Found in the Attic: A Decade of Climate Data on Somalia

Longreads

Climate change isn’t just about rising sea levels threatening polar bears — ecological disasters have severe economic and political impact: witness the Somalian civil war. The man whose research could help, Englishman Murray Watson, was abducted in southern Somalia in 2008, and hasn’t been heard from since. Laura Heaton has the story in Foreign Policy.

A few days after the abduction, Bennett-Jones started getting calls from a Somali man who spoke excellent English and claimed to be a negotiator for the kidnappers, whom the journalist by then believed to be members of al-Shabab. The man’s demands ranged from $2 million to $4 million for the ecologist’s safe return. Watson’s family couldn’t pay, his country wouldn’t, and the trail has been quiet ever since. No group has claimed his killing. No remains have ever been found.

For years after the kidnapping, the small cadre of environmentalists still working in Somalia had…

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