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Climate Activist: Civil Unrest from Weather, Food Scarcity Played Role in Arab Spring, Syrian Conflict

( – At a discussion on climate change and food security on Tuesday, an advocate of their connection to national security said both played a role in the unrest and violence taking place across the Middle East and in parts of Africa, and claimed they also affected the French Revolution and the parting of the Red Sea as told in the Old Testament.

“We can look at Syria and what happened with Syria and the movement of populations into Damascus, the disaffected people – the rise, certainly, of conflict there,” Jon White, president of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, said at the Center for American Progress (CAP) in Washington, D.C.

“You can look at the Arab Spring and the fact that the changing in food prices, again,  drove people to be disaffected and uneasy, and led to overthrows of governments in Tunisia and other places,” said White.

White also the influence of extreme weather and food scarcity can be seen as far back as the French Revolution in 1789 and conflicts recorded in the Holy Bible.

“Even going back to the French Revolution there is indications that climate-induced food scarcity and price changes – they were a catalyst for events that happened in the French Revolution,” White said.

“But then, if people still don’t really don’t get some of these conflict, climate food issues, I just go back and say, have you ever heard of the parting of the Red Sea?”  White said.

“But how did we get to the parting of the Red Sea?” he asked. “Well, it all started off with a guy named Joseph that many of you might recognize from Joseph and his Technicolor Dream Coat, who was able to predict, to interpret a dream that said there’s going to be seven years of plenty followed by seven years of drought.”