If it hadn’t been for climate change, ISIS might never have formed – at least, that’s the theory from Democratic presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley, who said during an interview with Bloomberg News the terror group got its upstart due to drought-fueled rage.
“One of the things that preceded the failure of the nation-state of Syria and the rise of ISIS was the effect of climate change and the mega-drought that affected that region, wiped out farmers, drove people to cities, created a humanitarian crisis that created the symptoms – or rather the conditions of extreme poverty – that has now led to the rise of ISIL and this extreme violence,” the former Maryland governor said, fielding a question about foreign policy from Bloomberg.
O’Malley’s not alone in that line of thinking.
In May, President Obama said to U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduates to be prepared for a shift in military strategy that would include a fight against global warming, because weather patterns figure into trends toward violence. And in early 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry called climate change “the greatest challenge of our generation,” more so than poverty, terrorism and the proliferation of nuclear weapons.