Prof. says global warming to blame for ISIS

Campus Reform Reporter

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  • The NYC professor writes that Americans are ignorant to how climate change led to the rise in Syrian extremists.
  • A professor is blaming climate change and overpopulation for the creation of the terrorist group ISIS.

    Charles Strozier, Professor of History and the founding Director of the John Jay College Center on Terrorism and Kelly Berkell, research assistant at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, wrote a blog piece in the Huffington Post called “ How Climate Change Helped ISIS,” where they argue that a four-year drought in Syria, from 2006 through 2010, “devastated the livelihoods of 800,000 farmers and herders; and knocked two to three million people into extreme poverty.”

    "If more Americans knew how glacial melt contributes to catastrophic weather in Afghanistan—potentially strengthening the Taliban and imperiling Afghan girls who want to attend school—would we drive more hybrids and use millions fewer plastic bags? How would elections and legislation be influenced?"   

    “As the Obama administration undertakes a highly public, multilateral campaign to degrade and destroy the militant jihadists known as ISIS, ISIL and the Islamic State,” the two write, “many in the West remain unaware that climate played a significant role in the rise of Syria's extremists.”

    “Many became climate refugees,” Strozier and Berkell write.

    The pair offer a call to action for Americans to consider the link between melting glaciers and a stronger Taliban.

    “If more Americans knew how glacial melt contributes to catastrophic weather in Afghanistan—potentially strengthening the Taliban and imperiling Afghan girls who want to attend school—would we drive more hybrids and use millions fewer plastic bags? How would elections and legislation be influenced?” they write.

    “While ISIS threatens brutal violence against all who dissent from its harsh ideology, climate change menaces communities (less maliciously) with increasingly extreme weather.”

    Neither Strozier or Berkell are climate scientists according to an article in Climate Depot. Strozier is a practicing psychoanalyst in New York City and Berkell has a history of securities and corporate litigation.

    Follow the authors of this article on Twitter @MaggieLitCRO and @CalebBonham