climate change pentagon priority?!?!

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Bry, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. Bry
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    Science - AFP

    Leaked Pentagon report warns climate change may bring famine, war: report
    Sun Feb 22, 5:13 PM ET Add Science - 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.

    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.
     
  2. Scourge
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    we are upsetting the balances... we need to rethink some of our industrial practices quickly. We have had a good thing on this planet, too bad we direspect it so much.

    Solar power! Wind power! Hybrid cars! Green tea! Hemp paper! Free concerts!
    I can the revolution unfolding...
     
  3. rtwngAvngr
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    If you guys care about the environment, please kick the communists and socialists out of the movement. Thanks. Oh wait, they ARE the movement. nevermind. The only course of action left to us reasonable people is the complete political devastation of your party. Death to Democrats.
     
  4. nbdysfu
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    Speaking of Commies, Beijing is set to make our rust belt look like a hawaiian lai (sp).

    Their industry intends to outstrip the G7 in a matter of a decade or so. Their environmental regulations are nonexistant. Strip mining has already devastated large areas, and there is a massive ignorance within the government in terms of ecological principals. Their farmlands are dead from thousands of years of farming which created a fragile cycle that has been broken over the last half century by the rise of industry and monolithic planning. Their capital is experiencing a 5-year drought in their water supply which threatens to become insufficient in a matter of years for millions of people. They want american life but have no understanding of its problems, and have scrapped their maglev for a massive network of six-lane highways connecting speculative mcmansions. This is set to provide housing for an additional half billion citizens in the next ten years. The authoritarian government is so desparate that it has outlawed bricks, noting the limited resources of earth. They have nuclear weapons, and have been implicated in the A.Q. Kahn nuke ring. Any chance that report makes mention of china?
     
  5. deciophobic
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    I hope you really don't want democrats to die.
     
  6. RobertOne
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    Government agencies write papers outlining extreme positions to prepare themselves for extreme positions. Assistants like to leak this stuff to look important and cause a media uproar.

    I've done some study into global warming and climate change and this paper is, at best, HIGHLY unlikely.
     
  7. Bry
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    :dunno: Yeah. I guess we'll just have to wait 'till it becomes profitable for the private sector to address these issues before we actually do anything about it.

    Climate change is a reality, folks. We can act try to counteract it, or we ignore it 'till it kills us.

    nbysfu: "Hey, China's worse than us, why do we have to do anything about it?" Since when did China become our role model?
     
  8. RobertOne
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    Climate change is recordable yes, but how much of it is due to greenhouse gas emissions? Were not sure. There are MANY natural factors that contribute to increased temperatures and environmental changes.

    Greenhouse emissions do affect the environment, but nobody is sure exactly how much, and if the amount they affect the environment is worth the money or sacrifice.
     
  9. nbdysfu
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    originally posted by Bry
    nbysfu: "Hey, China's worse than us, why do we have to do anything about it?" Since when did China become our role model?
    ________ __________

    Glad we are on the same page Bry. I in no way meant that we should look to china's authoritarian commie government for inpiration in this matter. :D

    My point was that besides the us, uk, France, Canada and Germany which have been in a 30 year process of curbing overpopulation through education and working towards sustainable environmental measures, there is a burgeoning industry, in the Asias, namely India and China, which have little environmental regulation and are currently some of the worst places to live in the world. I'm not talking about all of China, as it is vast, but you should take a gander at the way some of the latest cities are planned.

    I think we should start counting environmental protection more agressively into our foreign policy. We should insist at point of some concessions that all developing nations adopt the exact principles which we have already achieved. At a world level we should then seek to continue improving our legislation. At no point should we let 'socio-economic factors' become a get out of jail free card ;)
     
  10. Bry
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    Cool, nbdysfu, glad we're on the same page. Problem is, Europe is already in the midst of a dramatic economic change in which entire industries will simply not survive because they cannot be profitable without unreasonably polluting the environment. They are lightyears ahead of the US in terms of making the necessary changes. Meanwhile, Americans chuckle at how uncompetetive the European economy is, while ignoring what a risk they are taking by being the first to make the transition. Furthermore, the industrialization of most third world countries is being conducted by whom? Western corporations eager to produce at a lower cost. In the long run, the winner will not be he who does whatever is necessary to increase production and profit.
     

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