Time’s Up.


Just one more year to see how right this 2003 Pentagon report was: “Climate change… could result in a global catastrophe… A secret report… 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… Famine and widespread rioting will erupt.”



Just one more year to see how right was this 2003 Pentagon report hyped so frantically by the Observer:

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.


The Sydney Morning Herald  carried this alarmist news without a breath of doubt in February 2004:

A secret report prepared by the Pentagon warns that climate change may lead to global catastrophe costing millions of lives and is a far greater risk than terrorism, a British weekly has said…

The leak promises to draw angry attention to US environmental and military policies, following Washington’s rejection of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change and President George Bush’s scepticism about global warning – a stance that has stunned scientists worldwide.

The Pentagon report, commissioned by Andrew Marshall, predicts that “abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies”…

Some examples given of probable scenarios in the dramatic report include: 

  • Britain will have winters similar to those in Siberia as European temperatures drop off radically by 2020.

  • By 2007, violent storms will make large parts of the Netherlands uninhabitable and lead to a breach in the aqueduct system in California that supplies all water to densely populated southern California.

  • “Catastrophic” shortages of potable water and energy will lead to widespread war by 2020.

SBS was no better, once again jumping on a global warming beat-up:

Coming from the Pentagon, normally a bastion of conservative politics and focused on military and political strategy, the report is expected to bring environmental issues to the fore in the US presidential race.

Gobal warming scientists and activists piled on:


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Professor John Schellnhuber, … head of the UK’s leading group of climate scientists at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research … said that the Pentagon’s internal fears should prove the ‘tipping point’ in persuading Bush to accept climatic change.

Sir John Houghton, former chief executive of the Meteorological Office – and the first senior figure to liken the threat of climate change to that of terrorism – said: ‘If the Pentagon is sending out that sort of message, then this is an important document indeed.’

Bob Watson, chief scientist for the World Bank and former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, added that the Pentagon’s dire warnings could no longer be ignored.

‘Can Bush ignore the Pentagon? It’s going be hard to blow off this sort of document. Its hugely embarrassing…”

“You’ve got a President who says global warming is a hoax, and across the Potomac river you’ve got a Pentagon preparing for climate wars. It’s pretty scary when Bush starts to ignore his own government on this issue,’ said Rob Gueterbock of Greenpeace.

Sea Shepherd’s Paul Watson was inspired to even more apocalyptic fantasising:

Of course this report and more to come will be ignored by most of the world’s media. No one likes to hear bad news and no one wants to hear news of ecological devastation…

I have some new predictions to put on the record. 

Within twenty to thirty years, the United States will invade Canada to control water for drinking and hydro-electric generation. 

Here’s how Fortune magazine reported it in 2004, with a tiny caveat ignored by most reporters:

Recently, renowned Department of Defense planner Andrew Marshall sponsored a groundbreaking effort to come to grips with the question [of global warming]. A Pentagon legend, Marshall, 82, is known as the Defense Department’s “Yoda”–a balding, bespectacled sage whose pronouncements on looming risks have long had an outsized influence on defense policy…

Marshall tapped another eminent visionary, Peter Schwartz, to write a report on the national-security implications of the threat. Schwartz formerly headed planning at Royal Dutch/Shell Group and has since consulted with organizations ranging from the CIA to DreamWorks–he helped create futuristic scenarios for Steven Spielberg’s film Minority Report.

Schwartz and co-author Doug Randall at the Monitor Group’s Global Business Network, a scenario-planning think tank in Emeryville, Calif., contacted top climate experts and pushed them to talk about what-ifs that they usually shy away from–at least in public.

The result is an unclassified report, completed late last year, that the Pentagon has agreed to share with FORTUNE. It doesn’t pretend to be a forecast. Rather, it sketches a dramatic but plausible scenario to help planners think about coping strategies.

Note the  caveat: “it doesn’t pretend to be a forecast”. But then the negation of the caveat: “plausible scenario”.

Then came these “plausible scenarios”, drawn from the report:

A total shutdown of the ocean conveyor might lead to a big chill like the Younger Dryas, when icebergs appeared as far south as the coast of Portugal…

By 2020 there is little doubt that something drastic is happening. The average temperature has fallen by up to five degrees Fahrenheit in some regions of North America and Asia and up to six degrees in parts of Europe… Massive droughts have begun in key agricultural regions. The average annual rainfall has dropped by nearly 30% in northern Europe, and its climate has become more like Siberia’s.

Violent storms are increasingly common …  A particularly severe storm causes the ocean to break through levees in the Netherlands, making coastal cities such as the Hague unlivable. In California the delta island levees in the Sacramento River area are breached, disrupting the aqueduct system transporting water from north to south.

Megadroughts afflict the U.S., especially in the southern states, along with winds that are 15% stronger on average than they are now, causing widespread dust storms and soil loss…

Turning inward, the U.S. effectively seeks to build a fortress around itself to preserve resources. Borders are strengthened to hold back starving immigrants from Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean islands–waves of boat people pose especially grim problems. Tension between the U.S. and Mexico rises as the U.S. reneges on a 1944 treaty that guarantees water flow from the Colorado River into Mexico…

Europe, hardest hit by its temperature drop, struggles to deal with immigrants from Scandinavia seeking warmer climes to the south…

Australia’s size and resources help it cope, as does its location–the conveyor shutdown mainly affects the Northern Hemisphere. Japan has fewer resources but is able to draw on its social cohesion to cope–its government is able to induce population-wide behavior changes to conserve resources.

China’s huge population and food demand make it particularly vulnerable. It is hit by increasingly unpredictable monsoon rains, which cause devastating floods in drought-denuded areas. Other parts of Asia and East Africa are similarly stressed. Much of Bangladesh becomes nearly uninhabitable because of a rising sea level, which contaminates inland water supplies. Countries whose diversity already produces conflict, such as India and Indonesia, are hard-pressed to maintain internal order while coping with the unfolding changes.

As the decade progresses, pressures to act become irresistible –history shows that whenever humans have faced a choice between starving or raiding, they raid. Imagine Eastern European countries, struggling to feed their populations, invading Russia–which is weakened by a population that is already in decline–for access to its minerals and energy supplies…

Envision nuclear-armed Pakistan, India, and China skirmishing at their borders over refugees, access to shared rivers, and arable land. Or Spain and Portugal fighting over fishing rights–fisheries are disrupted around the world as water temperatures change, causing fish to migrate to new habitats…

North and South Korea align to create a technically savvy, nuclear-armed entity… Russia, threatened by impoverished neighbors in dire straits, may join the European bloc.

Nuclear arms proliferation is inevitable. Oil supplies are stretched thin as climate cooling drives up demand…. Japan, South Korea, and Germany develop nuclear-weapons capabilities, as do Iran, Egypt, and North Korea. Israel, China, India, and Pakistan also are poised to use the bomb.

Note three things.

First, none of this “plausible scenario” drawn from climate scientists actually happened. We’ve actually had fewer hurricanes, bigger grain crops and  no increase in droughts. There’s been no climate refugees from Scandinavia, no famines, no breaching of Dutch dikes, no invasion of Russia, no cutting off water to Mexico, no mega-drought, no famine.

Nor, as the report further suggested in its scenario for 2010 to 2020, has the Arctic ice melted away. Germans have not fled to warmer Italy. There has not been famine in China, or  border clashes with Bangladesh and India as Chinese flee the cold. There has not been “disrupted access to strategic minerals” caused by cold. There have not been storm surges “making much of Bangladesh nearly uninhabitable”.

The climate scientists these authors talked to must have been off their heads.

Two, almost no media outlets called out this alarmist nonsense, and many instead took it seriously.

Three, the threat somehow changed from global warming to global cooling.

Warmists keep bellowing that the science of global warming is “settled” and that they “believe the science”.

Here is just one more reason to be sceptical. Very sceptical, and of the media, too.