For Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, the only thing to fear about climate change is fear itself. As he declared in a 2014 tweet, “This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop.” Perhaps taking his words to heart, the four major U.S. TV networks cut their already minimal coverage of climate issues to a combined total of just two-and-a-half hours for all of 2015.
So it should come as little surprise that few media bothered to cover a frightening new report this month by Germany’s prestigious Max Planck Institute, which concluded that searing temperatures in the Middle East and North Africa could render much of the region uninhabitable by the end of this century and create a “climate exodus” that dwarfs today’s mass migration of refugees from the area.
But we don’t have to wait decades to see the explosive impact of climate change on the Middle East. For the past decade, scientists, humanitarian workers and U.S. diplomats have watched as devastating heat and drought disrupted Syria, causing hunger, unemployment, internal migration and civil unrest.