Obama is poised to intervene in Syria, morally outraged by the Syrian government's chemical assault on its citizens. What seems at first glance a clear cut moral issue is, from a larger perspective, participation in the global failure cascade of Climate Destabilization. This regional horror is symptomatic of a broader process of global genocide into which we are being drawn.

The political unrest in Syria is rooted in widespread farming failure due to Climate Destabilization.

The crunch came in the context of an intensifying and increasingly regular drought cycle linked to climate change. Between 2002 and 2008, the country's total water resources dropped by half through both overuse and waste.

Once self-sufficient in wheat, Syria has become increasingly dependent on increasingly costly grain imports, which rose by 1m tonnes in 2011-12, then rose again by nearly 30% to about 4m in 2012-13. The drought ravaged Syria's farmlands, led to several crop failures, and drove hundreds of thousands of people from predominantly Sunni rural areas into coastal cities traditionally dominated by the Alawite minority.

The exodus inflamed sectarian tensions rooted in Assad's longstanding favouritism of his Alawite sect – many members of which are relatives and tribal allies – over the Sunni majority. [emphasis mine] source

This is humanity on Climate Destabilization. This is how Climate Destabilization unfolds. As environment resources supporting our lives collapse, preexisting social conflicts explode. Conflict resulting from resource depletion brings out the worst in humanity, as war has always done. War-making is intoxicating. Human "enemies" are easy for our ancient instincts to comprehend, as a focus for our rage. Both sides escalate until one sinks to mass atrocity.

The failure cascade of our planet's climate includes OUR social, political, and psychological responses. What we do in response to a deteriorating environment is an inherent component of the destructive process.

To see only the atrocities, ignoring the environment-based forces that push human beings to commit them, is morally naive. Every one of us is capable of committing atrocity with enough pressure, after years of deteriorating conditions, feeling that we must protect our families, our way of life, and everything we hold dear. When we become hopeless and desperate, we turn into monsters. (See Chris Hedges War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning)

Focus on the bottom line. The underlying cause is fossil fuel dependence gradually making our planet uninhabitable. Any military intervention increases fossil fuel use, generating a vicious cycle of its own. It also diverts funds away from clean energy programs.

What is an appropriate moral response?

  • Reframe the issue to focus on what's driving people on both sides of the conflict.  Avoid demonizing and blame.
  • Channel moral outrage on all sides into stopping the underlying process, supporting a global program to switch from fossil fuel to renewables.

It's time to see that "Climate Change" isn't just changes in the air and water, it's "People Change" in the worst sense. Climate Change is People Change! Got it?

Our response to Syria is a critical tipping point. We will either make climate destabilize even faster or channel our outrage constructively. Put another way we will take another step toward being monsters ourselves by trying to rescue perceived victims from perceived enemies, or we'll  take a baby step toward globally responsible mature humanity.

image source(from unrelated topic)


If you want to tell congress that you'll refuse to reelect any member who votes for war on Syria go to Peace Voter Pledge

Tags: Climate Change, Climate Destabilization, Syria, failure cascade, military intervention, moral framing

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Pat, if we all kept pictures on our refrigerators of our pond scum ancestors, would world events depress us the way they do?

Though a huge majority of Californians were telling US Senator Dianne Feinstein they opposed a strike on Syria, she said on TV that she knew more than they.

With the experience she claims, she should have known her arrogance would anger constituents.

It angered me, a Korean War combat veteran, and I sent her an email:

1) asking her to direct her aggression to helping the refugees,

2) telling her the red line was entirely Barack's until he enlists the nations that he said own the line, and

3) reminding her that an assassin (Mayor Moscone's assassin) brought her to prominence.

BTFW, way back in 1972, US House Minority Leader John Rhodes (Republican from Arizona) told me in a letter that I had no tact. He was right; I'd said his campaign donors were paying for legislation that favored them. The part of the Central Arizona Project that bears his name assures him a bit of immortality.

Horray! Horray! Russia's giving us a way to avoid war. Breakthrough

I'm happy. The stock market is happy too. Too bad warmongers, guess you won't gouge the public on this excuse.

Ditto, Ruth, and everyone will take credit for their part in it:

1) Obama in America for turning up the threat level,

2) Parliament in England for voting against their PM,

3) Putin in Russia for taking Kerry seriously and putting Obama in a box, and

4) Assad among his allies in Syria for ignoring Obama's threats and agreeing with Putin.

The biggest loser (among the survivors)? Obama, for putting his red-lined foot in his mouth.

Has the Nobel Committee ever revoked a peace prize?

The use of chemical weapons (bad as it is) kills you and makes you just as dead as you would be if they used guns, bombs, rockets, or missiles. None of the methods of killing can be considered "humane" and every method can and does strike the innocent leaving them all equally as dead.

You hit things right on the head, Tom, and Obama needs to pull out the fleet and send them back home. Everyone drums this Syria thing up, and as of today polls show that 71% are still against any military action in Syria. Last week it was 83% of Americans against it.

This would be a good time to suggest it, like start a petiton to the Nobel Committee.

There's another possible scenario.  Both Putin and Obama are in boxes, Putin because Russia is an ally of Syria, and Obama because of the "redline" comment.  The two meet briefly at G20.  A few days later, Kerry makes an "off-the-cuff" remark that shows Syria a way out of becoming America's next target.  Obama, leaning on his record of actually using air power to bring down dictators, keeps beating the drums of war, even though Congress and the polls are against him.  Putin, perhaps realizing that he doesn't really want to risk a war with the US, presses Kerry's solution on Syria.  Syria agrees.  Obama keeps up the pressure.  Maybe Syria actually turns its chemical weapons over to the UN, and maybe international experts clean up the mess of Syria's weapons dumps as they previously cleaned up Russia's nuclear testing sites.

Of course, this scenario depends on Obama's being smarter than Rand Paul, John Boehner, and John McCain.  I have no trouble believing that.


American air power to prevent Gaddaffi's army from reaching Benghazi. 

Craig, that's a very possible, maybe even probable, scenario. If events follow the script, the players get out of their boxes and can portray themselves as rescuers.

The Johns Boehner and McCain are predictable; Rand Paul is less predictable.

Will the war industries consent to their products remaining untested or unsold? If promised a later opportunity, even if in a less dangerous place, they will.

I remember that some rebels arrested for they had chemical weapons (sarin) in Adana city of Turkey. That shows that already have it. I don't think that Syrian government committed the attack.



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