Tuesday, July 27

Climate change: what we can learn from the Ottoman Empire about the consequences of global warming (and how droughts can lead to wars)

  • Andrea Duffy
  • The Conversation*

Ishak Pasha Palace, Dogubeyazit, Turkey.

Image source, Getty Images

At the end of the 16th century, hundreds of bandits stormed the rural Anatolian fields on horseback, looting villages, inciting violence, and destabilizing the Sultan’s power.

Four hundred years later and a few hundred kilometers away, in what is now Syria, a series of widespread protests in 2011 turned into a bloody civil war that persists to this day.

These dark episodes in Mediterranean history share key characteristics that offer a warning for the future: Both events forced scores of people from their homes. Similarly, both had their origins in politics and had dramatic political consequences.

And both were driven by extreme temperatures that are often associated with climate change.


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