Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Global Warming - The RCMP Vision
The Vancouver Sun has obtained an internal RCMP report outlining possible consequences to Canada from global warming.
The report predicts a variety of significant, policing challenges in the future from public disorders following natural disasters to population migration as people are forced by drought, floods or rising water to look for better places to live.
"William Rees, a prominent ecologist at the University of B.C., said while it is impossible to make precise predictions about climate change, the fears raised in the RCMP report are a 'credible scenario.'
"For example, said Rees, many climatologists predict global sea levels will rise by about one metre by the end of this century.
'''Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that we are talking about a one-metre sea level rise. Then you're talking about certainly tens - possibly hundreds - of millions of climate refugees globally,' he said. 'Most of the world's major seaports would be endangered. Much of Bangladesh would be inundated.'
"Rees said current illegal migration along the U.S.-Mexico border will be 'like a picnic compared to what might be ahead.'''
This isn't just alarmist babble. The Pentagon, not known as a bunch of tree-huggers, conducted its own study in 2004 which led to similar, but more dramatic predictions:
"Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life,' concludes the Pentagon analysis. 'Once again, warfare would define human life.'
The report was commissioned by influential Pentagon defence adviser Andrew Marshall, who has held considerable sway on US military thinking over the past three decades. He was the man behind a sweeping recent review aimed at transforming the American military under Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Climate change 'should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a US national security concern', say the authors, Peter Schwartz, CIA consultant and former head of planning at Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and Doug Randall of the California-based Global Business Network.
Britain's Ministry of Defence conducted its own assessment of the possible impacts of global warming:
"The MOD recently explained its thinking on "Climate Change and Security" to an influential group of individuals from the US Centre for Naval Analysis. By raising the profile of the implications of climate change we are one step closer to doing something about it.
"In highlighting the importance of climate change, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Timothy Granville-Chapman, said:
"'It’s vital that we understand how climate change could influence future instability and be prepared for the consequences. It is important that the Armed Forces do what they can to minimise the impact of their activities on the climate, not least by getting their minds round sustainable development.'
"Here in the UK, we have linked human security with the effects of climate change. Hunger, thirst, disease, ecological breakdown: all can be portrayed as "security issues". Very simply, this is known as "Resource Conflicts". It is a fashionable term, but not a new one.
"When land is scarce, people fight over available land, creating mass-migration as conflicts escalate. Throughout the ongoing Darfur conflict in Sudan, ethnic fighting has caused mass displacement of people with some 100,000 people fleeing across the border.
"With nowhere to go in this kind of situation, many end up in refugee camps. Worryingly, refugee camps provide a fertile recruitment ground for militants. But how does this impact specifically on the UK's Defence agenda?