Social Protests Connect the Dots to the Environment

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Egypt’s social protests deeply rooted in issues connected to environmental ones.

It’s definitely a hot time in our world this summer: there are massive brush and forest fires in the American states of Colorado and South Dakota, there’s a full fledged civil war going on in Syria that has resulted in indigenous plant seeds being stored away in a vault in Norway ; and worst of all, a 58-year-old down and out man in Israel who set himself on fire during a night time social protest rally in Jerusalem. How are all these events connected?Our environment, especially in normally arid and semi-arid regions like the Middle East, is becoming increasing vulnerable to the ravages of global warning and climate change. These environmental realities are resulting in destruction of wildlife as well as human habitats due to prolonged droughts that cause more rapid depletion of available water supplies.

More than 500,000 Syrians fleeing drought stricken farming areas in their country back in 2010. This could be just part of the reason why social protests evolved into mass street demonstrations, and then into civil war in Syria.

Lack of reasonably priced rental housing in Israel’s largest cities resulted last summer in tent cities being erected all over the country, and more then 400,000 people assembling in one mass protest rally.

Some of the relatively peaceful protests that occurred in the period between mid-July and September 2011 were also about green issues like air pollution and traffic congestion which are issues common to all large cities everywhere.

Although promises were made by the government  to try to improve things, especially regarding affordable housing, the over all situation on the ground was virtually unchanged. This reality has resulted in renewed protests this summer, with some of them even becoming violent to property and to people.

We must all be mindful that environmental issues like global warming and climate change can greatly effect the human environment as well as the4 natural one. With all of Middle East sweltering under higher than normal temperatures; and with the  beginning of the month long Muslim fast of Ramadan just days away, people living in this region can expect to experience even more “hot times”. So the best advice might be to stay indoors – for more reasons that just to beat the heat.

Read more on global warming and related environmental issues in the Middle East:

Israeli Social Protestor Sets Himself on Fire at Jerusalem Rally
The Wrath of Global Warming and the Middle East
Worst Wildfires in Israel’s Modern History Continue to Blaze out of Control
 500,000 Syrians Flee Drought Stricken Regions

Image from Mohamed Elsayyed /

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