Tags: Global Warming | paul krugman | terrorists | western | civilization

Krugman: Terrorists Won't Destroy Civilization, But Global Warming Could

Image: Krugman: Terrorists Won't Destroy Civilization, But Global Warming Could
Paul Krugman (Sandra Dahdah/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 16 Nov 2015 03:21 PM

Western civilization won't ever be destroyed by terrorists – but global warming "could and might" do just that, according to Nobel laureate economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.

In a commentary Monday, Krugman argues the most recent slaughter of innocents in Paris by terrorists was designed to inspire fear and horror, "but the biggest danger terrorism poses to our society comes not from the direct harm inflicted, but from the wrong-headed responses it can inspire."

"Terrorism is just one of many dangers in the world, and shouldn't be allowed to divert our attention from other issues," Krugman writes.

"Sorry, conservatives: when President Obama describes climate change as the greatest threat we face, he's exactly right. Terrorism can't and won't destroy our civilization, but global warming could and might."

Krugman brushes aside GOP presidential contender Jeb Bush's declaration to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that last week's ISIS attacks in Paris was "an organized effort to destroy Western civilization."

"No, it isn't. It's an organized attempt to sow panic, which isn't at all the same thing," Krugman writes. "And remarks like that, which blur that distinction and make terrorists seem more powerful than they are, just help the jihadists' cause."

He also scolds Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for suggesting a "zero tolerance for civilian casualties" in airstrikes might show a reluctance that limits America's response to terrorism.

"It would, however, do wonders for terrorist recruitment," Krugman writes.

And it's impossible to eliminate "every conceivable threat," he writes, taking to task Donald Rumsfeld's alleged remarks on 9/11 to his aides to "'Sweep it all up. Things related and not.'"

"The result was a disastrous war that actually empowered terrorists, and set the stage for the rise of ISIS," Krugman writes.

"There will have to be a post-mortem on why such an elaborate plot wasn't spotted," he adds of the Paris attacks. "But do you remember all the pronouncements that 9/11 would change everything? Well, it didn't — and neither will this atrocity."

"The goal of terrorists is to inspire terror, because that's all they're capable of," he writes. "And the most important thing our societies can do in response is to refuse to give in to fear."

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Western civilization won't ever be destroyed by terrorists - but global warming "could and might" do just that, according to Nobel laureate economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.
paul krugman, terrorists, western, civilization
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2015-21-16
Monday, 16 Nov 2015 03:21 PM
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