Monday, December 7, 2015


A sand tornado passes through as thousands of Kurds stream into Dikmetas, Turkey, from Syria in September 2014. Years after rural residents fleeing drought poured into Syria's cities, helping to spark a civil war, the region remains in turmoil.  {Millions of refugees having already arrived from our war in Iraq}  PHOTOGRAPH BY JOHN STANMEYER, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

 From today's NYT

As the world gathers in Paris, facing the challenge of climate change to life on earth, recent war and terror are intermingled with the threat to climate.  The terrorist attacks on civilians in Paris on Nov. 13th, and many other places, from Beirut to Mali to San Bernardino.   Millions of refugees from Syria’s and others wars and a failing ecology in the Middle East, moving towards Western Europe.   Tens of thousands in similar fashion flee war and climate disaster in Central America and Mexico, heading for our borders.

To see this situation more clearly in its wider implications, what happened in Syria must be looked at in a larger than political perspective.  {a short superficial video on this}
“Climate Change Helped Spark Syrian War,Study Says  - National Geographic – March, 2015
Research provides first deep look at how global warming may already influence armed conflict.”
It should not be hard to understand the catastrophic cascade of crop failure, scarcity of food, un-alleviated destitution, and war.
Nor should it be difficult to see that war itself compounds and propels the damage to the land and the inhabitants.   Nov. 12 News article - Amidst the debris- Environmental impact of conflict in Syria could bedisastrous - from PAX.

At its beginning and end, war ensures a deepening destruction of a population and their surroundings.
We must put away the petrochemical sword of war, before it displaces, chokes, bombs, or beheads all of us.
 Gul, 22, rests with her children at a gas station in SuriƧ, Turkey, after fleeing violence in Syria in 2014. While scientists acknowledge that many factors contributed to the conflict in Syria, a new study documents how mass migration influenced by climate change appears to have played a role.

From Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si --
“There has been a tragic rise in the number of migrants seeking to flee from the growing poverty caused by environmental degradation. They are not recognized by international conventions as refugees…”
"It is foreseeable that, once certain resources have been depleted, the scene will be set for new wars."

From today’s scripture readings – Yet hope abounds this Christmas season.
     IS 35:1-10

Be strong, fear not!
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication;
With divine recompense
he comes to save you.
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,
the ears of the deaf be cleared;
Then will the lame leap like a stag,
then the tongue of the mute will sing.

Streams will burst forth in the desert,
and rivers in the steppe.
The burning sands will become pools,
and the thirsty ground, springs of water;
The abode where jackals lurk
will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus.
A highway will be there,
called the holy way;

      Kuwaiti oil well afire during our first Gulf War

Flight to Egypt- by Rembrandt_Harmensz._van_Rijn



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