But the extent of the calamity cannot simply be ascribed to climate change. Though the media coverage studiously obscures this point, Britain’s actions 12 years ago – when it trumpeted its humanitarian concern for Libya – are intimately tied to Derna’s current suffering.
The failing dams and faltering relief efforts, observers correctly point out, are the result of a power vacuum in Libya. There is no central authority capable of governing the country.
But there are reasons Libya is so ill-equipped to deal with a catastrophe. And the West is deeply implicated.