Climate Wars

With Thomas L. Friedman

Why this story needs to be told

We're going in the wrong direction and I think the only way to counter that is to bring the story home in really concrete ways to people, vivid ways that kids can understand, non-scientists can understand.

Thomas L. Friedman

Spotlight Video

Overdevelopment along the Red Sea has deleterious effects on the ecosystem, including coral bleaching.


The Pentagon has long seen climate change as a “threat multiplier,” a “stressor” that can take a volatile political situation and push it over the edge.

In Climate Wars, YEARS correspondent Thomas L. Friedman witnesses this effect in three Middle Eastern countries: Egypt, Syria and Yemen.


Yemen; Egypt; Syria; Turkey; UK; Kansas; Washington, D.C.

Photo: Andrea Bruce/NOOR for The Years Project

Meet The Characters

If the people can’t find bread, they will make a revolution.

Ahmen Maher, Youth Leader

This is the first time we saw such a drought. I'd been there for years, and this was the first time such a drought happened. The first time. We spoke out about the drought saying the government must help. But no one gave a damn. Instead, they brought us in for interrogation. And in the end they detained us for two months.


I was 17 when the drought started. We lost the land. Our way of life changed completely.


Behind The Scenes

Science Behind The Story

2-3 million people

From 2006-2010 Syria was hit by four consecutive droughts that forced over a million people to leave their villages and put 2-3 million people into “extreme poverty,” according to the United Nations.



The YEARS team is committed to covering stories about how we’re all impacted by climate change. Let us know if you see something you’d like us to investigate.