In recent weeks the Obama Administration has blamed President Bush and the intelligence community for the creation of ISIS. Others have blamed President Obama and his reluctance to get involved in another Middle East conflict. Both positions are apparently wrong. According to a recent article in the Huffington Post, the reason why ISIS was able to form and grow so fast was global warming.
The authors of the piece; Charles B. Strozier Professor of History at The City University of New York; and Kelly A. Berkell, attorney and research associate at the Center on Terrorism at John Jay College of Criminal Justice believe that ISIS formed because of a severe drought in Syria from 2006-2010 and that drought happened because of climate change.
As the Obama administration undertakes a highly public, multilateral campaign to degrade and destroy the militant jihadist known as ISIS, ISIL and the Islamic State, many in the West remain unaware that climate played a significant role in the rise of Syria's extremists. A historic drought afflicted the country from 2006 through 2010, setting off a dire humanitarian crisis for millions of Syrians. Yet the four-year drought evoked little response from Bashar al-Assad's government. Rage at the regime's callousness boiled over in 2011, helping to fuel the popular uprising. In the ensuing chaos, ISIS stole onto the scene, proclaimed a caliphate in late June and accelerated its rampage of atrocities including the recent beheadings of three Western civilians.
While ISIS threatens brutal violence against all who dissent from its harsh ideology, climate change menaces communities (less maliciously) with increasingly extreme weather.
The drought that preceded the current conflict in Syria fits into a pattern of increased dryness in the Mediterranean and Middle East, for which scientists hold climate change partly responsible. Affecting 60 percent of Syria's land, drought ravaged the country's northeastern breadbasket region; devastated the livelihoods of 800,000 farmers and herders; and knocked two to three million people into extreme poverty. Many became climate refugees, abandoning their homes and migrating to already overcrowded cities. They forged temporary settlements on the outskirts of areas like Aleppo, Damascus, Hama and Homs. Some of the displaced settled in Daraa, where protests in early 2011 fanned out and eventually ignited a full-fledged war.
Unfortunately for the authors, ISIS did not form in Syria at all. It formed in Iraq from what was once al Qaeda in Iraq. They were thrown out of the Bin Laden group because the ISIS leaders did want to blindly follow al Qaeda leaders.
Perhaps the single most important factor in the rapid growth of ISIS is the conflict between Iraqi Shias and Iraqi Sunnis. The ISIS fighters themselves are Sunnis. The tension between the two groups is a powerful recruiting tool for ISIS because the Shia government of Iraq refused to share power with the Sunnis (who held power under Saddam Hussein). The Shia/Sunni conflict has been raging for almost 1400 years, long before the latest round of global warming hysterics.
Also, according to research, there has been no increase in the number droughts world-wide.
"It is misleading and just plain incorrect to claim that disasters associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or droughts have increased on climate timescales either in the United States or globally,” Professor Roger Pielke Jr. said in his testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
In May of 2014 Professor Pielke published a study of worldwide droughts from 1982 to 2012. The study demonstrates that neither the number of droughts nor their intensity have exhibited a growth trend during that 30-year period.
October 1, 2014 marked 18 full years since the Earth last warmed. In other words the warming stopped ten years before the Middle Eastern drought supposedly caused by global warming.
The Earth’s temperature has “plateaued” and there has been no global warming for at least the last 18 years, says Dr. John Christy, professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) at the University of Alabama/Huntsville.
That’s basically a fact. There’s not much to comment on,” Christy said when CNSNews.com asked him to remark on the lack of global warming for nearly two decades as of October 1st.
The "plateau" is evident in the climate record Christy and former NASA scientist Roy Spencer compiled using actual raw temperature data collected from 14 instruments aboard various weather satellites.