Kansas and Al Qaeda

Our film crew came to look at the connection between the drought in Kansas and the rise in global food prices that helped to fuel the Arab uprisings. But I stumbled upon another powerful environmental insight here: the parallel between how fossil fuels are being used to power monoculture farms in the Middle West and how fossil fuels are being used to power wars to create monoculture societies in the Middle East. And why both are really unhealthy for their commons…

What is going on in the Arab world today is a relentless push, also funded by fossil fuels, for more monocultures. It’s Al Qaeda trying to “purify” the Arabian Peninsula. It’s Shiites and Sunnis, funded by oil money, trying to purge each other in Iraq and Syria. It’s Alexandria, Egypt, once a great melting pot of Greeks, Italians, Jews, Christians, Arabs and Muslims, now a city dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, with most non-Muslims gone. It makes these societies much less able to spark new ideas and much more susceptible to diseased conspiracy theories and extreme ideologies. To be blunt, this evolution of Arab/Muslim polycultures into monocultures is a disaster.