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Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change biggest threat to US national security

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  • Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change biggest threat to US national security

    I know there was already a thread about the danger of global warming but this is brand new, now even the Pentagon warns of a possible radical climatic change and portrays a possible apocalyptic scenario for the next few decades.

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/inter...153513,00.html

    http://www.fortune.com/fortune/techn...582584,00.html

    Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us

    Secret report warns of rioting and nuclear war
    Britain will be 'Siberian' in less than 20 years
    Threat to the world is greater than terrorism

    Mark Townsend and Paul Harris in New York
    Sunday February 22, 2004
    The Observer

    Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters..

    A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

    The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies. The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents.

    'Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life,' concludes the Pentagon analysis. 'Once again, warfare would define human life.'

    The findings will prove humiliating to the Bush administration, which has repeatedly denied that climate change even exists. Experts said that they will also make unsettling reading for a President who has insisted national defence is a priority.

    The report was commissioned by influential Pentagon defence adviser Andrew Marshall, who has held considerable sway on US military thinking over the past three decades. He was the man behind a sweeping recent review aimed at transforming the American military under Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

    Climate change 'should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a US national security concern', say the authors, Peter Schwartz, CIA consultant and former head of planning at Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and Doug Randall of the California-based Global Business Network.

    An imminent scenario of catastrophic climate change is 'plausible and would challenge United States national security in ways that should be considered immediately', they conclude. As early as next year widespread flooding by a rise in sea levels will create major upheaval for millions.

    Last week the Bush administration came under heavy fire from a large body of respected scientists who claimed that it cherry-picked science to suit its policy agenda and suppressed studies that it did not like. Jeremy Symons, a former whistleblower at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said that suppression of the report for four months was a further example of the White House trying to bury the threat of climate change.

    Senior climatologists, however, believe that their verdicts could prove the catalyst in forcing Bush to accept climate change as a real and happening phenomenon. They also hope it will convince the United States to sign up to global treaties to reduce the rate of climatic change.

    A group of eminent UK scientists recently visited the White House to voice their fears over global warming, part of an intensifying drive to get the US to treat the issue seriously. Sources have told The Observer that American officials appeared extremely sensitive about the issue when faced with complaints that America's public stance appeared increasingly out of touch.

    One even alleged that the White House had written to complain about some of the comments attributed to Professor Sir David King, Tony Blair's chief scientific adviser, after he branded the President's position on the issue as indefensible.

    Among those scientists present at the White House talks were Professor John Schellnhuber, former chief environmental adviser to the German government and head of the UK's leading group of climate scientists at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. He said that the Pentagon's internal fears should prove the 'tipping point' in persuading Bush to accept climatic change.

    Sir John Houghton, former chief executive of the Meteorological Office - and the first senior figure to liken the threat of climate change to that of terrorism - said: 'If the Pentagon is sending out that sort of message, then this is an important document indeed.'

    Bob Watson, chief scientist for the World Bank and former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, added that the Pentagon's dire warnings could no longer be ignored.

    'Can Bush ignore the Pentagon? It's going be hard to blow off this sort of document. Its hugely embarrassing. After all, Bush's single highest priority is national defence. The Pentagon is no wacko, liberal group, generally speaking it is conservative. If climate change is a threat to national security and the economy, then he has to act. There are two groups the Bush Administration tend to listen to, the oil lobby and the Pentagon,' added Watson.

    'You've got a President who says global warming is a hoax, and across the Potomac river you've got a Pentagon preparing for climate wars. It's pretty scary when Bush starts to ignore his own government on this issue,' said Rob Gueterbock of Greenpeace.

    Already, according to Randall and Schwartz, the planet is carrying a higher population than it can sustain. By 2020 'catastrophic' shortages of water and energy supply will become increasingly harder to overcome, plunging the planet into war. They warn that 8,200 years ago climatic conditions brought widespread crop failure, famine, disease and mass migration of populations that could soon be repeated.

    Randall told The Observer that the potential ramifications of rapid climate change would create global chaos. 'This is depressing stuff,' he said. 'It is a national security threat that is unique because there is no enemy to point your guns at and we have no control over the threat.'

    Randall added that it was already possibly too late to prevent a disaster happening. 'We don't know exactly where we are in the process. It could start tomorrow and we would not know for another five years,' he said.

    'The consequences for some nations of the climate change are unbelievable. It seems obvious that cutting the use of fossil fuels would be worthwhile.'

    So dramatic are the report's scenarios, Watson said, that they may prove vital in the US elections. Democratic frontrunner John Kerry is known to accept climate change as a real problem. Scientists disillusioned with Bush's stance are threatening to make sure Kerry uses the Pentagon report in his campaign.

    The fact that Marshall is behind its scathing findings will aid Kerry's cause. Marshall, 82, is a Pentagon legend who heads a secretive think-tank dedicated to weighing risks to national security called the Office of Net Assessment. Dubbed 'Yoda' by Pentagon insiders who respect his vast experience, he is credited with being behind the Department of Defence's push on ballistic-missile defence.

    Symons, who left the EPA in protest at political interference, said that the suppression of the report was a further instance of the White House trying to bury evidence of climate change. 'It is yet another example of why this government should stop burying its head in the sand on this issue.'

    Symons said the Bush administration's close links to high-powered energy and oil companies was vital in understanding why climate change was received sceptically in the Oval Office. 'This administration is ignoring the evidence in order to placate a handful of large energy and oil companies,' he added.
    Last edited by Kraut; 22 Feb 04, 14:51.
    "The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose."

    Henry Alfred Kissinger

  • #2
    I find it odd that the Guardian didn't provide the report itself. Is what is written in the article just the worst case scenario? Are probabilities defined? If it is a worst-case scenario, was the intent to form a discussion about what actions would follow such a disaster?

    I find more questions than answers and only unsupported statements in the Guardian article. I'm not saying it's right or wrong ... just that we can't even evaluate that based on what is reported.

    Comment


    • #3
      what exactly are the proposed solutions for this kind of a problem besides cutting petrol emissions and pollution in general?
      "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

      George W. Bush

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by WestPointer
        I find it odd that the Guardian didn't provide the report itself. Is what is written in the article just the worst case scenario? Are probabilities defined? If it is a worst-case scenario, was the intent to form a discussion about what actions would follow such a disaster?

        I find more questions than answers and only unsupported statements in the Guardian article. I'm not saying it's right or wrong ... just that we can't even evaluate that based on what is reported.
        Try reading the fortune-article, it's a bit longer but might clear up a bit. Basically over the last few years scientist have changed their theory on how the climate change will happen, they are now thaying that the weather will likely radically change in just a few years instead of decades or even centuries as they belived earlier. This is explained a little bit more in deepth in the article, the main point is that with the collaps of the gulf stream the weather in northern europe and America will dramatically change and that an even slight change at the beginning can be self-increasing so that the changes will happen faster.

        It doesn't pretend to be a forecast. Rather, it sketches a dramatic but plausible scenario to help planners think about coping strategies.
        The problem is that the US administration is cherry picking which report to trust and which to dump, so they are only reading reports that say that climate-change won't happen. A similar 'good' policy would probably be to close the eyes and sing: 'terrorism doesn't exist'
        "The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose."

        Henry Alfred Kissinger

        Comment


        • #5
          I wish we all could be as good as Germany.

          Vote Green? No.

          Vote Imperial? Yes.
          Furthermore, they had calculated that if 25,000 of them died for every one of us, they would finish us first, for they were many and we were but few.
          -Hernan Cortez

          The Pacific is our ocean. The power that rules the Pacific, therefore, is the power that rules the world. That power is and will forever be the American Republic.
          -Senator Albert J. Beveridge, 56th Congress

          Comment


          • #6

            Comment


            • #7
              That movie actually looks pretty good. I forgot about it... But I remember wanting to see it when I saw the preview.
              Furthermore, they had calculated that if 25,000 of them died for every one of us, they would finish us first, for they were many and we were but few.
              -Hernan Cortez

              The Pacific is our ocean. The power that rules the Pacific, therefore, is the power that rules the world. That power is and will forever be the American Republic.
              -Senator Albert J. Beveridge, 56th Congress

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Cortez
                I wish we all could be as good as Germany.

                Vote Green? No.

                Vote Imperial? Yes.

                No really need. Just don't take it seriously - I mean just look at all the Imperial empires that have been - they are all no has-beens and you will be no exception. But your contribution to global warming is by far the best achievement to date - way to go USA.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yeah - way to go. Just look at the United Kingdom. That name defines has-been.
                  Furthermore, they had calculated that if 25,000 of them died for every one of us, they would finish us first, for they were many and we were but few.
                  -Hernan Cortez

                  The Pacific is our ocean. The power that rules the Pacific, therefore, is the power that rules the world. That power is and will forever be the American Republic.
                  -Senator Albert J. Beveridge, 56th Congress

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cortez
                    Yeah - way to go. Just look at the United Kingdom. That name defines has-been.

                    Yeah right....just like the United States are United. ha ha ha.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by WestPointer
                      I find it odd that the Guardian didn't provide the report itself. Is what is written in the article just the worst case scenario? Are probabilities defined? If it is a worst-case scenario, was the intent to form a discussion about what actions would follow such a disaster?

                      I find more questions than answers and only unsupported statements in the Guardian article. I'm not saying it's right or wrong ... just that we can't even evaluate that based on what is reported.
                      The report was commissioned (sp?) by the pentagon to investigate "worse case" type scenarios. It was not secret. The authors of the report don't set forth the scenario as likely or even plausible - just possible.
                      ...a man that can stand up for a principle and sit down on his own stool.
                      -the Firesign Theatre

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kraut
                        Try reading the fortune-article, it's a bit longer but might clear up a bit. Basically over the last few years scientist have changed their theory on how the climate change will happen, they are now thaying that the weather will likely radically change in just a few years instead of decades or even centuries as they belived earlier. This is explained a little bit more in deepth in the article, the main point is that with the collaps of the gulf stream the weather in northern europe and America will dramatically change and that an even slight change at the beginning can be self-increasing so that the changes will happen faster.
                        Scientists in general haven't changed their views. This is just one possible scenario. And no I am not in denial about global warming.


                        Originally posted by Kraut
                        The problem is that the US administration is cherry picking which report to trust and which to dump, so they are only reading reports that say that climate-change won't happen. A similar 'good' policy would probably be to close the eyes and sing: 'terrorism doesn't exist'
                        Yes this is a big problem. Bush is going to destroy the environment among his many other failings.
                        "American wilderness: love it or leave it alone."
                        ...a man that can stand up for a principle and sit down on his own stool.
                        -the Firesign Theatre

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tiberius
                          Scientists in general haven't changed their views. This is just one possible scenario. And no I am not in denial about global warming.
                          Another thing that hasn't changed is the pattern for the last dozen or so Ice Age's. There is a gradual rise in temperature over a long period of time, followed by a very rapid (almost instantaneous on a geologic scale) cooling/glaciation period where sea levels drop markedly.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Marko
                            Yeah right....just like the United States are United. ha ha ha.
                            More united than the United Kingdom. All countries have internal disagreements. It's the one that can have the best economy in the world with the most powerful military and the most cultural influence... that really means you're doing something.
                            Furthermore, they had calculated that if 25,000 of them died for every one of us, they would finish us first, for they were many and we were but few.
                            -Hernan Cortez

                            The Pacific is our ocean. The power that rules the Pacific, therefore, is the power that rules the world. That power is and will forever be the American Republic.
                            -Senator Albert J. Beveridge, 56th Congress

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Prester John
                              Another thing that hasn't changed is the pattern for the last dozen or so Ice Age's. There is a gradual rise in temperature over a long period of time, followed by a very rapid (almost instantaneous on a geologic scale) cooling/glaciation period where sea levels drop markedly.
                              Maybe we can accelerate the process by dumping massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. The 'greenhouse effect' is not a disputed scientific principle. The fallacy of the 'cycles of nature' argument is that it rebuts an argument that scientists are not making. Actual evidence of current global warming is sporadic at best. The science is the factual existence of the greenhouse effect and the increase of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.
                              ...a man that can stand up for a principle and sit down on his own stool.
                              -the Firesign Theatre

                              Comment

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