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A crushing drought in 2008 in Syria and the Black Sea region drove up food prices leading to the beginnings of the Arab Spring.  This Arab Spring drought (and a related food futures commodity bubble) forced hundreds of thousand of destitute farmers into the cities of Syria where growing unrest blossomed into full fledged civil war.

The civil war progressed and moved across the national border of Syria and, drawn by the power vacuum of Iraq, into Anbar Province.  Now the Syrian Rebels have melded into a new multi-national force, ISIS, which seeks to form a national caliphate out of a  region carved out of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and the West Bank of Israel.  Today this group has taken Iraq's largest oil refinery, and their black flags are seen today flying over this critical infrastructure.

80% of India's oil is imported and 13% of India's oil imports originate from Iraq.  Just this year a crushing heatwave has plagued the northern areas leading to widescale riots and rolling brownouts as the electric grid is stretched to its limit.  A forecast for a much delayed monsoon season is placing additional pressures on the country's social, economic and political structures.   In addition a severe march hailstorm destroyed over 8 lakh hectares (about 3,000 square miles) of food crops, with resultant farmer suicides.

These compounding factors of weather, political unrest and delayed monsoons have led to significant food and fuel inflation in the region.  This has forced India to implement market controls, as they did in 2008 to curb price inflation.  If a greater energy crisis occurs with ISIS moving to restrict oil exports from Southern Iraq it would push India into a very real threat of widescale explosive inflation and economic and social unrest.

All of these forces are directly or indirectly exacerbated by climate change.

This is really happening.

In 2008 a crushing drought enveloped the northern Mediterranean and the Black Sea regions.  
The collapse of Syrian wheat production drove farmers into the cities, pushing up urban unemployment and strained the region, eventually pushing Damascus into a terrible civil war.
Thursday, June 19th 2014
New Delhi
: Commodity markets regulator FMC has curbed futures trading in potato contracts for July, August and September in order to check prices by disallowing fresh positions and hiking deposit amount on buyers.

The Forward Markets Commission (FMC) has taken this decision in the backdrop of rising prices of potato and other essential commodities, which could be aggravated by the likelihood of a sub-normal monsoon.

The climate induced drought of 2008 has real, global implications in the middle east and beyond.  The secondary effects of the delayed monsoon, record-breaking heatwavesand weather related food shortages may compound with increased oil prices to generate considerable more unrest in the world's largest democracy this year.

These are compounding "force multipliers" they don't just go away when the temporary effects of climate change occur.  The grow, and in growing they build momentum.  They persist and impact far beyond their original scope.

This is why the U.S. Defense Department calls climate change "a clear threat to U.S. National Security".

Rare Hailstorm Decimates Crops in Maharashtra

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Comment Preferences

  •  Global WarNing or WarMing? eom (4+ / 0-)

    “I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” Thomas Edison, 1931

    by nzanne on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 05:36:12 AM PDT

  •  From India... (5+ / 0-)

    ...Radhika Joshi of Bangalore has a Climate Message:

    Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

    by WarrenS on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 05:56:53 AM PDT

  •  They need (0+ / 0-)

    FREAKIN' SOLAR ROADWAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  •  I visit family in New England in a few weeks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    New Minas

    and I will be curious to see my brother-in-law's view on
    climate change. He is science-minded but has seemed to have doubts about accepting the general conclusions in this area. His brother is a meteorologist. I have already decided to talk politics as little as possible, and I am certainly not going to let my nieces and nephews hear my assessment that things are going to get bad for people and civil society a lot sooner than most people think.  I have some well educated cousins who I will be seeing, and will be curious as their guesses for when the real panic will arrive.  I will not enjoy being part of the "we told you so" chorus when members of Congress start demanding why they weren't told things were going to get so bad so quickly.

    I try to find other sources of world news reporting, so I am surprised that I didn't know about the situation in India.  The MSM isn't telling us much, especially what is already happening in other parts of the world.  But they will give us a preview of who will be on Dancing with the Stars. Boiling frogs, we are. (Hey, I know frogs don't really let themselves get boiled, but why discard a great analogy if it makes a person think)

    We want you to terminate the GOP's command. With extreme prejudice. (from "Utopia Soon")

    by oddmike on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:14:26 AM PDT

    •  here (0+ / 0-)

      Print this up and read it on the plane, or before, but be sure to read it all.

      It is clear that political ideology, especially with regards to climate change is the determinant.  I have spent years struggling to understand the science and the recent developments and how they compare with the IPCC consensus to find what our potential solutions are.  It is not going to be easy and, for the conservative free market ideologues, it is not going to be pretty.

      Between the tendency of scientists to have a type II error aversion bias (more afraid to be proven wrong now and seen as alarmist vs. being proven wrong in the future and being seen as understating the catastrophic consequences) and the general forces of confirmation bias and social/economic inertia that pushes against appropriate change is another factor.

      outright misanthropic fascists hell bent on destroying the environment and the world's ability to maintain the human population in 60 years, solely for their own sociopathic profitability (corporations as entities qualify for this classification as well, being pseudo persons with classic psychopathic tendencies.  

      for family, be strong but be assured.  Tell them how the ARGO buoy network has measured enough warming in the last five years that, if it was applied to the atmosphere, it would be 25 degrees F warmer every day and  night all through the year all over the planet.

      We have measured this, and it is not going away, in fact it is getting worse.

      Be the change that you want to see in the world

      by New Minas on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 03:41:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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