The Desert Spreads

Interesting news article about spreading droughts in Syria and northern Iraq. This has the ring of permanent desertification due to a combination of climate shifts, increased use of the Euphrates water by Turkey (which is due in part to Turkey’s population growth), and general incompetence and corruption.

The Syrian government doesn’t appear to actually be doing much about it, although the article estimates over 100,000 people have been displaced so far. That’s not entirely surprising; it’s very much Syrian style to consider the problem being if anyone threatens the government, but to not deal with anything prior to that because frankly they have bigger issues.

Long-term, Syria is likely to end up as desertified as Jordan, with an even more thorough population and economy crash; not that it’s got a huge population or economy right now. This may ultimately reduce the likelihood of major conventional wars in the area, but in the short term it creates yet another large, easily radicalized population, and an even further power vacuum into which Iranian agents can easily step.

NB also that this is almost entirely a problem of human making. If you stand at the border of Syria and Israel, it’s shocking to see how the terrain is green on one side, and grayish brown on the other. They don’t even look like part of the same planet.

Published in: on October 13, 2010 at 16:39  Comments Off on The Desert Spreads  
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