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The Great Syrian Climate Change Hoax

The U.S. military says climate change sparked the conflict in Syria — and wins over the Greens with the "Age of Consequences"

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

 The coming of the "Trump Era", as some like to call it, has seen a new fault line open up amongst opponents of NATO's wars against Russia and her allies.

At first sight the global tensions over climate change and carbon dioxide emissions seem unrelated to these wars, or at least only related in the serious and possibly terminal threat that they both pose to life on the planet. And if we are only saved from catastrophic climate change as a result of a "nuclear winter" it would be something of a pyrrhic victory.

<figcaption>What caused this? Climate change or the CIA?</figcaption>
What caused this? Climate change or the CIA?

Since the beginning of the war on Syria however, supporters of that war have tried to make a connection between a long-term drought in the years leading up to it, and the resulting distress and dissatisfaction of the "rural poor", forced to move into the cities and ignored by the "ruling class". As with most things claimed by the Opposition, there is little truth in this; the response from the socialist government of Bashar al Assad was at least sufficient to alleviate any real hardship, and was not restricted by any sectarian prejudices.

Now this old furphy has reappeared, or been re-introduced to the Syrian narrative, and from an unlikely source - the US military! With what appears to be perfect strategic timing, "The Age of Consequences" has appeared on Australian State television, and is drawing enthusiastic responses from its prime target audiences - climate change activists, Green and Left supporters and "social progressives". In Australia at least, this section of society is almost uniformly opposed to "Assad's Syria" and "Putin's Russia", and while traditionally anti-war and anti-US wars, has been complacent or complicit in the ongoing attacks on Syria by the West's jihadist mercenaries.

Their enthusiasm for this clever propaganda film, designed to distract from the US military's delinquent role in generating the endless conflicts in the Middle East, and its own massive contribution to global emissions, is illustrated by this comment from a well-known climate change activist and author:

This striking documentary investigates the accelerating impact of climate change on increased resource scarcity, migration, and conflict through the lens of US national security and global stability. Through unflinching case-study analysis, distinguished admirals, generals and military veterans take us beyond the headlines of the conflict in Syria, the social unrest of the Arab Spring, the rise of radicalised groups like ISIS, and the European refugee crisis - and lay bare how climate change interacts with societal tensions, sparking conflict.

But the problem with these groups is not new, even though the job of enlightening them just became a bit harder, or impossible. The problem is that a new fault-line has opened up in the ranks of "the Resistance" following Trump's election - one which threatens to divide and seriously weaken us.

Since Trump's inauguration, and particularly since climate-change denial statements from his administration, some of those people seeking to defend Trump from the hysterical Russia-bashing claims against him have "taken on the bath water with the baby". Even if they are not vocally supporting the anti-Islam stance or the climate change denial of his administration they are failing to condemn it.

While my words of support for climate-change science, and the universally accepted evidence for accelerating warming caused directly by "anthropogenic CO2 emissions" will have little effect on those who are convinced otherwise, that evidence now speaks for itself. One need only look at the "death spiral" of sea ice in the Arctic, or the rapid death of coral in the Great Barrier Reef - for a second "freak year" in a row. Or read the just released report from the World Meteorological Organisation which notes that following the hottest year on record we are now in "unchartered territory".

It is a great and tragic irony that some of our close allies - in the fight for Syria - now admit to believing in a grand conspiracy theory - that climate change is some sort of invention devised to advance the "liberal agenda" and handicap business freedoms and individual rights - a belief previously restricted to the "loony right". In fact there is a real conspiracy - one devised by the US energy corporations and their backers over thirty years ago, and using "fake news" think tanks like the "Heartland Institute" - to endlessly cast doubt on the science and reality of climate change in order to stall effective action for as long as possible. So successful has this been, that over a decade after Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" raised alarm bells, NO effective action has been taken by any of the major per-capita producers of emissions, even as tipping points are reached and passed.

More ironic however, is that some of those who have swum against the torrents of propaganda on Syria and Russia for so long, are now swept up by another stream from the same source - the US war-machine - and without even realising it. "The Age of Consequences" seems to have fooled the climate change action lobby into imagining the US military is a partner, both in fighting climate change and in fighting the Russian and Syrian armies. But some of those who are viscerally opposed to the US' global military aggression and war on Syria are now inadvertently giving it succour.

If we are to prevail in this propaganda war, we must somehow win over the "social progressives" in the West, because it is only they who can have the desired influence on our governments. These people mostly act in good faith but in complete ignorance, and would never support what their governments are doing in Syria if they really knew. But to have the slightest chance of persuading them of the truth on Syria we must be credible sources on what they see as the greatest deception and crime of those governments - the failure to act on climate change.

So if we really want to ruin our chances, what could be more effective than holding the green-starred Syrian flag in one hand while in the other we hold a sign reading "Climate Change is a HOAX"?

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