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The Relationship Between Climate Change and Terrorism: Reigniting the Debate

The Relationship Between Climate Change and Terrorism: Reigniting the Debate

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E&E published an article about the relationship between climate change and terrorism. In it, E&E reporter Jean Chemnick discussed the “rekindling of an old feud” regarding the dangers of climate change, renewed partisan pushback, and policy strategies. Andrew Holland, senior fellow for energy and climate at the American Security Project, contributed to this article.

In its introduction, the article stated that the recent attacks in Paris reignited the debate over whether “climate change is a distraction from legitimate security threats like terrorism, or a contributor to them.”

It mentions that various national security organizations and think tanks have produced research detailing how climate change will exacerbate existing problems, which “underlie many of today’s conflicts.” According to experts, however, the idea that climate change will cause an increase in terrorism is less supported. Andrew Holland is quoted as saying:

“Nobody can really understand why a person becomes a terrorist.”

Holland acknowledged that there was a link between climate change and some factors that contribute to destabilization, providing the example of how drought and subsequent crop failures in Syria “drove people to the cities and helped set the stage for protests against the Assad regime.” But he thought it was a stretch to say that climate change created the Islamic State group.

To read the full article, click here.

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