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Sanders is not as crazy as you might think


Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been making some news lately from calling climate change our biggest national security threat, and he has had some, let's call them, detractors.

Let me describe some observations and connections, and tell me where my thinking goes astray. There is a connection between the existence of IS and the Arab Spring. The Arab Spring started with protests over food price increases. There is a connection between the price of food and its supply. The supply of food at the time the Arab Spring started had been impacted by patterns of precipitation shifting poleward, out of the Middle East, a result of climate change, and also by a heat wave that devastated the Russian wheat harvest and caused them to renege on contracts to sell wheat to Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, etc. While it may not be not obvious that our national security is endangered by a changing climate, the connections exist.

Background information:

Observations show that the Hadley cell has widened by about 2–5 [degrees] since 1979. This widening and the concomitant poleward displacement of the subtropical dry zones may be accompanied by large-scale drying near 30N and 30S. Such drying poses a risk to inhabitants of these regions who are accustomed to established rainfall patterns.

Hadley Cell Widening: Model Simulations versus Observations

Look on a map; Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Jordan, and Syria are all on or near the 30th parallel.

The historical region of Northern Mesopotamia was recently subjected to an intense and prolonged drought episode during the four hydrological years between AD 2007 and 2010. Very low precipitation generated a steep decline in agricultural productivity in the rain-fed Euphrates and Tigris drainage basins, and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. The worst drought-affected regions were eastern Syria, northern Iraq, and Iran, the major grain-growing areas of the northern Fertile Crescent.

Drought is a recurring challenge in the Middle East

Russia announced Thursday that it will ban all grain exports for the rest of the year, sending wheat prices soaring to a two-year high...

Russia bans grain exports because of fire and drought, sending prices soaring


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