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John O. Brennan

Heated exchanges over claim of a link between global warming and terrorism

Heated exchanges over claim of a link between global warming and terrorism

As world leaders convene in Paris this week to confront the long-term threat of global warming, the fact that their talks are taking place in a city still recovering from a deadly terrorist attack has amped up a long-running debate about how much climate change contributes to extremist violence.

The question is playing prominently in the U.S. presidential race. The bitter disagreement it has spawned underscores the challenge climate activists face in selling their broader message to the public.

Activists consider climate change an existential crisis that demands immediate attention. But its link to any specific occurrence, whether an individual storm or an act of terrorism, is...

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