Click images for more details



Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« What's in a name? | Main | Destroy the planet to save the planet »

More Syria shamefulness

The ambulance chasers are still, rather disreputably, hovering around the fringes of the migrant crisis. Today I came across a cartoon that again seeks to link the 2007 Syrian drought to climate change. Entitled Syria's Climate Conflict, it opens with the 2007 drought and then moves on to the displacement of people thereafter, before moving on to the uprising itself, describing its beginnings in the southern city of Daraa and the spread to Damascus before asking whether maybe climate change had something to do with it. A scientivist type is on hand to insinuate that it did.

If you take a look at the cartoon though, you will notice something odd: there is not even a vague insinuation that the climate in Syria has changed. There has been a drought of course, but Syria is nothing if not a country prone to drought. So where is the climate change? It is so transparently an attempt to use a weather event to advance a climate argument that it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the authors are not just playing fast and loose with the facts.

This impression is hardly weakened by a look at this paper, which finds almost no changes in Syrian rainfall since 1950 (or since 1900).

There's something else though. Take a look at these graphs of vegetation health in Syria from a UN document (source).

You can see the 2007/8 drought in the bottom left, and you can see it dragging on into the following winter season as well. But 2009/10, the year before the uprising began, was much better. Most noticeably, Daraa, the cradle of the uprising, right at the southern tip of the country, had just had a "very good" winter. Surely it's a bit surprising that a climate-related uprising should begin somewhere that had just experienced the most benign weather for years?

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (81)

It's ancient shamanic practice to manipulate with weather and shame. There's always something to talk about with the weather, and man was born, not with guilt, but the desire for it.

Sep 7, 2015 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

That bad weather is not sufficient for an uprising is demonstrated by neighbouring Turkey, Lebanon and Israel. All of which have had civil unrest in the last quarter century but not at this time.

On the other hand saying it is not sufficient does not mean that a drought has no impact on the harmony of a nation. This trouble may well have had an impact. People who's babies starved a year ago may not yet have moved on, for example.

This is a tale of weather, not climate.
But the weather is important.

Sep 7, 2015 at 11:02 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

This kind of over egging the pudding is counter productive for the warmists. People are already pissed off at being blamed for insane and sadistic middle easterners. Can anyone remember a time when this area wasn't at war or some group wasn't being slaughtered? To endlessly point the finger at westerners (even though we've made huge mistakes at times) reaches the point where people reject everything connected. The final straw might be being told that having a bit more central heating this winter is the reason why ISIS rapes and kills.

On a personal note I despise the growth of blame shifting. It seems that there is no atrocity too great for some to seek to excuse it by digging up something or someone else that might have triggered it. It doesn't seem to matter how tenuous the link. Enablers the lot of them.

Sep 7, 2015 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Perhaps it is a verification of the long predicted 100m climate refugees. If you can establish the connection Climate Change = Conflict = Flight then you are almost there as there are currently 60m displaced persons in the world.
Of course some (i.e. Gaza) have been there since 1948 but, hey, climate was pretty bad then too.
Not that "climate refugees" are anything new - didn't the Israelites flee some pretty foul weather in Egypt.

Sep 7, 2015 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenese2

Meanwhile the following in the print version of the Telegraph's Business section,(can't find it online so no link)

"Growing pains Farmers under pressure as food index nears 18-year low on China fears"

"More pain is on the way for British farmers according to Macquarie's latest agricultural commodities price index.

The measure that tracks everything from grains to livestock and vegetable oils is hovering around its lowest level since 1997

The so-called MacPI fell 7% last month as better than expected global weather patterns boosted harvest yields in the world's biggest agricultural basins.

The market has been hit further by the economic uncertainty surrounding China's after the past weeks of stock market turmoil, which has wiped billions off the country's shares.

Macquarie said: "We struggle to find any strong bullish indicators across agricultural markets. Unless there is a major weather event across major producing regions, the path of least resistance looks to be further downside. "

My bold

Sep 7, 2015 at 11:31 AM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Water into blood (דָם): Ex. 7:14–24
Frogs (צְּפַרְדֵּעַ): Ex. 7:25–8:15
Lice (כִּנִּים): Ex. 8:16–19
Wild animals, possibly flies (עָרוֹב): Ex. 8:20–32
Diseased livestock (דֶּבֶר): Ex. 9:1–7
Boils (שְׁחִין): Ex. 9:8–12
Thunderstorm of hail and fire (בָּרָד): Ex. 9:13–35
Locusts (אַרְבֶּה): Ex. 10:1–20
Darkness (חוֹשֶך): Ex. 10:21–29
Death of firstborn (מַכַּת בְּכוֹרוֹת): Ex. 11:1–12:36

And TA DA, we now have a plague of CO2!

I thaaaaankkk youuuuuuu

Sep 7, 2015 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

The world is full of evil people who have no shame.

Sep 7, 2015 at 11:55 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Personally, I'd rather have CO2 dropped on me than a barrel bomb, but maybe I'm weird...

Sep 7, 2015 at 12:06 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Never let a good crisis go to waste.

Sep 7, 2015 at 12:17 PM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

Rather like Karl Marx, the sanctimonious lefties now coming out of the woodwork rarely attempt to present solutions, just criticisms.

Sep 7, 2015 at 12:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Right on cue the Guardian has this subject as their lead Opinion piece. Quelle surprise.


'Failure to act on climate change means an even bigger refugee crisis'

Sep 7, 2015 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

I think ambulance chasers, would take exception to the use of the term as used in this post, to describe the activities of the political media.

These refugees are fleeing, and desperate, for the chance of a life, and a better one. They are escaping from a land of no hope, created by people with greed and warped ideology, leading to the slaughter of masses, irrespective of naivete or other innocence.

They are not victims of climate change, but are casualties of climate war. The climate war is manmade, created by those, now continuing to blame climate change, for anything in the world that could be improved.

Is it because the Paris Bunga Bunga party is coming up that the politicised media are so pleased to have a genuine humanitarian disaster, happening in Europe, which can be blamed on fantasy climate change?

Presumably Napoleon's advance into Russia in 1812 was halted by unforeseen climate change, and Hitler's 75 years ago.

Sep 7, 2015 at 12:30 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

As the philosophers Noel and Liam Gallagher once said:

Nobody ever mentions the weather can make or break your day
Nobody ever seems to remember life is a game we play

Sep 7, 2015 at 12:30 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Peter Gleick has been playing the same game (July 2014):

"The devastating civil war that began in Syria in March 2011 is the result of complex interrelated factors....
water and climatic conditions have played a direct role in the deterioration of Syria’s economic conditions"

Like Gore implied in his film, "its complicated - but we want your take away to be 'its CO2 and climate change to blame'."

Sep 7, 2015 at 12:38 PM | Unregistered Commenteroakwood

It is worth noting that the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, was fought during near windless conditions. Can the French and Spanish attribute their loss to climate change?

Scott's doomed expedition to the South Pole was another climate disaster.

Thank heavens no one had invented man made global warming to explain the drought and famine in Ethiopia 1984. It might have diverted attention away from the genuine humanitarian crisis, created by a drought, and compounded by failed political ideology.

Sep 7, 2015 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

A couple of quotes ripped from the Martin Amis book - The Second Plane.

"Look at the developement within Europe, where the number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes. Every Western woman in the EU is producing an average of 1.4 children. Every Muslim in the same countries is producing 3.5 children".
Mullah Krekar of Norway.

"There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe - without swords, without guns, without comquests. The fifty million Muslims of Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades".
Colonel Gaddafi

Sep 7, 2015 at 2:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

The BBC GMT program broadcast here in Canada about an hour ago just implied that climate change is one of the possible reasons for the "Migration".

Sep 7, 2015 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Singleton

There is a drought in California at the moment at the moment.But i don't see them crucifying and cutting each others heads off live on the internet.

Doesn't Syria rather prove the opposite point the best way to combat the worst effects of extreme weather and possibly Climate Change is with full Industrialization and Economic Growth.

Also help eliminate Ethnic and Religious conflict.

Sep 7, 2015 at 4:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

It surely can't be long now, can it, before the Court of World Opinion will demand to know why Belize and Guatemala and Venezuela aren't taking in their fair share of desperate Californians?

Sep 7, 2015 at 4:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterOwen Morgan

We won't mention the fact that before the troubles, Syria's GDP growth was outstripping most of the EU, that for the first time, they had a professional middle class, and that they had an education system so good that the BBC showed a series about it.

So shame on the liars. Scum of the earth.

Sep 7, 2015 at 5:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

Check out my home boy Stefan Molyneux

Apparently the periodic drought in California and the subsequent water rationing caused by Environmental Legislation which stopped the construction of more reservoirs and a water pipeline.

Sep 7, 2015 at 5:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

'Vegetation Halth Index'?

Sep 7, 2015 at 5:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterPiperPaul

I see the MSN repeatedly telling and showing the plight of the refugees and a heartfelt story for Europe as well as the rest of the world to accept them with open arms.

The images I see are mostly men ages 20 to 40 demanding acceptance. In the USA these men would be of military/fighting age. They have a country and chose to flee rather than stand and fight for it. Cowards?

The US has a growing population of such cowards. But then there are those of us who can take on a multitude of cowards and stand victorious in the end. I'm afraid that day may be in the near future. I hope not. Freedom has never been won by cowards and is not maintained by such.

Sep 7, 2015 at 6:15 PM | Unregistered Commentereyesonu

NCC 1701E 11.44 those problems you list are clear indicators of crises caused by too much CO2 being produced by overworked manual labourers in the Pyramid building business. It can only have been divine intervention that brought it all to a halt.

Greens have being fabricating empires out of pyramid selling recently. It is all ending in tears, as idiots blame the climate, and miss the obvious.

Sep 7, 2015 at 6:34 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

eyesonu 6:15, those people fleeing Syria are not cowards. They are the people old enough to get out, and sensible enough.

Which 'side' should they fight for, and why? The mad bad evil ones, or the other mad bad evil ones?

Sep 7, 2015 at 6:58 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The civilized world will rue the day they let this hoard of paedophile-worshipers cross the border. So far, only Hungary seems to have the slightest instinct for survival.

If you expect your aid and charity to be rewarded with future gratitude or mercy, you are as deluded as the original inhabitants of Mecca and Medina.

Sep 7, 2015 at 8:46 PM | Unregistered Commenterdadgervais

"man was born, not with guilt, but the desire for it"

And of course rejecting the attempted placement of undeserved guilt upon oneself by a manipulator is sign of a "sociopath".

Sep 7, 2015 at 8:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterPiperPaul

"Water into blood...frogs...flies...thunderstorm of hail and fire, locusts, darkness, death of firstborn, boils." --NCC 1701E

Since Moses utilized his staff to summon the first of these plagues, can we reject the idea that the boils were a staff infection?

Sep 7, 2015 at 8:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

If there's one thing Europe doesn't have enough of, it's disaffected Muslims. More brilliant statesmanship from Angie and company.

Sep 7, 2015 at 9:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterBloke in Central Illinois

"...The images I see are mostly men ages 20 to 40 demanding acceptance. In the USA these men would be of military/fighting age. They have a country and chose to flee rather than stand and fight for it. Cowards?..." --eyesonu

No. ISIS troops.

Sep 7, 2015 at 9:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

I'd have no trouble letting them in to Europe if they left their religion behind. But Western Europe is already totally screwed in that respect. Gadaffi had it spot on.

Sep 7, 2015 at 9:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

Not sure of the agricultural effects on 2006 to 2010 drought in Syria but the USA mandated the burning of ethanol (e.g. corn and food grains) in 2007. Did the 'green lobby' directly have influence the Arab Spring uprising throughout the mid east and contribute to the mid east turmoil? US Congress has been far left in majority and policies since January 2007 and Obama president January 20, 2009. How is that Progressive left turn working out now?

It looks like real hope and change may be coming on this side of the pond. We'll see next year.

Sep 7, 2015 at 9:53 PM | Unregistered Commentereyesonu

As a Christian I say let them all come. We should be compassionate to the poor and hurting.
And as a Christian I say let's persuade them of the truth of Christianity.

Both are acts of love.

See how much better off and free are those societies rooted in Christian values than Islamic values.
See how much better off and free are those people rooted in Christian values than Islamic values.

This view manages to annoy almost everyone. The bigots find me too welcoming and the welcoming find me to bigoted.
But no-one else knows what's definitely right either.

Sep 7, 2015 at 10:13 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

re: Sep 7, 2015 at 10:13 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

When I began grammar school (1955), Lebanon was a Christian country with much the same philosophy.

Been nice knowin' you, so to speak.

Sep 7, 2015 at 11:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterdadgervais

M Courtney, what many non Muslims fail to understand, is that Muslims have a major problem with trusting peace loving Christians.

I was taught at school how brave Christian men from all over Europe, united and fought to reclaim the Holy land from ther terrors of Islam. This is a big lie.

The 'Crusades' became a glory hunting land grab, 'with God on our side', that legitimised wholescale slaughter of Muslims, and anyone else who got in the way.

I am not a religious person, but respect those who are, providing they show equal respect. The atrocities committed by Muslim fanatics, are partially justified, as payback for events of 800 years ago.

I have enjoyed the hospitality of Muslim friends in the UK, and in a Muslim country.I have welcomed Muslim friends into my home, and shown them an East facing room, where they could pray in privacy. They did. This was all before 9/11.

The post 9/11 era, has coincided with Political Correctness outlawing anyone from saying anything that could possibly be considered racist, however within the UK it remains Politically Inccorrect to criticise someone not of UK racial roots, for doing or saying something racist. These double standards in 'civilised' countries are helping foster a resurgence of the right.

I am not offering a solution, but suggesting that expecting different cultures to integrate, requires all cultures to want to integrate

Sep 7, 2015 at 11:39 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

M Courtney on Sep 7, 2015 at 10:13 PM
dadgervais on Sep 7, 2015 at 11:03 PM

In 1982, one of my colleagues at work told me how his parents had helped and supported him so he could go abroad and get an Ivy League Science degree and a job with an international, oil exploration company in the UK.

They had enabled him to escape from Lebanon, where he had been shot at in his own village because he was from the wrong religion, an infidel. It wasn't the best of places for a Christian to be.

He told me that he wanted his parents to escape as well, while they could, but they said that they were too old to emigrate. The political situation was not the focus of his thoughts, it was his love for his parents and his despair that they refused to be helped in a manner similar to the way they had helped him.

He left work, and then I did, shortly afterwards, so I don't know the end to his story, but news from that area of the world hasn't been good since then.

I do believe that after a period of war in the area, the Christians did offer and gave help to refugees from neighbouring countries, but shortly afterwards were rewarded with being attacked and subjected to an escalation in hostilities.

There is a fine line between compassion, with its known losses incurred through giving, and the unknown risks bordering on suicide, and when it is heard that Muslims love dying for their faith more than Christians love living for Jesus, maybe that line is crossed, unknowingly.

There is a difference between risk management and taking a chance.

Sep 8, 2015 at 12:18 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Beirut into the late 70's was a very popular resort for the enlightened of the Western and Arab worlds, which allowed many of Muslim backgrounds to enjoy 'lifes little luxuries' that would not be permissable in their home countries.

Lebanese cooking is still very highly regarded, probably because the best cooks left, when the PLO adopted Lebabon 35? years ago. Syria has taken a bit longer to destroy.

Sep 8, 2015 at 1:21 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golf charlie
Sep 7, 2015 at 6:58 PM

"Which 'side' should they fight for, and why? The mad bad evil ones, or the other mad bad evil ones?"


Ask the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Ask the MSM in the US and the BBC. They told us Assad was bad. Did someone in the US arm what is now (we are told) ISIL? Is the US under the current administration a mitigating factor in the atrocities in the middle east?

I really don't know. In the political world of the far left it is difficult to distinguish truth from fiction. Think: Global Warming, immigration, US reach for gun control, implied racism, implied discrimination, etc, etc, etc.

The truth is the real causality here.

Sep 8, 2015 at 2:08 AM | Unregistered Commentereyesonu

"M Courtney, what many non Muslims fail to understand, is that Muslims have a major problem with trusting peace loving Christians.

"I was taught at school how brave Christian men from all over Europe, united and fought to reclaim the Holy land from ther terrors of Islam. This is a big lie.

"The 'Crusades' became a glory hunting land grab, 'with God on our side', that legitimised wholescale slaughter of Muslims, and anyone else who got in the way.

"I am not a religious person, but respect those who are, providing they show equal respect. The atrocities committed by Muslim fanatics, are partially justified, as payback for events of 800 years ago."

That is one of the most offensive pieces of drivel that I have ever read. Your inarticulate teachers couldn't explain the Crusades to you, but, somehow, you, without a clue about history, managed to interpret history to your own content, to justify, in your own mind, hideous atrocities (OK, only partially hideous, you say) today. That just beggars belief. You skipped English, as well as History.

If the muslim fanatics lived next to you, rather than in Mosul, would you really be saying to them, limp-wristedly, that you would "partially" understand the severing of your head? Islam respects no other religion. Fanatical muslims are not motivated by the Crusades, or mollified by plaintive hand-wringing about them, either.

There is an existential war going on. Some isis thug announced, just a few days ago, that every infidel in the world would be killed. He implied a willingness to murder five and a half billion people, for the crime of being "infidel". Actually, his definition of "infidel" would, most definitely, include most of his nominal fellow-muslims, achieving, presumably, the extreme green desire to reduce the human population progressively to Palaeolithic levels. Is that a "partial" recompense for the comic-book Crusades of your imagination, or should we offer something more?

Sep 8, 2015 at 3:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterOwen Morgan

How US and Britain were warned of Isis advance in Iraq but 'turned a deaf ear' Exclusive: Kurdish intelligence chief says information was passed on to CIA and MI6 about grand plan to take Baghdad.

Sep 8, 2015 at 3:07 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Now the truth emerges: how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq

The war on terror, that campaign without end launched 14 years ago by George Bush, is tying itself up in ever more grotesque contortions. On Monday the trial in London of a Swedish man, Bherlin Gildo, accused of terrorism in Syria, collapsed after it became clear British intelligence had been arming the same rebel groups the defendant was charged with supporting.

The prosecution abandoned the case, apparently to avoid embarrassing the intelligence services. The defence argued that going ahead withthe trial would have been an “affront to justice” when there was plenty of evidence the British state was itself providing “extensive support” to the armed Syrian opposition.

That didn’t only include the “non-lethal assistance” boasted of by the government (including body armour and military vehicles), but training, logistical support and the secret supply of “arms on a massive scale”. Reports were cited that MI6 had cooperated with the CIA on a “rat line” of arms transfers from Libyan stockpiles to the Syrian rebels in 2012 after the fall of the Gaddafi regime.

Clearly, the absurdity of sending someone to prison for doing what ministers and their security officials were up to themselves became too much.

Sep 8, 2015 at 3:07 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Interesting discussion.

Not doubting my ignorance in many matters, I have more than once asked myself: If I was forced to go out and live in the Middle East, which county would I choose?
My answer is usually, but not always,: Israel.

Sep 8, 2015 at 3:39 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

It's interesting that Israel is just about the only country in the entire Middle East/North Africa from which Arabs aren't trying to leave in droves...

Sep 8, 2015 at 4:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

Jimmy Haigh

That's because our allies ISIS are STRANGELY not attacking Israel, only Arab countries.

Sep 8, 2015 at 4:27 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

And there was me thinking that it was because Israel was the only country in the region to treat Arabs as if they were fellow human beings.

Sep 8, 2015 at 5:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

Jimmy Haigh

Does the words apartheid mean anything to you ? What about Gaza ?

Sep 8, 2015 at 5:45 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Paris is upcoming.
These people are climate refugees.
Really, what did you expect?

Eugene WR Gallun

Sep 8, 2015 at 6:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterEugene WR Gallun

Gays can be openly gay, Israeli Arabs have the same rights as Israeli Jews, girls can go to school without fear of an acid bath and Of course there are Arab members of Parliament, yes Smiff....I don't think the word means what you think it means.

But then for the brain dead the meaning of words is neither here nor there as all that matters is their wisdom born from their pig ignorance.


Sep 8, 2015 at 7:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Owen Morgan, is your understanding of Islam based purely on quotes from fanatics? Which murderous bloodthirsty Christian idiots would you prefer Muslims to judge all Christians by?

Taken out of context, 'Onward Christian soldiers, Marching as to war' does not give a good impression either.

Sep 8, 2015 at 7:16 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golf charlie, The islamic texts are unchanging. One is said to contain the exact word of allah, perfect and unalterable. The others are said to be the teachings of Mohammed, the ones which the perfect deity somehow forgot to mention before.

Everything which isis does can be supposedly "justified" by the literal reading of the islamic texts - and the literal reading is the only one permitted. Historically, Turkish, Indonesian and Indian muslims barely knew what islam meant. Then Saudi petro-dollars flooded into schools, turning them from places of learning into places of indoctrination.

Don't bother to try and tell me that "indoctrination" is just a posh word for "learning". When wahhabi methods take over a school, nobody learns anything, other than what is prescribed in the "book". There's only one "book". Scottish Covenanters, not the most enlightened of individuals, distinguished between "the good book" and all the others. The wahhabi is less enlightened than a seventeenth-century sectarian.

Perhaps, your accommodating muslim hosts forgot to mention to you that, if they decided to kill their daughter in the night, or you, that wouldn't have counted as "murder", under islamic law.

Sep 8, 2015 at 8:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterOwen Morgan

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>