Ryan Griffis on Thu, 26 Feb 2004 15:39:20 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Talk about "total war"...

As if the spectre of terrorism wasn't disembodied
enough, we'll now have a "war on climate change" that
means the further bunkering of the elite and
militarization of all space... gives a new context for
the Governator's hydrogen cell powered Hummer.
Virilio's "Popular Defence and Ecological Struggles"

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

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

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

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

'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

'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

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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