Thursday, March 23, 2006

White House cooks global warming warnings.

If the Office of Special Plans handling of intelligence to justify the Iraq invasion was like the White House's treatment of the science of global warming, would the US have gone to war?

What if, instead of the now famous 16 words, Bush had had two more words inserted into his State of the Union Address in 2003? And he had dropped the adjective "significant" that he used to describe quantities of uranium?
"... Saddam Hussein may recently have sought uranium from Africa."
Would the American people have let him sacrifice 2,319 soldiers lives, so far, solely on 'may have sought uranium', or would there have been a demand to find out more instead? And if Bush had said the following...
"Saddam Hussein might aid and possibly protects terrorists, including, potentially, members of al-Qaeda."
....would the American people have invaded Iraq, or would they preferred to have diverted their resources to really catching Osama Bin Laden - really the person responsible for the 9/11 attack?

What if Vice President Cheney stated the following on March 17, 2002?
"We think it's possible they might have biological and chemical weapons."
Would the American people have felt this merited the disabilities of 16,653 wounded US soldiers?

Even after the invasion, on January 22, 2004, Vice President Cheney insisted that,"there's overwhelming evidence that there was a connection between al-Qaeda and the Iraqi government." What if he instead had insisted the following?
"the uncertainties remain so great as to preclude meaningfully informed decision making with respect to the evidence that there was a connection between al-Qaeda and the Iraqi government."
Would you have considered $249,336,128,723 worth the taxpayer cost so far?

Specifically, the stated justification for the invasion included Iraqi production and use of weapons of mass destruction, alleged links with terrorist organizations, and human rights violations in Iraq under the Saddam Hussein government. (From Wikipedia).

It was the certainty of their evidence with which the neo-cons took these casus belli to the US public, and it was with the same certainty that the US public endorsed the invasion. The language used to sell the invasion helped. Rumsfeld described his evidence that Iraq was harbouring al-Qaeda terrorists as "bulletproof" (as "bulletproof" as an Iraqi Humvee) in a 2002 Defense Department briefing. Bush used "clear evidence of peril" to argue we must not wait for the final proof in the form of a mushroom cloud.

I make this point because the US government continues to alter the facts to fit them into pre-fabricated policy. America's leading global warming scientist, James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute, has described to 60 minutes how this is happening. It seems that the White House now controls 100% of what the tax-paying public hears about climate change from it's leading scientific institute:
Restrictions like this e-mail Hansen's institute received from NASA in 2004. "there is a new review process" the e-mail read. "The White House (is) now reviewing all climate related press releases," it continued.
All climate related press releases and research findings are edited with what has been described as a 'heavy hand'. One heavy hand belonged to the chief-of-staff at the White House Council on Environmental Quality", Phil Cooney, according Rick Piltz who part produces a report for Congress every year entitled "Our Changing Planet".

Piltz told 60 minutes Cooney edited climate reports in his own hand. In one report, a line that said earth is undergoing rapid change becomes "may be undergoing change." Note the dropping of the adjective rapid to describe change.
"Uncertainty" becomes "significant remaining uncertainty." One line that says energy production contributes to warming was just crossed out.
Just crossed out.

Just like that.

Much like the CIA report that warned that was no relationship between Saddam and al Qaeda which was 'just crossed out' while 72 percent of the American public believed that Saddam was responsible for 9/11. Osama Been Laughing.

So why is he so cautious about the climate findings? What are the qualifications of this great uber-scientist, Phil Cooney? As a scientist, it seems he makes a great lawyer. Oh, and a former oil industry lobbyist according to 60 minutes . So I went to the Exxon Secrets database to see what I could find out about him. It was down at the time of writing, and I will come back with the data, but suffice to say at this point Phil Cooney is an ExxonMobil stooge.

In October 2003, the Pentagon issued it's worse case scenario on global warming and climate change, called, "An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and It?s Implications for United States National Security". It talks of the rapidly reduced life carrying capacity of the environment, massive famines, 400 million environmental refugees, nuclear arms proliferation and the nuclear wars that would result when different country's compete for natural resources. It predicts what could happen to North America if the Thermohaline System (also known as Gulf Stream or Atlantic Conveyor or North Atlantic Thermohaline System), a current that circulates seasonal heat around the northern hemisphere, transporting moderate climates to the continents it touches.
Colder, windier, and drier weather makes growing seasons shorter and less productive throughout the northeastern United States, and longer and drier in the southwest. Desert areas face increasing windstorms, while agricultural areas suffer from soil loss due to higher wind speeds and reduced soil moisture. The change toward a drier climate is especially pronounced in the southern states.

Coastal areas that were at risk during the warming period remain at risk, as rising ocean levels continues along the shores. The United States turns inward, committing its resources to feeding its own population, shoring-up its borders, and managing the increasing global tension.
If Iraq has proved anything, it has proved that you just can't change the facts to fit your wish list. But how I would have loved to have read, instead, these words issuing from the mouth of the President of the world's largest CO2 emitting country:
"Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a Collapsed Atlantic Heat Conveyor." Bush said in an October speech in Cincinnati, Ohio.
People, it is time to think for yourselves. Rapid climate change is happening. The Atlantic Conveyor is now slowing down.

And the resulting quagmire is going to make the Iraq war look like it was a cakewalk.

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