world is not because there is not enough food, it’s because there are people that do not have enough money to buy food. If they do not grow it themselves, they do no not have enough money to buy enough food from elsewhere. This is why rich nations do not have famines, only poor ones do.
    Many poor countries in general, and Middle Eastern countries in particular already were dependent on imports for a large percentage of their food. While a local drought may have caused a slight increase in prices, and required them to import a much larger percentage of their food, it is disingenuous to ignore the biggest factors that caused them to not have enough money to buy sufficient food from elsewhere.
    1. Biofuels. Converting billions of tons of food into fuel dramatically increased the price of food, reducing the amount of food that can be sourced from elsewhere should they fail to produce a normal crop.
    2. Energy poverty. An inexpensive and stable source of energy is required to lift the whole economy, and its population ,out of poverty. The 1st World’s prosperity came from, not in spite of, fossil fuels. Prosperous 1st World economies can survive (sort of, for the moment) the economic insanity of replacing a portion of their inexpensive and reliable energy needs with expensive, inefficient and unreliable “renewable” energy, 3rd World nations can not. 21st century living standards can not be maintained with 18th century energy sources. People who maintain that the 3rd World can somehow follow the footsteps of the 1st World into prosperity, while at the same time disrupting and dismantling the very mechanisms that made it possible, prove that their ignorance of history is equal to their ignorance of economics.
    How willfully blind does one have to be? Do they acknowledge the role that the very policies that the CAGW movement advocates played? Curtailing worldwide food and energy supplies, thereby magnifying the effect of a local disruption, was a major reason that the economic and political fallout of the drought was so severe. Instead, they fudge some numbers, run it through a computer to show a butterfly effect, claim it’s consistent with climate science and then state that the fallout was due to the increased intensity of the drought, caused by CO2. They completely ignore the demonstrably large role that CAGW policies definitely played, to focus on a small theoretical role that CO2 plausibly (i.e. not provably false) might have played.

  46. Humans suffer starvation, disease, and war in far greater numbers during cold periods. Culture, art, technology, individual wealth and freedom advance during warm periods, as less time and money is required to simply stay alive, and there is less need to fight over resources. When the next cold period hits, and it could happen soon, we will have these same CAGW nut-jobs talking about CAGC.

  47. >>And as causes of Syria’s civil war, those pale into insignificance
    >>compared with religio-political conflicts.
    Indeed.
    a. How can they have a discussion about water shortages in Syria, without mentioning the Attaturk Dam in Anatolia? The dam was opened in 1992, but when I was there in 2012, they were still completeing the G.A.P. water channels for further irrigation. The GAP tunnels and channels take 1/3 of the flow of the Euphrates.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atat%C3%BCrk_Dam
    b. How can they have a discussion about population increases in Syria, without mentioning the Armenian Genocide? Some 3 million Armenian Christians were forcible exiled from Anatolia, by the recent occupiers of that land, and while most of these Armenians perished several hundred thousand arrived in Aleppo.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_Genocide
    But there is an even bigger elephant in this particular room…
    Ralph

    • There are quite a few reports that Turkey stopped pumping Euphrates water into Syria last year. If true, I’m surprised we haven’t heard more about this. The full paper is paywalled but, as you say, a report about drought in Syria cannot be taken seriously without discussing the Euphrates.

      • Yes, there are many reports of Turkey starving Syria of water. This is in addition to the 1/3 of the Euphrates that Turkey was already syphoning off to irrigate the Harran plain and grow cotton.
        http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/19970
        Turkey now double-crops on the Harran plain, which is fine for Turkey but leaves Syria with no water. Look on Google and you will see a big green rectangle from Edessa (Sanlurfa) all the way past Harran (the city of Abraham, apparently) to the Syrian border. There is also a new GAP aqueduct and tunnel all through the hills to the east of the Harran plain, to irrigate lands up to the Iraqi border.
        https://www.google.com/maps/place/Harran+al+%27+Awamid,+Syria/@36.9366475,39.3265609,107897m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x1518f91a400274eb:0xae4bcdc1e83bf18e
        Again, you have to understand the politics of the region.
        Assad’s Alawite sect are not only Christio-heretics, they nominally follow Shia and are supported by Iran. ‘King’ Erdogan of Turkey is a fundamentalist Sunni who wants to reestablish the Ottoman Empire across the Near and Middle East.** To that end Erdogan has been pumping $billions from the liberal west of Turkey into the fundamentalist east of Turkey. These huge infrastructure projects and vast population increases include the continued syphoning of water from the Euphrates.
        Demographics – In 1870 Amida (Diyarbakir) had a population of 21,000 (9,814 Muslims, 11,278 Christians and 280 Jews). The same city now has 906,000 people (and only 40 Syriac Christians remain). These vast population increases continue to test the ability of this arid region to supply enough water for these ever-increasing populations. This, plus the increased irrigation for agriculture, means that any 7% reduction in rainfall is totally irrelevant, in comparison to the demographic, religious, political and strategic changes and challenges in this region.
        Ralph
        .
        ** King Erdogan said: “Democracy is like a train – you can jump on it and jump off it, whenever you want.” This is the guy that the naive fools in the E.U. parliament wanted to invite into Europe.
        King Erdogan’s new ‘royal palace’ in Istanbul.
        http://static.ordineazilei.ro/public/articles/4d3a73a66a055e14df775abc63a8cfa0.jpeg

      • Here is the full paper. Turkey is mentioned – but with a quick scan I cannot see mention of the water restriction – maybe it’s there.
        http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/02/23/1421533112.full.pdf
        In May 2014 it was reported that Turkey had suspended pumping Euphrates’ water into lake Assad.
        http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/19970
        In June 2014 the Guardian reported it also.
        http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/02/water-key-conflict-iraq-syria-isis

  48. Does drought cause war?
    Do brutal regimes advance science?
    The Medici and Borgia families were generally vile but supported art and science.
    Nazi scientists were world leading.
    We are a perverse species.

  49. As the last paragraph in this article says, the biggest elephant in this particular room is the millennia-long persecution of all the minorities in this region – including the Alawite tribe of Bashar Assad. Here is a synopsis of my letter to the UK Foreign Secretary, regarding the rise of ISIS.
    .
    Re: ISIS and Assad – the truth
    Dear Mr Hammond,
    Firstly, William Hague and the BBC created ISIS in Iraq:
    (As I predicted back in 2011.)
    ISIS only came into being because of the ignorance and bungling of both William Hague and the BBC.
    I warned Hague of the perils of opposing Assad and supporting the terrorists, way back in 2011. But the Wee Idiot refused to listen to reason, and preferred to heed the fantasist propaganda of the BBC. But had we supported Bashar Assad, back in 2011, the Sunni fundamentalists of Syria could never have formed Sunni ISIS. It is called the lesser of two evils – a concept that the BBC finds incomprehensible.
    The predictable result of the BBC’s propaganda, is that nobody in Parliament or the media could or would recognise the obvious truth – that the uprising against Assad was a religious conflict that can trace its roots back to the barbaric 7th century invasion of the Christian and Jewish lands of the Near East. Just like ISIS, Muhummad’s military campaign was based upon barbarity, violence and abject fear – which was designed to intimidate, cow and subdue the peaceful communities of the East into Dhimmitude (Serfs of Islam).
    In Saudi Arabia, this military campaign resulted in Muhummad personally overseeing the beheading the 800 Jewish men of the Banu_Qurayza tribe. In Syria, this invasion resulted in the Dead Cities of Aleppo – some 800 towns and cities that were similarly denuded of their populations by Muhummad’s army. (See image below)
    http://wikiislam.net/wiki/The_Genocide_of_Banu_Qurayza
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Cities
    Had the UK Foreign Office (F.O.) understood these truths, we would not be in the mess we are today. And it is just as well that we ‘commoners’ raised sufficient opposition to this parliamentary stupidity, to prevent the government voting to arm the Syrian terrorists (ie: ISIS).
    .
    Secondly, why we should have supported Assad and the Alawites:
    (As I recommended back in 2011.)
    Contrary to what the BBC have broadcast, the Alawite of Syria have been a grievously persecuted minority who lived in the gutters of Syrian society for more than 1,200 years – just as the Yazadi and Syriac Christians have similarly been persecuted minorities for the same number of centuries. This is why I correctly predicted, back in 2011, that Bashar Assad would NEVER give up power in Syria. As a persecuted minority in Muslim lands, he had no other option. (The Alawites gained control of the Syrian army in the 1920s, courtesy of the French, and have wisely never relinquished that control.)
    Note that the Armenian and Syriac Christians have backed Assad all this time. Why? Because they know they are in the same boat as the Alawites. Assad’s Alawites are half Christian – they celebrate Easter and Christmas and they refuse to go to mosque. This is why the Alawites have been persecuted for 1,200 years. But why did the BBC not tell you that?
    Why did the BBC brand Assad as the devil incarnate, and start a civil war in Syria, when the Alawites are actually the persecuted semi-Christian minority who are in grave danger of being the victims of yet another Muslim genocide? And let’s be clear about this – if we had supported the Syrian rebels, they would have taken control of all of Assad’s weaponry, plus 2,000 tonnes of sarin gas. And then they would have morphed into ISIS, whether you or the BBC liked it or not. Then they would have used this military power to exterminate 4 million Alawites, exterminate 4 million Syriac Christians, and exterminate another million Iraqi Christians and Yazidi. In addition, the sarin gas would have appeared on the London and New York metros inside a couple of months. Is this what the BBC was really hoping would happen?
    Assad’s persecuted Alawites and the persecuted Syriac Christians and Yazidi are all in the same boat. The only difference is that Assad has the power to protect his people from Muslim aggression, while all the Yazidi and Iraqi Christians can do is flee to a mountain-top. Thus if Parliament supports the plight of the Yazidi and Christians of Iraq, then they must by the same logic support Assad in Syria.
    etc: etc: etc: (several pages)
    Sincerely,
    Ralph (Atheist)
    Serjilla, one of the 800 Dead Christian Cities of Aleppo, vanquished and abandoned for 1,300 years.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Cities#mediaviewer/File:Serjilla_01.jpg

    • Maybe a little of topic but in the context of your post, ditto Libya….and the irony is that the west used the R2P UN doctrine as the excuse to protect a few hundred “Arab Spring” rebels trying to dispose Gadhafi. How many more thousands have been killed and will be killed because of Rice, Clinton, Powers, Cameron et al. And lets not forget the 21 Copts just beheaded on the Libyan beach. RIP

  50. Did man made global warming cause the Syrian civil war and the rise of ISIS? Absolutely not. Read the following articles and make up your own mind as to what is actually going on in the middle east.
    1) http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/10/10/the-u-s-versus-isis/
    2) http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/01/30/syria-yes-we-are-responsible/
    Use the search words “united states, the cause of isis counterpunch” or similar to find more articles in this particular area. It would be interesting to see if there are other web sites that analyse and discuss what is accutally going on in the middle east.
    Regards
    Climate Heretic

  51. The elephant in the room is the vilification of President Assad and the outside forces pushing another Arab spring.

  52. Anthropogenic (Central Bank), plus carbon tax induced global economic slowdown, plus a hot summer day could induce social unrest.

  53. If anything it was climate catastrophists who came up with the crazy idea of converting food to fuel who destabilized the world food markets.
    The real costs of the cliamte social madness is higher than people generally realize.

  54. Syria has strong sanctions against imports and exports, imposed after the Iraq war and the rise of the Iranian and Syrian threats of war. It is no wonder at all that they are hurting, that’s exactly what the sanctions are supposed to do, hurt the people to force either a populace uprising, or capitulation of the governments.
    It’s all politics (again).

  55. Climate change did NOT cause Syria’s civil war. The US had plans back in the days of Bush after 911 to go after Syria and some other countries in that area:
    So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!”
    – Gen. Wesley Clark, 2007 on democracy now.
    http://www.democracynow.org/2007/3/2/gen_wesley_clark_weighs_presidential_bid
    (Make sure you hit the show full transcript button to see the quote for yourselves).
    And trust me, I can show links that strongly suggest we are working with Socialistinternational.org in nation rebuilding over there. And that Bush was probably in on it.
    What these socialist voyeuristic paranoid control freak bastards are doing is using their planned Syrian nation rebuilding scheme to leverage a little extra push for climate change action. And Soros and a number of prominent US people as well as 6 members of socialist international (at least there were when I checked a few years ago) are monitoring these events at the crisisgroup.org:
    http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/about/board.aspx
    What does socialistinternational.org want: Nothing less than world government:
    “The ultimate objective of the parties of the Socialist International is nothing less than world government. ”
    http://www.socialistinternational.org/viewArticle.cfm?ArticleID=2133
    In a nutshell, if these leftwing bastards are successful, our future is going to be a global socialist control freak hell where we are under constant surveillance and living our lives based on plant and tree food.
    Little by little, they are moving us there in that direction. The latest things are the AR15 bullet ban and the possible move by Google to rank hits based on what the left-wingers deem truthful vs popularity.

    • Kramer
      This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran
      _______________________________________
      Yes, but that was historical naivety and liberal stupidity, rather than bad intention. Donald Rumsfeld summed it up when he said that America would make Iraq a shining example of democracy in the Middle East, which would bring all the Middle east into the democratic fold. Yes, they really thought they could do to IsIam, what they had done to N@zi Germany and Japan after WWII. They thought they could change Islam into a 21st century democratic semi-secular creed, that did not get involved in politics. Just how naive can you get?
      However, the result of American intervention was obvious to anyone with an eye to history. IsIam is a destabilising force, as Kermal Attaturk said when he came to power in Turkey, which is why he tried to wrap Turkey in a secular blanket. (A covering that King Erdogan is now stripping away, year by year.) So any intervention in IsIamia that took away the strong semi-secular leader (Saddam, Mubarak, Gadaffi, Assad etc:) will always result in a rise in IsIamic fundamentalism and civil war. It always has, and always will, because the clerics have too much power and influence, and the book they use as a guide is perhaps the most bloodthirsty, divisive and hate-filled book ever written. And if you do not believe that statement, then read it for yourself. Don’t shout: “oh, no it is not,” if you are merely relying on CNN or the BBC for your knowledge-base. Read it for yourself – chapter 9 is a good one.
      Thus the result of these interventions has always been predictable, and so I have been able to write about these unfolding events years before they actually happen. It is a shame that nobody in modern politics or the media reads any history nowadays. Winston Churchill understood the problem, as he makes clear in his assessment of this creed in his book ‘River War’. If you want good non-PC assessment, then read that quote, it is on the net (I cannot repeat it here). Ah, yes, the days when you could tell the truth, and not have to disguise and guard every word you utter from the Thought Police.
      Ralph

      • “Yes, but that was historical naivety and liberal stupidity, rather than bad intention.”
        But the fact remains, our government had plans years ago to nation rebuild in those countries and Syria was one of them. The fact that they are trying to get people to think that it might be from climate change is pure fraud IMO.

  56. Complete absence of of observed warming over the last 18+ years? According to what – one of the two major datasets of satellite measurements of lower troposphere temperature anomaly, and not any current or recently obsoleted dataset of global surface temperature anomaly?

  57. Easiest way to get published these days is to claim something negative based on “Climate Change.”
    Rear Adm. David Titley, now Prof Titely at UPenn is NO exception. When it comes to keeping the paycheck coming… many men and women will compromise their integrity. Sadly.

  58. The temperature has dropped between 0,2 – 0,7 C since 1934, ref. Professor Don Easterbrook. If there’s no warming, how can man contribute to some of the warming we haven’t had?
    The “Arabic Spring” was caused by the anthropogenic global warming swindle (AGW-swindle), because diverting farmers from producing food on vast areas in Europe, America and South America, to producing biofuels caused the food prices to rise sharply from 2007, which was the cause for the popular uprise. To spin it around and make it sound like man made global warming is the reason, is less than honest, nor supported by historic, known facts!
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2014/04/20/its-final-corn-ethanol-is-of-no-use/

  59. The theory of man made climate change did cause the rise of ISIS.The UN was set up to resolve political crises and prevent the rise of destructive territory grabbing corrupt regimes. It has turned a blind eye to the rise of ISIS and chosen to spend our money on climate change instead and ignore the very real and proven problem of our time.

  60. Well I lived in Cyprus and there was no rain between April and September as is many regions around the East end of the Mediterranean. I went to the Lebanon, and it was rich in fields of crops, and a definite French influence until the trouble brewed. But it snows there too. I was reading a book called ‘What is Islam’ And from about 600AD until the present time, the Muslims have been fighting one another. The one’s fighting now want Sharia law implemented, stoning, you name it and oppression of women. Well you know some Christian sects still believe the world was created 6,000 years ago, and humans walked with dinosaurs. I suppose in most major religions you get your fundamentalists, at least most don’t kill each other any more. Sounds terribly Medieval and uneducated. Thank God that most democratic countries separate the State from religion, but Theocracies unfortunately ain’t run that way. “A plague on both their houses…” They feel they have nothing to lose, but when you do of course, makes a difference to how a country is run.

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