February 25, 2004

While the Pentagon is sounding the alarm on an environmental Armageddon, the president is covering his eyes, crossing his fingers, and whistling about the "national importance" of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

Yes, the 2004 election is evolving beautifully into a
national referendum on whether or not the _resident
has the CHARACTER, CREDIBILITY and COMPETENCE to come
to grips with the SECURITY challenge that confronts
us: NATIONAL SECURITY, ECONOMIC SECURITY and
ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY...

Arriana Huffington: While the Pentagon is sounding the alarm on an environmental Armageddon, the president is covering his eyes, crossing his fingers, and whistling about the "national importance" of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The Democratic nominee
needs to remind the White House - and the American
people: It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature.

Save the Environment, Show Up for Democracy in 2004:
Defeat Bush (again!)

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0225-13.htm

Published on Wednesday, February 25, 2004 by Arianna
Huffington
The Pentagon Sounds The Alarm On Global Warming; Why Isn't President Bush Listening?
by Arianna Huffington

If he's smart enough to use it, the Democratic nominee
may have just been handed the perfect cudgel with
which to pummel President Bush - and cripple Karl
Rove's attempts to position his man as America's go-to
guy on national security.

The weapon in question is a new report on the grave
and gathering threat posed by global climate change -
and the potentially cataclysmic consequences of the
Bush administration's obstinately ignorant approach to
global warming.

And the thing that makes the report so frightening -
and the prospective bludgeon so crushing - is that it
wasn't authored by some crunchy granola think tank or
a band of tree-hugging EarthFirsters, but by the U.S.
Department of Defense.

That's right, the Pentagon - Rummy's playpen. In fact,
the report, which was slipped to the press earlier
this month after being kept under wraps by the White
House for four months, was commissioned by Andrew
Marshall, a legendary DOD figure, nicknamed "Yoda" for
his sagacity. As head of the Pentagon's secretive
Office of Net Assessment, Marshall has offered
national security assessments to every president since
Richard Nixon.

And this latest assessment pegs climate change as a
far greater danger than even the scourge of
international terrorism.

Dryly entitled "An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and
Its Implications for United States National Security,"
the report reads like the plot summary of the upcoming
Dennis Quaid doomsday flick, "The Day After Tomorrow,"
in which global warming pushes the planet to the edge
of anarchy and annihilation.

But this scenario is not science fiction. According to
the Pentagon study, the question is not if abrupt
climate change will happen, but when. It could be,
according to the report's authors, as soon as the next
three years, with the most devastating fallout
potentially occurring between 2010 and 2020.

At that point, we could find ourselves in the midst of
a new ice age in which mega-droughts devastate the
world's food supply, drinkable water becomes a luxury
worth going nuclear over, 400 million people are
forced to migrate from uninhabitable areas, and riots
and wars for survival become commonplace.

I believe that would qualify as a Red Alert in Tom
Ridge's color-coded book.

But the Bush White House remains unwilling to address
- or even acknowledge - this looming peril. Instead,
the oiligarchs in the administration continue to
fiddle while the atmosphere starts to burn, routinely
ignoring scientific evidence and international
consensus, and casting a questioning eye on the very
idea, let alone the fact, of global warming. It's a
stance that has warmed the hearts - globally, no doubt
- of the Bush Pioneers and Rangers in the oil and
energy industry, making them feel very generous
indeed.

As last week's release of a scathing letter signed by
60 prominent scientists - including 20 Nobel laureates
and former science advisers to both Republican and
Democratic administrations - makes clear, the Bush
administration has made an art out of ignoring
science. Particularly when it comes to the issue of
global warming.

Who can forget the president's famous CO2 flip-flop,
or the way the White House tried to force so many
changes to a section of an EPA report dealing with
climate change that Christie Todd Whitman finally
threw up her hands and decided to eliminate the
section on global warming altogether?

But blinding the voters with pseudo-science may no
longer be an option now that the Pentagon report
threatens to put the issue front and center - and
reframe it as a key component of our national security
debate.

This is particularly good news for John Kerry, should
he prevail, given his long history of leading the
charge in the Senate to cut down on greenhouse gases
by raising fuel efficiency standards for cars and
trucks. The president, of course, has done just the
opposite, giving Kyoto the kiss-off, and pushing
through unconscionable loopholes that reward
gas-guzzling monster SUVs and allow carmakers to
effectively reduce fuel economy for millions of the
vehicles they sell.

One of the defining traits of leadership is the
ability to see not just the crisis right in front of
you, but the one lurking around the next corner.
Bush's steadfast refusal to act upon the potential
desolation that awaits us if we do nothing to confront
global warming makes him a major national security
liability.

Everyone in the Bush administration acted shocked and
surprised when 9/11 happened - even though there had
been red flags aplenty warning of al-Qaida's evil
intentions. Well, let there be no surprise this time.
We have all been warned.

While the Pentagon is sounding the alarm on an
environmental Armageddon, the president is covering
his eyes, crossing his fingers, and whistling about
the "national importance" of a constitutional
amendment banning gay marriage. The Democratic nominee
needs to remind the White House - and the American
people: It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature.

2004 Arianna Huffington

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Posted by richard at February 25, 2004 02:57 PM