portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts global

environment

UK Observer: Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us

Now The Pentagon Tells Bush: Climate Change Will Destroy Us, Observer (ie
Sunday UK Guardian), 2/22/04, Mark Townsend and Paul Harris.
Secret Pentagon report, suppressed for several months, warns that cliamte
change will likely bring drastic instability, including mass rioting,
droughts/floods/famine, and warfare, likely nuclear, by 2020. Commissioned
by Andrew Marshal, a key military analyst for the last *30* years. And this
could start by next year.

ULTRA URGENT/IMPORTANT.
One wonders if the Pentagon is also taking advantage of likely changes to
channel all our energies into fear and war preparation. The only real
solution is a change in social relations which drive society towards such
self-destruction.
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.

Guardian Unlimited Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004
CAFE 22.Feb.2004 17:35

HT

If they're serious the Pentagon should at least demand that the US congress double the gas efficiency CAFE standards of all cars sold in the USA. That means no more big citizen Hummers and Excursions. In fact they should demand a buyout of all citizen Hummers for military purposes since they claim they need thousands more for Iraq.

Story of the century 22.Feb.2004 19:09

Josh

This story is appearing in mant overseas publications, but I can not find mention of it anywhere in the US. Is anyone paying attention here- Britain becomes "siberian" within 20 years? Hello? Imminent nuclear warfare? Why the fuck is no one paying attention to this?

Report From Iron Mountain 22.Feb.2004 19:29

Ted

Remember the infamous, Report From Iron Mountain in the 60s? The LBJ Admin refused to deny its existence, which lended credence to a leaked intelligence source that a report by leading government, scientific, military, and corporate professionals about the impact of global peace on the US economy. The Report claimed that, only the US war machine provides the level of discretionary spending needed to keep the world economy moving.

Now, while I've long been convinced the Report from Iron Mountain was probably a fraud, it does deserve the respect that Orwell's 1984 does for its prescience. One of the means of maintaining the social order of the war system was by the introduction of major environmental threats from pollution. This falls quite conveniently within that scenario. While I do not doubt the effects of global warming or the other damage done to our environment, an ice age over England by 2020 in a Pentagon report...? I have not heard any other highly respected research institution come forward with such a drastic forecast.

I would be skeptical.

I can hardly wait 22.Feb.2004 19:29

James

...for 2007. I will look forward to this year like a kid looks forward to Christmas. I like the bold predictions; now we'll see where the truth falls.

Josh 22.Feb.2004 21:46

Bailey

>>>> Josh
This story is appearing in mant overseas publications, but I can not find mention of it anywhere in the US. Is anyone paying attention here- Britain becomes "siberian" within 20 years? Hello? Imminent nuclear warfare? Why the fuck is no one paying attention to this? >>>

Its been known for a while now by experts that global warming is causing more freshwater "leaking" into the oceans of the North Sea theoretically diluting the N. Atlanyic salt water which will in turn upset the Caribbean warm water conveyor belt that keeps N. Europe alot wamer than it should be.
Now they are predicting a sudden trigger change instead of a longer gradual change. The Brits are reporting about this first as it directly effects them and it will be interesting if our media does. Remember, the American media is paid billions a year by the auto industry for advertising which revolves around large gas-guzzling greenhouse machine SUVs and pickup trucks so they rarely print articles that could effect that.

old news 22.Feb.2004 22:06

anon

I don't understand how this report was "leaked".

 http://progressivetrail.org/articles/040203DohertyandAndrewMarshall.shtml

It was published a month ago in fortune magazine!!!

Here's the original story...
 http://www.fortune.com/fortune/print/0,15935,582584,00.html
The Pentagon's Weather Nightmare
The climate could change radically, and fast. That would be the mother of all national security issues.

I wonder who could be spinning this.

To leak or not to leak 22.Feb.2004 22:22

zenarchy

It doesn't matter if it was leaked or not, as the subject matter is, to say the least, a matter of significant concern. The media may touch it with a ten foot pole and then move on to more important things, such as the matter of a tit on Super Bowl Sunday, or some such bunk.

fortune 23.Feb.2004 11:49

dave

I saw the Fortune article. It was good, and included an abridged version of the DOD report. The article came right after a long article with pictures of the latest cars from General Motors, though, which seemed wrong to me.

yo... 23.Feb.2004 15:22

this thing here

>Its been known for a while now by experts that global warming is causing more freshwater "leaking" into the oceans of the North Sea theoretically diluting the N. Atlanyic salt water which will in turn upset the Caribbean warm water conveyor belt that keeps N. Europe alot wamer than it should be.<

in fact, before every ice age on earth, temperatures have increased, have spiked. and then, dropped off suddenly and precipitously. and perhaps the upsetting of saline warm water currents by the very cold freshwater of melting ice caps is enough to trigger an ice age in the northern hemisphere.

(along the same lines, scientists have proven that the earth's magnetic poles shift around a lot to, over hundreds of thousands and millions of years.)

by studying ice core samples taken from greenland, scientists have shown that temperatures on earth are anything but stable. they do not fall on a flat line at all. over hundreds of thousands of years, they bounce up and down so much that the flat line looks much more like mountains and valleys or an erratic heart beat.

all of recorded history since the birth of christ, 2000 years, falls on a peak, on an isolated bit of warm temps. as a human being, with a lifespan of 80-100 years, it's easy to think that the way the earth is while you're living, with warm temperatures, no ice ages, and compasses always pointing to the north pole, will be the way the earth is forever and ever. but that is not true at all.

the magnetic poles shift around, and every ten or twenty thousand years there's a minor ice age (minor in that they last thousands or tens of thousands of years), and every hundred thousand years a very severe ice age (severe in that they last hundreds of thousands of years). well, it's been 100,000 years since the last severe ice age. maybe we're due. and perhaps in our lifetimes, we'll begin to see some of these changes taking place. we're already seeing the rising temps. and perhaps, merely one or two generations ahead of us will actually experience life in an ice age. because when ice ages get started, they happen fast. on the order of hundreds of years, rather than thousands of years.

re: Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us 24.Feb.2004 00:01

Bob Remington

pretty scary story. So... where's the secret Pentagon report ???