Dangerous acts of self deception

In 2003, the U.S. Pentagon commissioned a paper from expert consultants Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall. They were to examine all available research on climate change to better understand potential implications on national security.

Sixteen years ago, scientists cautioned about predicting outcomes. But, comments and warnings in the report seem more relevant today, particularly because 2015 to 2018 were the four hottest years ever recorded.

One eco-activist said Pentagon strategists were thinking in fifty-year time frames and their report presented a bleaker scenario than most environmentalists. Some excerpts:

There is substantial evidence to indicate that significant global warming will occur during the 21st century. …With inadequate preparation, the result could be a significant drop in the human carrying capacity of the Earth’s environment.

…When most people think about climate change, they imagine gradual increases in temperature and only marginal changes in other climatic conditions, continuing indefinitely or even leveling off at some time in the future.

The conventional wisdom is that modern civilization will either adapt to whatever weather conditions we face and that the pace of climate change will not overwhelm the adaptive capacity of society…

Optimists assert that the benefits from technological innovation will be able to outpace the negative effects of climate change.

…This view of climate change may be a dangerous act of self deception, as increasingly we are facing weather related disasters — more hurricanes, monsoons, floods, and dry-spells – in regions around the world…

Today, carrying capacity, which is the ability for the Earth and its natural ecosystems including social, economic, and cultural systems to support the finite number of people on the planet, is being challenged around the world.

…It is quite plausible that within a decade the evidence of an imminent abrupt climate shift may become clear and reliable. …United States will need to take urgent action to prevent and mitigate some of the most significant impacts.

…However, large population movements in this scenario are inevitable. Learning how to manage those populations, border tensions that arise and the resulting refugees will be critical.

…Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life.

Categories: Environment

7 replies »

  1. I’d say we’re handling the refugee aspect of climate rather poorly. The reaction to refugees, as always, is to elect strongman leaders like Donald Trump who will “take care” of the “refugee problem”. These right wing types don’t care that the real cause of climate change is fossil fuel companies and the billions in subsidies they get while social services that benefit the very people who are most vocal about refugees goes wanting. And of course the millions of Trumpites in the U.S., here in Canada, and the rest of the world continue to deny that climate is even happening.

    Complicating things in Canada is the fact that we have two political parties who are corporate sponsored with one being a party of racists, homophobes and mysogynists, the other being at the beck and call of Bay St.

    Further complicating things is that canadian voters are constantly reminded that the third party alternative are nothing more than “tax and spend socialists” whose policies are wild eyed and can’t possibly be implemented. This is complicated by the media constantly hyping a fringe party and its erratic leader as a real serious alternative to the NDP, despite the fact this fringe and its leader never poll any higher than single digits in election after election.

    My two cents.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Is there a “point of no return” for CO2 and methane emissions, when weather becomes chaotic? Might we have “too many eggs in the Hydro basket”, if rainfall patterns change? Might we want greater diversity and resilience – solar at the points of use, wind projects, and we know almost nothing about the geothermal potential!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When I read the opening line on the e mail for this post, my first thought was how drunk are those idiots……….really
    they’re not optimists, they’re delusional and drunk.
    however, the rich will continue to make money and that is all that matters. they know they can live in their bubble and when there are only a million or so on earth, if they’re lucky, it will be the billionaires and multi millionaires. wonder who is going to do the work, but dont’ know if guys like zuckerberg will even notice.

    People are not going to change their way of life. big houses are still being purchased, car lots still firing out new vehicles and China and India are still pushing out pollutants, smoke, etc. Voters may well return trump to office and he is in a whole class by himself when it comes to being anti environment and most Americans aren’t even smart enough to understand it.

    When the real shit hits the fan, I’ll be dead, but I am worried about all the kids I know and their children. They ought to be able to live the lives their parents did with clean water, air, and land. They won’t even stop cutting old growth forests and they wonder why bears are coming into our back yards. its because some thing is wrong on this earth.


  4. The wealthy elites that live for the here and now on this planet and just keep taking and taking and don’t contribute heartily to the wellness of their fellow humans and the earth, will not find their gated secure lives to be all that gated and secure, when the people become more enraged with growing inequity, poverty and neglect. It’s will be an inevitable outcome.


    • What about the “wealthy enough to get elected” elites, that with 20,000 votes can then destroy an entire province’s future, a valley that could produce $500 million a year in agricultural products, a way of life for residents, thinking that they “represent” the entire electorate – aka Horgan and Weaver?


  5. In about 10 years from now we’re going to have demonstrations/riots in the streets cuzz recent past governments will have done diddly-squat on the issue of climate change. Another change has to happen too is our economic system. People like Warren Buffet have been calling for this for more than a few years now. We don’t have a capitalist economic system anymore; we have a corporate welfare system which Governments pander to. My advice to future past politicians and corporate leaders; move somewhere where nobody knows you and change your name. And, oh yeah, keep looking over your shoulder cuzz there is a good chance someone could recognize you.


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