Did climate change help spark the Syrian war?

Did climate change help spark the Syrian war?
From 2006-2010, an unprecedented drought (brown areas) spread over much of Turkey, Syria and Iraq. Syria was especially vulnerable to its effects. Credit: NASA

A new study says a record drought that ravaged Syria in 2006-2010 was likely stoked by ongoing manmade climate change, and that the drought may have helped propel the 2011 Syrian uprising. Researchers say the drought, the worst ever recorded in the region, destroyed agriculture in the breadbasket region of northern Syria, driving dispossessed farmers to cities, where poverty, government mismanagement and other factors created unrest that exploded in spring 2011. The conflict has since evolved into a complex multinational war that has killed at least 200,000 people and displaced millions. The study appears today in the leading journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"We're not saying the drought caused the war," said Richard Seager, a climate scientist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory who coauthored the study. "We're saying that added to all the other stressors, it helped kick things over the threshold into open conflict. And a drought of that severity was made much more likely by the ongoing human-driven drying of that region."

A growing body of research suggests that extreme weather, including high temperatures and droughts, increases the chances of violence, from individual attacks to full-scale wars. Some researchers project that manmade global warming will heighten future conflicts, or argue that it may already be doing so. And recent journalistic accounts and other reports have linked warfare in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in part to environmental issues, especially lack of water. The new study, combining climate, social and economic data, is perhaps the first to look closely and quantitatively at these questions in relation to a current war.

The recent drought affected the so-called Fertile Crescent, spanning parts of Turkey and much of Syria and Iraq, where agriculture and animal herding are believed to have started some 12,000 years ago. The region has always seen natural weather swings. But using existing studies and their own research, the authors showed that since 1900, the area has undergone warming of 1 to 1.2 degrees Centigrade (about 2 degrees Fahrenheit), and about a 10 percent reduction in wet-season precipitation. They showed that the trend matches neatly with models of human-influenced , and thus cannot be attributed to natural variability.

Did climate change help spark the Syrian war?
An estimated 1.5 million people fled Syria's drought-stricken areas, many of them to the peripheries of cities already swollen by refugees from the next-door war in Iraq. Credit: Stephen Starr/IRIN

Global warming has had two effects, they say. First, it appears to have indirectly weakened wind patterns that bring rain-laden air from the Mediterranean, reducing precipitation during the usual November-April wet season. Second, higher temperatures have increased evaporation of moisture from soils during the usually hot summers, giving any dry year a one-two punch. The region saw substantial droughts in the 1950s, 1980s and 1990s. However, 2006-10 was easily the worst and longest since reliable recordkeeping began. The researchers concluded that an episode of this severity and length would have been unlikely without the long-term changes.

Other researchers have observed the long-term drying trend across the entire Mediterranean, and attributed at least part of it to manmade warming; this includes an earlier study from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has predicted that the already violent Mideast will dry more in coming decades as human-induced warming proceeds.

The study's authors say Syria was made especially vulnerable by other factors, including sheer population growth—from 4 million in the 1950s to 22 million in recent years. Also, the ruling al-Assad family encouraged water-intensive export crops like cotton. Illegal drilling of irrigation wells dramatically depleted groundwater that might have provided reserves during dry years, said coauthor Shahrzad Mohtadi, a graduate student at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs who did the economic and social components of the research.

The drought's effects were immediate. Agricultural production, typically a quarter of the country's gross domestic product, plummeted by a third. In the hard-hit northeast, livestock herds were practically all obliterated; cereal prices doubled; and nutrition-related diseases among children saw dramatic increases. As many as 1.5 million people fled from the countryside to the peripheries of cities that were already strained by influxes of refugees from the ongoing war in next-door Iraq. In these chaotic instant suburbs, the Assad regime did little to help people with employment or services, said Mohtadi. It was largely in these areas that the uprising began.

"Rapid demographic change encourages instability," say the authors. "Whether it was a primary or substantial factor is impossible to know, but drought can lead to devastating consequences when coupled with preexisting acute vulnerability."

Solomon Hsiang, a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley who studies climate and conflict, said the study is "the first scientific paper to make the case that human-caused is already altering the risk of large-scale social unrest and violence." Hsiang said this is not the first time the region has faced the issue: research by other scientists has suggested that the Akkadian Empire, spanning much of the Fertile Crescent about 4,200 years ago, likely collapsed during a multi-year .

Marshall Burke, an environmental scientist at Stanford University who studies climate and agriculture, said, "There were many things going on in the region and world at that time, such as high global food prices and the beginning of the Arab Spring, that could have also increased the likelihood of civil conflict." But, he said, the study is "consistent with a large body of statistical evidence linking changes in climate to conflict."

The study's lead author is climatologist Colin Kelley, who did the work while working on his PhD. at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; he is now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara. It was also coauthored by climate scientists Mark Cane and Yochanan Kushnir, also of Lamont-Doherty.


Explore further

Is climate change fuelling war?

More information: Climate Change in the Fertile Crescent and implications of the recent Syrian drought, PNAS, www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1421533112
Citation: Did climate change help spark the Syrian war? (2015, March 2) retrieved 20 May 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-03-climate-syrian-war.html
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Mar 02, 2015
Well, climate change sure ruined our annual family reunion picnic. It rained for the first time anyone could remember, even old great grandma Violet. Had to cancel the softball game and the barbecue cookout. The potato salad was a little off and the root beer tasted flat. Aunt Mabel's twins got in a tussle with the Anderson boys. It was awful and we're blaming global warming for the whole fiasco. Please send a check to help defray the expense. We live out on rural route two, just past the old Miller spread, but you can send a check to the town Post Office and we'll get it. Gotta go now. Thanks for your support.

Mar 02, 2015
"When everything is evidence of the thing you want to believe, it might be time to stop pretending you're all about science," Ann Althouse, University of Wisconsin law professor.

Nothing is too idiotic that can't be blamed on global warming.

PS. Brilliant reply Science Officer. I hope next year's family reunion can be carbon neutral.

Mar 02, 2015

This article was published too early. It was intended to be released on April 1st.

Mar 02, 2015
This is not the first link that has been made between the global warming driven intensification of the drought in Syria and the eruption there of civil unrest leading to civil war. See here for example: http://motherboar...-for-war

As far back as Sept 2013 it was recognized that some of the pressures resulting from the global warming intensified drought led to the conditions that exploded into violence there.

I think it interesting that some of the more dire predictions regarding regional conflict in drought-affected areas is being born out by observation. Things will likely get worse, both there and other hotspots affected by a warming climate and the loss of arable land in those same areas.

The influx of US citizens affected by a PJS global warming caused change, leading to them being cold, makes the comment sections look like there are more deniers than usual. It is just an illusion. They're stuck at home with time on their hands

Mar 02, 2015
"They showed that the trend matches neatly with models of human-influenced global warming, and thus cannot be attributed to natural variability."

Correlation is not causation! Actually, this whole article seems to be a failure to understand that concept.

Mar 02, 2015
Did climate change help spark the Syrian war?


Nope, it's financial crisis induced with energetic crisis escalated with ignorance of cold fusion findings. The high price of oil makes the legitimate regimes weak and it gives the strength of these illegitimate ones. The Russian aggression against Ukraine due to oil around Crimea has the same origin. We are starting to pay for ignorance of our intellectual elites. I warned you against it many times here.

Mar 02, 2015
Compare also the recent article here: Crude conspiracy theories could be right

Mar 02, 2015
"They showed that the trend matches neatly with models of human-influenced global warming, and thus cannot be attributed to natural variability."

Correlation is not causation! Actually, this whole article seems to be a failure to understand that concept.

While this adage is true, the mistake here is that the causation is well understood. So while correlation =/= causation, neither does it negate it.

Mar 02, 2015
Did climate change help spark the Syrian war?


Nope, it's financial crisis induced with energetic crisis escalated with http://pesn.com/2...olocaust findings. The high price of oil makes the legitimate regimes weak and it gives the strength of these illegitimate ones. The Russian aggression against Ukraine due to oil around Crimea has the same origin. We are starting to pay for ignorance of our intellectual elites. I warned you against it many times here.

Zephyr, a new sock puppet!! Damn I'm getting tired of you making a new puppet every couple of weeks.

Have you not seen the price of oil recently? Talk about a lack of correlation with causation.

Mar 02, 2015
"They showed that the trend matches neatly with models of human-influenced global warming, and thus cannot be attributed to natural variability."

Correlation is not causation! Actually, this whole article seems to be a failure to understand that concept.

While this adage is true, the mistake here is that the causation is well understood. So while correlation =/= causation, neither does it negate it.


I would be happy to be wrong about the understanding of the causation, but the article only seems to say "It all lines up so it must be how it works". Perhaps just a problem on the articles wording and not the science underneath, but I only have the article to work from.

Mar 02, 2015
Ah, the "science" of the AGW Cult. If reality defies your dogma of doom and gloom, then fabricate your own reality.

Mar 02, 2015
I would be happy to be wrong about the understanding of the causation, but the article only seems to say "It all lines up so it must be how it works". Perhaps just a problem on the articles wording and not the science underneath, but I only have the article to work from.
You seem to be conflating to parts; I am speaking to the length and severity of the drought being intensified as a result of global warming.

Mar 02, 2015
After living with droughts for over 50 years, I wonder what took them so long.
http://ageconsear...ffai.pdf

Oh, you in the AGW Cult... too funny.

Mar 02, 2015
Talk about a lack of correlation with causation
The Syrian war and whole the Arabian spring did start when the financial crisis escalated. Compare also oil price index and food price index

Mar 02, 2015
Climate changes will always test the robustness of an economic system.
Free markets and free peoples have demonstrated their abilities to improvise, adapt and overcome.
Centrally planned, Stalinist regimes like Syria can't respond.
How did Israel's agricultural output compare?

Mar 02, 2015
Climate Change© is there nothing it cannot do.

Gad, you people are gullible.

Mar 02, 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday will make his case to Congress and the American people, that climate change, and not the Jews, killed Christ.

Mar 02, 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday will make his case to Congress and the American people, that climate change, and not the Jews, killed Christ.


@dan42day just won the worst comment of the week award----so far.

Mar 02, 2015
@verkle



But this is not climate change, it is weather change.

Everytime I think you can't any dumber---


Mar 03, 2015
Everything happens because of AGW, everything! Remember, the science is settled!

BTW,
Why is it not surprising to see maggnuts and viet killer supporting this moronicity.

Mar 03, 2015
The influx of US citizens affected by a PJS global warming caused change, leading to them being cold, makes the comment sections look like there are more deniers than usual. It is just an illusion. They're stuck at home with time on their hands

And shit for brains Maggnus.

Mar 03, 2015
"Semi-arid areas around the Euphrates and the Khabur River, where agriculture was banned in favour of grazing, were turned into arable land used for intensive agriculture, at the cost of pumping the water table dry. The drought only brought to light a man-made disaster. And yet, the regime continues to bring diplomats to the north east and tells them it all has to do with global warming!"
http://carnegieen...fa=55376

Mar 03, 2015
"During most of the 2000s, the Syrian people had suffered the pains of economic restructuring during a period of dwindling resources. President Bashar al-Assad attempted to shift growth to the urban service sector in order to reinvigorate the stagnant system he had inherited from his father. He also slashed costly subsidies on basic goods and opened up the country to international trade. Many of these reforms were necessary, even long overdue, but their immediate effect was nevertheless devastating for millions of Syrians—not least because they were so poorly handled by Assad's notoriously corrupt and inefficient regime."
"The peak season in 2007–2008 amounted to "the worst regional drought in 40 years," yet in Syria, says de Châtel, the crisis was "undoubtedly exacerbated by a long legacy of resource mismanagement.""
http://carnegieen...fa=55376

Why did PNAS disregard socialist corruption and central planning?

Mar 03, 2015
Have you not seen the price of oil recently? Talk about a lack of correlation with causation.
Here's a ~20 video from one of the few economists who speaks the truth about the oil magnates: Richard Wolff: Why Oil & Gas Prices are dropping

And to keep it on topic, the same economist is presenting a solution to many of the world's pressing problems—green house gas emissions, pollution, the economy, human rights, equality and more. The solution approaches elegance in its simplicity: "Democratize the enterprise." Here's a lecture given to the ACLU of Southern California recently: 'The Game is Rigged': Richard Wolff

Mar 03, 2015
Using the suffering of the Syrian people under Baathists, ISIS, Hezbiranians and Russians to further your pseudo-science of climastrology is beneath contempt.

Mar 03, 2015
Using the suffering of the Syrian people under Baathists, ISIS, Hezbiranians and Russians to further your pseudo-science of climastrology is beneath contempt.


No, failing to recognize that the effects arising from a warming world, warming that we are responsible for, might have the very affects projected by such as Hansen since as far back as 1960, is beneath contempt.

You never have much to say about anything except your incorrect assumptions and argument from ignorance. Can even get points for this one; it's "there is no global warming just because".

Mar 03, 2015
Why do socialists like Maggy refuse to recognize the failure of socialism?

The socialist AGW remedy for the failure of socialist agriculture is to regulate to death free market agriculture.
It's only 'fair'.

Mar 03, 2015
Why do socialists like Maggy refuse to recognize the failure of socialism?

The socialist AGW remedy for the failure of socialist agriculture is to regulate to death free market agriculture.
It's only 'fair'.


It's not socialism mate.

Just look at which special interest groups would profit if there were a carbon tax, and a cap and trade energy credit program worldwide, which is what they are pushing for. It's obvious, the bankers are the primary group, as it gives them the chance to financialize the very origin of all assets. Human labor. If they can control and trade that internationally, they essentially will rule the entire planet.

Mar 03, 2015
Did climate change help spark the Syrian war?
And why not Tunisian, Egyptian or Libyan war? The asking of questions in this way means just a cherry picking of data in the name of global warming paradigm.

Mar 03, 2015
It's not socialism mate.


Yes it is, mate.

Socialism is state control of private property.
Ken Lay of Enron tried to get GHW Bush to sign the Kyoto treaty so Enron could have the monopoly on carbon credits and sell more natural gas.
It's call rent seeking and it is just another form of socialism, state control of property.
BTW how can anyone blame bankers for anything when there is such thing as free market money? All money is printed by some govt.

Mar 03, 2015
The socialist AGW remedy for the failure of socialist agriculture is to regulate to death free market agriculture.
It's only 'fair'.
Riiiight. Let's have a look at the failures of capitalist agriculture and the deleterious influence of industry money even on science: see A Review of "Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA" – the whistle blows again. How does it feel to be an advocate for people/planet killers, rygtroll?

Mar 03, 2015
What failures of capitalist ag?

USDA and EPA are govt agencies that control the ag industry and were created by 'progressives'.

There are dozens of alphabet soup agencies that control US agriculture and is not free market capitalist.

Mar 03, 2015
Like most socialists, proto blames the failure of socialism on the wrong people are in charge.

"Such monumental fraud demands drastic remedies, which Vallianatos bravely urges: rebuild an EPA completely independent from industry and politics, remove incentives for huge scale, chemically-dependent corporate agriculture, and address the underlying problem by encouraging small family farms and agriculture without chemical warfare."

http://www.truth-...the-epa#

Proto and his fellow travelers don't want to abolish the EPA. They want to be in charge, just as they are in charge now under BHO.

But socialists/statists just don't get it. When the state, the monopoly on violence, strays beyond it legitimate role of protecting private property, the door is open to interests of all sorts to get the state to do what they want to benefit them.
This is not a new phenomena. Bastiat wrote about it in The Law in 1848.

Mar 04, 2015
It's not socialism mate.


Yes it is, mate.

Socialism is state control of private property.
Ken Lay of Enron tried to get GHW Bush to sign the Kyoto treaty so Enron could have the monopoly on carbon credits and sell more natural gas.
It's call rent seeking and it is just another form of socialism, state control of property.
BTW how can anyone blame bankers for anything when there is such thing as free market money? All money is printed by some govt.


You're blaming an idea for what a selected group of people are promoting. You are falling for the idealism trap that keeps people trapped into idiotic arguments about ideology.

Mar 04, 2015
The socialist AGW remedy for the failure of socialist agriculture is to regulate to death free market agriculture.
It's only 'fair'.
Riiiight. Let's have a look at the failures of capitalist agriculture and the deleterious influence of industry money even on science: see http://www.truth-...-the-epa – the whistle blows again. How does it feel to be an advocate for people/planet killers, rygtroll?


So you're blaming capitalism for the failure of a government agent to uphold the law..

That's hilarious.....

Mar 04, 2015
uphold the law.


What law?

You believe all laws are good laws?

The 'law' can be used to 1)plunder some, 2) plunder all or 3) plunder none.

A regulatory state, of which EPA and USDA are a part, plunder some by making 'laws' that benefit the few at the expense of many.

Mar 04, 2015
You're blaming an idea for what a selected group of people are promoting.


No.

I point out that if Enron, or any crony industry, is trying to get the govt to pass laws that will benefit Enron, the basis for that idea should bear great scrutiny.
But no such scrutiny is permitted by the AGWite socialists.

The FDA was created at the behest of the 5 largest meat packers of the day to add costs to their smaller competitors and force them out of business. That is the prime objective of the Regulatory State, limit competition. It is also called fascism.

Mar 04, 2015
But no such scrutiny is permitted by the AGWite socialists...
Of course only in the twisted mind of @R2 would there even be an AGWite socialist. You really make up such fascinating crap @R2. To bad you hate America as much as you do.

Mar 04, 2015
So you're blaming capitalism for the failure of a government agent to uphold the law..
In this case the 'invisible hand' of the market eroded, degraded and rendered ineffective an entire agency – how did you miss that part? But if you watched the video "The Game is Rigged" (link above) then you can see that capitalism has ruined not just an agency, not just the whole US government – it's destroying the planet and practically every living thing on it.
That's hilarious....
Trolls think so. I acknowledge it's criminal.

Mar 05, 2015
In this case the 'invisible hand' of the market eroded, degraded and rendered ineffective an entire agency


No, it's the heavy hand of socialism that is inevitable with any Regulatory Agency.

The recent takeover of the internet by the FCC is a fine example.

It's exactly like a crime gang that tell local business owners, "Nice business you have there. It would be a shame if something bad happened to it."
At least the criminal gang is honest.
The Regulatory State is the most insidious as they can 'legally' use force to coerce their victims.

Mar 05, 2015
Of course @R2 only want's a government like Somalia controlled by warlords and multinationals that will steal his land, pay his overlords chump change to use him as slave labor to steal the resources that he claims are his by property rights given to him by god.

Is that about it @R2?

To be honest, I'm shocked (why I would be, I don't know) that you are not in favor of net neutrality. You love of corporate monopoly must be admired.

Mar 07, 2015
Like most socialists, proto blames the failure of socialism on the wrong people are in charge … Proto and his fellow travelers don't want to abolish the EPA. They want to be in charge, ...
Like most trolls, ryg fails at reading comprehension and then spins things like Bill O'Really.

@ryg: a socialist? I advocated democracy. That terrifies you and the entire right-wing, doesn't it? Humans, on the whole, are naturally democratic and collaborative, regardless of the political system. Democracy's inevitable, ryg, and the capitalist's days are numbered – nothing you do or say will change that.

Mar 07, 2015
This article shows why the AGWites agenda will never happen. Relax. We've won. Scenario A: They're wrong. No chance vested interests will give in without better data. Scenario B: They're right. The effects will cause unrest and wars and wars are as environmentally unfriendly as it comes. Either way, their agenda will *never* be implemented. Let 'em sit and stew in their own juices. Look at Obama. Don't concentrate on his token gestures with coal, etc. Bottom line, he's promoted fracking, cheap oil, wrote deep sea Gulf leases even as BP was spilling- and to BP for even deeper wells, and expanded America's wars. When the AGWites protested the leases? He classified the information. That's a "Gore liberal". You're worried about that feckless lot? It's not going to happen. Hell, show me one that acts like THEY think it will happen. They drive as much, consume as much (oh, but it's "green consumption"), reproduce as much, vote on the same one party, two-faced system, etc.

Mar 07, 2015
ETA: and when I say, "naturally democratic and collaborative," I mean humans are hardwired by million's of years of evolution to be that way, and by "hardwired", I don't mean just internally via the nervous system—I mean hardwired to the environment as well, via the microbiome, the habitat, the ecosystem, and the biosphere.

Mar 07, 2015
I advocated democracy.


So did the leaders of the French Revolution that started modern communism.

Democracy is mob rule and it inevitably leads to some form of socialism where the state controls everyone and everything and is not democratic.

Mar 07, 2015
"Oxford's William Blackstone, who described "unalienable rights" as "absolute" rights–showing that they were absolute because they came from him who is absolute, and that they were, are, and always will be, because the Giver of those rights–Jefferson's "Creator"–was, and is, and always be.

Moreover, because we are "endowed" with them, the rights are inseparable from us: they are part of our humanity.

In a word, the government did not give them and therefore cannot take them away, but the government still strains at ways to suppress them. "
http://www.breitb...-rights/

In a democracy, there are no unalienable rights.

Mar 08, 2015
cantdrive85 claimed
Everything happens because of AGW, everything! Remember, the science is settled!
BTW,
Why is it not surprising to see maggnuts and viet killer supporting this moronicity
Is it possible that YOU, AGreatWhopper here, or anyone claiming there is no global warming (despite oceans propensity to absorb) can possibly answer this simple AGW related question (hint: Helps immensely to have a fair to good knowledge of physics ):-

"How can adding a greenhouse gas to the atmosphere such as CO2, with known & irrefutable thermal properties, NOT somehow increase thermal resistivity ?"

Any takers ?
& if so, explain please why oceans are warming especially so given their immense specific heat capacity ?

Mar 08, 2015
Democracy is mob rule and it inevitably leads to some form of socialism where the state controls everyone and everything...
Yes, but where the state is of the people, by the people and for the people. Like I said, the right-wing is terrified of democracy. And you accurately portray and perpetuate this centuries old fear. But the mobs of today aren't armed with pitchforks and torches, ryg – they're armed with blazing fast connectivity to one another.

Have a look at Mondragon, of Spain, and show us what's so bad about those 'mobs', ryg – give us a fair, honest and logical appraisal, if you can. See this post: http://www.democr...02358247 and feel free to google for other sources of info.

Mar 08, 2015
es, but where the state is of the people, by the people and for the people.

For at least 51% of the people.

In a democracy, >50% of the people can plunder, kill, enslave ....the remaining <50%.

And we see it every day all over the world. Even in the USA.

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew...."

What do the Mondragon have to do with democracy? They are a fine example of anti-democracy. Don't like what they do or how they do it, leave, just like any other commune.

There are all sorts of similar business around the world. The Amman Colonies were one. There are many monasteries who make and sell products and Hudderite colonies.

Mar 09, 2015
For at least 51% of the people.

In a democracy, >50% of the people can plunder, kill, enslave ....the remaining <50%.

And we see it every day all over the world. Even in the USA.
Faulty premise, ryg: an enterprise has a mission statement and a country has a constitution – these provide a framework and strong set of mutual guarantees which protect the rights of individuals, e.g., a 2/3 majority (or stronger) is required to change the framework. In the USA currently, the "Patriot" act circumvents these basic rights, because terror and "national security".

First they came for ...
This is a quote about what fascists did (in Germany). In the USA it can be applied to the right-wing—first they limited any person from serving more than two terms as president, then they demonized the communist party, then the socialist party (by basically saying socialism is just communism spelled differently), and then the trade unions – cont'd -->

Mar 09, 2015
cont'd --> union membership in the private sector (comprising the bulk of the economy) is less than 7%.

What do the Mondragon have to do with democracy? They are a fine example of anti-democracy.
No, ryg, saying "black is white" doesn't cut the mustard. They are a democratic business enterprise where all the workers share the profits rather than giving them to CEOs who are paid ~400 times more money than those who actually perform the work.

If you had watched the "Game is Rigged" video (link above) then you would know these things... thanks for trying, ryg.

Mar 09, 2015
an enterprise has a mission statement and a country has a constitution – these provide a framework and strong set of mutual guarantees which protect the rights of individuals,


That's not a democracy.

Democracies have no framework. Only the 'will of the majority', mob rule.


Mar 09, 2015
an enterprise has a mission statement and a country has a constitution – these provide a framework and strong set of mutual guarantees which protect the rights of individuals,


That is no more democratic than any other shareholder business.

In a democracy, individual rights can be overruled by a vote of the majority.

You sound like a typical 'liberal' who doesn't understand the meaning of words.
Those who call themselves 'liberal' or 'progressive' are neither.

Mar 09, 2015
In a business, do you expect all the 'owners' to vote on every decision?

In Rand's Atlas Shrugged, the engine company John Galt worked for became a commune and soon collapsed.


Mar 09, 2015
That is no more democratic than any other shareholder business.
I see you still haven't watched the "Game is Rigged" video – it's not as if each shareholder gets one vote. Shareholders get one vote per share, so a disgustingly rich oil magnate who's purchased blocks of shares is basically a majority of one. And again we have the invisible hand of the market solving all the problems. Yay capitalism, woo-hoo.

Liberal? I love maths and science, ryg. I've backed up my assertions on democratic and collaborative behaviors with neurophysiology and biology. I've provided links showing how the unequal influence of money is poisoning life and destroying the planet – capitalism and ignorance (of established science) are mainly responsible for wars (Syrian uprising list of causes (including drought, unequal economy, et al.): http://middleeast...sing.htm ) and atmospheric CO2 is at 400.26 ppm (Feb '15) and. still. rising.

Mar 09, 2015
I love maths and science,

So?
've backed up my assertions on democratic and collaborative behaviors with neurophysiology and biology.


What does that have to do with economics?

The poverty of the Arab world has nothing to do with 'climate change' and everything to do with the Arab culture and government.

the invisible hand of the market solving all the problems.

The oppressive hand of the state that asserts it can solve all the problems leads to hundreds of millions murdered by the state.
Murder, coercion, force is how the state does anything.
Markets must persuade.
So what if Warren Buffet or a Saudi buys a majority stake in any business? They did so to earn profit. Businesses use that capital to hire, build and rebuild infrastructure, as entropy wears stuff out,
In a free market, owners can run their business anyway they want, but they still need to earn profit to survive.


Mar 09, 2015
so a disgustingly rich oil magnate who's purchased blocks of shares is basically a majority of one. And again we have the invisible hand of the market solving all the problems


He still has to make a product someone wants to buy.

Massachusetts recently experienced an interesting event. A local, family owned grocery chain had a family feud. The popular CEO was ousted by the family. Key workers quit and shoppers stopped shopping there.
After a few weeks of losing millions of dollars, the family agreed to sell their shares to the popular CEO. But without a few rich, the popular CEO would not have had the money to buy out his family and keep his customers and employees satisfied.
Socialists always conveniently forget how quickly customers regulate any business. Unless that business is a protected stated monopoly, of course. Then customers are screwed.

Mar 09, 2015
"Free enterprise is the laissez-faire, free-market ideal, with the peaceful interactions between individuals being wholly unregulated by government. Under free enterprise, anyone can trade with anyone else on mutually agreeable terms. Since all interactions are voluntary, all traders necessarily benefit, and both wealth and welfare are free to increase without the imposition of artificial limits."

"Private enterprise, in contrast, means merely that business and the means of production are held in private hands, although the government may make any number of demands on how these individuals go about their business. The fascist governments of Europe in the past century maintained a system of private enterprise, while simultaneously exercising near complete control over business operations. Similarly, the Roosevelt economy during World War II was marked by extensive private enterprise serving at the pleasure of government."
http://www.agains...ism.org/

Mar 11, 2015
I came across a discussion of the media's "war cause by climate change" hype, and a well argued opinion of how it should be considered as a threat multiplier, not a direct cause. I think it fits this article well: http://www.thegua...-warming

Mar 11, 2015
I came across a discussion of the media's "war cause by climate change" hype, and a well argued opinion of how it should be considered as a threat multiplier, not a direct cause. I think it fits this article well: http://www.thegua...-warming


One brief hint at the fundamental cause of any shortages, the state.

No one wants to address the fundamental cause of any shortage, no free market, because those addressing the issue can't or won't think any other way.

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