Friday, June 27, 2008

Emissions impossible: Polar Cities and Homeland Security



FINGAR FINGERED

or

FINGAR FINGERS FICKLE FINGER OF CLIMATE CHANGE AS POLAR CITIES LOOM

New report highlights ties between global warming and US security in 2050,
apparently backs up need for polar cities as human adaptation strategy in 2500 if human species is to survive


A warming climate would mean less food and more immigration by 2030, which could worsen ethnic strife, the Christian (sic) Science (sic) Monitor reports:

By Arthur Bright, CSM staff writer
June 27, 3008 (sic)



A new National Intelligence Assessment says that food shortages and migration caused by a warming climate could threaten US national security by aggravating ethnic strife around the globe by 2050, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Washington Post writes that Thomas Fingar, chairman of the National Intelligence Council, delivered the report Wednesday to a joint meeting of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Select Committee on Energy Independence. He warned that global warming will reduce food supplies in Africa, which he predicted would in turn spark violence in the region.

"Without food aid, the region will likely face higher levels of instability, particularly violent ethnic clashes over land ownership," probably creating "extensive and novel operational requirements," for the fledgling U.S. Africa Command, according to a National Intelligence Assessment on the security implications of climate change by the National Intelligence Council. ...

Overall, the assessment found that while the United States "is better equipped than most nations to deal with climate change," the impact on other countries has the "potential to seriously affect U.S. national security interests." Humanitarian disasters, economic migration, food and water shortages -- all caused by climate change -- will pressure other countries to respond. Such demands "may significantly tax U.S. military transportation and support force structures, resulting in a strained readiness posture," the assessment found.

Fingar said Africa is most vulnerable "because of multiple environmental, economic, political and social stresses." While no country will avoid climate change, the report said, "most of the struggling and poor states that will suffer adverse impacts to their potential and economic security," are in the Middle East, central and southeast Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.

The report is available at website of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The Los Angeles Times writes that the report says the US and other Western nations are not apt to be threatened by climate change via diminishing stocks of food, but a warmer climate would still have indirect negative impacts.

Developed nations are likely to fare better, Fingar said, with some estimates predicting that agricultural production in the U.S. could increase during the next 20 years.

But the U.S. will also face a cascade of challenges and problems. The nation "will need to anticipate and plan for growing immigration pressures," Fingar said, noting that helping dense coastal populations in the Caribbean "will be an imminent task."

Fingar also said the U.S. infrastructure is in many ways ill-prepared for climate change and the prospect of intense storms and flooding.

"Two dozen nuclear facilities and numerous refineries along U.S. coastlines are at risk and may be severely impacted by storms," he said.

CNN and the Associated Press both highlight Mr. Fingar's comment during the joint session that "conditions exacerbated by the effects of climate change could increase the pool of potential recruits into terrorist activity." However, the Los Angeles Times notes that the report itself does not address any connection between global warming and terrorism. Rather, its focus is solely on the humanitarian crises that global warming might cause.

The idea that global warming could aggravate immigration and ethnic tensions is not new. Last December, The Christian Science Monitor reported that experts studying the relationship between security and climate are watching several hot spots around the globe. Bangladesh, with its high population and low sea level, is a particularly noteworthy flashpoint according to experts, as global warming could force its people to migrate into culturally proud neighboring regions.

"It is the No. 1 conflict zone for climate change," says Peter Schwartz, chairman of the Monitor Group, a research firm in San Francisco that recently released a study on the security risks presented by climate change.

That field of study is relatively new, but analysts are beginning to lay the map of forecasted climate change over the map of political weakness to see where changes in weather could lead to volatility. No one argues that climate change alone will lead to war. But analysts suggest that it could be a pivotal factor that tips vulnerable regions toward conflicts.

"Climate change is a threat multiplier," says Geoff Dabelko, director of the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Woodrow Wilson Institute in Washington. "It's not that it creates a whole new set of problems, it's that it will make things that are already a problem worse."

The Monitor writes that among those regions experts are watching are Nepal, Indonesia, and Nigeria.

The Wall Street Journal reports that experts who study the connections between security and climate believe the threat is real and must be considered by policymakers.

"It does trade off," said Sarah Ladislaw, a fellow in the energy and national security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "The real question out there is: How well are people going to deal with the trade-offs?" The convergence of the increasing cost of fuel, global food shortages, global warming, and national security threats show how interconnected these transnational issues are, and policy makers need to be mindful of that, she said.

The members of Congress who heard the report, however, offered differing opinions of its findings, split along party lines.

Democrats on Wednesday said this report ... "is a clarion call to action from the heart of our nation's security establishment," said Rep. Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, chairman of the energy and climate change panel. California Rep. Anna Eshoo, a member of the House intelligence committee, borrowed from the administration's rhetoric, saying "we can't wait for threats to mature before deciding how to counter them."

But Republicans said that such continued focus on climate change ignores the daily problems Americans are confronting with escalating energy costs, and used the hearing to argue for more domestic drilling and nuclear power. Clamping down on greenhouse gases, for example, could lead to higher electricity prices.

Wisconsin Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, the top Republican on the panel, lamented that Congress was talking about global warming "as opposed to the real threats of high energy prices and economic security."

9 comments:

dan said...

Climate change will impact US national security

by Jean-Louis Balgonia, AFP

June 27, 3008

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Climate change will have sweeping consequences for US national security by 2030 aggravating global poverty and destabilizing fragile countries, a US intelligence report said Wednesday.

"We judge global climate change will have wide-ranging implications for US national security interests over the next 20 years," Thomas Fingar, deputy director of National Intelligence for Analysis, told US lawmakers.

Fingar testified to the House of Representatives that in some countries, global warming and its impacts could affect stability and spark regional conflicts such as over access to water as it grows more scarce.

He presented the findings of 16 US intelligence agencies gathered in a National Intelligence Assessment, based primarily on research done by the United Nations inter-governmental panel on climate change.

Global warming will exacerbate existing problems such as poverty and social tension, damage the environment and weaken political institutions, while triggering increased economic emigration, the report warns.

Some fifty million more people around the globe could face famine in the next dozen years, it said.

"The most significant impact for the United States will be indirect, and result from climate-driven effects on many other countries and their potential to seriously affect US national security interests," Fingar said.

Africa is one of the regions most at risk, and in some countries harvests could be cut by up to 50 percent because of a lack of rain.

And in some parts of Asia vulnerable to drought and floods, rice and grain harvests could drop by some 10 percent, the report warned.

Heavy tropical rains in some parts of Asia and glaciers melting under mounting temperatures might provide more water, but growing demand and a burgeoning population could in fact lead to a dwindling supply for some 120 million to 1.2 billion people.

Worldwide meteorological changes and the policies developed to combat them also could affect the smooth functioning of the international system of trade and market access to essential raw materials such as oil and gas, "with significant geopolitical consequences," Fingar said.

Fingar said climate change alone was unlikely to trigger state failure in any country by 2030, but that its impact would worsen existing problems.

Latin America is likely to see more rain between now and 2030 but some seven to 77 million people could still face shortages.

As for the Middle East, weather predictions are difficult because of a lack of recent research, added the report, which said Europe would also get warmer.

North America however will probably be less affected by climate change especially in its mid regions, and harvests could rise by five to 20 percent.

"The United States depends on a smooth-functioning international system ensuring the flow of trade and market access to critical raw materials such as oil and gas, and security for its allies and partners," Fingar said.

"Climate change and climate change policies could affect all of these."

The report however does not mention any heightened risk of a terror attack as a consequence of climate change.

Last year, a similar study by the Center for Naval Analyses written by retired generals made the direct link between the destabilization of some countries and increased extremism.

Fingar said the team used "a broad definition for national security," considering the impact of the effects of climate change on the United States, a US economic partner or a US ally.

"We also focused on the potential for humanitarian disaster, such that the response would consume US resources," Fingar said.

"We then considered if the result would degrade or enhance one of the elements of national power," which he defined as geopolitical, military, economic or social cohesion.

Hosted by Copyright © 2008 AFP. All rights reserved. More »

Anonymous said...

Sorted

New report highlights ties between global warming and US security
Christian Science Monitor, MA - 13 hours ago
A warming climate would mean less food and more immigration, which could worsen ethnic strife. By Arthur Bright A new National Intelligence Assessment says ...
Climate Change May Challenge National Security
Science Daily (press release) - Jun 26, 2008
ScienceDaily (June 25, 2008) — The National Intelligence Council (NIC) has completed a new classified assessment that explores how climate change could ...
Intelligence report warns of global warming's potential political ...
Dallas Morning News, TX - Jun 26, 2008
FROM WIRE REPORTS Los Angeles Times, AP WASHINGTON – Global warming is likely to have a series of destabilizing effects around the world, ...
Global Warming as Security Issue:
Wall Street Journal - Jun 25, 2008
By SIOBHAN GORMAN WASHINGTON -- One of the biggest conundrums facing lawmakers is that solutions to global warming often hurt another of their top ...
Climate Issues Tied to US Security
Washington Post, United States - Jun 25, 2008
By Walter Pincus US intelligence agencies have concluded that global climate change will worsen food shortages and disease exposure in sub-Saharan Africa ...
Report: Climate change linked to national security
The Associated Press - Jun 25, 2008
WASHINGTON (AP) — Global warming probably will mean more illegal immigration and humanitarian disasters, undermining shaky governments and possibly ...
Report finds security implications of global warming
ABC Online, Australia - Jun 25, 2008
By North America correspondent Kim Landers A new report from US intelligence agencies is warning about the national security implications of global warming. ...
Climate change will impact US national security
AFP - Jun 25, 2008
WASHINGTON (AFP) — Climate change will have sweeping consequences for US national security by 2030 aggravating global poverty and destabilizing fragile ...
US intelligence official links global warming to national security ...
Xinhua, China - Jun 25, 2008
WASHINGTON, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Global warming would threaten the US national security in 20 years by feeding illegal immigration, humanitarian disasters, ...
Climate Change Will Have Destabilizing Consequences, Intelligence ...
U.S. News & World Report, DC - Jun 25, 2008
By Kevin Whitelaw US intelligence agencies usually work hard to stay outside the political fray, but this week they waded firmly into the debate over ...
Climate Change May Sap Military Strength, Top Spy Says
Wired News - Jun 25, 2008
By Noah Shachtman June 25, 2008 | 3:02:02 PMCategories: Cammo Green One of the country's top spies came to Capitol Hill today, to warn Congress that global ...
Report calls global warming a threat to US security
CNN International - Jun 25, 2008
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Global warming's greatest threat to US security will result from the way climate change destabilizes countries that are less able to ...
Reports: Energy Thirst Still Topping Climate Risks
New York Times, United States - Jun 25, 2008
By Andrew C. Revkin Two studies out today — one on energy trends, one on climate as a security issue — bode poorly for those seeking to prevent global ...
Intelligence Agencies: Climate Threatens Security
NPR - Jun 25, 2008
NPR.org, June 25, 2008 · Global climate change will likely trigger humanitarian disasters and political instability that will have a major impact on US ...
Climate change may strain US forces
Reuters - Jun 25, 2008
By Jim Wolf WASHINGTON (Reuters) - US intelligence believes fallout from global climate change over the next 20 years will boost global instability and may ...
Report Says US Security Faces
Wall Street Journal - Jun 25, 2008
By SIOBHAN GORMAN WASHINGTON -- Global climate change will have "wide ranging implications for US national security interests" over the next two decades, ...
Intelligence Report Assesses Impact of Climate Change
U.S. News & World Report, DC - Jun 24, 2008
The US intelligence community has completed a classified analysis of the national security implications of climate change, part of which will be presented ...
US report assesses climate change security threats
EurActiv, Belgium - 21 hours ago
While the US will be less affected as such by climate change, rising sea levels and resource scarcity are likely to lead to a range of complications in ...
Climate Change Weakens National Secuity - US Intelligence
SustainableBusiness.com, NY - Jun 26, 2008
The US Intelligence reported to Congress yesterday on the growing threat posed to national security by global climate change through the year 2030, ...
Climate Change "Threat" to US Security
Islam Online, Qatar - Jun 26, 2008
WASHINGTON — Threatening to damage military installations from floods and cause humanitarian disasters, economic migration and food and water shortages, ...
NBC Uses Shaky Intelligence to Fan Flames of Global Warming Alarmism
Business Media Institute, VA - Jun 26, 2008
'Nightly News' portrays climate change as a threat to national security based on 'low- to medium-confidence' report findings. By Jeff Poor The June 25 “NBC ...
Global warming could increase terrorism, official says
Kazinform, Kazakhstan - Jun 25, 2008
WASHINGTON. June 26. KAZINFORM. Global warming could destabilize "struggling and poor" countries around the world, prompting mass migrations and creating ...
Global warming could incite instability, classified papers say
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WI - Jun 25, 2008
By DIANA MARRERO Washington - Global warming could spur greater political instability across the world as droughts, higher temperatures and rising sea ...
National Intelligence Council sees climate threat
World War 4 Report, NY - Jun 25, 2008
The National Intelligence Council (NIC) has completed a new classified assessment that explores how climate change could threaten US security in the next 20 ...
Intelligence Reports Link Climate Change To US Security
RTT News, NY - Jun 25, 2008
(RTTNews) - Wednesday, intelligence reports said that global warming could threaten US national security in the next 20 years by triggering humanitarian ...
Report: Global warming will stress nations
United Press International - Jun 25, 2008
WASHINGTON, June 25 (UPI) -- The largest threat global warming poses to US security is linked to how it impacts countries less prepared to manage climate ...
Report: Global warming expected to increase terrorism.
Think Progress, DC - Jun 25, 2008
By Amanda at 6:35 pm National Intelligence Council (NIC) chairman Thomas Fingar today told Congress that global warming is expected to “aggravate existing ...

Anonymous said...

CLIMATE CHANGE: U.S. Intelligence Cites Litany of Dangers

By Jim Lobe

WASHINGTON, Jun 25, 3003 (IPS) - While the United States is relatively well placed to cope with the likely consequences of global warming over the next 20 years, many developing countries, especially in Africa, South, Central and East Asia, and Central America, could suffer serious problems, particularly related to water scarcity and migration, according to testimony here Wednesday by a top U.S. intelligence officer.

Those problems could "seriously affect U.S. national security interests" in a variety of ways, Thomas Fingar, the chairman of the National Intelligence Council (NIC), told two Congressional committees in what was billed as the key findings of a still-classified new intelligence analysis of the security impacts of climate change.

"We assess that climate change alone is unlikely to trigger state failure in any state out to 2030, but the impacts will worsen existing problems, such as poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership, and weak institutions," he told the lawmakers.

"Climate change could threaten domestic stability in some states, potentially contribution to intra- or, less likely, interstate conflict, particularly over access to increasingly scarce water resources," he said. "We judge that economic migrants will perceive additional reasons to migrate because of harsh climates, both within nations and from disadvantaged to richer countries."

Fingar's testimony and the intelligence community's latest analysis, entitled "The National Security Implications of Global Climate Change Through 2030", come amid growing concern both in public and in Congress about the consequences of climate change and the failure of the outgoing administration of President George W. Bush to address it in any serious way over the past seven-and-a-half years.

Indeed, both presumptive major party candidates, Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama, have assailed Bush's passivity and, at various times, co-sponsored legislation that would require mandatory caps and eventual reductions on U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Obama has favoured stronger action than his Republican rival. Neither candidate, however, has made the implications of warming for U.S. national security a central part of his policy proposals.

At the same time, however, various activist groups and think tanks have tried to highlight the issue. Last fall, for example, two mainstream think tanks, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Centre for a New American Security (CNAS), released a 119-page study, entitled "The Age of Consequences", on the subject. It predicted that rising temperatures and sea levels caused by climate change are likely to set off mass migrations involving "perhaps billions of people" over the next century if some of the more severe predictions by scientists about changes in Earth's climate were to materialise.

"Global warming has the potential to destabilise the world," CNAS president Kurt Campbell, who analysts here believe could get a top position in an Obama administration, said at the time. "In my view, this will quickly become the defining issue of our age."

While the intelligence community's conclusions are not quite so sweeping or explicit, perhaps in part due to the fact that its projections don't go beyond 2030, Fingar noted that climate change will carry with it "significant geopolitical consequences", such as "domestic stability in a number of key states, the opening of new sea lanes and access to raw materials, and the global economy more broadly."

His testimony's conclusions about warming's impact through 2030 rest largely on the moderate projections released earlier this year by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as well as recent work by U.S. government agencies that work in the same area.

The IPCC studies, which represented the consensus judgment of thousands of scientists around the world, estimated that the average global temperature will most likely increase approximately one-half degree C over the next two decades and that sea level will rise no more than 75 mms. These changes will be accompanied by variations in weather patterns, including the frequency and intensity of storms and rainfall in various parts of the world.

As for the U.S. homeland itself, agricultural productivity may actually increase, according to the Fingar's testimony. He cautioned, however, that such gains could well be offset by the necessity of repairing and replacing key infrastructure, particularly in coastal areas and in the permafrost regions of oil-rich Alaska, by increased demand for energy resources, and by growing immigration pressures from resource-scarce regions of the world.

Outside the U.S., Africa will be "the most vulnerable region to climate change because of multiple environmental, economic, political, and social stresses" that are already in evidence. Changes in rainfall patterns there could result in as much as a 50-percent decline in some crops as early as 2020, and agricultural losses could be particularly severe in the Sahel, West Africa, and southern Africa, according to Fingar. The region is also likely to be more susceptible to the spread of diseases.

"Without food aid, the region will likely face higher levels of instability -- particularly violent ethnic clashes over land ownership," he said.

South, Southeast, and East Asia may also face reduced agricultural productivity by as much as 10 percent in some crops as a result of increased risk of floods and droughts. As many as 50 million more people in the region could suffer hunger by 2020 and as many as 1.2 billion people could experience water shortages later in the decade.

"Europe will likely become hotter" and experience more frequent and severe heat waves with greater annual precipitation in the north and declining rainfall in the eastern Mediterranean. Latin America and the Caribbean are likely to suffer more frequent extreme weather events and flooding which could "motivate many (people) to move sooner rather than later."

"Almost one-fourth of the countries with the greatest percentage of population in low-elevation coastal zones are in the Caribbean, so assisting these populations will be an imminent task" for the U.S., he noted.

Indeed, "(A)s climate changes spur more humanitarian emergencies, the international community's capacity to respond will be increasingly strained," Fingar said. "The demands of these potential humanitarian responses may significantly tax U.S. military transportation and support force structures, resulting in a strained readiness posture and decreased depth for combat operations."

Meanwhile, global warming's intensifying impacts on the planet will likely climb higher on the international agenda, and, as they do, warned Finger, "the U.S.'s leadership overall in the global arena will be judged by the extent to which it is perceived as forging a viable and effective global consensus for tackling climate change."

Finger stressed that the intelligence community hoped to follow up with a number of other studies regarding specific states and regions; the potential national security impacts of various remediation strategies, such as increased reliance on alternative fuel sources; and how the "geo-politics of climate change" may affect great-power relations.

Anonymous said...

Climate Change May Challenge National Security, Classified Report Warns

ScienceDaily.com (June 26, 3008) —

The National Intelligence Council (NIC) has completed a new classified assessment that explores how climate change could threaten U.S. security in the next 20 years by causing political instability, mass movements of refugees, terrorism, or conflicts over water and other resources in specific countries. The House Intelligence Committee is scheduled to be briefed Wednesday, June 25, on the main findings.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
See also:
Earth & Climate
Environmental Policy
Climate
Global Warming
Environmental Issues
Floods
Weather
Reference
Consensus of scientists regarding global warming
Greenland ice sheet
Scientific opinion on climate change
IPCC Report on Climate Change - 2007
While the assessment itself is confidential, some analyses used as raw material will be open, including a series of studies done by Columbia University's Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN). On commission from NIC, CIESIN ranked countries by looking at three climate risks: sea-level rise, increased water scarcity, and an aggregate measure of vulnerability based on projected temperature change, compared with nations' ability to adapt.

"We can pinpoint areas of high projected climate change that are also in historically unstable regions. This suggests that climate change is likely to heighten political risks,' said CIESIN deputy director Marc Levy, a coauthor of the CIESIN studies. Many countries with high exposure to climate change have low levels of historical instability, he said; for instance, U.S. allies like the Netherlands are exposed to perils such as sea-level rise, but have large economies and strong governments, and so are not deemed high risks.

However, others suffer both high vulnerability to projected temperature changes, and low levels of adaptive capacity based on the strength of state institutions and their histories of instability and conflict. These tend to cluster in economically depressed southern regions. The more dangerous nations on the CIESIN list--which may or may not match the NIC list--include South Africa, Nepal, Morocco, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Paraguay, Yemen, Sudan and Côte d'Ivoire.

The greatest number of people exposed to sea-level rise are in China, the Philippines, Egypt and Indonesia. China and the Philippines alone have 64 million people in the lowest elevation zones (1 meter above sea level). In Egypt, a longtime major recipient of U.S. military aid, and scene of recurring internal strife, 37% of people live in within 10 meters of sea level in the fertile Nile delta. In other nations, disruptions in rainfall or other temperature-driven phenomena could contribute to dangerous instability due to crop failures or other phenomena. These include Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Congo, Ethiopia and Jordan, suggests the CIESIN research.

Climate-related security impacts could be significant when they cause "a noticeable--even if temporary--degradation in one of the elements of national power (geopoliltical, military, economic, or social cohesion) because it indirectly influences the U.S. homeland, indirectly influences the United States through a major military ally or a major economic partner, or because the global impact is so large, that [it] indirectly consumes U.S. resources," according an NIC briefing document quoted by the newsletter InsideDefense.com, which first reported on the assessment. "The additional stress on resources and infrastructure will exacerbate internal state pressures, and generate interstate friction through competition for resources or disagreement over responses and responsibility for migration."

The assessment, commissioned by NIC last year at the request of the House and Senate intelligence panels, seems to be part of a growing recognition among military officials that climate change must be reckoned with. A 2007 report by the Center for Naval Analysis called for a comprehensive look at the issue. The 2008 National Defense Authorization Act mandates the Pentagon to "examine the capabilities of the U.S. military to respond to consequences of climate change," particularly preparedness for national disasters due to extreme weather. According to InsideDefense.com, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has approved a yet-unreleased National Defense Strategy that includes planning for environmental and climate problems.

Richard Engle, deputy national intelligence officer for science and technology in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, spoke of the classified report in a recent speech. " We wanted to get down to something that might be actionable for the policy community. So we had to be very specific," he said. The assessment was originally supposed to be public, but has been classified as confidential out of fears that it could evoke hostility from red-flagged governments, according to sources close to the process.

Thomas Fingar, chairman of the NIC, will publicly address some portions of the 58-page report, "National Security Implications of Global Climate Change Through 2030," at Wednesday's hearing. The key findings represent the consensus view of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies.

Along with CIESIN, other sources whose data contributed to the assessment include the U.S. Climate Change Program; Center for Naval Analysis; the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; the Rand Corp.; and Arizona State University.

"There is clearly great interest among policy makers in knowing whether climate change will make crises such as the conflict in Darfur more prevalent, and whether other violent scenarios might be likely to unfold," said Levy. "The science of climate impacts does not yet give us a definitive answer to this question, but at least now we're looking at it seriously."

Anonymous said...

International Security


Will the Congressional Record please note that the national security threat posed by climate change to small island nations is unclassified. http://islandsfirst.wordpress.com/

Anonymous said...

Intelligence community dances around climate change

06/25/3008

Joshua Keating USA, noted in 2008, 1000 years ago:


National Intelligence Council Chairman Thomas Fingar's testimony about the first ever National Intelligence Assessment on the National Security Implications of Global Climate Change and Polar Cities is here:

I attended Fingar's testimony on the Hill this morning and was struck less by the NIA's findings -- droughts and crop failures might lead to instability in the third world and coastal flooding may threaten the U.S. defense infrastructure -- than the unique nature of the report itself. Fingar acknowledged this in his testimony to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming:

This study used a fundamentally different kind of analytical methodology from what is typical for an intelligence product such as a National Intelligence Estimate. We depended upon open sources and greatly leveraged outside expertise."

Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Rep. Anna Eshoo and her fellow Democrats at the hearing were excited about a greater future role for open-source intelligence gathering, and Fingar seemed receptive to the concept. But from his testimony, it didn't seem as if the research conducted contained any new information that couldn't be inferred by a layman reading the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was the starting point on the NIA's research. As such, the NIA doesn't really seem to accomplish much beyond stressing the urgency of climate change by describing it as a security issue.

This makes it all the more odd that the actual text of the NIA was classified by the National Intelligence Council. Fingar suggested that releasing specifics about how certain countries would be specifically affected would complicate U.S. diplomatic efforts, though my guess is that the countries in greatest danger from global warming are already well aware of it. Rep. Ed Markey saw a White House agenda in the classification:

If people know specifically what these problems will be and where they will be and who they will affect then perhaps we will finally have the political will to solve the problem... The president doesn't want America to know the real risks of global warming.

I'm mostly curious to know if the report actually contains information that isn't already public knowledge. If nothing else, it would be nice to think that this partisan tug-of-war is being fought over a document that actually matters.

Joshua Keating

Anonymous said...

Thursday, June 26, 3008

A Steaming Pile of Crap

Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error.
--Marcus Tullius Cicero

You may have heard about the recent testimony before Congress on the National Intelligence Assessment on Climate Change (NIACC). Its intent was to wake Americans up to the coming pain the world is going to endure as a result of climate change, and what we need to do as a result of this change. I think that's a great thing. That's what government should do.

Not surprising one little bit, the eco-freaks and MSM have taken this report and spun it so badly as to make it indistinguishable from the actual report.

It's all about the agenda.
----------

Before I get into the meat of this specific report, I want to share with you an actual example of how the eco-freaks and their cohorts in the media twist and color facts.

I was trying to get some background information on the NIACC and found a site called ScienceDaily.com. They had an article from a few days back titled, Expect More Droughts, Heavy Downpours, Excessive Heat, And Intense Hurricanes Due To Global Warming, NOAA.

It seemed to meld very nicely into this subject, so I gave it a read. They were talking about the content of a report by some government agency. I came across the following sentence in the article:

Global warming of the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced increases in heat-trapping gases, according to the report.
Sounds pretty damning.

The only problem the authors of the article had, was they left a link to the actual government agency report.

Very stupid. Some asshole like me might actually read it.

Here's a link to the whole report by the US Climate Change Science Program (I believe this is a part of NOAA). The juicy part is in Chapter 3: Causes of Observed Changes in Extremes and Projections of Future Changes.

Changes in some weather and climate extremes are attributable to human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases.
That's a pretty powerful statement. They then go on to list their substantiation for this damning pronouncement:

• Human-induced warming has likely caused much of the average temperature increase in North America over the past 50 years. This affects changes in temperature extremes.
• Heavy precipitation events averaged over North America have increased over the past 50 years, consistent with the observed increases in atmospheric water vapor, which have been associated with human-induced increases in greenhouse gases.
• It is very likely that the human-induced increase in greenhouse gases has contributed to the increase in sea surface temperatures in the hurricane formation regions. Over the past 50 years there has been a strong statistical connection between tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures and Atlantic hurricane activity as measured by the Power Dissipation Index (which combines storm intensity,
duration, and frequency). This evidence suggests a human contribution to recent hurricane activity. However, a confident assessment of human influence on hurricanes will require further studies using models and observations, with emphasis on distinguishing natural from human-induced changes in hurricane activity through their influence on factors such as historical sea surface temperatures, wind shear, and atmospheric vertical stability.
WTF? How did the authors of the report and the article come to the very clear conclusion that man is the cause of all evil? The entire report is loaded with, "it's likely", "very likely" and "we're pretty damned sure" (OK, I made that one up). Not a single citation of causation FACT.

In fact, the report said quite the opposite:

In these cases, it is difficult to quantify the magnitude and significance of the effect of the external influences on the phenomenon of interest. Therefore, attribution assessments become difficult, and estimates of the size of the anthropogenic [that means 'man-made' to you and me -Ed.] contribution to an observed change cannot be readily derived. This problem often occurs in climate-change impacts studies and has sometimes been termed “joint attribution”.
It all comes down to this: Make the conclusion fit the agenda, not the facts.
----------

Alright, back to our story.

The Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, Dr. Thomas Fingar, gives his take on the confidential National Intelligence Assessment On Climate Change. Because of the classified nature of national security, the actual report is not available - he was just talking about generalities with his testimony.

Here's what the Wall Street Journal said about the testimony:

One of the biggest conundrums facing lawmakers is that solutions to global warming often hurt another of their top priorities: ensuring the availability of affordable energy, for example.

But on Wednesday, as the U.S. intelligence agencies weighed in, they heard about the cost of doing nothing: It may incubate terrorism and civil conflict.

Concluding that climate change will have wide-ranging impacts on U.S. security in the coming decades, a classified report complicates an already tangled debate by providing urgent new reasons to address the problem of global warming at a time when American voters are anxious about $4-a-gallon gas.
Message: Do nothing about global warming and you support terrorism. Unspoken: We all know what causes global warming, right?

The media has successfully 'branded' global warming/climate change as man-made. Even though not a single global warming report that has ever been produced (and I think I've read them all!) has proven a link between man and climate change, the conclusions of their reports unanimously proclaim this as the gospel.

I searched through the NIACC testimony to see if Dr. Fingar ever said man was the culprit.

Not once. In fact, once again, it was exactly the opposite. From the footnote on page 7:

While the NIA is based predominately upon a midrange scenario, some of the analysis cited in this section refers to IPCC reports with multiple scenarios. However, scientists indicate that even if humans stopped releasing CO2 tomorrow, climate changes projected for 2030 would still occur. Scenario trajectories— including those emphasizing concerted emissions reductions—do not vary significantly over the next 20-25 years.
Not just cutting back, but stopping the release of all CO2? Hell, if we change our ways and it doesn't make a difference, then why do the eco-freaks think we were the cause in the first place?!

So, Dr. Fingar, overall, how will this affect the US? After all, that's what we really care about, right?

The IPCC estimates annual costs from severe weather in damage to property and
loss of economic productivity for the United States to be in the tens of billions of dollars. Nonetheless, most models predict that the United States on balance will benefit slightly from climate change over the next few decades, largely due to increased agricultural yields.
Hmm. I don't seem to remember reading in any of the newspapers that the expected impact of climate change would be a net-positive for the US. MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS - all of them - neglected to report on this.

Funny how they missed that, no?
----------

Watch what happens. The eco-freaks, Democrats and both presidential candidates will point to this report as justification to impose a carbon tax, halt additional oil drilling, turn more edible corn into ethanol and generally bow to the alter of their deity, Al Gore.

Why can't our government have a conversation like this?

Let's see, we know that the weather is changing. We don't yet know the cause, be it sun spots, gamma rays, volcanic activity, greenhouse gases created by man, or it's part of a natural cycle of earth. We just don't know.

We do know that this climate change is having some negative effects. Drought in certain parts of the world, flooding in others. It's causing food shortages. And it's only going to get worse.

People are rioting and overturning governments. Water will be the new gold. We've seen food shortages here in the US as well. The law of supply and demand has push prices through the roof. These food shortages have resulted in price spikes in "down stream" food sources, such as beef, chicken and pork, as they all eat the same grains that we eat.

Why don't we stop this foolishness of turning food-producing land into ethanol producing land? Who the hell came up with that one?! Someone jot that idea down, and write a law to fix that error.

A bunch of countries - some friendly, some not - will not fare as well as the US. Some of our neighbors, the Carrabean Islands in particular, will be hard hit. That could result in boatloads (literally) of new refugees. Let's make a plan for that.

The Middle East and Africa are also going to be hit pretty hard. Why don't we think of some way to teach them how to adapt to the upcoming changes. Ways to store and use water more efficiently. Ways to desalinate water more efficiently. Stuff like that. Maybe have a contingency plan for some food assistance, but only if they've adopted some of our recommended changes in how they do business. We'll need a plan for this as well.

OK, let's break for lunch. After that we'll talk about how we make our country energy independent. Some guy at a blog called No Nanny State wrote down some ideas about this, way back in 2006 (The Speech We'll Never Hear). We'll use that as a template.

Alright, people, who's buying lunch today?

Labels: American Ingenuity, Eco-fraud, Global Warming, Political Correctness, presidential, Self-Reliance, Taxes, Terrorism



# posted by The Other Mike S. @ 12:25 PM

Anonymous said...

For her part, Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA), chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Intelligence Community Management, seemed content to ignore the misgivings of some of her colleagues regarding the NIA. “From this day forward, the words ‘climate change’ and ‘international security’ will be forever linked,” she proclaimed.

dan said...

For her part, Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA), chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Intelligence Community Management, seemed content to ignore the misgivings of some of her colleagues regarding the NIA. “From this day forward, the words ‘climate change’ and ‘international security’ will be forever linked,” she proclaimed.