- The Washington Times - Monday, February 25, 2013

Several think tanks will hold a conference Thursday linking the Arab Spring to global warming.

The Center for American Progress, the Center for Climate & Security and the Stimson Center will release a new volume on “Climate Change and the Arab Spring.” Panelists Thomas L. Friedman, Anne-Marie Slaughter and Michael Werz will “parse out these complex interactions and discuss the implications for U.S. foreign and development policy.”

Mr. Friedman, a New York Times columnist, tackled this issue last year when he began a column titled “The Other Arab Spring,” arguing that climate change has a significant impact on global social tension.


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“The Arab awakening was driven not only by political and economic stresses, but, less visibly, by environmental, population and climate stresses as well,” he wrote. “If we focus only on the former and not the latter, we will never be able to help stabilize these societies.”

“Climate Change and the Arab Spring” outlines the complex pressures exerted by the effects of climate change on the convulsions that swept through the Middle East in 2010 and 2011, according to the press release. The volume will explore “the long-term trends in precipitation, agriculture, food prices, and migration which contributed to the social instability and violence which has transformed the region, and offering solutions for progress.”

Ms. Slaughter is a professor of politics at Princeton University and a former director of policy planning for the U.S. Department of State. Mr. Werz, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, will moderate the panel discussion.