By Dr. Piotr Bein, PEng, February 23, 2004
Reading like a militarist propaganda, The Observer article may well be one. I doubt its contents, and the motive behind its publication.
It is nonsense for Observer/Guardian journalists to overblow publically available information as leaked from secret places in Washington. I am not surprised. The British press spread extreme Islamist lies against the Serbs, too.
We are told that “suppression of the report for four months was a further example of the White House trying to bury the threat of climate change”. As if the threats were not known to everyone, except Americans who get their worldview from presidential speeches and the CNN.
And how do we know it was indeed a “suppression”? Bureaucracies are famous for taking ages while reviewing reports for publication. My own, leading edge report in a much smaller bureaucracy, a ministry in the provincial government in Canada, was stopped for almost two years while being “reviewed’ by the top floor and their modestly-paid “consultant’ to remove every word that undermined the ministry’s well-established place in the tail of the subject area.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), or hundreds of international scientists researching climate change, have predicted the grim possibilities, but never called nuclear war inevitable. A Pentagon source makes us believe they have their own “IPCC”, better equipped than the world’s best brains on the subject, so we better listen.
IPCC has been steadily warning about the social, economic and political aftermath of climate change around the globe. The deafest ears were American government’s, because doing something about fuel emissions was against the interests of the oil oligarchy. Started in earnest in about 1970s, notably with participation of numerous US scientists, the predictions (except sudden sea level rise next year!) have firmed up by mid-1990’s.
I am rather suspicious that the same thing “leaked” through “top secret”, clairvoyant think-tanks, re-written alarmistically, too.
WOT is dead, long live WCC
Secret is secret, even after the key person dies. Marshall, 82, is alive, “credited with DOD’s push on ballistic-missile defence”. Except for some Pentagon people, everyone knows that terrorists will not launch missiles onto the US of Hysteria, but would sneak dirty, street-level stuff in, or wrap explosives around the waist and hop on a New York bus.
Rumsfeld must be devastated that a most trusted man betrayed him. But frequent mention of terrorism is no coincidence. “War on terror” (WOT) ended up in a fiasco.
Palestinian terrorists still wrap explosives around their waist. Osama is still at large. “Saddam” is actually one of five look-alikes – never mind that not one of them had anything to do with 9-11. Terrorism in Iraq dramatically increased since the Coalition brought “liberation” “for the Iraqi people”. In Afghanistan, the difference is that Taliban just announced retaliation against the occupiers and their quislings. If rumours about some 400 body bags brought monthly from Iraq into one secret morgue in the US are true, imagine the figure when Taliban rolls the sleeves up.
Sensing a failure of the WOT slogan, Pentagon prepared a new reason for being: “war on climate change” (WCC). In the absence of “commies” after Berlin wall collapsed, the self-justification for Western militarism was “humanitarian interventions”, before it became “WOT” after 9-11.
Pentagon was prepared ahead of time. Quite a while ago, on a Pentagon website, I found a report on US military strategy in a warming climate. Reuters wrote on January 14, 2004: “U.N. aims to study link between environment, wars”. I commented, “Sounds like one of Pentagon’s reports: to look for new war reasons once ‘terrorism’ is ‘under control’ (as if terrorism could be conquered by armies).”
WOT nearing natural death, a few rings of the Pentagon building would go under a hammer. So would over 700 US military bases, and the Lear jets that fly military brass between Pacific islands and Swiss ski slopes.
Luckily, we have climate change. The Observer scribes let their fantasy feed from the fringes of scientific prediction. Twisting the Penatgon’s exagerated conclusion that catastrophic climate change scenarios are “plausible and would challenge United States national security in ways that should be considered immediately,” the scribes emphasized the urgency, as if a $400 billion war budget was not enough.
Finally, Camp Bondsteel base in Kosovo 1 km above see level will qualify for a grant to sharpen up the razor wire and beef up sand bag walls with concrete and titanium. Otherwise, it might be flooded in the Deluge predicted by Pentagon for 2005.
White House “scientific” dilemma
Not by chance, the article mentions last week’s “heavy fire from respected scientists” against the Bush administration. Washington propaganda pundits will declare Bush, great-heartedly turning away from WOT to WCC, to be a “Christ Scientist of Our Times”.
Whether it will be a Bush-President or an Unindicted War Criminal General Clark, the US administration will continue to adore science that suits its policy agenda and will suppress the other studies.
The language of the article does not leave doubts about the authors’ propagandist intentions: “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.” Right. The American public shot down Kyoto agreement to slow down with greengouse gas emissions. Or did the authors mean that the US public drifted much further away from their governments “policy” since Kyoto? Then the article’s sentence makes sense.
Should the reader still doubt the WCC rationale at this point, reading the stars from their meteorites that fall on Earth comes to rescue. A British lord, former “chief executive of the Meteorological Office – and the first senior figure to liken the threat of climate change to that of terrorism” is invoked as an authority.
Lord authority might work in modern, liberated UK, but not in Afghanistan. Those ingrates will not understand that WOT is WCC until further notice, and that they should return to the caves, instead of seeking revenge for driving their country back to stone age and fertilizing it with uranium manure.
Perhaps foreseeing this undesirable eventuality, the article quotes no less than a rep of an org that brings happiness to all impoverished people – the World Bank. A “chief scientist for the World Bank” who also happened to be a “former chair” of the IPCC, said the Pentagon’s “dire warnings could no longer be ignored.” To Watson’s credit, he knows whom White House listens to – “the oil lobby and the Pentagon”.
Under “something for everyone” motto, the article also quotes Greenpeace, who consistetly covers the military in radioactive war scandals since Iraq 1991, if not Middle East 1970s.
Memories of WOT in Afghan and Iraqi summer will become a pleasant memory in the scorching heat of global warming. Pentagon and other “experts” tend towards US hysteria: “The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents.” On the other hand, the Yankees are good at making things worse, so perhaps we should believe and be prepared. Milosevic did not, and has to suffer as a prosecutor of NATO in a former Nazi prison at The Hague.
Apocalyptically, “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.” Worst, some of them may get an idea to protect (with nukes) national oil resources from evaporation in the global heat.
Pentagon’s “IPCC” did not invent the nuclear trigger from global warming for nothing. Who would be the most likely states to use nuclear weapons when heated up by the global greenhouse? “Axis of Evil”, answered toddlers in my neighbourhood nursery.
Thanks to carbon dioxide, nukes will be alive and well. Elaborate plans to develop nuclear weapon systems that would turn the Earth into a glass ball glowing in the darkness of Universe, will not become pulp. Countless jobs in the glowing “industry” will be saved from extinction. Who said climate change is bad for the economy?
Yes, economy and national security. The Pentagon report was prepared by the cream of US biz: Peter Schwartz, “CIA consultant and former head of planning at Royal Dutch/Shell Group”, and Doug Randall “of the California-based Global Business Network”. Global the climate change is. How much it has to do with business and the military (complex in short) is a subject for thick books. I am out of this specialty for long. Could someone please check if Schwartz and Randall are not by chance among the few critics of IPCC work?
World population only at half the level predicted for the end of the century, Randall and Schwartz panic already. Are they afraid of losing suburban comfort to the hordes of climate change refugees? Both authors believe in “catastrophic” shortages of water and energy that will plunge the globe into war by 2020. No confidence in Coca Cola and oil companies. Every challenge is a business opportunity, is it not?
If I were Pentagon, I would worry that if radioactive wars continue at present pace, by 2020 there would not be a patch of land left without radioactivity.
The authors of Pentagon report worry that “8,200 years ago climatic conditions brought widespread crop failure, famine, disease and mass migration of populations that could soon be repeated.” I think they should rejoice that US forces know how to deal with mass exodus, as from Kosovo 1999, or Afghanistan 2001-2002. Uranium ammunition comes in handy when the exodus turns “the wrong way”.
America will grow again, better able to pay tooth for tooth, eye for an eye for each nuke launched from a country fried to desperation by the warming climate.
War at last
Pentagon “analysts” have no doubts about the future. “Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life. Once again, warfare would define human life,” wrote Pentagon psychos.
Our peaceful times will soon be over. We will have vicious climates to fight with tanks, bombers and radioactive weapons all over the world, from the equator north and south, all the way to the poles.
Resources needed for operations and bases against WCC will eclipse those for WOT. Imagine the challenges to establish US forward bases on each pole, for pre-emptive strikes against Cold, should it threaten to form an alliance with Warmth.
It’s been long time since I read such pro-complex science rubbish. Last time, from the holloway311 series on the du-watch list, about “natural” uranium 236 and plutonium 239.
Piotr is a former lead researcher on socio-economic issues of climate change with the Canadian federal government. He became an antiwar warrior with 1999 NATO attack on Yugoslavia. He wrote two books about it (in Polish http://www.gavagai.pl/nato/, in English http://www.aeronautics.ru/archive/yugoslavia/bein/) and articles to independent media, including Antiwar. He co-founded http://www.du-watch.org against uranium weapons. He authored and co-authored leading papers about official propaganda on uranium weapons, and moderates and manages the du-watch e-group. Recently, he has been nominated assistant editor of the Polish diaspora magazine http://www.infonurt.com
Copyleft Piotr Bein 2004: copy right, left and centre. Commercial exploitation of the article subject to C in a circle.
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. Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004