Tuesday, September 25, 2007

War ming

"The Ministry of Defence has asked climate change experts to identify regions of the world where global warming could spark conflict and security threats.

The Met Office will today announce a £12m research contract with the MoD as part of an effort to map the likely impacts of increased temperatures. The research aims to identify countries where battles could break out over increasingly scarce supplies of food and water, as well as predict the likely conditions in which British troops may have to fight in future.

Computer models suggest the Middle East will get much drier and hotter this century. By 2100, rainfall is predicted to decrease by 30% across Turkey, Lebanon, northern Syria, western Iran and Afghanistan."

The link between extreme weather events and unrest is apparent to whoever bother to look at the history of the Middle East. Here's what Mustapha Mond once sent me:

In 1754 there is a major drought, in 1755 the Maronites of North Lebanon start their revolt against their Shi'a overlords. Droughts also in the early 1800's with a mega one in 1819 according to a chronicler. Coincidentally the Maronite peasants start their 'Ammiyyat in 1820 and 1821, the bedouin tribes of the badiya start attacking agricultural settlements on the fringe of the desert, as a result people from Hauran start moving to Beirut, Europeans come to the area to sell their foodstuff, prices go up, everyone in the area starts hating the Ottomans, the environment is overstretched. Huge mess and in 1830 everyone is happy when Ibrahim pacha invades.”

No comments: