Republicans Chase Immigrant Boogeymen While Climate Roasts Middle East

Bill Scher

Perhaps the most baffling aspect of the Republican presidential race is the obsession with immigration, led by Donald Trump, despite the fact that undocumented immigrant levels are at a 13-year low.

But since the Republican Party is increasingly detached from the real world, that is not so surprising.

One thing happening in the real world that Republicans have no interest addressing is the new NASA report concluding that the Middle East is suffering its worst drought in 900 years, and that human-created climate change is a contributor.

A separate report from 2015 had already concluded that the Syrian civil war is a climate-change-fueled conflict, because the drought caused massive crop failures that fed “political unrest.”

There is a glimmer of hope in Syria as a cease fire has been holding. But that is after five years of war and nearly a half-million dead – more than 10 percent of the Syrian population.

Even if international negotiators can end the bloodshed in Syria soon, the climate crisis still churns and can feed more global conflict for decades. Last year’s Paris climate agreement offers another glimmer of hope, but we are not on a simple glide path to planetary safety. How America can accelerate our climate protection effort should be a major focus of the campaign.

But the Republican circus of hate deprives us of the ability to focus our attention on actual pressing problems, climate being just one. Donald Trump will never be president, but his antics inflict many costs.

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