Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Disease is the Cure

Earlier last week, the Security Council at the (dis) United Nations held its first-ever discussion on climate change as a serious threat to security and future political stability.

It has been clear for some time that the response of the geographic state of the United States to climate change is not mitigation, not even adaptation. It has been and still continues to be a military response. Here is another spike in the heart from Bloomberg.

Global Warming Equals True Equivalent of War:
By Frederick Kempe

April 24 (Bloomberg) -- You know climate change has become a top priority in Washington when it starts penetrating the thinking of leaders in the U.S. military and intelligence community.

Eleven retired generals and admirals have sent out a warning shot about national-security threats from climate change, calling it a ``threat-multiplier'' that will make unstable regions shakier through increased drought, extreme weather, migrations and rising extremism.

No less than President George W. Bush has issued a clarion call, citing the ``serious challenge of global climate change'' in his last State of the Union address. His administration's intelligence community had begun work looking at how global warming could pressurize unstable regions even before the Senate introduced legislation calling for a National Intelligence Estimate on it.

``Moving climate change into the national security realm is a watershed event,'' says Sherri Goodman, a former Pentagon official who directed the Military Advisory Board at the CNA Corp., a national-security research organization in Alexandria, Virginia.

That's all further evidence of a seismic shift in America on climate change as a mainstream issue, which may soon have the world's biggest energy user leapfrogging Europe and elsewhere on the science of reducing emissions and on studies of the political consequences if those efforts fall short.

Anticipating Attacks

The military leaders who signed off on the CNA report recognized that the world's climate scientists still disagreed about the extent of future changes and many still question the human role in global warming. They figured their job has always been anticipating and planning for emerging risks -- just as they did in deterring a Soviet nuclear missile attack.

General Charles F. Wald, one of the 11 military men who produced the report, jokes that members of the group at first worried that they would be seen by the public as ``a bunch of soft-headed military guys looking for attention after they retired.'' Yet with each briefing they had from the world's top climate scientists, they grew more concerned. (clip)

Global-warming skeptics -- I have long been among them -- now must face the fact that some of America's toughest military leaders have embraced climate change as so real and unavoidable that future national defense and intelligence strategies must be shaped to deal with all the potentially disruptive changes.

Those who doubt the climate's possible impact on history need only read the Bible or daily newspapers' accounts of the Darfur conflict, which is in no small part a battle between groups of herders and farmers. It was the failure of the herders' grazing lands that sent them south in search of water, and that resulted in a conflict with farming tribes on those lands.

In short, Darfur shows how climate change can push social and ethnic strains to the breaking point. (clip)

What the generals and admirals want is for future strategic planning to take these new threats into account in force planning, particularly for natural disasters from extreme weather and pandemic diseases. (clip)

``We will pay for this one way or another,'' says General Anthony C. Zinni, the former head of the U.S. Central Command, who was part of the group. ``We will pay to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions today. Or we will pay the price later in military terms. And that will involve human lives.''

Meanwhile, Australia may soon become the first industrialized nation to face a food crises because of Climate Change. And even then, their political leadership remains blind to the challenges ahead.

Or perhaps the Aussies believe in a military response themselves?

Over the weekend, in a fit of realistic depression, I mentioned to my partner that perhaps we are not going to do what needs to be done to meet this challenge, and perhaps that's alright... that often, the disease is the cure.

The earth will be much happier with only 2 or 3 billion people left on it. Those who do survive the next horrible war will be chastened and brought to a new understanding of our common humanity on this earth. Multinational Corporatism will be seen as the destructive force that it is.
Cooperations will become the dominant cultural institution. A new society based on the love of art, beauty, and justice will emerge from the ashes of the collapse of our civilization, just as our own 18th century enlightenment came from the destruction of the classic civilization of Rome.

Somehow, I forgot about those 1000 years called the Dark Ages.

Perhaps we should cure this dis ease now.

Before it becomes the cure.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the many references for followup study.

I would just like to share that a close friend of mine in my country was responsible for implementing the "Montreal Protocol" nationwide for reducing emissions for ozone layer protection. He did that for 5 years, participating in international and other venues and interacting with international bodies and groups.

His general observation to me is what I would like to note here: the focus of the developed nations in the context of global warming seemed to be, to him, to get the developing nations and China to reduce their emissions drastically, while the developed nations can continue with theirs, because, in terms of some ratio (that I cannot recall now), the developing nations were producing more as they were going through their own industrialization phase that the West went through earlier.

The inequity of the Montreal Protocol, to me, characterized this philosophy that Bertrand Russel outlined for his "ubermensch" morality of the white races of the North in his famous "The Impact of Science on Society":

"At present the population of the world is increasing ... War so far has had no great effect on this increase ... I do not pretend that birth control is the only way in which population can be kept from increasing. There are others ... If a Black Death could be spread throughout the world once in every generation, survivors could procreate freely without making the world too full ... the state of affairs might be somewhat unpleasant, but what of it? Really high-minded people are indifferent to suffering, especially that of others."

So, when you note in your essay "The disease is the cure":

'"Moving climate change into the national security realm is a watershed event," says Sherri Goodman, a former Pentagon official who directed the Military Advisory Board at the CNA Corp., a national-security research organization in Alexandria, Virginia'

There is something else afoot; but whether or not there is, it does not bode well for the Global South.


Because, while the distinguished George Kennan may have passed away to the land beyond, he still left his imperial droppings behind:

“We have about 50% of the world's wealth, but only 6.3% of its population .... In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming, and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction .... We should cease to talk about vague and - for the Far East - unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.” (http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Memo_PPS23_by_George_Kennan)

Therefore, whatever the motivation for heralding in this new 'sky is falling' mantra, and whether it indeed be true or not, the 'cure' mes amis, will mainly be visited upon the poor of the humanity.

As an ordinary person, a plebeian, but belonging to one large mass of humanity, I am humbly against all cures which are not equitably distributed - for the disease, if it does indeed exist, must also be shared equitably.

And as your example highlights with reference to Africa, there is one closer to home for me. The conquest of Palestine - especially up to the Jordan River - is an imperative for Israel because all the waters of the land are directly under the West Bank that is already being siphoned off to flower the gleaming swimming pools right across from the 'Jews-only' road when the Palestinians get only rationed few gallons a day per person (and when they are lucky)!

In this 'disease-cure' paradigm, as in all other euphemisms of conquest, and resistance to conquest, there are only victims, and hectoring hegemons.

And therefore, "either you are with us or with the [super]terrorsits".

'Looking from the side',
as Amira Haas presumably put it, is still making choices only between these two
binary ones - for what's good for the goose, is also good for the
gandor, and another 'report on the banality of evil' will not, in my
plebeian mind, exculpate the onlookers. It cannot.

Thus as you highlight the cures, the diseases, and which is better in the short/long run, I hope you can also lend critical analysis on why the disease is getting such prominence suddenly during 'World War IV' when the casualties are running high!


Thank you.

4:27 PM  
Blogger oZ said...

Thanks Z for your comment. Their is little doubt that the south will suffer from climate change more than the north.

My intent was to suggest that a military response to climate change is a response that will lead to great human suffering and loss...

Most certainly not a road we should allow our leaders to take in the name of national security.

Climate Change will teach us all that we are all sailors on this ship called earth, and that we must work together as we find a new level of union between ourselves and our environment.

thanks again.

6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Oz's point was to NOT allow the disease to become the cure, that we must act now, while time and resources still allow a more peaceful solution. SP

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear friends,

I can't avoid the feeling that there is something insidious about the sudden resurgence in interest in 'global warming', and its real manifestations appearing in many nations. The fact of climates across the world acting eratically is open for all to see.

So please allow me to share why I feel this may be more than just happenstance due to emissions. First of all, geological time scales transend human life-time scales. Climatic changes are occuring far too rapidly to be so easily explainable only due to the manifest human contribution of industrial-commercial emissions. So let's assume there are at least two explanations - just for devil's advocate sake. The first is the usual - global warming due to emissions. Let's look at the second. Accept which ever appeals to your senses, or assign them coefficients in terms of the probable weight of their contribution to the observed phenomenon.

Please allow me to quote from PNAC document Rebuilding America's Defenses, page 54:

'Space and Cyberspace

No system of missile defenses can be
fully effective without placing sensors and
weapons in space. Although this would
appear to be creating a potential new theater
of warfare, in fact space has been militarized
for the better part of four decades. Weather,
communications, navigation and
reconnaissance satellites are increasingly
essential elements in American military

A simple search of google with 'weather modification' yields 6,590,000 hits, the top one being this: http://www.weathermod.com/

The control of weather, a militarily strategic controlling component of PNAC strategy, also shows up in other Pentagon military documents.

And the fact that it is now a significantly advanced and developed weapon system in the American as well as other nation's arsenal was echoed by Clinton's defense secratory William Cohen at least 10 years ago:

"Others are engaging even in an eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves. So there are plenty of ingenious minds out there that are at work finding ways in which they can wreak terror upon other nations. It's real, and that's the reason why we have to intensify our efforts, and that's why this is so important."

—Former Defense Secretary William S. Cohen
DoD News Briefing, Monday, April 28, 1997

So let's superficially examine what might lie behind these sudden drought conditions, and what might be its purpose.

The reason why such analyses are very difficult from lay persons without access to insider information, is if one assumes or realizes by looking around us with open eyes that there is an 'imperial mobilzation' afoot, and that it's times of war, as indeed the 'war on terrorism' - the world war iv - implies, then deception is the very essense of such 'doctrinal motivations' to persecute the war in a democracy which is otherwise 'inimical to imperial mobilization'. The psy-ops of deception today is far more advanced, and far more sophisticated than the Middle Ages. In the olden days, only one lie was sufficient to deceive, such as the proverbial 'Trojan Horse'. A single lie.

But let's look at deception du-jour. It's the paradigm of Ezra Pound at play, more than the Greeks: 'invent two or more lies simulataneously and have the peoples busily discuss which of them might be true.'

Okay I lost track of the thread in my head. Sorry, I can't remember what I was going to say next.

This however is sufficient to seed further investigations of a) why weather patterns are so rapidly changing - more rapidly than is explainable by normal emissions, b) if there is a deliberate attempt to deploy weather as a weapon system during this 'war on terrorism', then why?

I am not too excited about the 'sky is falling' concern that is occurring everywhere. Indeed, if you look at where these concerns are first seeded, from which everyone takes and runs, you might get suspicious too.

I am sorry I don't mean to rain on your parade. Your writings are great and thoughtful - which is why I visit here often. I also take much away from it. But I think some deeper unraveling past the outer onion layer would also be very useful.


Thank you.


7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here are two interesting web references:

Weather as a Force Multiplier:
Owning the Weather in 2025


And this report from Frontline:


To own the weather

The U.S. has covertly pursued a military operation, launched during the Vietnam War, to acquire weather modification technology for possible use in combat.



8:07 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home