So, Joe Romm wrote a piece suggesting that climate change may have been a precipitating event of the crises in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East.
The question is why specifically now have the Egyptians and Tunisians rioted after decades of anti-democratic rule? Certainly one can ignore the experts and say that it is a complete coincidence that the rioting occurred as food prices hit record levels — in spite of the fact that the last time there was this kind of rioting globally food prices were at record levels, which is precisely why experts were predicting that record hide food prices would lead to riots. Now the question is, why are food prices are at record levels? Again, reality pretty much speaks for itself here. Extreme weather is a major contributing factor — and our top climate scientists say global warming has contributed.
And Keith Kloor was having none of it.
you … have to marvel at the hubris of someone who sees a global warming angle to the Egyptian revolt.
I showed up to ask why that was hubris, and have been met by a fair amount of spluttering and no real answer. But by the end of the discussion I was being accused (you can guess by whom) of being indifferent to the suffering of Egyptians or the other causes of the problems.
In my defense I direct you to my Reader feed which since the events began has featured the following items:
My blog is somewhat focused, if not as narrowly as Joe’s. My Reader Feed is pretty eclectic though some of the same interests as those of this blog frequently appear. (Note that me finding something to be interesting does not necessarily mean I agree with it. Occasionally I will even link stuff I find particularly, notably awful.)
Anyway, that all said, look at the thread at Keith’s and see if you can understand what the fuss is all about. It seems like there is a tremendous and irrational attachment to the idea that climate change has had no ill effects as yet though it might have some impact eventually. One wonders what might be sufficient to break that.
Update: Joe Romm’s follow-up is compelling. And I’m fairly pleased with my sign-off at the link at Kloor’s.