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?

  • Reframe the issue to focus on what's driving people on both sides of the conflict.  Avoid demonizing and blame.
  • Channel moral outrage on all sides into stopping the underlying process, supporting a global program to switch from fossil fuel to renewables.

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)

ADDENDUM

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

Tags: Climate Change, Climate Destabilization, Syria, failure cascade, military intervention, moral framing

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Replies to This Discussion

The first source I quoted, Peak oil, climate change and pipeline geopolitics driving Syria con..., wasn't actually the original article that brought this to my attention, and it's mostly peripheral. I just used it for that portion I quoted.

How Climate Change Warmed Syria Up for War is a more relevant source.

Excellent analysis! One that needs to be given as wide an audience. as possible. May I suggest you share it on Twitter? Or may I? 

Comments need to be directed to President Obama, Congress, and the voting public.  

Feel free to do so. I reserve my twitter account for the rare discussions that illustrate with an animated pull quote.

Ruth, I used your image source and got this 

Life With Lyme

http://quietfurybooks.com/lifewithlyme/lymeinthecoconut/

I did mention that the image source was unrelated. I liked their vicious cycle illustration .

Les hommes qui ont changé l'univers n'y sont jamais parvenus en gagnant des chefs ; mais toujours en remuant des masses.

Napoleon Bonaparte

"Men who have changed the world are never succeeded in winning chefs, but always stirring the masses."

Is this correct? 

It seems to me that countries continue to believe in their own myths, no matter what evidence there is to the contrary.

America: if the "good" cowboy stands up to and shoots the "baddies" at high noon on Main Street the grateful townsfolk will come running to thank him as their problems are now solved forever.

Britain: send in a gunboat or a few planes, fire off a few shells and the ignorant "darkies" will run back to the hills and stop causing trouble.

Denmark: the issue doesn't matter, just as long as we get picked as a makeweight by the Big Boys for their team. We've been noticed!

Oh, one more thing. Poison gas in Damascus? That's what Winston Churchill suggested in 1919 as a method for keeping the uppity natives in their place

Wow, Winston Churchill! That's a side of him of which I was unaware.

Winston Churchill was not the "hero" the US and Great Britain make him out to be. Ian is 100% correct. Churchill wanted to drop poison gas on Arab populations after WWI to keep all the brown colored colonials in line.  And, read about Churchill and early 20th century Irish history. That bastard, along with Lloyd George, wanted to slaughter the Irish when they rose in revolt against Great Britain. The two, along with a racist asshole named Sir Edward Carson, instituted the Black and Tans who, with Churchill's permission, burned whole villages on drunken sprees, machine gunned civilians watching sporting events, and otherwise raped, pillage, and laid waste the countryside. 

Thanks for the history, Pat. We don't get this in school.

We need a modern Howard Zinn. Thanks for keeping us informed.

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