ISIS Terrorist Group Linked To Climate Change?

The rise of the ISIS terrorist group was partially a function of climate change, a City University of New York professor argues.

In a Huffington Post essay, Prof. Charles B. Strozier, whose speciality is history rather than science, and co-author Kelly B. Berkell, an attorney and terrorism analyst, claim that a four-year drought in Syria ignored by that country’s government helped create the conditions leading to the formation of the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) militant army which is estimated to range from 15,000 to 30,000 fighters.

The U.S. and allies are currently conducting airstrikes on ISIS strongholds in Iraq and Syria.

Despite terrorism-related threats and various other complicated international and domestic issues facing our country, earlier this month former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed that global climate change is the greatest challenge to the U.S.

Explained Strozier and Berkell about the alleged connection between ISIS and climate change:

“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, many in the West remain unaware that climate played a significant role in the rise of Syria’s extremists. A historic drought afflicted the country from 2006 through 2010, setting off a dire humanitarian crisis for millions of Syrians. Yet the four-year drought evoked little response from Bashar al-Assad’s government. Rage at the regime’s callousness boiled over in 2011, helping to fuel the popular uprising. In the ensuing chaos, ISIS stole onto the scene, proclaimed a caliphate in late June and accelerated its rampage of atrocities including the recent beheadings of three Western civilians…the drought that preceded the current conflict in Syria fits into a pattern of increased dryness in the Mediterranean and Middle East, for which scientists hold climate change partly responsible…toting a metal water bottle is good, but it’s time for ordinary people to consider the bigger picture. When we fail to get the facts right about greenhouse gas emissions, we may unwittingly enable ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab and other extremist groups to flourish…”

Breitbart London‘s James Delingpole registered disagreement with the professor’s premise, however:

“…One of the fundamental misconceptions of Professor Strozier’s thesis is the way it conflates a regional drought event with global ‘climate change.’ No reputable climate scientist would ever seek to do this because there are any number of local factors which may cause drought (California’s, for example, was recently discovered to have been caused by changing wind patterns) besides the marginal — and still highly contested — influence of anthropogenic CO2. Another is the way it accepts without question the projections of alarmist computer models…”

As The Inquisitr has previously reported, University of Colorado environmental studies professor Roger Pielke, Jr., who exited Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog after a dispute with climate change advocates, testified on Capitol Hill in 2013 that “It is misleading and just plain incorrect to claim that disasters associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or droughts have increased on climate timescales either in the United States or globally. It is further incorrect to associate the increasing costs of disasters with the emission of greenhouse gases.”

Separately, many climate scientists have admitted that global warming has been on a 15-year hiatus or pause although they contend the earth’s surface temperature is still rising.

Quipped columnist Michael Schaus of Townhall.com about the Prof. Strozier’s theory that climate change is fueling Middle Eastern violence, “The origin of modern terrorism couldn’t possibly be the radical despotic nature of Islamic governments; or the rampant anti-Western mentality of Islamic fundamentalists; or the geo-political miscalculations of the West throughout the last hundred years…nope. It’s your carbon footprint…”

Also countering the alleged ISIS/drought relationship, blogger Jeff Dunetz asserted among other things that ISIS formed in Iraq and not Syria, that Iraq’s sectarian conflict was a powerful ISIS recruiting tool, and that “most observers believe ISIS was able to grow because American troops pulled out of Iraq too early and didn’t help out in Syria until it was too late.”

Do you believe a link exists between ISIS or other terrorist groups and man-made climate change/global warming?

[Image via Bing]