Friday, October 30, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Turmoil from climate change poses security risks

By H. JOSEF HEBERT (AP) – Associated Press/Google News

WASHINGTON — An island in the Indian Ocean, vital to the U.S. military, disappears as the sea level rises. Rivers critical to India and Pakistan shrink, increasing military tensions in South Asia. Drought, famine and disease forces population shifts and political turmoil in the Middle East.

U.S. defense and intelligence agencies, viewing these and other potential impacts of global warming, have concluded if they materialize it would become ever more likely global alliances will shift, the need to respond to massive relief efforts will increase and American forces will become entangled in more regional military conflicts.

It is a bleak picture of national security that backers of a climate bill in Congress hope will draw in reluctant Republicans who have denounced the bill as an energy tax and jobs killer because it would shift the country away from fossil fuels by limiting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and industrial facilities.

At the current increasing rate of global carbon dioxide pollution, average world temperatures at the end of this century will likely be about 7 degrees higher than at the end of the 20th century, and seas would be expected to rise by as much as 2 feet, according to a consensus of scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The security implications of global warming were center stage Wednesday at a Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee hearing, one of a series of sessions in advance of voting on the climate bill, possibly as early as next week.

"Our economic, energy and climate change challenges are all inextricably linked," retired Vice Adm. Dennis McGinn told the committee. "If we don't address these challenges in a bold way and timely way, fragile governments have great potential to become failed states ....a virile breathing ground for extremism."

"The U.S. military will be called to respond to these threats," added McGinn, a member of the CNA Military Advisory Board, an influential think tank on military and security issues.

The security implications of climate change have been an issue of growing concern in the defense and intelligence communities.

Dennis Blair, the Obama administration's national intelligence director, has told Congress that global warming will have broad security implications over the next two decades. Also, the Central Intelligence Agency has created a new group of experts to study the security fallout of increased droughts, population shifts, sea level rise and other likely impacts of severe climate change, and the Pentagon has embarked on a detailed study on the military's vulnerabilities from a warmer world.

"U..S. vulnerabilities to climate change are linked to the fate of other nations," says Kathleen Hicks, a deputy undersecretary for defense. She told the Senate panel that senior defense officials believe climate change will make U.S. security challenges more difficult and complex.

While the debate over climate legislation has been sharply split along partisan lines, the alarm over impacts on national security has come from both Democrats and Republicans in the defense and intelligence communities.

A recent report by the American Security Project, an advisory group of high-powered Republicans and Democrats, called global warming "not simply about saving polar bears or preserving beautiful mountain glaciers ... (but) a threat to our security." The group has on its board Republicans such as former Sen. Warren Rudman as well as Democrats including Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the chief author of the Senate climate bill.

Across the globe there exist conflicts and security challenges including ethnic conflicts and emerging radicalism and often "these are also the parts of the world where we will see the most severe consequences from climate change," Bernard Finel, a co-author of the American Security Project report, said in an interview. " The intelligence community, CIA, (military) commanders, they're all looking at these issues."

Former Republican Sen. John Warner, a longtime chairman of the Armed Services Committee and a close ally of the military, has been touring the country to talk about climate change and national security.

"We are talking about energy insecurity, water and food shortages, and climate-driven social instability," says Warner. "We ignore these threats at the peril of our national security and at great risk to those in uniform."

Among the flash points:

_ Himalayan glaciers are likely to recede, producing fresh water shortages in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and parts of China.

_ Receding Arctic ice could trigger a territorial conflict involving Russia, the United States, Canada and others.

_ Sea level rise in Bangladesh, and drought in other parts of the world could unleash a flood of cross-border "climate refugees" and violence.

_ The Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia, an atoll only a few feet above sea level, likely would disappear, taking away a critical U.S. military staging area.

Still these concerns are not unanimous.

At Wednesday's hearing, retired Army Major General Robert Scales, who said he had "deep reservations" about the science of climate change, worried that if fossil fuels were curtailed it would reduce the availability of diesel and jet fuel "that might reduce our ability to go to war."

On the prospects of global political and military instability from climate change, Scales said, "such unlikely events would cause enormous suffering and social dislocation. But the history record strongly suggests that such devastating humanitarian disasters rarely if ever result in large-scale wars."

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Sign the Petition for legal status for Environmental Refugees

http://www.praer.org/2009/10/sign-the-petition-for-legal-st.html

 

By Wade Norris .on October 21, 2009 5:50 PM

To:  President of the United States and the United Nations We the undersigned ask President Obama to sign an Executive Order recognizing people displaced by Climate Change as Environmental Refugees and grant these Environmental Refugees asylum in the United States as permitted by Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America.
We also ask United Nations Secretary General to call a special session of the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees to change the legal status of people displaced by Climate Change from 'Migrants' to 'Refugees' so that these displaced Refugees may seek asylum in other countries around the world.
Sincerely,
The Undersigned

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lily Allen and Duran Duran launch celebrity climate campaign track

see the video at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/oct/01/lily-allen-celebrity-climate-campaign

From: guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2009

The first global music petition, a re-recording of Midnight Oil's Beds are Burning, is aimed at pressuring world leaders at Copenhagen

Over 60 musicians, including Duran Duran, Lily Allen and Bob Geldof, today launched the world's first digital musical petition: a re-recording of the Midnight Oil song, Beds are Burning, aimed at pressuring world leaders to make a hard-hitting deal over climate change at December's Copenhagen summit.

Described by Kofi Annan as "the Band Aid for the internet generation", the song is the first time such a long list of world celebrities has recorded a campaign track in protest of global warming and climate change. It is also the first ever global music petition: the track is available free online and downloading it automatically adds the listener to the campaign petition: "Tck Tck Tck, Time for Climate Justice".

The music and film stars – ranging from Fergie, Mark Ronson and the Scorpions to Youssou n'Dour and the French Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard – see the song as part of a global movement to force world leaders to strike a better deal than that made at Kyoto. Already 1.3 million people have signed the petition for a binding deal at Copenhagen. The song hopes to add millions to that list. Each individual who downloads the track and video, will become a "climate ally" alongside supporters such as the archbishop Desmond Tutu. The song was conceived as a post-Live Aid approach to digitally reach as many listeners as possible in the shortest time.

The Australian band Midnight Oil specially rewrote their 1987 hit Beds Are Burning with lyrics warning against the impending climate change disaster. The band waived their rights, enabling the song and its video to be downloaded for free. The track was recorded in studios in Paris, London and New York and cut together in less than a few months.

Annan, the former UN secretary general who now heads Geneva-based Global Humanitarian Forum, which backs the campaign, said the theory was that the celebrity music initiative could "create such a noise our leaders won't be able to ignore it".

Already politicians have rushed to endorse the petition, including Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband and Peter Mandelson, who called for British business to come on board.

Annan said the drive would be successful if the critical mass of global listeners adding their name to the petition forced world leaders to act fast for an urgent post-Kyoto agreement.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

A global conference with minimal carbon footprint!

Source: www.climate2009.net/
26th October, 2009

Climate 2009 is inviting you to take part in a global conference on Climate without leaving your office or home and with no charges applying!

This global climate-neutral Scientific Climate Conference is on between the 2nd and the 6th of November 2009 online! All you have to do is go to www.climate2009.net/and register! This conference will introduce you to to 'the latest scientific findings on the social, economic and political aspects of climate change'.

As a major online event, it will also be a chance to 'discuss the problems, barriers, challenges, chances and potentials related to climate and sustainability research. Special discussion fora and chat rooms will cater for direct interaction with the participant scientists'.

Anyone can join sign up!