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.
Thursday, June 19th 2014The 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.
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.
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