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Pentagon Report Forecasts Global Environmental Crisis

An international alliance of anti-capitalists is even more crucial with the recent report from the Pentagon about an impending environmental crisis.
This is serious.

The Pentagon is saying in the report printed below that world capitalism is going to be thrown into severe crisis by the developing environmental catastrophe. For all activists, and for the working class in general, this is the most important report to be made available to us in decades. We all have a duty to read and study it and to draw the political and organizational conclusions from it.

Labors Militant Voice, the small group of which I am part has been trying to discuss and understand the likely developments for society in the coming decades. We think that this report confirms some of the fundamental aspects of the perspectives that we have been developing. One in particular. We have been arguing that the environmental crisis which is made up of global warming, the pollution of the air, land and water, the crisis of water supply, these now stand as major obstacles to the development of capitalism.

We have been discussing that with the collapse of stalinism, capitalism regained the territories and resources, including the labor, of the former Soviet Union, China, etc. With this victory and the collaboration of the workers leaders internationally, capitalism was able to step up its offensive against the working class worldwide and US imperialism was able to launch its offensive for "full spectrum domination." That is total domination of the world by US capitalism.

At the same time the defeats of the working class in the west and the development of new technology gave increased impetus to capitalist economic growth in general. We have been discussing the prospects for the rise of Chinese capitalism. We have raised that the theory of the permanent revolution does not apply to the former stalinist countries and therefore what is it, if anything, that now stands in the way of these countries developing into modern capitalist economies and opening up a new period of upswing for world capitalism.

But we have raised in contradiction to this that capitalism is destroying the environment to such an extent and with such speed that this would cut across the prospects suggested above. We pointed out that it was impossible for the Chinese economy to develop into a USA type economy as such a development, long before it reached fruition would have added such impetus to the destruction of the environment that the world would be thrown into chaos, breakdown and wars.

The issue of "Peak Oil", that is when the supply of oil would begin to decline dramatically, is another factor in this, but we think that the issue of the environment is more immediate.

We also have discussed that with the pressure of stalinism gone then capitalism would once again move much more towards unrestrained vicious competition and conflict. That increasingly savage competition and wars between the capitalist powers would come much more onto the agenda. Yes the fear that nuclear war would destroy all would be somewhat of a restraining factor but the more powerful factor would be that with the threat of stalinism gone so also is the restraint that this placed on the inevitable inter-capitalist conflict.

We have also begone to discuss the issue of how capitalism sees itself keeping control in this situation of crisis that is developing. A few weeks ago General Frank a top US General spoke of the possibility that a dictatorship might be needed in the US at some time in the future. Faced with the information in the report of the Pentagon below it is clear why he and the capitalist class in the US and internationally would be considering such an option. Not in the months or immediate years ahead but on the basis of the breakdown that is posed in this report then bourgeois democracy would be a "luxury' that capitalism could no longer afford.

The "Patriot Act" in the US shows the way the wind is blowing in terms of US capitalism controlling the US working class. And the development of their missile defense system shows the way they are thinking in terms of nuclear war and their thinking that the US would be able to emerge from this partially intact.

Of course the working class will not be passive in this process of developing catastrophe under capitalism. As a class we will rise to attempt to defend ourselves and to offer the prospect for a new world in which the necessities of life are in abundance for alll and an economic system that is sustainable. Capitalism will do its best to divide us along nationalist and racist lines and we are likely to see the rise of support amongst the top capitalist forces for fascist and military dictatorship "solutions" not only in the former colonial countries but also in the imperialist countries. Of course the move in this direction will evoke powerful opposition from the working class and in the process radicalisation and a determination to create an alternative to capitalism.

We in Labors Militant Voice believe that all anti capitalist and working class activists should be building united front struggles and structures to oppose the offensive and crisis of capitalism and out of this process build a new anti capitalist international which would base itself on direct action fight to win tactics. Within this anti capitalist, working class based, direct action fight to win international all the various currents of anti capitalism, the various currents
basing themselves on marxism, the various currents basing themselves on anarchism, all anti capitalist currents in fact, would be able to organize and express their views while working together as a fighting anti capitalist international. We believe these are the organizational conclusions that should be drawn from this report of the pentagon. We are keen to discuss with all who are interested in considering such an alternative.

Ten or twenty years ago I was involved in the production of a pamphlet in Ireland. We entitled it Socialism or Catastrophe. In the light of the new technology, the collapse of stalinism, the celtic tiger, the growth cycle of the 1990's, the rise of Chinese capitalism, this pamphlet and title did not have much attractive power. In fact I do not even have a copy of it myself. The arguments and perspectives in it were not very accurate to put it mildly.
However in light of the developments outlined in the Pentagons report its title might be
coming back to a position where it would begin to correspond to the essence of the world situation and the needs of the human species, in fact all species.

I believe the struggle for an anti capitalist international is more urgent than ever and the simultaneous struggle for a revolutionary socialist current in that international equally so. All activists have a responsibility to review their own views and methods of work to see if they are not obstacles to the steps that are now necessary.



Below is the article in the Observer on the Report from the Pentagon.


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
 http://www.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,12374,1153530,00.html

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.

homepage: homepage: http://www.laborsmilitantvoice.com

Thanks for spamming the site. 23.Feb.2004 21:12

Tony Blair's dog

This article is already available in 7 instances on the frontpage
and, while the issue is important, the world will not go under
in "20 years" due to climate changes. Add a zero and you will
see the change.

This is scare propaganda from the Pentagon in order
to try and get people from paying attention to what is
going on right now.

yeah, Tbd 23.Feb.2004 21:30

agreed

this stupid article has been spammed all over the Internet -

not only the IMCs but all kinds of alternative news sources.

it seems like the type of article that your average garden variety card-carrying Democrat/Sierra Club member would really get off on:

"oh golly look what Bu$h$atan's own Pentagon is saying about the environment! we have to get rid of him! anyone but Bu$h!"

but there is - of course - a between-the-lines subtext to such Pentagon propaganda (i.e. why right now?).

Climate change *is* certainly occurring, but we certainly didn't need The Pentagon to - belatedly - inform anyone about this data, it being widely available from so many other sources including Bu$h's own EPA.

Gravytrain 23.Feb.2004 21:53

16 horsepower

Yeah right. And why do you think the mainstream press doesnt want to touch it? Because one of its main implications is to put an end to the SUV/pickup gashog advertising gravy train for the media. The web is the best way to get this kind info out there.

just eat me now, george 24.Feb.2004 08:14

and I hope you choke

Yahoo! is running the story now.

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

3 years until the Netherlands are uninhabitable? Am I just in the denial stage of global grief, or is this utter crap from the Bush & Rumsfeld Fear Factory, since the spin it will be given if only in people's minds, isn't that an environmental President is mandatory, but that a "war President" is?

Would be okay if this is Bush's sword, I'd like to see him die on it. Okay George, the environment is this critical of an issue? Then it's time to stop obsessing over people's private lives as of a week ago, and either walk the talk, or get lost.