Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Story Of A Syrian Climate Refugee Farmer

The Fertile Crescent

In this video (“Why This Refugee Farmer Left His Land” (December 17, 2015), by Eliene Augenbraun, for Scientific American, we have a first-hand and personal view of the effects of the drought and poor water management by the government on the farmers of Syria, contributing to the mass migration of Syrians. Some researchers link the civil war in Syria, which started as a democratic uprising in March 2011, with the serious drought (2006–2009) resulting from climate change in the region known as the Fertile Crescent.

The result are climate refugees, a subgroup of environmental refugees. It is certain that climate change of this magnitude—when and where it takes place—will lead to more civil wars and great upheavals of people—the northern African region of The Sahel, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, is vulnerable. Without water and arable farmland, there are no crops, no food and no source of income for the farmer. The land becomes barren, and people who depended on it for generations leave it.

Water, in the 21st century, will be as valuable a resource as oil was in the last century. Nations that have the know-how—Israel is one exemplary example [see also a book review here]— of using scientific methods like desalination and nanotech to manage their water supply, especially in the midst of a drought, will be the winners. Such knowledge of water management might also be the catalyst for peace in a region that requires both.

For more, go to [ScientAmer]