Former Vice President Al Gore said man-made global warming was the “principal” cause of the Syrian civil war, which in turn, contributed to the UK voting to leave the European Union last summer.
“There are other causes of the Syrian civil war, but this was the principal one,” Gore said at an event in the UK Thursday where he previewed the sequel to his 2006 film “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Gore said the Syrian civil war was preceded by a “climate-related extreme drought” that pushed a wave of refugees into cities already packed with Iraq war refugees. Tensions flared, and the civil war broke out, which forced refugees to flee to Europe, Gore said.
“It has unleashed this incredible flow of refugees into Europe, which is creating political instability in Europe, which contributed in some ways to the desire of some in the UK to say ‘whoa, we’re not sure we want to be part of that anymore,’’” Gore said.
Gore is recycling talking points from liberal blogger Joe Romm who argued global warming-induced droughts in Syria fueled the refugee crisis that sparked the “Brexit” vote in 2016.
Romm based his argument on studies claiming to link the Syrian drought to man-made warming. That argument has been repeated by Democratic politicians and Obama administration officials as evidence for why the world needs to get serious about a warming climate.
“Some countries have a hard time even in the best of seasons but the additional stress this climate crisis is causing really poses the threat of some political disruption and chaos of a kind the world would find extremely difficult to deal with,” Gore said.
Military experts have challenged claims that global warming is a driver of conflicts, like the Syrian civil war.
“Calling Syria a climate war, for instance, means ignoring longer-term historical tensions across the region, and lets the humans involved off the hook,” Dr. Nina von Uexkull and colleagues wrote in a 2016 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“Our well-meaning celebrities and politicians would perhaps be surprised to hear that Uexkull and colleagues found the impact of drought on conflict was generally ‘limited,’” reads their study.
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