Much attention has recently been focused on Afghanistan where the Taliban has seized control. The U.S. is currently scrambling to evacuate its citizens and others, and the Biden administration has been subjected to significant criticism for bungling efforts to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and for the ensuing chaos.
CBS News indicates in the article that climate change has benefitted the Taliban.
"Rural Afghanistan has been rocked by climate change. The past three decades have brought floods and drought that have destroyed crops and left people hungry. And the Taliban — likely without knowing climate change was the cause — has taken advantage of that pain," the article begins.
The piece states that "climate change has made farming increasingly difficult" in Afghanistan. Here's more from the article:
Whether from drought or flood-ravaged soil, farmers in the region struggle to maintain productive crops and livestock. When they cannot profitably farm, they're forced to borrow funds to survive. When Afghans can't pay off lenders, the Taliban often steps in to sow government resentment.
"If you've lost your crop and land or the Afghan government hasn't paid enough attention [to you] then of course, the Taliban can come and exploit it," said Kamal Alam, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's South Asia Center.
The Taliban has capitalized on the agricultural stress and distrust in government to recruit supporters. Alam said the group has the means to pay fighters more, $5-$10 per day, than what they can make farming.
Many social media users criticized CBS News in response to the outlet's tweet sharing the article.
"Can someone make me feel better and tell me US journalism has hit rock bottom with this piece? Please? Someone?" one tweet read.
"CBS, America's Most Watched Network, runs with *climate change is helping the Taliban* I had to double check if I was reading @TheOnion Nope. It's really @CBSNews," another tweet declared.