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Old 02-23-2004, 06:40 PM   #1
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It's the end of the world as we know it

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.

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Old 02-23-2004, 08:53 PM   #2
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What do you mean global warming? No such thing exists. Humans contributing? Nonsense!

Just some of the things that have been said on the matter here in the past. Nobody listens to scientists except when they fit an agenda. Corporations are running our world into the ground, and nobody gives a shit. I have read many times reports arguing that the next major world conflict will be over resources such as fresh water. We are seemingly inching closer.

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Old 02-23-2004, 10:01 PM   #3
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I heard about this in my Ecology class today.

I can't wait to be plunged into a post-apocalyptic future.
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Old 02-23-2004, 10:19 PM   #4
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I believe you might have missed this thread of mine.

The world as we know it will change, whether through global warming or through sunspot cycles (three cycles; 320 years each; more sunspots=more intense, less diffused radiation=warmer climate). The latter theory is as plausible as global warming, as in the 11th century, vineyards were reported to have been growing in England--which it has not been able to since. That was the last time we were in a warm, dry cycle before the present warm, dry cycle, which has been going on since 1700--meaning, if calculations are correct, this present cycle will end around 2020. The following two cycles are cool and wet cycles, meaning that the next 640 years after 2020 should follow that pattern.

However, the former is a theory, one that I read literally years ago and haven't been able to find anything on since. It might be completely discredited, as far as I know, but I found it very intriguing, to say the least.

With the seeming death of postmodernism and the possible resumption of modernism, coupled with the potential for massive climactic change within the next couple decades, I would not put it past the fact that genocide may very well be seen again within our lifetimes. The industrialized nations will certainly ensure their survival and third-world nations may grow increasingly desperate, as they are no match against industrial hyperpower. "Terrorism," thus, could resume at a much higher rate, and, while Israel might be a bit overtolerant against Palestinian terrorism, it is doubtful that the U.S. will extend such tolerance, and will probably start hurling bombs at groups or nations that threaten our security...

...which is probably why the Pentagon is studying "worst-case scenarios." The post-World War II era may soon look like "paradise lost." History, as well, is on the side of science; such prosperity and stability is always fleeting, whereas the world inevitably plunges into chaos and violence, and perhaps we should enjoy what we have now, because we might not have it forever--and it may no longer be within our realm of control.

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Old 02-24-2004, 04:28 AM   #5
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Honestly, the arrogance of these humans thinking their activities can change the world's climate.

I actually read this article in the paper this Sunday and I think its predictions are extremely worrying. I hope the fact that it's actually officials from the Pentagon making these claims will encourage some of the sceptics to take it more seriously.
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:27 AM   #6
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Is this true?? How scary, are we going to have another ice age??
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Old 02-24-2004, 10:05 AM   #7
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Some of the language used in the article by the Pentagon sounds like it comes right out of Revalations. I wonder if that means the Pentagon believes Bush is the anti-christ?
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Old 02-24-2004, 10:51 AM   #8
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Old 02-24-2004, 11:15 AM   #9
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Originally posted by Green Light 711
Is this true?? How scary, are we going to have another ice age??
Going by the global warming theory, if the North Pole icecap melts and destroys the Gulf Stream, then, yes, we could plunge into another millennia-long Ice Age.

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Old 02-24-2004, 05:08 PM   #10
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That Bush would choose to hide this sort of information is no surprise, he wants us to be afraid of terrorists, not something he has absolutely no control over. In his beady little eyes, it's NOW that matters, our children and grandchildren can deal with the future's enormous problems.

Good luck, kids!
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Old 02-26-2004, 06:44 AM   #11
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Global climate change is still an issue where the real science is too often "interpereted" by those with an axe to grind but we should really ask where we want to go in the future. It's a fact that there is no way to rely on fossil fuels for power indefinitely. It is also a fact that if we investigate and develop future energy sources we will not have an energy crisis when our fossil fuel reserves run out.

As far as I see it it makes absolutely no sense to continue long term economic strategy with fossil fuels when we can develop better alternatives that are ultimately cheaper and more efficient, thinking here of Nuclear Fission and in future a Controlled Fusion reactors. Regardless of what the anti-"Nukular" crowd say our future lies in having power sources that can sustain large populations without the pollution created by burning coal. *Maybe in the (not too) distant future we will go even furthur and manipulate the ZPE within a vacuum (*Really more of a SF board thing anyway).

If we can develop these technologies then perhaps just perhaps the balance of power will shift from the nation-state and all the problems it has caused over the last few centuries to humanity as a whole. Technology will no longer be feared by many, it will be embraced as a tool for the betterment of mankind, we could create a sustainable planet in terms of production, energy, clean water, political organization and importantly education. Make no mistake there is a big change coming, it will not be inherently violent it will be the eventuation of humanity's ongoing desire for a real and lasting peace in the world. IF we were to create long term practically unlimited energy sources the haves and have not's in the world could be removed within a generation or two. I am however the eternal optimist, I don't see any reason that humanity cannot aim for lofty goals that seem unattainable when we are bound by our own constructed reality, when we remove these artificial barriers that divide us all we find that what is left, our humanity, it is universal and it is for that reason I know that we have a potential to stop the perpetual suicide of civilization that has repeated throughout history and take the steps forward to a new and better world. I shall finish this somewhat out of place post with a quote delivered at American University in June 1963 by President Kennedy because it is as relevant today as it was then,
So, let us not be blind to our differences--but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal.
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Old 03-03-2004, 10:11 PM   #12
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Insurer warns of global warming catastrophe

By Thomas Atkins

GENEVA (Reuters) - The world's second-largest reinsurer, Swiss Re, warned on Wednesday that the costs of natural disasters, aggravated by global warming, threatened to spiral out of control, forcing the human race into a catastrophe of its own making.

In a report revealing how climate change is rising on the corporate agenda, Swiss Re said the economic costs of such disasters threatened to double to $150 billion (82 billion pounds) a year in 10 years, hitting insurers with $30-40 billion in claims, or the equivalent of one World Trade Centre attack annually.

"There is a danger that human intervention will accelerate and intensify natural climate changes to such a point that it will become impossible to adapt our socio-economic systems in time," Swiss Re said in the report.

"The human race can lead itself into this climatic catastrophe -- or it can avert it."

The report comes as a growing number of policy experts warn that the environment is emerging as the security threat of the 21st century, eclipsing terrorism.

Scientists expect global warming to trigger increasingly frequent and violent storms, heat waves, flooding, tornadoes, and cyclones while other areas slip into cold or drought.

"Sea levels will continue to rise, glaciers retreat and snow cover decline," the insurer wrote.

EXPONENTIAL RISE Losses to insurers from environmental events have risen exponentially over the past 30 years, and are expected to rise even more rapidly still, said Swiss Re climate expert Pamela Heck.

"Scientists tell us that certain extreme events are going to increase in intensity and frequency in the future," Heck told Reuters by telephone. "Climate change is very much in the mind of the insurance industry."

Over the past century, the average global temperature has increased by 0.6 degrees Centigrade, the largest rise for the northern hemisphere in the past 1,000 years, Swiss Re said.

In the short- and medium-term, simply knowing that the planet is warming will allow society to adapt, for example, through infrastructure to cope with more-frequent floods or by instructing farmers to use drought-resistant cereals.

In other cases, governments need to restrict risk-taking, such as approving housing developments in low-lying areas, and improve catastrophe management capabilities.

In the long term, Swiss Re said, greenhouse gases widely thought to trigger global warming will need to be reduced, the use of fossil fuels cut and new energy technologies developed.

"The role of the insurance industry is through establishing risk adequate tariffs and to give the risk taker the opportunity to implement appropriate measures to reduce the chance of possible losses," Heck said.
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Old 03-06-2004, 03:36 PM   #13
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Originally posted by anitram
What do you mean global warming? No such thing exists. Humans contributing? Nonsense!

It's still not completely clear if the current rise in surface temperatures is caused by the greenhouse effect. As far as I know, temperature measurements in the atmosphere still disagree with the results that the greenhouse theory predicts.

This is not to say that there aren't other reasons to curb our fossil fuel consumption, of course.
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Old 03-06-2004, 03:55 PM   #14
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Buffalo herds could take days to pass. They had lived in North American for thousands of years.

To suggest that men could wipe them out was ludicrous.

We may never know just how many buffalo once roamed North America, although estimates range from

30 to 75 million.

Hunting from train windows was advertised widely and passengers shot them as the buffalo raced beside the trains. By 1883 both the northern and the southern herds had been destroyed.

Less than 300 wild animals

remained in the U.S. and Canada by the turn of the century out of the millions that once lived there.

Being 48, I can remember cigarette ads that suggested sportsman should smoke brand X for that extra advantage.

That it improved your performance and NO scientific evidence existed to prove it was harmful.
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Old 03-06-2004, 06:10 PM   #15
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It's important to look at where scientists who doubt global warming get their funding from. A lot (but no necessarily all) get their funding from oil companies. In 1998 Exxon mobile gave $10,000 to the science and environmental policy project run by Fred Singer, a highly vocal critic of the global warming theory, and also gave $65,000 to the Atlas economic research foundation, which promotes Singer's work. Now this doesn't mean that they necessarily rigged their work to "prove" what Exxon wanted them to, but that amount of money and endorsement does give this fringe scientific groups a lot more attention than they would otherwise recieve in my opinion.

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