"A New Breed of Crisis: War and Warming Collide in Afghanistan"

"Unrest and climate change are creating an agonizing feedback loop that punishes some of the world’s most vulnerable people."

"Parts of Afghanistan have warmed twice as much as the global average. Spring rains have declined, most worryingly in some of the country’s most important farmland. Droughts are more frequent in vast swaths of the country, including a punishing dry spell now in the north and west, the second in three years.

Afghanistan embodies a new breed of international crisis, where the hazards of war collide with the hazards of climate change, creating a nightmarish feedback loop that punishes some of the world’s most vulnerable people and destroys their countries’ ability to cope.

And while it would be facile to attribute the conflict in Afghanistan to climate change, the effects of warming act as what military analysts call threat multipliers, amplifying conflicts over water, putting people out of work in a nation whose people largely live off agriculture, while the conflict itself consumes attention and resources.

“The war has exacerbated climate change impacts. For 10 years, over 50 percent of the national budget goes to the war,”  Noor Ahmad Akhundzadah, a professor of hydrology at Kabul University, said by phone on Thursday. “Now there is no government, and the future is unclear. Our current situation today is completely hopeless.”"

Somini Sengupta reports for the New York Times August 30, 2021.


"Amid Taliban Takeover, Climate Change Could Drive Conflict" (DW)

Source: NYTimes, 09/01/2021