National Intelligence Council predicts global climate disaster —again

The US National Intelligence Council (NIC) has issued a new report, "Global Trends 2030: Potential Worlds," that emphasizes the rise of China and the risk of catastrophic climate change. An Associated Press summary Dec. 10 says the report finds global terrorism will recede along with the US military footprint in Iraq and Afghanistan, but cyber-attacks will be a growing concern. "The spectacular rise of Asian economies is dramatically altering…US influence," said NIC chairman Christopher Kojm. While the report sees the potential for US-China cooperation on global security, it also warns of resource struggles leading to instability. Under the heading "Stalled Engines," in the "most plausible worst-case scenario, the risks of interstate conflict increase," the report said. "The US draws inward and globalization stalls." The section "Black Swans" foresees extraordinary events that can change the course of history—such as a severe pandemic that could kill millions in a matter of months, or more rapid climate change. The report is optimistic, however, on the prospects for US energy independence. "With shale gas, the US will have sufficient natural gas to meet domestic needs and generate potential global exports for decades to come," it predicts.

The reference to shale gas of course means fracking—and portraying it as the key to energy independence merely echoes industry propaganda. Is predicting both global climate disaster and continued reliance on fossil fuels cynical or realistic? The growing US conflict with China also concerns a struggle for control of oil, especially in Africa. The conflating of (corporate) globalization with world stability is also becoming standard Pentagon doctrine.

The findings echo some of those released by the Director of National Intelligence earlier this year, which especially foresaw global conflict over control of water. In 2008, the NIC issued a classified study finding that climate change will be a major threat to US security over the coming generation. Pentagon studies in recent years have reached simialr findings.

  1. CO2 emissions leap sounds climate alarm
    Is this a great time to be alive, or what? From The Guardian, March 8:

    The chances of the world holding temperature rises to 2C–the level of global warming considered “safe” by scientists–appear to be fading fast with US scientists reporting the second-greatest annual rise in CO2emissions in 2012.

    Carbon dioxide levels measured at at Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii jumped by 2.67 parts per million (ppm) in 2012 to 395ppm, said Pieter Tans, who leads the greenhouse gas measurement team for the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The record was an increase of 2.93ppm in 1998.

  2. IPCC: climate change human-caused, will persist centuries
    The Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC Working Group I assessment report, “Climate Change 2013: the Physical Science Basis,” approved Sept. 27 by the 195 member governments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Stockholm, reads:

    It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. The evidence for this has grown, thanks to more and better observations, an improved understanding of the climate system response and improved climate models,” states the report, the latest in a series issued once every seven years…
    Warming in the climate system is unequivocal and since 1950 many changes have been observed throughout the climate system that are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased. [ENS]