Another Sandstorm Shuts Down Much of Iraq

    Photo: AP [via NBC News]

    The Facts

    • Yet another massive sandstorm blanketed much of Iraq, as well as parts of Iran and Syria, on Mon. leading to over 1k people being rushed to the hospital to treat respiratory ailments. At least one person died in Iraq and at least three in Syria.

    • Air traffic was suspended at the international airports in Baghdad, Erbil, and Najaf, with Iraqi PM Mustafa al-Kadhemi ordering all work to cease in state-run institutions except for health and security services.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    These terrible sandstorms are a direct result of climate change. Of course, sandstorms aren't uncommon in this part of the world, but the accelerated pace at which they've been occuring is worrying and could even spark conflict in the politically-fragile nation.

    Narrative B

    It's easy to dismiss any extreme weather event as a consequence of climate change, but in reality they're usually influenced by a myriad of factors that have nothing to do with it. More research is needed before we can establish any direct causal link between the two.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    While the richest nations are preoccupied with short-term inflationary and supply issues, the developing world faces the massive and irreversible effects of climate change. Successive empty promises mean poorer countries are left fighting an economic, social, and environmental battle that their vulnerable infrastructures are unprepared to deal with.

    Establishment split



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