Sunday, October 17, 2004

The Weather Underground 

Via our esteemed colleagues at Scrutiny Hooligans: Kenny Ausubel at Alternet reports on a DoD analyst who's predicting heavy weather ahead:
You have to figure the Force is with you when Yoda gets on board. In this case, "Yoda" is the Pentagon's term of endearment for Andrew Marshall, a revered military oracle who heads up an elite military think tank that envisions future threats to national security. After reading a 2002 National Academy of Sciences report on global warming, the octogenarian sage decided that indeed the sky is falling. He commissioned two master futurists to produce an analysis.

Their report, titled "An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for US National Security," draws on recent research showing that climate change can be very sudden, occurring in a matter of a decade or two. This has actually occurred at least twice before that we know of – about 8,000 and 11,000 brief biological years ago.

The report lays out several possible scenarios, ranging from worse than we ever imagined to unthinkable. By 2020 we could face mega-droughts and floods, mass starvation in many regions, hordes of desperate ecological refugees and war over scarce resources of food, water and energy. Or, the reports says, if climate change is really abrupt, the world could melt down in three to five years, then flip the switch into an ice age. Think snow for hundreds of years on end.

Yoda concluded that the force of global warming is definitely with us. Call it actionable intelligence. So he decided to do an end-run around the political top brass by leaking the unclassified report to Fortune magazine. His hope was that the business world would get the picture and move decisively to alter the course of civilization. Pentagon spokesmen later confirmed that indeed they had not bothered to pass Marshall's report on to his higher-ups in the Defense Department or White House . . . .

One of the best ways to see what's happening is to watch the animals. In Scotland's northern isles, home to some of the world's richest bird life, ornithologists are calling it the "year without young." Birds by the millions have not hatched eggs, if they've laid them at all. This unprecedented nesting failure is caused by starvation from the overnight disappearance of the small silvery sand eels the birds feed on. The ocean warmed, the sand eels went north, and a massive ecosystem that has functioned for millions of years is crashing.

The oceans themselves are turning acid from absorbing all that CO2 from the bonfire of the fossil fuels. The acid environment is killing off coral reefs, shellfish and plankton, the basis for nearly all marine life.

All over England, wildlife are exhibiting a feminization process that could throttle evolution itself. An estimated third of male fish in British rivers are growing female reproductive tissues and organs. Seals, sea otters, peregrine falcons and honey bees are heading for what reporter Mark Townsend calls a "unisex" existence, which is a bee line for eventual extinction. The culprit is gender benders, endocrine-disrupting chemicals that scramble the body's subtle hormonal growth signals and that are now pervasive globally . . . .

What makes matters especially confusing for many people at this crucial juncture is the toxic political cocktail of delusion and deceit. It's one thing to be blind to the fact that we are one with the environment. It's another to cover it up. Arguably we face the most secretive, deceptive and crooked political administration in American history, but make no mistake: These are true believers. This is faith-based politics of delusional grade.

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