Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Global Plan

I'm on the road again, so here's an oldie from the first year of EFA with a few changes at the end.

Just a year ago, many of us who scour the news and research sites for developments in Climate Change, Peak Oil, and advanced technological developments were impressed by an apparently leaked plan out of the Pentagon. I got a copy of the report and I was impressed mostly with the realization that the U S government did have a climate change plan in place.

And it is not mitigation.

Mitigation means you sign climate treaties and you cooperate with the other nations to try to keep the suffering and destruction to a minimum.

It is not adaptation,

at least not in the standard use of the term.

Adaptation would mean air conditioning programs, and efficiency programs, and strategies to deal with reduced water tables, and reduced water in rivers and lakes, and studies to suggest where to move food and grain producers.

No, the U S response is different.

It is a military response.

Commissioned by highly respected Defense Department planner Andrew Marshall, the Pentagon study raised the possibility that global warming could prove a greater risk to the world than terrorism. Marshall is known in Pentagon circles as Yoda, because he is so highly regarded.

He is listened to.

The study's principal authors were Peter Schwartz, former head of planning for Shell Oil, and Doug Randall of the Global Business Network, a California think tank.

When the Guardian broke the story, they were, well, less guarded:

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.

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.

A major story followed in Fortune where they got right to the point:

The threat that has riveted their attention is this: Global warming, rather than causing gradual, centuries-spanning change, may be pushing the climate to a tipping point. Growing evidence suggests the ocean-atmosphere system that controls the world's climate can lurch from one state to another in less than a decade—like a canoe that's gradually tilted until suddenly it flips over. Scientists don't know how close the system is to a critical threshold.

But abrupt climate change may well occur in the not-too-distant future. If it does, the need to rapidly adapt may overwhelm many societies—thereby upsetting the geopolitical balance of power.

And there was a good story in Grist.

So, are you getting the point yet?

This administration definitely believes in Global Warming.

And they believe in Peak Oil.

And their response, according to this report.

Is more military might.

In fairness, the Pentagon planners are just doing their job.

We either look out for ourselves.

Or we look out for the Earthfamily.

Do you have a Plan?

The Pentagon does."

In these rather remarkable times,

it seems that each of us, each family, each town, each state,

should have a plan for ourselves and our community.

In my case, I am working everyday to build and make my community

as sustainable and prepared as it can be for the days and years ahead.

I am also building my other community,

the one that might survive,

should the pentagon plan on

climate change and peak oil,

become the global plan.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Oz:

I read this the first time you posted it and remember it well - it was my introduction to your site as I started my research into climate change - for business planning reasons on a project.

I also remember that shortly afterwards the authors were on every media channel in the US down playing the report as merely speculative: right!

In actual fact, as with most at the time, they got it wrong because they implied we were heading for a mini-iceage at best and at worst the real deal.

The comments in that paper - since considerably modified - apply even more to a thermal maximum and Flannery's recent revelations imply that we cannot now avoid many consequences, predicted for the latter part of this century by the IPCC, within the next decade.

These people are mindlessly held in the business-as-usual mode and cannot see any alternative that doesn't fit into the mold.

Meanwhile some of us are getting ready and boy is it going to be a fight.

3:32 PM  

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