Are Climate Change and the Environment Driving Protests in Iran and Tunisia?

A dead camel decomposes in a region hit by persistent drought, Ben Guardane, Tunisia, March 12, 2011 (AP photo by Lefteris Pitarakis).
A dead camel decomposes in a region hit by persistent drought, Ben Guardane, Tunisia, March 12, 2011 (AP photo by Lefteris Pitarakis).
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With new outbreaks of political protests in Iran and Tunisia, there are questions again about the role played by environmental issues, including human-caused climate change, in stoking unrest and discontent in the Middle East. In Iran, where protests have been underway since late December, observers are making explicit linkages, drawing the connection between water scarcity that displaces farmers and government corruption and incompetence. Many protesters do not believe their government has any credible policy responses to the environmental stress and, instead, encourages water usage policies that make the problem worse. In Tunisia, where demands for political and economic reforms are […]

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