Obama is poised to intervene in Syria, morally outraged by the Syrian government's chemical assault on its citizens. What seems at first glance a clear cut moral issue is, from a larger perspective, participation in the global failure cascade of Climate Destabilization. This regional horror is symptomatic of a broader process of global genocide into which we are being drawn.
The political unrest in Syria is rooted in widespread farming failure due to Climate Destabilization.
The crunch came in the context of an intensifying and increasingly regular drought cycle linked to climate change. Between 2002 and 2008, the country's total water resources dropped by half through both overuse and waste.
Once self-sufficient in wheat, Syria has become increasingly dependent on increasingly costly grain imports, which rose by 1m tonnes in 2011-12, then rose again by nearly 30% to about 4m in 2012-13. The drought ravaged Syria's farmlands, led to several crop failures, and drove hundreds of thousands of people from predominantly Sunni rural areas into coastal cities traditionally dominated by the Alawite minority.
The exodus inflamed sectarian tensions rooted in Assad's longstanding favouritism of his Alawite sect – many members of which are relatives and tribal allies – over the Sunni majority. [emphasis mine] source
This is humanity on Climate Destabilization. This is how Climate Destabilization unfolds. As environment resources supporting our lives collapse, preexisting social conflicts explode. Conflict resulting from resource depletion brings out the worst in humanity, as war has always done. War-making is intoxicating. Human "enemies" are easy for our ancient instincts to comprehend, as a focus for our rage. Both sides escalate until one sinks to mass atrocity.
The failure cascade of our planet's climate includes OUR social, political, and psychological responses. What we do in response to a deteriorating environment is an inherent component of the destructive process.
To see only the atrocities, ignoring the environment-based forces that push human beings to commit them, is morally naive. Every one of us is capable of committing atrocity with enough pressure, after years of deteriorating conditions, feeling that we must protect our families, our way of life, and everything we hold dear. When we become hopeless and desperate, we turn into monsters. (See Chris Hedges War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning)
Focus on the bottom line. The underlying cause is fossil fuel dependence gradually making our planet uninhabitable. Any military intervention increases fossil fuel use, generating a vicious cycle of its own. It also diverts funds away from clean energy programs.
What is an appropriate moral response?
It's time to see that "Climate Change" isn't just changes in the air and water, it's "People Change" in the worst sense. Climate Change is People Change! Got it?
Our response to Syria is a critical tipping point. We will either make climate destabilize even faster or channel our outrage constructively. Put another way we will take another step toward being monsters ourselves by trying to rescue perceived victims from perceived enemies, or we'll take a baby step toward globally responsible mature humanity.
image source(from unrelated topic)
If you want to tell congress that you'll refuse to reelect any member who votes for war on Syria go to Peace Voter Pledge
Not funny, Tom. I damned near was drafted during the Vietnam fracas, and the way I was back then, I would have come home in a box.
What prevented your being drafted? Being in college? Studying engineering?
You won't be drafted for the war Obama wants to start.
I was aboard a destroyer off North Korea's east coast. A nearby destroyer struck a mine and my ship took thirty bodies aboard, most of them in pieces in plastic body bags.
I was on the ship's three-man landing party. The South Korean marines we had aboard made unnecessary my going ashore with a Browning submachine gun strapped to my back.
If you must know, what prevented my going to the 'Nam was Tricky Dick Nixon ... who cancelled the draft not bloody long after I got my order to report for physical inspection during my fifth year at Case. Put bluntly, I lucked out.
Back then, I had the backbone not much better than that of an earthworm, which would not have served me in the US Army of 1973. Obviously, there have been some changes made since that time. I'm real enough about who I was to admit that.
Interesting connection, though: I studied Tang Soo Do while I was at school, under a former Korean Marine Corp colonel. A decent guy, to be sure, knew what he was about.
I was a reservist and had been on two summer training cruises. My guess is that they figured I didn't need to go to boot camp and sent me right to a ship.
If they'd sent me to boot camp I wouldn't have been able to do three push ups. I would have been sent home or been given a desk job.
Saddam had the help of the Reagan administration in procuring chemical weapons from the US because he was the enemy of our enemy, the Iranians, on whom he also used chemical weapons.
Send them food, lots of food. It's cheaper than missiles. And water. Get off the military invention merry-go-round. Though it worked for Clinton in Kosovo and for Obama in Libya (we saved thousands of lives by blocking Gaddaffi's army from marching on Benghazi), but it won't work every time, and we've stumbled into a bunch of quagmires in the past sixty years or so.
we've stumbled into a bunch of quagmires in the past sixty years or so.
Our political leaders, perhaps committed to helping the war industries, have been and are giving America the death of a thousand cuts.
Ruth, I've been following the news closely. This being the war-loving US of A, I shouldn't be surprised that none of our news media have told of this -- even if other governments know of it.
Where did you find it?
The source of the first quote is linked, though most of the article deals with other aspects. I made the link too inconspicuous, tucked into the end of the quote.
How Climate Change Warmed Up Syria for War is a better source. For example it shows this map of 2011 aridity around the Mediterranean.
Compliments of theoatmeal.com website:
Thanks for that FA. It sums up my attitude on this as well. If politics is the reason that chemical weapons become the trigger point for action then we should all be ashamed.
A surgical strike to take out chemical weapons capability wont work.. blowing up the gas storage is only going to release the gas. Blow up the hardware used to deploy it.. Russia has replacements on the next flight.
Surgical strikes against Assad's military to stop his overall capability? The we just weaken him and the Al Qaeda backed rebels taking over and we have another Afghanistan.
As Tony Abbot, Leader of Australian opposition (and sadly likely to be PM after the election Saturday) said recently "this isn't good guy vs bad guy, its bad guy vs bad guy".
Is military intervention going to help? Probably not.
Is that a reason to give these monsters a free reign? I'm not so sure.
Whatever we do, even if that's nothing will have long ranging consequences to the country, the region and the world. I'm just really torn as to what the correct response is.
Whatever we do, .... I'm just really torn as to what the correct response is.
MB, must we, the US of A rather than the United Nations, do it?
Who will agree on what a correct response is?
Obama, for whom I campaigned and voted, is a bleeding heart liberal.
The military industries want to test their new weapons and their owners want returns on their investments. Politicians want the industries' "investments" in their campaign costs.
Did the senators McCain and Lindsey ever see a war they didn't like?
It's up to us, the taxpaying public and our cannon fodder children, to stop them.
The United Nations will never do it. The Security Council and more importantly its Permanent Members veto rights are a fatal flaw that will forever mar its ability to do real work when it is needed.
That is why unilateral actions by individual nations would be required. The US and France seem to be about the only ones prepared to do anything this time so if anything is to be done its going to have to be them.
Of course I'm not convinced that they should be doing anything. I hate to see innocent civilians caught up in a morally reprehensible power struggle, but I'm not sure that as outsiders we can do anything constructive.
My thoughts are tending more towards continued political engagement but nothing militarily. As hard as it is, and as many lives as it will cost we need to remain on the outside.
Afghanistan, and more importantly Iraq shows we can do little long term good by doing more than that. Hopefully one day everyone in that region will realise that there is more to be gained by working together than remembering old hatreds.