The US military and the CIA are actively preparing for a world in which civil and political unrest is caused by catastrophic weather events which are caused by climate change.
Those in charge are conducting a review of all US military bases around the world - assessing how they'd cope with weather-related disasters, and converting them into water and green-energy dependent installations.
More crucially, top brass is treating climate change like terrorism - as a major threat to national security. Mainly, for the US, this revolves around the issue of migration. Conservative estimates put the number of climate change refugees upwards of 100 million by mid-century; 15 million of those will be Bangladeshis, fleeing rising sea levels.
As the Progressive reports, a recent symposium of military and industrial top brass heard a speech that outlined how climate change is driving people from Africa, Asia and South America, and displacing millions within continents and countries. Desertification on the border between Chad and Nigeria, for example, caused mass migration - helping Boko Haram thrive. Similarly, a record drought in Syria in the mid-2000s caused mass internal migration out of rural areas - leading to a surfeit of young, unemployed men in cities and helping foment a deadly war the entire world now finds itself embroiled in.
But war is just one dystopian outcome of a world undergoing climate change, according to the highest levels of the US Government. And while at the lower level of politics, Republican politicians deny it, there is no controversy from those higher up the chain that human activity is causing greenhouse gas levels to rise, which is having a direct effect on extreme weather patterns: warming the sea, melting ice shelves, drying out soils, and so forth.
But hang on a minute, mate: in New Zealand, we know better than all that. They may have the CIA and the Pentagon, and scientists and researchers on the case, but do they have the indefinably excellent Climate Change Minister Tim Groser?
Because surely if they did they could dispense with all that expensive research. They could do what we've done here in New Zealand: not even bother pretending they're interested in climate change science. For example, they could publish a consultation document talking up the costs of getting greenhouse gas emissions under control (while downplaying the cost of inaction). Hold public meetings where no lawmakers appear. Force people to make public submissions in a very short space of time.
After getting up to 17,000 submissions, they could "go Kiwi" and ignore the vast bulk of them. In particular, ignore one from the Royal Society of New Zealand, made up of the country's top scientists.
The society says the world has to stay below the global average warming of 2C, after which droughts, temperature extremes and wildfires will wreak havoc.
"Significant action must be taken as a matter of urgency," it warns. "It is not appropriate to do nothing now, for example by claiming that we must wait for the quality of predictions to improve or other, larger, emitters to take action."
And, "as one of the globe's highest per-capita emitters of greenhouse gases, New Zealand has an opportunity to demonstrate leadership in reducing its emissions". The society recommends a target for New Zealand of 40 per cent reduction in net emissions (below 1990 gross emission levels) by 2030.
In fact, 99 per cent of people submitting their thoughts to this so-called "consultation" believed New Zealand should aim for a target of 40 per cent reduction or more. But, as ever, Tim Groser and his cohorts knew better. When they turn up for their Paris jaunt in December as global climate negotiations begin, they'll be taking New Zealand's, some might say, pathetic target with them to wave around: 11 per cent emissions reduction below 1990 levels (30 per cent below 2005 levels) by 2030.
Our Climate Change Minister, you understand, knows better than anyone in the area of greenhouse gas emissions.
He is also apparently one of the smartest people on the planet with regard to trade negotiations, where he knows better than everyone else that New Zealand won't be sold down the river in the TPP - if you discount pharmaceuticals, agriculture, intellectual property and general domestic sovereignty.
All in all, what a relief the $260,000 spent by the GCSB to try and win Tim Groser a job at the head of the World Trade Organisation failed, and we, New Zealand, are heading in the direction he sets in critical portfolios at one of history's most important junctures. Or perhaps not.
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