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Old 02-23-2004, 05:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Leaked Pentagon report warns climate change may bring famine, war: report

Quote:
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.
So why was this report "covered up by US defense chiefs for four months"? Because it doesn't fit the common republican believes and it looks bad if "you own" people correct you?
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Old 02-23-2004, 05:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Also, Bush's 2004 budget has literally stripped ALL funding from studies of climate change. All of it.
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Old 02-23-2004, 05:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pacifier
So why was this report "covered up by US defense chiefs for four months"? Because it doesn't fit the common republican believes and it looks bad if "you own" people correct you?
Or perhaps because war sounds preferable over "wussy environmental protection"?

The current administration does seem focussed on the military side of issues.

On the other hand: I think the report and possible scenario's are a bit far-fetched (regarding time-line mostly)

edited to add the quote I was replying to
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Old 02-23-2004, 05:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The military studies any possible eventuality that may lead to conflict. The report says nothing about the cause of any global warming nor does it say that global warming is occuring. Further, it studies "abrupt" global warming as opposed to the gradual global warming which is allegedly occuring.

Superbelt, you are so completely wrong in this post. All funding is not being stopped. Not by a long shot.

http://www.geotimes.org/feb03/WebExtra020403.html

The geosciences, Marburger said, were not a designated priority in this budget. But he highlighted climate change research as one of the administration's cross-cutting programs, as well as investments in energy. "There are some geoscience initiatives or research programs that are related to energy source, but no special priority."

The budget increases funding for the administration's Climate Change Research Initiative (CCRI) by 355 percent over the fiscal year 2003 proposed budget. "The three priority areas that CCRI is trying to move toward are reducing significant uncertainties that have been identified as priorities in climate science, improving observing systems and improving modeling," said Marcus Peacock, associate director of the Office of Management and Budget. Recently, CCRI combined with the U.S. Global Climate Change Research Program to form the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP).

Under CCSP, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will receive $213 million, a modest 5 percent boost over the fiscal year 2003 budget request in climate change funding. Echoing Peacock, the NSF budget says: "NSF will support research to reduce uncertainty in critical areas of climate change knowledge and provide timely information to facilitate policy decisions."

The two largest increases in climate change research funding are for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of Agriculture. The 15 percent funding increase for NOAA will largely go toward climate observing platforms. The president's budget also provides about $1.2 billion, about the same as in fiscal year 2003, to climate change technology, including the development of programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions via renewable energy, energy efficiency and carbon sequestration, Marburger said. About 90 percent of the funding will go toward the Department of Energy, with the rest to the Environmental Protection Agency.

On the energy front, Marburger discussed the increased role of hydrogen-based fuels, highlighted in Bush's State of the Union address last week. "The President is impressed with the opportunities that a hydrogen-based economy offers," Marburger said. The FreedomFuel initiative will provide $3.2 billion to develop hydrogen fuel for use in fuel-cell vehicles and electricity generation.
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Old 02-23-2004, 05:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Dude, what you have comes from February 2003. This is February 2004. Things have changed.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4098618/

The 2004 budget shows deep cuts for Research

The Department of Energys budget grows 1.2%. But research is cut by $73 million, this research is primarially the human genome project and, climate change research. This is the nations primary source of federally funded climate change research. The Admin is tripling spending on research for cleaner ways to burn coal from 208 - 635 million. Money towards an emission-free power plant using coal? Grows to $287 mill. Funding to develop more efficient vehicle tech? Cut by $23 million.

EPA's budget is cut by 7.2% That makes it one of the hardest hit. Cuts in the science and research budget such as the competeitvely awarded Science to Achieve Results grants. Used to solve environmental questions like health effects of airborne particulates, drinking water quality, global climate change, and endochrine-disrupting chemical pollutants.

All these programs will not just be set back one year because of this budget. Even if the money is put back in next year there will be a multiple year setback as you can't just take a year off and get back into it. Constant collection of data is necessary to get good science. We are now being denied that. Research teams will be disbanded, and they scatter to other ventures to never be combined again. Facilities go to other priorities, when the research comes back money must be wasted to start new labs and facilities from scratch.

It may be a bit of an overstatement. But we are essentially losing all federally funded research.
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Old 02-23-2004, 06:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Look, the fact of the matter is Yes, the Earth is warming up.

Reason? Who knows.

Fact: We are still currently in an Ice Age according to Ice-cores and fossilized records. Dont currently have a link but I'm sure it's not difficult to find, the findins were done by my geology professor (who's actually very liberal) so I trust it to be unbiased.

Maybe it's industry, maybe it's just a natural progression out of the ice age. This doesn't say anything. All it says that in a drastic change famine/starvation/upheval could occur, and I dont think this is news to anyone.
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Old 02-23-2004, 06:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Actually we are technically supposed to be entering an ice age. Not just "are in an ice age" We are supposed to be getting colder and colder for many thousands of years. Not getting warmer.
It's part of a 100,000 year cycle and we are only 5600 years into it.
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Old 02-23-2004, 06:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Superbelt
Dude, what you have comes from February 2003. This is February 2004. Things have changed.
It may be a bit of an overstatement. But we are essentially losing all federally funded research.
Yep, my bad. I had a few web pages open at the same time and didn't choose the most recent one.

Regardsless, all funding has not been stripped and some areas such as the National Science Foundation have seen increases.
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Old 02-23-2004, 06:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
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First, the 200 some million is a paltry sum. Almost nothing when you think about what we just lost in climate research this year.

Secondly, care to provide a source that shows that they have actually recieved any federal money at all for the fiscal '04 year to fund climate change? Let alone any kind of increase.

If Bush would cut the other programs, I would bet money he cut National Science Foundation funds as well.
It seems to me he is targeting specific things, and we all know how he feels about climate change research.
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Old 02-23-2004, 06:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Superbelt

Secondly, care to provide a source that shows that they have actually recieved any federal money at all for the fiscal '04 year to fund climate change? Let alone any kind of increase.

If Bush would cut the other programs, I would bet money he cut National Science Foundation funds as well.
It seems to me he is targeting specific things, and we all know how he feels about climate change research.
You would lose that bet.

http://www.geotimes.org/current/WebExtra020404.html

As an aside, things will still be added into the budget that aren't currently there, as happens regularly.
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Old 02-23-2004, 06:56 AM   #11 (permalink)
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So what?

If I assume a metor is going to hit the earth, I can do a report about the horrors that will follow.

Of course an abrupt climate change would cause problems. Duh.

This is not something thats a point of contention with global warming.

Also while we are at it, its the Pentagons job to plan for such things, reguardless of probability. I wouldn't be surprised if we had plans for invading Canada and Mexico that were updated yearly 'just in case' such an event became needed. The fact that they MAY have made such a report is not saying 'global warming will be a problem' its saying 'global warming MAY be a problem'.
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Last edited by Ustwo; 02-23-2004 at 06:59 AM..
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Old 02-23-2004, 07:09 AM   #12 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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You have shown that NSF keeps their funding levels, but not that there will be the proper type of funding for climate change. I don't have anything to back it up other than Bush's predilection to cutting similar programs in every other department. But I think that can strongly lead me towards that direction. The wording he uses could study climate change like El Nino or North Atlantic Oscillation rather than global climate change. And again. What NSF does is a drop in the bucket compared to the programs we lose this year.

Last edited by Superbelt; 02-23-2004 at 07:11 AM..
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Old 02-23-2004, 10:36 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Superbelt
You have shown that NSF keeps their funding levels, but not that there will be the proper type of funding for climate change. I don't have anything to back it up other than Bush's predilection to cutting similar programs in every other department. But I think that can strongly lead me towards that direction. The wording he uses could study climate change like El Nino or North Atlantic Oscillation rather than global climate change. And again. What NSF does is a drop in the bucket compared to the programs we lose this year.
"Proper type of funding for climate change"? What would you consider proper? What other programs will you cut to make up the difference (let's keep defense spending off the table, for now please)?
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Old 02-23-2004, 10:44 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Proper would be at least the funding we had before Bush took office.

There are thousands of programs that are less important.
Or we could just restore taxes....
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Old 02-23-2004, 11:08 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Superbelt
Proper would be at least the funding we had before Bush took office.

There are thousands of programs that are less important.
Or we could just restore taxes....
I agree that there are thousands of programs that are less important, now if we could actually cut some of them without an outcry that the sky is falling.

Overall I am obviously not that broken up about the decrease in funding for research into the global climate change. There's plenty of research money going to schools, science foundations, etc that could be steered towards global climate change if that's the noblest cause. Personally I don't believe it is.

As far as raising taxes, there are thousands of programs out there that are inefficient, outdated, and possibly inconsequential. I say we clean up the waste and if that doesn't help the situation then we raise taxes.
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Old 02-24-2004, 05:53 AM   #16 (permalink)
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roaming off to listen to the KINKS have a pint and think of the glory days of this country when the politicians actually tried to help the people that elected them not the corporations.
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Old 02-24-2004, 06:02 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ustwo
So what?

If I assume a metor is going to hit the earth, I can do a report about the horrors that will follow.

Of course an abrupt climate change would cause problems. Duh.

This is not something thats a point of contention with global warming.

Also while we are at it, its the Pentagons job to plan for such things, reguardless of probability. I wouldn't be surprised if we had plans for invading Canada and Mexico that were updated yearly 'just in case' such an event became needed. The fact that they MAY have made such a report is not saying 'global warming will be a problem' its saying 'global warming MAY be a problem'.


Ah Yes, and Iraq MAY HAVE BEEN a problem that the Bush administration, Halliburton and big oil took care of. Why worry about drought, millions losing property and homes. We can focus on countries with WMD's.

Wait there were no WMD's.

OK, sorry did we say WMD's? We meant Imminent threat?

Wait, NEVER did we say imminent threat. We went in because..... ummmm........ yeah Saddam was an evil man.

Wait....... what about Uganda, Haiti, N. Korea, and other countries that have evil despots? WELL, they don't have oil now do they?
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