North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is calling for “urgent action” on climate change in a bid to tackle “abnormal” weather that he blames for the nation’s crippling food shortage. Kim ordered his officials to clamp down on climate change during a Politburo meeting last Thursday, according to the Korean Central News Agency. Kim said the “danger” of climate change had increased in recent years and “disastrous weather” was only getting worse. “Our country is also lying vulnerable to its danger,” Kim said.
But CBS News was singing a different tune 6 years ago when it blamed “opium profits” — not climate change — for strengthening the Taliban in a 2015 story headlined: “Taliban set to double opium profits this year?” CBS News said in 2015 that the Taliban derived 40 percent of its funding from the illicit opium trade, which “fuel[ed] their insurgency.” Climate change wasn’t even mentioned in the 2015 story. Talk about a whopping narrative shift. [Emphasis added.]
Korte ignored mentioning the “billions” in profits the Taliban made off of its illicit drug trade until the seventeenth paragraph of her story. But she blamed the opium trade on the false narrative that farmers were struggling to produce other crops and climate change. Korte said in the first paragraph of her piece that the Taliban derived its strength from three decades of “floods and drought” that have “destroyed crops and left people hungry.”
“Seeking World Recognition, Taliban Vows to Help Fight Terror and Climate Change.” The magazine’s headline read like a Babylon Bee joke: “Seeking World Recognition, Taliban Vows to Help Fight Terror and Climate Change.”
Newsweek Senior Writer of Foreign Policy Tom O’Connor pushed how Taliban Cultural Commission member Abdul Qahar Balkhi “told Newsweek that his group sought worldwide recognition of the Islamic Emirate.” Balkhi propagandized to the outlet how the organization's drive for “recognition” would be bolstered in part by the terror group’s commitment to “fight terror” and so-called climate change. “‘We hope not only to be recognized by regional countries but the entire world at large as the legitimate representative government of the people of Afghanistan,’” Balkhi said in part, according to Newsweek.
Rare earth metals in Afghanistan were estimated to be worth anywhere between $1 trillion and $3 trillion in 2020.
Only hours after the Taliban overran Afghanistan, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman said Beijing was ready for “friendly cooperation with Afghanistan.”
China has dominated the rare earths market globally and threatened to cut off supplies to the U.S. during the trade war in 2019. About 35% of rare earth global reserves are in China, the most in the world, according to the United States Geological Survey. The country is also a mining machine, producing 120,000 metric tons or 70% of total rare earths in 2018, compared to the U.S. which mined 15,000 metric tones of rare earths the same year, it said. U.S. reserves also pale in comparison to China. The U.S. has a total of 1.4 million metric tons of reserves, versus 44 million metric tons of reserves in China.
CBS News: "Rural Afghanistan has been rocked by climate change. The past three decades have brought floods and drought that have destroyed crops and left people hungry. And the Taliban — likely without knowing climate change was the cause — has taken advantage of that pain." ... "The Taliban has capitalized on the agricultural stress and distrust in government to recruit supporters. Alam said the group has the means to pay fighters more, $5-$10 per day, than what they can make farming." ..."With poverty and war and everything else, climate change is the last thing on anyone's mind," said Alam.
"Climate change has fueled terrorism and civil unrest elsewhere in the world. Boko Haram gripped water-scarce central Africa in 2017 as they gained footholds along the Lake Chad Basin. ISIS has taken advantage of agrarian communities suffering from extreme drought in Iraq and Syria."
Reality Check: Greenpeace Co-Founder Dr. Patrick Moore rips CBS News, tells Climate Depot: "It’s like there is a contest to invent the most implausible fabrication about the climate. At a certain point, it becomes too silly to even bother trying to counter it with reason. Could that be their ambition, to get away with being uncontested?"
James Taylor refutes CBS News with crop yield data: "As you can see, however, Afghanistan has fully doubled its crop yields during the past three decades. Also, Afghan farmers have set new production records on a regular basis, especially during the past few years. ... If global warming has had any impact on Afghan farmer sentiment throughout the country, it has clearly been to make farmers happier, more prosperous, and less vulnerable to the Taliban."
Bjorn Lomborg: "Hurricanes in 2021 were unprecedented — as in unprecedentedly few. Globally, 2021 had the fewest hurricanes ever in the satellite era (1980-2021). Globally, 2021 had some of the fewest strong hurricanes in the satellite era (1980-2021). With 16 strong (Cat 3+) hurricanes, 2021 was the second-lowest strong hurricane year since 1980. Globally, 2021 was a weak hurricane year. When measured by total energy (Accumulated Cyclone Energy), 2021 was the 9th weakest year. Did you see that reported anywhere?
Hurricanes in 2021 were weak and exceptionally few. But we heard lots about North Atlantic hurricanes. Conveniently, North Atlantic is the only basin where hurricanes are stronger. Does this leave us well-informed?. But we hear lots about names storms (hurricanes + weaker storms). Ever-easier to detect, so numbers keep climbing (4 of 2020s 30 named storms wouldn't have been named in 2000!). Not as relevant, but hey, scary numbers."