CBS News slammed for article on how climate change 'helped' the Taliban: 'Journalism is dead'

CBS News slammed for article on how climate change 'helped' the Taliban: 'Journalism is dead'
An Afghan National Army soldier looks towards the Pakistani border only 200 meters away October 17, 2006 near Camp Tillman in the Paktika province of eastern Afghanistan (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

A surprisingly high number of Twitter users have criticised CBS News for tweeting a story about the Taliban's hostile takeover in Afghanistan but giving it a completely "unserious" spin. The official Twitter account of the news portal that has 8.1 million followers, wrote a tweet sharing an article on the website. Titled "How climate change helped strengthen the Taliban," the article was written by CBS News' climate and energy reporter Cara Korte. It highlights how "rural Afghanistan" has been "rocked by climate change". Additionally, it also mentions that the Taliban has "taken advantage" of those who have suffered from floods and droughts that have destroyed their crops and left them hungry.  

Ever since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, the entire world watched in horror as haunting images and videos from ground zero went viral. At the moment, the US is struggling to evacuate its citizens and others. At the same time, the Joe Biden administration is also at the receiving end of a lot of criticism for mishandling the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and for ensuing the chaos that the country finds itself in.


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In its article, CBS News indicates that climate change has actually 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. Additionally, it mentions that snow and glaciers in the north mountains "have melted more quickly and earlier than ever before," leading to flooding and droughts in the winter while "heavy precipitation" has increased in the south and west "by 10 to 25% over the past 30 years."

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.

Social media users did not take the article kindly and criticized CBS News in response to the outlet's tweet sharing the article - taunting the quality of reporting. 

"Can someone make me feel better and tell me US journalism has hit rock bottom with this piece? Please? Someone?" one tweet read. To which, one replied, "Pick Me. I say it all of the time. Journalism is dead, dead, dead.




Another pointed out "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.



"@CBSNews is a deeply unserious organization," another user wrote. "Exhibit A as to why people dislike and do not trust the media," another user declared.



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