Top-secret Pentagon report tells Bush “Climate change will destroy us”

This is simply too amazing to be true. Calpundit has an astounding post on a UK article that quotes from an allegedly highly classified Pentagon document warning of the end of the world as we know it in less than 20 years, all due to global warming. From the article:

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.

This leads Capundit to muse:

Now, I have to assume that the report is real and the Observer reporters didn’t just make it up. On the other hand, the language is so apocalyptic that surely it must be part of a section labeled “absolutely positively really really worst case and not at all likely scenarios — but we thought we’d include them anyway since that’s the kind of thing we do around here.”

But this is what we love about the British press, isn’t it? There’s really no way to tell. Perhaps they’ll be kind enough to put the entire report up on their website someday so we can see for ourselves what it’s really all about.

It all sounds way too far-fetched to be true. Each paragraph in the Observer article is more bizarre and frightening than the last. Either this is the mother of all hoaxes, or we’re in for some interesting times ahead.

The Discussion: 5 Comments

My first reaction was: oh shit. But it’s clear, upon sober reflection, that the report really is a worst-case, what-if scenario. The Pentagon has no way of knowing, for instance, if storms really will cause the Dutch dikes to breach in 2007. (Personally I hope they’ll hold off for another few decades.)

Nonetheless, it’s still sobering to realize that the Pentagon, as reactionary as it is, is taking the threat of global climate change seriously. As are insurance companies. Li’l George can deny it all he wants, but when the military and financial establishments starting worrying about massive climatic disruptions, how long can he (and the Bjørn Lomborg crowd) continue to keep up their Cleopatra routine?

February 23, 2004 @ 2:16 am | Comment

Indeed, the “climatic change is as much of a defense issue as terrorism” tone is an exciting (ultimately positive?) one. Though the article reads like something out of the nuclear war scare stories of the early 80s. Maybe they think we need to start having nightmares again?

February 23, 2004 @ 2:43 am | Comment

Good Lord, the Observer’s story may be the worst bit of “journalism I’ve ever see.

The report was not prepared by the Pentagon nor was it “highly classified” or, indeed, even classified at all.

The Defense Dept. arranged for a consultant to draw up a worst case scenerio. They then shared that report with Fortune Magazine which published an article on it last month.
Here’s the link:

Here’s the key excerpt:

The result is an unclassified report, completed late last year, that the Pentagon has agreed to share with FORTUNE. It doesn’t pretend to be a forecast. Rather, it sketches a dramatic but plausible scenario to help planners think about coping strategies.

Do they have editors over at the Observer? If so, are they on crack?

February 23, 2004 @ 3:31 pm | Comment

Conrad, good eye. It’s beginning to look like classic scare journalism used to sell supermarket tabloids.

February 23, 2004 @ 3:45 pm | Comment

Here’s the link to the entire report:

February 23, 2004 @ 3:46 pm | Comment

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.