Bernie Sanders Refuses to Back Down on Climate-Terrorism Connection
Despite being mocked by conservative media and Democratic operatives alike, Bernie Sanders is holding fast on his assertion that climate change is the greatest threat to national security and is "directly related to the growth of terrorism."
When asked during Saturday's debate if, in the wake of the Paris attacks, he still believed that "the global crisis of climate change" is our biggest threat, the Senator from Vermont responded: "Absolutely."
During an appearance on CBS' Face the Nation on Sunday, Sanders elaborated further.
"If we are going to see an increase in drought, in flood, and extreme weather disturbances as a result of climate change, what that means is that people all over the world are going to be fighting over limited natural resources," he said. "If there is not enough water, if there is not enough land to grow your crops, then you're going to see migrations of people fighting over land that will sustain them. And that will lead to international conflict."
In Syria, for example, Sanders said that drought has driven people to migrate into cities. "When people migrate into cities and they don't have jobs, there's going to be a lot more instability, a lot more unemployment, and people will be subject to the types of propaganda that al Qaeda and ISIS are using right now," he said.
Writing for Slate, meteorologist Eric Holthaus said Sanders' response was not only "gutsy" but "also correct."
Even though the wounds in Paris are still very fresh after Friday’s attacks, Sanders appropriately used this moment to highlight the current and future global tragedies that unmitigated climate change will surely cause. A landmark study earlier this year provided convincing evidence that a multiyear drought linked to global warming helped spark the catastrophic Syrian war, which helped give rise to ISIS. The Pentagon has consistently called climate change a “threat multiplier.”
Christian Parenti, who authored the book Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence, on Monday warned: "The growing crisis of war and state breakdown in the Middle East is partially driven by climate change. We have to deal with climate change—that is, drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions—or face escalating chaos."
"If we do not get our act together and listen to what the scientists say," he warned Saturday, "you're going to see countries all over the world ... struggling with limited amounts of water, limited amount of land to grow their crops ... You're going to see all sorts of international conflict."
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They are among the largest trees in the world, descendants of forests where dinosaurs roamed.
Pixabay / Simi Luft<p><span>Until recently, measuring these trees meant scaling their 80 meter high trunks with a tape measure. Now, a team of scientists from University College London and the University of Maryland uses advanced laser scanning, to create 3D maps and calculate the total mass.</span></p><p>The results are striking: suggesting the trees <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">may be as much as 30% larger than earlier measurements suggested.</a> Part of that could be due to the additional trunks the Redwoods can grow as they age, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a process known as reiteration</a>.</p>
New 3D measurements of large redwood trees for biomass and structure. Nature / UCL<p>Measuring the trees more accurately is important because carbon capture will probably play a key role in the battle against climate change. Forest <a href="https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/09/carbon-sequestration-natural-forest-regrowth" target="_blank">growth could absorb billions of tons</a> of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.</p><p>"The importance of big trees is widely-recognised in terms of carbon storage, demographics and impact on their surrounding ecosystems," the authors wrote<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank"> in the journal Nature</a>. "Unfortunately the importance of big trees is in direct proportion to the difficulty of measuring them."</p><p>Redwoods are so long lived because of their ability to <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cope with climate change, resist disease and even survive fire damage</a>, the scientists say. Almost a fifth of their volume may be bark, which helps protect them.</p>
Carbon Capture Champions<p><span>Earlier research by scientists at Humboldt University and the University of Washington found that </span><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112716302584" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Redwood forests store almost 2,600 tonnes of carbon per hectare</a><span>, their bark alone containing more carbon than any other neighboring species.</span></p><p>While the importance of trees in fighting climate change is widely accepted, not all species enjoy the same protection as California's coastal Redwoods. In 2019 the world lost the equivalent of <a href="https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation-and-forest-degradation" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">30 soccer fields of forest cover every minute</a>, due to agricultural expansion, logging and fires, according to The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).</p>
Pixabay<p>Although <a href="https://c402277.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/publications/1420/files/original/Deforestation_fronts_-_drivers_and_responses_in_a_changing_world_-_full_report_%281%29.pdf?1610810475" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the rate of loss is reported to have slowed in recent years</a>, reforesting the world to help stem climate change is a massive task.</p><p><span>That's why the World Economic Forum launched the Trillion Trees Challenge (</span><a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a><span>) and is engaging organizations and individuals across the globe through its </span><a href="https://uplink.weforum.org/uplink/s/uplink-issue/a002o00000vOf09AAC/trillion-trees" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Uplink innovation crowdsourcing platform</a><span> to support the project.</span></p><p>That's backed up by research led by ETH Zurich/Crowther Lab showing there's potential to restore tree coverage across 2.2 billion acres of degraded land.</p><p>"Forests are critical to the health of the planet," according to <a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a>. "They sequester carbon, regulate global temperatures and freshwater flows, recharge groundwater, anchor fertile soil and act as flood barriers."</p><p><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Reposted with permission from the </em><span><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/03/redwoods-store-more-co2-and-are-more-enormous-than-we-thought/" target="_blank">World Economic Forum</a>.</em></span></p>
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