If we had listened to Al Gore, there would have been no Arab Spring?
Read more at the NYTimes.
This sure looks like a case of tortured reasoning. The use of corn in the U.S. to make motor fuels, which puts pressure on other grains might be an equally valid cause of higher prices for bread in importing countries too.
The price of wheat is set by world markets, Friedman gets that part right. What he ignores is that these prices would not have such an impact on African Muslims if they had thriving economies. If they did, they could afford the price of wheat, just like we do in the US.
Blaming the African Muslim problem on ‘climate change’ is *not* a solution. If we’re smart, we’ll look on and wait patiently until they discover, on their own, that tyrants and warlords feed nobody and are very bad for business.
Apparently Tom does not have the intelligence or understanding of his distant cousin Milton. Inflation of (our) currency is the root cause of all these problems.
1) I wouldn’t be surprised if he had rejoiced about the “Arab Spring” when it was fashionable.
2) If you are looking for a “stressor”—i.e., a “sudden change in circumstances”—that is by definition *not* climate.
First, this is Thomas Friedman, the current poster figure for the “dismal” in “dismal science”. His credibility on economics is very poor and that’s his supposed expertise, so I give him little credit on geo-politics or geo-theology.
Second, it’s actually true that revolutions often kick off over small events, so I can believe that changes in food prices were a stressor or trigger for some of the Arab Spring actions. However, using television crime shows as the basis for this theory seems feeble even by Friedman’s standards.
Third, as noted above, world food prices have reacted more to efforts to combat climate change, e.g. E10 gasoline, than to any actual weather events or actual changes in climate. So if food prices were a trigger for revolution, policies that Friedman supports have done more to raise them than any weather events have done.
Finally, in terms of the direction that a revolution would take, the great groundswell in the Muslim world is generally toward a more Muslim way of life. That is, I am sad to say, usually manifested as harsher laws, greater repression of other religions, and greater control by the state over the economy. It also manifests as greater conflict between Sunni and Shia and between Sunni sects and Shia sects. This seems to me to be far more harmful to the world’s Muslims than anything “the West” has ever done to them.
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