Could there be a connection between climate change and the emerging conflict in Iraq?
The short answer is a qualified yes, according to Frank Femia of the Center for Climate and Security, a Washington-based policy institute advised by senior retired military and national security leaders. He explained in a phone interview:
It’s far too early, considering this is happening in real time, to figure out what is motivating ISIS and its members. Certainly, the natural resource stresses in the region make things worse. Terrorist organizations can try to control those resources and gain significant influence and power. You can’t say climate change is causing ISIS to do what it’s doing, but it [climate change] certainly has a role to play in the region.