Slate: Climate Change Destabilized Iraq and Led to the Rise of ISIS

Continuous fear-mongering from the left about the supposed cataclysmic dangers of global warming has always been present, but Slate’s Eric Holthaus has taken things to a whole different level. As Iraq and Syria devolve into chaos, the left-wing publication has blamed climate change for the rise of the al-Qaeda offshoot ISIS.

While the purpose of ISIS – imposing Sharia law on captured territory, ethnically cleansing Shia Muslims, and persecuting other religious groups like Christians – is evident to most of the world community, Slate makes the claim that the radical Sunni group was somehow spurred on by recent drought in the region:

This year’s major drought has coincided with the rise of ISIS, which has already used dams as a weapon of war, threatening downstream agriculture and electricity production during its march to gain control of vast swaths of territory in Syria and northern Iraq.

Holthaus continued by blaming temperature for the rise in violence:

Increasing temperatures may also be playing a role in the recent uptick in violence. A study published last year in the journal Science showed a strong connection between high temperatures and political instability, like civil wars, riots, and ethnic violence, though the cause is not well known.

This line of thinking is absurd; would Slate have us believe that were the climate not changing and if cap-and-trade was a global, functional reality, the Middle East’s long-simmering ethnic and religious conflicts would be resolved or be at the very least stable?

Slate and the liberal media have long argued that the presence of climate change somehow represents a national security risk to the United States. However, the idea that the rise of a militant Islamic group – not exactly uncommon in the Middle East – has been caused by weather is grasping at straws.

It seems Slate and other liberal publications will capitalize on any crisis imaginable to promote global warming, even if the idea is borderline laughable. There is little evidence to suggest that the rise of ISIS can be explained by anything other than the deteriorating political and national security conditions in Iraq and Syria. Holthaus and his editors at Slate would do well to learn the difference between correlation and causation.

Connor Williams
Connor Williams
Connor Williams is a contributing writer for NewsBusters.