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A Kurdish response to climate change

By: 
Anna Lau, Erdelan Baran, and Melanie Sirinathsingh

For 4000 years since the breakdown of the Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia, almost every major societal collapse has featured five trends: spiralling migration, state collapse, food shortages, epidemic disease and climate change.[1] What makes the present era distinct is that whilst previous collapses have been geographically contained, the globalisation of carbon-intensive industry since the 1800s and particularly over the last four decades means that the relationship between cause and effect has been obscured. Many of the people worst impacted by human-caused climate change today are also the least responsible for it. The Climate Stories project believes that averting further damage and building a different future means being led by those who are the first to hear the earth rise up in protest, have considered the causes and are innovating solutions. In this spirit, this article documents reflections from a series of conversations with members of the Kurdish movement on climate change.