DoD study: climate change will destroy us …in 2020

by Fabius Maximus

Summary: In February 2004, headlines in The Guardian and other news media told us of a secret DoD report predicting a climate catastrophe by 2020. Read the study and gain perspective about today’s warnings of a Climate Emergency.

Burning and smoking Earth.
Photo 50590315 © Strahil Dimitrov – Dreamstime.

Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us.”

From The Guardian on 21 February 2004.

“Secret report warns of rioting and nuclear war. Britain will be ‘Siberian’ in less than 20 years. Threat to the world is greater than terrorism.”

“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. …Randall added that it was already possibly too late to prevent a disaster happening. ‘We don’t know exactly where we are in the process. It could start tomorrow and we would not know for another five years,’ he said. …”

Other journalists gave uncritical coverage to it (e.g., FortuneGrist). The secret report is now public. Read it and feel the terror!

An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and
Its Implications for United States National Security
.”

By Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Commissioned by DoD’s Office of Net Assessment. Published October 2003.

Schwartz is a “futurist”, co-founder of the Global Business Network consulting firm and big in the “scenario planning” gig (Wikipedia). Randall also worked at GBN.

Excerpt from the Executive Summary.

The research suggests that once temperature rises above some threshold, adverse weather conditions could develop relatively abruptly, with persistent changes in the atmospheric circulation causing drops in some regions of 5-10°F in a single decade. Paleoclimatic evidence suggests that altered climatic patterns could last for as much as a century, as they did when the ocean conveyor collapsed 8,200 years ago, or, at the extreme, could last as long as 1,000 years as they did during the Younger Dryas, which began about 12,700 years ago. {Perhaps caused by an asteroid impact.}

In this report, as an alternative to the scenarios of gradual climatic warming that are so common, we outline an abrupt climate change scenario patterned after the 100-year event that occurred about 8,200 years ago. This abrupt change scenario is characterized by the following conditions.

  • Annual average temperatures drop by up to 5°F over Asia and North America and 6°F in northern Europe.
  • Annual average temperatures increase by up to 4°F in key areas throughout Australia, South America, and southern Africa.
  • Drought persists for most of the decade in critical agricultural regions and in the water resource regions for major population centers in Europe and eastern North America.
  • Winter storms and winds intensify, amplifying the impacts of the changes. Western Europe and the North Pacific experience enhanced winds.

The report explores how such an abrupt climate change scenario could potentially de-stabilize the geo-political environment, leading to skirmishes, battles, and even war due to resource constraints such as {these}.

  • Food shortages due to decreases in net global agricultural production.
  • Decreased availability and quality of fresh water in key regions due to shifted precipitation patters, causing more frequent floods and droughts.
  •  Disrupted access to energy supplies due to extensive sea ice and storminess.

From the body of the report.

By 2005 the climatic impact of the shift is felt more intensely in certain regions around the world. More severe storms and typhoons bring about higher storm surges and floods in low-lying islands such as Tarawa and Tuvalu (near New Zealand).

In 2007, a particularly severe storm causes the ocean to break through levees in the Netherlands making a few key coastal cities such as The Hague unlivable. Failures of the delta island levees in the Sacramento River region in the Central Valley of California creates an inland sea and disrupts the aqueduct system transporting water from northern to southern California because salt water can no longer be kept out of the area during the dry season.

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After roughly 60 years of slow freshening, the thermohaline collapse begins in 2010, disrupting the temperate climate of Europe, which is made possible by the warm flows of the Gulf Stream (the North Atlantic arm of the global thermohaline conveyor). Ocean circulation patterns change, bringing less warm water north and causing an immediate shift in the weather in Northern Europe and eastern North America.   {It lists many many more bad things that happen.}

The Weather Report: 2010-2020.

Drought persists for the entire decade in critical agricultural regions and in the areas around major population centers in Europe and eastern North America. Average annual temperatures drop by up to 5°F over Asia and North America and up to 6°F in Europe. Temperatures increase by up to 4°F in key areas throughout Australia, South America, and southern Africa. Winter storms and winds intensify, amplifying the impact of the changes. Western Europe and the North Pacific face enhanced westerly winds. …

2012: Severe drought and cold push Scandinavian populations southward, push back from EU. Flood of refugees to southeast U.S. and Mexico from Caribbean islands.

2015: Conflict within the EU over food and water supply leads to skirmishes and strained diplomatic relations 2018: Russia joins EU, providing energy resources.

2020: Migration from northern countries such as Holland and Germany toward Spain and Italy.

{And many many more bad things happen around the world. It gets even worse after 2020.}

—————– End of excerpt. —————–

Climate scientists lept into action!

The Schwartz – Randall report is an example of the climate alarmists’ typical exaggeration of scientists’ confidence in unvalidated theories (i.e., theories far out of consensus). So climate scientists responded to misuse of science by condemning it. Just kidding! I cannot find any who condemned it, because alarmists are honorary members of the Climate Science Club – with all sins forgiven.

While climate scientists were MIA, some journalists provided a balanced analysis. Such as this at the NY Times by Andy Revkin.

Notes from the past

A doomster vision of the future was popular back in 1971, just as it is today. On 15 January 1971 Americans watched a TV show by a hot new director, the 24-year old Steven Spielberg: “L.A. 2017.”  We learned that in 46 years pollution would destroy the Earth’s ecology and force the remnants of humanity to live underground.

Before we panic about DoD’s 2003 climate study, remember that they eagerly join every parade that might give them more money. Such as the CIA’s paean to global cooling: “Potential Implications of Trends in Population Growth, Food Production, and Climate“ in August 1974.

“{A} number of climatologists are in agreement that the northern hemisphere, at least, is growing cooler. …According to Hubert Lamb – an outstanding British climatologist – 23 out of 27 forecasting methods predicted a cooling trend through the remainder of this century. …A number of meteorological experts are thinking in terms of a return to a climate like that of the 19th century.”

If you are still calm, remember Peak Oil? DoD’s Office of Force Transformation hired LMI Government Consulting to produce “Transforming the Way the DoD Looks at Energy” (January 2007). Only massive transfusions of cash could save our military from peak oil. The doomsters were ecstatic! To avoid embarrassment, all online copies have been put down the memory hole.

Conclusions

The best guides we have are the reports of the IPCC and major climate agencies. The IPCC’s scientists assign a confidence level to each of their findings. Most are “medium”; few are “very high” (see their recent Special Report) – because we have much to learn about climate dynamics. This is the key fact that alarmists and their journalist enablers conceal from us.