Pentagon Report and Earth at Risk
Number 1 Without A Bullet
By Jerri Ann Lewis
The climatic change occurring due to the greenhouses gases that have built up in our atmosphere is referred to as global warming. Scientists believe this will trap heat and raise the temperature on earth.
The prediction of the temperature rising between 1 to 3.5 degrees Celsius, at a glance, does not seem too alarming. However, the reality is that the climate in areas will change. Too much or too little precipitation will cause growth patterns to change in areas. Higher temperatures will increase the breeding season for insects that carry diseases. The heat will cause icecaps and glaciers to melt faster than normal. This will cause a rise in sea level and a risk of flooding to those that live in low-lying regions.1
Although the words "global warming" imply only a rise in temperature, it could actually mean a climatic change on various levels. This could lead to colder temperatures and longer winters for the Northern Hemisphere while causing massive droughts in the southern parts. The droughts could cause a greater chance of forests fires and turn farmlands to deserts.2
The reality is that the floods affect our homes putting up insurance problems, that treating skin cancer and heat-stroke victims put additional pressure on our health service, that our council tax will rise to cope with mending roads buckled by increased heat.3
The increasing chances of this climatic threat inspired the Pentagon to request a report from scientists on the matter in 2003. Andrew Marshall, a Department of Defense planner, requested that Peter Schwartz write an unclassified report (now referred to as the "Pentagon Report") to spread the awareness of the threat of global warming and its implications to national-security. This report is not a 'Nostradamus-type' predication. Instead, it is a play-by-play scenario of what our world will be like if the path to global warming is not reversed.2
The scene opens with the idea of slight weather variations cast off by disbelievers as weather "blips" in the form of hurricanes, thunderstorms, tornadoes, wildfires, and other common natural disasters. (Haven't we experienced a few of those 'blips' lately?) However, as global warming progresses so do the weather occurrences. These minor conditions intensify to become weather catastrophes in the form of mega-droughts, extreme freezing, monsoons, violent storms that make oceans rise and redefine coastlines, and wind storms that increase soil loss and damage to land. These climate changes will result in famine, energy shortage and the fight for survival. Tension between the U.S. and other countries will increase leading to wars between nations. To make a long story short, it could ultimately end with Armageddon. Even though this is a drastic viewpoint, it is not an unrealistic one.2
Numerous things can be done to slow down the effects of global warming. Conserving energy, using alternative energy sources, and reducing the use of non-renewable resources such as coal, oil, gasoline, and natural gas are just a few of the ways people can do there part.4 Since nuclear power plants and the oil, coal, and gasoline industries are just a few of the corporations that were major contributors to President Bush's electoral campaign, the Bush Administration clearly has other priorities.5
Thus, the Bush Administration refuses to acknowledge this problem. President Bush's environmental record has not been a favorable one, including his refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocol.6 He seems to view global warming as a political annoyance to be cast away as one of those mystical predictions that will never happen. Yet, even as you read this, global warming is already happening and is being taken seriously by other government leaders.
Prime Minister Tony Blair is suggesting a "political payback" from United States government officials for the UN's support in the Iraq war by requesting assistance from the United States in the fight against global warming. He urges that the threat of global warming is "so far-reaching in its impact and irreversible in its destructive power, that it alters radically human existence."7 Realistically, without all countries working together to make environmental changes, we cannot stop global warming. Former UN Environment Minister, Michael Meacher said, "Environmental disasters and diseases related to global warming now take the lives of 160,000 people a year. This far exceeds the threat from terrorism and we cannot ignore it."8 One large country cannot make a different alone.
We are all responsible, in some form or another, for climatic change occurring on our planet. Government officials in other countries are now realizing that global warming is a bigger problem than ever before; yet, the Bush Administration continues to ignore it. Big businesses and our current administration are placing money ahead of Earth. The Bush Administration cannot continue to push this issue aside. We must heighten our awareness of the damage we are doing and learn how to change. We must unite to make a difference. We must change our government in order to save our environment and our lives.
1 "How can global warming affect my health?" Medical News Today. September 5, 2004.
2 David Stipp, "CLIMATE COLLAPSE: The Pentagon's Weather Nightmare," FORTUNE. February 9, 2004.
3 Arryn Buggins, "Help to Slow Down Global Warming," . May 10, 2004.
4 Global Warming & Energy: "Overview-Solutions,"
5 Lila Byock, "Energy,"
6 . Global Warming: "Bush Administration Errs on Kyoto Global Warming Agreement"
7 Quote by Tony Blair, "Blair Advocates Urgent Action to Avert Global Warming," OneWorld.net. September 16, 2004.
8 James Cusick, "Blair urged to press Bush to Start War on Global Warming," The Sunday Herald. September 12, 2004
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