Survival
February 25, 2004
Freaky Pentagon Report Calls Climate Change An Immediate National Security Concern

The Shrub's own experts are telling us we're all hosed. (Over the next 3-20 years).

What do you think guys? Is this for real? Or are they just trying to freak us out?


Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us

By Mark Townsend and Paul Harris for the Observer.

and


Leaked Pentagon report warns climate change may bring famine, war: report

By AFP.

Here's a clip from the AFP story:


The report, quoted in the paper, concluded: "Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life.... Once again, warfare would define human life."

Its authors -- Peter Schwartz, a CIA (news - web sites) consultant and former head of planning at Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and Doug Randall of Global Business Network based in California -- said climate change should be considered "immediately" as a top political and military issue.

It "should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a US national security concern", they were quoted as saying.

Some examples given of probable scenarios in the dramatic report include:

-- Britain will have winters similar to those in current-day Siberia as European temperatures drop off radically by 2020.

-- by 2007 violent storms will make large parts of the Netherlands uninhabitable and lead to a breach in the acqueduct system in California that supplies all water to densely populated southern California

-- Europe and the United States become "virtual fortresses" trying to keep out millions of migrants whose homelands have been wiped out by rising sea levels or made unfarmable by drought.

-- "catastrophic" shortages of potable water and energy will lead to widespread war by 2020.

Randall, one of the authors, called his findings "depressing stuff" and warned that it might even be too late to prevent future disasters.

"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 told the paper.

Experts familiar with the report told the newspaper that the threat to global stability "vastly eclipses that of terrorism".

Taking environmental pollution and climate change into account in political and military strategy is a new, complicated and necessary challenge for leaders, Randall 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," he said.


Here is the full text of the article in case the link goes bad (other article follows):

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1153513,00.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.

***

Here is the full text of the article in case the link goes bad:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1521&e=2&u=/afp/britain_us_environment

Leaked Pentagon report warns climate change may bring famine, war: report

Sun Feb 22, 5:17 PM ET

Add Politics - AFP to My Yahoo!

LONDON (AFP) - A secret report prepared by the Pentagon (news - web sites) warns that climate change may lead to global catastrophe costing millions of lives and is a far greater threat than terrorism.


Pentagon Photo


The report was ordered by an influential US Pentagon advisor but was covered up by "US defense chiefs" for four months, until it was "obtained" by the British weekly The Observer.

The leak promises to draw angry attention to US environmental and military policies, following Washington's rejection of the Kyoto Protocol (news - web sites) on climate change and President George W. Bush (news - web sites)'s skepticism about global warning -- a stance that has stunned scientists worldwide.

The Pentagon report, commissioned by Andrew Marshall, 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 Observer reported.

The report, quoted in the paper, concluded: "Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life.... Once again, warfare would define human life."

Its authors -- Peter Schwartz, a CIA (news - web sites) consultant and former head of planning at Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and Doug Randall of Global Business Network based in California -- said climate change should be considered "immediately" as a top political and military issue.

It "should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a US national security concern", they were quoted as saying.

Some examples given of probable scenarios in the dramatic report include:

-- Britain will have winters similar to those in current-day Siberia as European temperatures drop off radically by 2020.

-- by 2007 violent storms will make large parts of the Netherlands uninhabitable and lead to a breach in the acqueduct system in California that supplies all water to densely populated southern California

-- Europe and the United States become "virtual fortresses" trying to keep out millions of migrants whose homelands have been wiped out by rising sea levels or made unfarmable by drought.

-- "catastrophic" shortages of potable water and energy will lead to widespread war by 2020.

Randall, one of the authors, called his findings "depressing stuff" and warned that it might even be too late to prevent future disasters.

"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 told the paper.

Experts familiar with the report told the newspaper that the threat to global stability "vastly eclipses that of terrorism".

Taking environmental pollution and climate change into account in political and military strategy is a new, complicated and necessary challenge for leaders, Randall 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," he said.

Coming from the Pentagon, normally a bastion of conservative politics, the report is expected to bring environmental issues to the fore in the US presidential race.

Last week the Union of Concerned Scientists, an influential and non-partisan group that includes 20 Nobel laureates, accused the Bush administration of having deliberately distorted scientific fact to serve its policy agenda and having "misled the public".

Its 38-page report, which it said took over a year to prepare and was not time to coincide with the campaign season, details how Washington "systematically" skewed government scientific studies, suppressed others, stacked panels with political and unqualified appointees and often refused to seek independent expertise on issues.

Critics of the report quoted by the New York Times denied there was deliberate misrepresentation and called it politically motivated.

The person behind the leaked Pentagon report, Andrew Marsall, cannot be accused of the same partisan politicking.

Marsall, 82, has been an advisor for the defense department for decades, and was described by The Observer as the author of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's plans for a major transformation of the US military.

Posted by Lisa at February 25, 2004 08:20 AM | TrackBack
Me A to Z (A Work In Progress)
Comments

"What do you think guys? Is this for real? Or are they just trying to freak us out?"

Sure it's serious. Major coastal cities could be directly affected by rising sea levels. How many meters above sea level is NY? Tokyo?

Scientists agree that global warming is no longer an "if" but a "when" and "what are we going to do about it". It doesn't really matter whether it's caused by humans or not, it's going to harm humans if the temperature rises high enough. The worst effect will be melting of the polar ice caps (already starting) causing rising sea levels and climate changes.

It's odd that the Pentagon would be the ones to finally get the US government finally moving on this though. Global warming is a national security issue? Well, I guess.

simon

Posted by: S Woodside on February 26, 2004 11:32 PM
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