Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Is Denying Climate Change a Threat to National Security?

Question for Republican presidential candidates who are also climate change deniers (Paul, Cruz, Jindal, Walker, Bush, Pence, Ryan, Santorum, Huckabee):

Why, if military researchers are saying climate change is already a theat to the security of the United States, are you igoring this threat and even denying climate change is taking place?

What are the security implications of your denial, now and in the future?

New York Times:
WASHINGTON — The accelerating rate of climate change poses a severe risk to national security and acts as a catalyst for global political conflict, a report published Tuesday by a leading government-funded military research organization concluded.

The Center for Naval Analyses Military Advisory Board found that climate change-induced drought in the Middle East and Africa is leading to conflicts over food and water and escalating longstanding regional and ethnic tensions into violent clashes. The report also found that rising sea levels are putting people and food supplies in vulnerable coastal regions like eastern India, Bangladesh and the Mekong Delta in Vietnam at risk and could lead to a new wave of refugees.

In addition, the report predicted that an increase in catastrophic weather events around the world would create more demand for American troops, even as flooding and extreme weather events at home could damage naval ports and military bases.
and
Pentagon officials said the report would affect military policy. “The department certainly agrees that climate change is having an impact on national security, whether by increasing global instability, by opening the Arctic or by increasing sea level and storm surge near our coastal installations,” John Conger, the Pentagon’s deputy under secretary of defense for installations and environment, said in a statement. “We are actively integrating climate considerations across the full spectrum of our activities to ensure a ready and resilient force.”
and
“In the past, the thinking was that climate change multiplied the significance of a situation,” said Gen. Charles F. Wald, who contributed to both reports and is retired from the Air Force. “Now we’re saying it’s going to be a direct cause of instability.”

27 comments:

Dano said...

I may have told this story here already:

When in grad school, a classmate was a scholar in a program just below Fulbright (can't remember any more) from another country. She was the Emergency Manager for her capital city and was studying ecology like I was.

Anyway, she went to DC for a week to participate in a military symposium on national disaster planning for militaries, and more than a day was spent on climate change scenarios. Colin Powell did the keynote.

She came back changed - she had no idea the militaries of the world had been planning for climate change disasters for so long. How come she hadn't heard about it and what else are they doing?

Best,

D

Joe Goodacre said...

Threats to national security come from many places - how would you rate denying climate change compared to Iran going nuclear?

J Curtis said...

Complete alarmist nonsense put out by the Cult of the Hot Planet. I was never very good at labotomized groupthink and being provided with the information that Obama voter Colin Powell is now an adherent doesn't faze me in the slightest. Instead of using the military try and stifle debate, why not try the leftist tactic of slandering skeptics as racists or perhaps misogynists? It would totally be in line with the overall agenda of the left and equally laughable on the face of it's tortured logic.

Someone said...

David Appell: 'Why, if military researchers are saying climate change is already a theat to the security of the United States, are you igoring this threat and even denying climate change is taking place?'

Do you believe 'military researchers' absolutely, always, everywhere, on everything? If so, why? If not, why are you questioning others for questioning?

Do you (to use your very own tagline) 'never ask too many questions'? If not, why not? Or is climate change off limits to questioning? Why?

Do you realise how ridiculous your position appears? If not, why not?

August Derleth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
stephen said...

Perhaps this is one question too many but:what are your qualifications that justify you holding forth in such a manner on these subjects? The "complete profile" seems...incomplete.I think that you are merely another little man(or Mann)looking for a Lenin that you can be useful to...for a while.

David Appell said...

August Derleth: Your nothing-but-profane comment was removed.

Address the subject of the post, or be gone.

agnostic said...

For a rational thinker, the Climate Change, formerly Global Warming, issue poses a few questions:
1) While, obviously, the climate is changing (always has been, always will be), is it warming?
2) If it is, is mankind contributing in a significant way?
3) If it is, is it possible from the physical or technological feasibility point of view to stop the changes?
4) If it is, is it possible from organizational or political point of view to stop the changes?
Ad 1), it's a maybe. While I am no climatologist, I know a thing or two about designing computer models and the limitations thereof. Show me a person who says that he has a model that predicts with absolute certainty essential trending of a system as complex as the planet's climate fifty or a hundred years into the future, and I’ll show you a quack.
Ad 2), it's another maybe. One simple fact is that while the amount of CO2 pumped into the atmoshpere was exploding over the last about 20 years, the temperature has stagnated. It's not an absolute proof of anything, but it certainly justifies re-examination of the relative weight of the so called greenhouse effect in the overall scheme of things.
Ad 3) - very unlikely. So far, prevailing historical experience with grand-scale attempts at changing the nature to accommodate human needs or desires shows mostly just either failures, at best, or, occasionally, bringing about unexpected consequences worse than the original problem.
Ad 4) - absolutely impossible. It's unlikely to get all the significant players (i.e. countries with volume-wise significant extent of interaction between humans and the environment) to agree on even just the course of action. To expect them to actually abide by any agreed upon a plan and rules, sacrificing their individual short term national interests, as they emerge, to long term global goals - that's a pure fantasy.
There are serious and valid environmental concerns for humankind in the years ahead. Global warming might possibly be one of them, and it deserves to be studied and considered. But to the extent that any meaningful, practically achievable solutions exist, to have even a chance at finding them, not to mention implementation, we need an open minded, constructive debate about the issue, not intimidation and suppression of any deviation from the party line set by the self-anointed Truth Keepers.

David Appell said...

agnostic:
Re ad1 -- since no one says that about models, what is the point of your argument?

IskurBlast said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
David Appell said...

IskurBlast: Your profane, substanceless comment has also been removed.

If you have nothing to say on the subject of the post, your comment isn't welcome.

MikeP said...

David,
"David Appell said...
agnostic:
Re ad1 -- since no one says that about models, what is the point of your argument"

But everyone has been saying that about the models...

"the science is settled"
"All mainstream scientists agree"
"The planet will warm 2.4C by 2100 unless we act now"

AGW extremists insist the models are unquestionably conclusive. They have been preaching this for many years now, regardless of how the models are continually revised to address their failures. Seems a bit silly to deny that.

David Appell said...

MikeP: You are completely wrong. I would like to see a source for your last claimed quote, about 2.4 C warming by 2100....

MikeP said...

Dano,
Quaint story, that really doesn't say anything beyond how naive your young friend was/is.

Our Miltary and federal agencies plan for a vast range of contingencies. Everything from Yellowstone eruption, to massive solar flares, to the zombie apocalypse (yes..they did), as well as climate change. I would bet 'climate change' war-gaming included a new ice age with as much focus as global warming concerns.
War-gaming various scenarios improves understanding of logistic, infrastructure, and resource limitations. It is about learning and training, and says next to nothing about the likelihood of those events happening.

MikeP said...

Completely wrong?

Are you really claiming prominent scientists have not been louding proclaiming the ironclad irrefutibility of their models? Really??

But I was wrong on that quote. it was 4C by 2100, not 2.4C. There are so many alarmist claims, it is hard to keep track.
here ya go:
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/dec/31/planet-will-warm-4c-2100-climate

David Appell said...

That's a newspaper headline, not a scientific paper.

Scientists are very careful to state the uncertaities of their results. When have they not done that?

David Appell said...

Are you really claiming prominent scientists have not been louding proclaiming the ironclad irrefutibility of their models?

Absolutely.

Prove your claim.

David Appell said...

Notice the Guardian's headline says "likely to warm by 4C."

"Likely."

That's hardly exact or "ironclad."

David Appell said...

Here's a talk by a climate modeler. He says

"Models are always wrong; they're always approximations."

but

"The models are skillful."

http://www.ted.com/talks/gavin_schmidt_the_emergent_patterns_of_climate_change

David Appell said...

Modelers have a saying:

"All models are wrong, but some are useful."

David Appell said...

MikeP said...
I would bet 'climate change' war-gaming included a new ice age with as much focus as global warming concerns.

I'll take that bet. You lose.

Here is the report:
http://www.cna.org/sites/default/files/MAB_2014.pdf

It says nothing about a new ice age.

Why would it? None is imminent, and the next one, in several millennia, now won't happen because of AGW.

MikeP said...

It's okay for you to base your post off a NYT article, but it's not okay to cite a Guardian article?

convenient

But you do need to read past the headline.
"The scientist leading the research said that unless emissions of greenhouse gases were cut, the planet would heat up by a minimum of 4C by 2100, twice the level the world's governments deem dangerous."

Not a whole lot of qualification in that statement.

David Appell said...

You continue to confuse a newspaper with scientific papers and reports.

Do you need a primer on the difference?

MikeP said...

David,
You asked for a source to a quote I used as an example.
I provided that source.

you cited the headline as a refutation

I pointed out the quote from the researcher that supports the claim that, yes, climate modelers have been arguing how proven their models are.
It's a quote, David, that directly supports the premise that you said was "completely wrong" and "prove it".

the argument was never about primary sourcing and peer reviewed papers.

Your acting a bit flippity floppity. good luck with that.

David Appell said...

No, Mike, the sentence you quoted wasn't a quote. Look again.

Stop pretending that a newspaper article is equivalent to a scientific paper. They've very different things, with different audiences, and different standards of communication.

Scientists are almost careful to indicate uncertainty, especially in their published work.

You're wrong.

David Appell said...

You completely ignored this:

"Climate sceptics like to criticise climate models for getting things wrong, and we are the first to admit they are not perfect," said Sherwood.

David Appell said...

the argument was never about primary sourcing and peer reviewed papers.

Let's recall what you actually claimed:

"The planet will warm 2.4C by 2100 unless we act now"

"AGW extremists insist the models are unquestionably conclusive."

"Are you really claiming prominent scientists have not been louding proclaiming the ironclad irrefutibility of their models?"

All are rubbish.