By Noel Sheppard (Bio | Archive)
October 10, 2009 – 13:24 ET
So claimed ABCNews.com’s “World News Webcast” Friday in a segment not only designed to increase America’s fear of Al Gore‘s money-making bogeyman, but also give cover to President Obama as things in Afghanistan continue to spiral out of control.
Talk about your amazingly convenient, two-fisted, win-win situations.
“World News” anchor Charles Gibson ominously began (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Shrugtastic):
We don’t usually think of the Taliban and global warming in the same sentence, but U.S. intelligence studies are showing a connection. For this week’s “Nature’s Edge” notebook, Bill Blakemore explains how climate change may be giving a boost to the Taliban and to al Qaeda.
Blakemore began his report: This study by eleven U.S. generals and admirals shows how global warming is playing into the hands of terrorist groups like the Taliban in many countries often because of worsening drought.
After some background from one of the CNA study’s supervisors, former Army chief of staff Gen. Gordon R. Smith, Blakemore continued:
BLAKEMORE: Afghanistan, eleven years into a drought with no end in sight. Snows vanishing from mountains that used to pour melt water down into orchards and fields now leaving young men with no money or work. Arian Sharifi worked with ABC News there, and recently in the Afghan government.
ARIAN SHARIFI, GRADUATE STUDENT AT PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: A lot of more people — young male — who are unemployed with nothing to do, and so the Taliban basically seems an attractive thing for them to join. The Taliban pays most of the fighters. In other ways they are protecting the poppy crops.
BLAKEMORE: And the poppy crops, which the Taliban encourage and tax, are making them and their al Qaeda allies very rich, an estimated half a billion dollars a year. Many farmers say they are now growing opium poppies because they need little water, good in the lengthening drought. So the rising temperatures are helping both heroin traffickers and their Taliban and al Qaeda supporters.
So, according to Blakemore, the problems in Afghanistan — drought, heroin production and trafficking, unemployment, AND the growth in the Taliban and al Qaeda — are directly linked to global warming.
Exit question: What HASN’T been blamed on climate change since Nobel Laureate Al Gore figured he could become rich spreading this as yet unproven theory?
—Noel Sheppard is the Associate Editor of NewsBusters.
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