When atmospheres attack: Aussies don't see the threat

We’ve all seen John Kerry’s claims that global warming is now a “national security issue”. Kerry’s new TV commercial says: “Scientists and military experts agree: The next global hot spot won’t be a spot at all,” the TV ad warns, showing an image of the planet. “Global warming threatens our security.”

https://i2.wp.com/www.globalsecurity.org/space/library/news/1999/990910-ait.jpg?resize=428%2C358

The atmosphere is threatening us, let's shoot missiles at it!

They don’t seem to think so in Australia.

AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY UNCONVINCED BY CLIMATE DATA

ABC News, 9 October 2009

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/10/09/2709035.htm?section=justin

By Margot O’Neill for Lateline

The science of climate change is too doubtful to dramatically change Australia’s national defence plans, according to a key adviser on the Australian Defence Force’s recent White Paper.

While the white paper acknowledges for the first time climate change is a potential security risk, it says large-scale strategic consequences of climate change are not likely to be felt before 2030.

A key adviser on the white paper, Professor Ross Babbage, says he is not convinced that climate change exists at all.

“The data on what’s really happening in climate change was looked at pretty closely and the main judgment reached was that it was pretty uncertain – it wasn’t clear exactly what was going on,” he said.

“When you look at that data, it really does suggest that there hasn’t been a major change in the last decade or so and certainly no major increase.

“So the sort of judgments that were required have to be fairly open at this stage.”

However Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has frequently put forward the opposite view, and other security analysts believe Defence should not be debating the basic science of global warming.

Anthony Bergin, from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, says the ADF’s judgement goes against most scientific conclusions.

“There was no supporting evidence presented in the Defence White Paper for the judgement that there would be no strategic impacts of climate change for 30 years,” he said.

“It seems to run counter to most of the scientific judgements that are now concluding that impact of climate change is indeed faster and more severe than previous estimates.”

Overseas preparations

In the US and the UK, security agencies and the military are providing resources to prepare for potential new climate conflicts over water, food and refugees as well as increasingly frequent natural disasters.

They are also moving to ensure defence equipment will function in more extreme weather conditions.

Sydney University’s Professor Alan Dupont says the CIA in the US had the right approach.

“They accepted the scientific forecasts of the IPCC as their starting point because they thought they were not qualified to contest the scientific issues. And I would have thought the same applied to our own defence department.”

At the internationally respected Royal United Services Institute in London, Dr Tobias Feakin, the director of national security says the Australian white paper is out of step.

“Climate change is already happening, so to press pause on considering it as a strategic issue, I think, could be a mistake,” he said.

“The time cycles for buying equipment rotate in about 20-year cycles so you need to begin to make the decisions now to purchase the kinds of equipment that you’ll need for climate change world.

“So to not actually acknowledge the kind of changes that we will be seeing then, I think will be quite short-sighted.”

‘Cautious approach’

Because of long lead times and high expense, Professor Babbage says Defence moves cautiously when it comes to adopting new planning scenarios.

“At this stage there isn’t really the case to fundamentally change the direction of the Defence Force as a consequence of what we are so far seeing in terms of climate change, given the uncertainties that we still see in the data sets.

Professor Babbage says Defence considered a variety of climate scenarios and judged Australia’s current defence capabilities and force structure would cope.

He points out that Prime Minister Rudd, as chairman of the National Security Council, signed off on the white paper’s conclusions.

Copyright 2009, ABC

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Australian Government’s Defence White Paper is available at <http://www.defence.gov.au/whitepaper/docs/defence_white_paper_2009.pdf>

53 thoughts on “When atmospheres attack: Aussies don't see the threat

  1. That ‘there hasn’t been a major change in the last decade’ is marvelously persuasive. If only people would be allowed to see it.
    ===================================

  2. So the military question relating to equipment seems to be
    “What will we need in 20 years from now.”
    Given that in the UK such forward planning always seems to be afflicted by wrong decisions, budgets and unplanned events – leaving the forces tasked with security scattered around the world with kit not suitable for the purpose – I think the report seems to make a lot of sense. Change nothing.
    Moreover since some others on the warmist side seem to be leaning to the opinion that ‘warming’ may slow down for 20 years and hen return with a bang (allegedly) even a warmist agenda would suggest that there is no immediate need to do much at all. The start of any changes that MIGHT affect the chouice of equipment (for example) will be at or beyond the 20 years during which things may stand still. So whichever way you look at it now is not the time to be making important decisions for plans with at least 20 years of lead time to them.
    With the rtate of technology change (assuming that continues in a fiscally challenged green economy post current crisis) much of what is required would likely be very out of date if ordered now. The CO2 waste would be extremely high.

  3. In 1961, in his farewell address to the nation, President Eisenhower warned us not only of the military-industrial complex, but also of federally funded research leading to a “scientific and technological elite” endangering the free university and intellectual curiosity where “domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.”
    Because of the failure of leaders like John Kerry (and many, many others) to heed Eisenhower’s warnings, we now confront a military-industrial-scientific-technological monster. Where are the statesmen brave enough to confront it?

  4. Quoting H.R. 2454: American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in June of ’09:
    ‘SEC. 701. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
    ‘(a) Findings- The Congress finds as follows:
    ‘(1) Global warming poses a significant threat to the national security, economy, public health and welfare, and environment of the United States, as well as of other nations.

  5. Australian Military tend to be results focussed. Therefore it is no surprise in the great what if scenarios of military strategic thinking, you actually measure and asses things that can be measured or assessed.
    Also Australian military capacity is pretty much all terrain focussed except arctic or antarctic, threats. We dont get many floating or drowning polar bears in our oceans, our biggest antarctic threat is enemy assault penguins and we can easily outrun them little freakers.

  6. I learned in Viet Nam the Aussie’s were a tough – no nonsense bunch, usually fun to be with until some idiot said “Do I hear a british accent?” At that point I usually lied about my citizenship…I value my teeth.
    You’ll figure it out, just be careful, big graves are easy to find.
    Thanks for having our six in ‘Nam while doing a great job carrying on your own missions.
    Mike Bentley

  7. Are you implying that the Austrian Defense Force is a better source for analysis of this type than the US Pentagon?
    Anyway, the ADF does not stack up well against the Australian Strategic Policy Institute on a policy issue such as this. ASPI was created by a hawkish and AGW skeptic Prime Minister. The executive director is an Army Major General and was commander of all Aussie land forces during the invasion. Bergman, who co-wrote the ASPI report on the issue was the director of the Australian Defense Studies Center. For intellectual capacity and objectivity this is much better than anything you will get out of the ADF.

  8. The Aussi military will not have enough hot weather guns and ammo in 2020?
    Last time I checked, nearly all military equipment operates at pretty much all temperatures EXCEPT 40 below zero. So unless the climate goes really cold in Australia, they should be pretty well equipped.
    There is of course the remote possibility that this was actually a loyalty test. In which case the Aussi army has failed and all its officers must now resign or be fired.

  9. Chris D. (17:57:08) :
    The last time I looked, Congress:
    a.) only passes a bill when they can pawn another piece of America at the Outsource Mall.
    b) has not a clue as to what is real and what is imagined. The sitting majority imagine the Poles are melting and the oceans are rising. Odd, because they have not far to go to see if the Atlantic is lapping at the steps to Capital Hill.
    The biggest threat to National Security lies in the ability of the Warmist Agenda to hoodwink the controlling part of Congress into shooting the US in the foot. It’s like this: Let’s save the Planet by driving the US into the Dark Ages. All those rapidly developing nations will see the Light once the US crawls under a rock and croaks.

  10. This cannot sustain.. It simply can’t.
    People are waking up and start to smell the coffee 🙂
    If we pass 2012 without being reset, then i will stop searching for answers concerning if we are realy in a matrix or not…
    Thats 2 years my friends.. then the maya calender stops or resets..
    this might sound funny, but we are all energy and energy is everything is energy 🙂

  11. Here is a story that goes into the details on how Copenhagen is designed to screw the successful democratic nations:
    “So, although China might impose duties on any Canadian steel it imports, if it can show we have fallen short on CO2 reductions, Canada could not do the same to Chinese concrete imports. ”
    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/10/09/kevin-libin-copenhagen-plan-could-wreck-global-economy.aspx
    When I read stuff like this I start to froth in rage at the pathetic, sniviling excuse for a human being that is willing to screw their own country and fellow citizens by supporting such nonsense.

  12. Yeah, entirely agree that we should all follow the UK and get rid of the RAF’s Red Arrows (for the Red Sparrows) and spend more on the real problems of the world:

  13. “Robert Wood (17:36:59) :
    Thank god for the Aussies!!”
    Here in Aus, we’re beyond God’s help unfortunately. Most Aussies believe in AGW, that’s one reason KRudd747 got into power, and want “govn’t to do something” (And of course, the CPRS is a tax). KRudd747 needs to take something to Copenhagen to wave at the onlooking crowds of politicians to say “Look! We’re leading the war on CC.”.

  14. Climate change as regards military planning is so bogus, at least as far as planning on hardware acquisition. Most equipment is hardened & designed to function in all climates (other than extreme cold). As long as it’s properly maintained, what works today will work in 2050 (or 2100). Sounds like someone’s spent too much time watching The Day After Tomorrow.
    This sounds more like politics, in getting all the government team members playing off the same script.
    As for climate generating new political hot-spots, they’ll happen where they happen for the usual reasons ~ religion, extending political power, imagined (or even real) political slights, etc. It’s only the AGW true believers who’ll find climate change lurking behind any of mankind’s (normally) silly conflicts.

  15. God Bess the Aussies. And the rest of you can kiss my ass. I wouldn’t be alive today except for the Aussies in SVN. So, all of you who want to remain distant in your disapproval of the nitwits who advocate AGW, shove it. In Nam, we and the Aussies identified the enemy (In spite of the American Press (Walter). We fought that enemy until the diplomats told us it was OVER. Last time I ever listen to a diplomat. Where are my fallen comrades? Where are the survivors of the Vietnamese 23rd Wing at Bien Hoa? So, the United States surrendered 20,000,000 people to the kind attendance of the North Vietnamese. Anybody in Washingon today who would like to live in that Socialist Paradise? How about you, Mr. Reid, or you Ms Pelosi, or you, Mr S. sneaker senator? You guys all good with total screwing WE gave the South Vietnamese? I know that most of you were not in the legislature back then.Thank God. But you still have a responsibility to insure that your country meets its obligations.
    HELLO, ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION?????

  16. I used to take lots of oil company employees on field trips in Venezuela and Trinidad to look at rocks. Of them all – maybe about 500 in total? – I only remember one of their names and he was the only guy that really impressed me. I found out a couple of years ago that he was with John Kerry on the Swift boats in Vietnam…

  17. It isn warm weather that causes displacement.It’s cold.30 Years War anyone? 100 years? Cold makes a very unpleasant reality.

  18. As a tribute to me Aussie mates here’s my compatriot Eric Bogle. I give you ‘Waltzing Matilda’. For those lost at Gallipoli.

  19. The blokes and sheilas I talk to all acknowledge that climate changes. They just don’t see any problem with that. But their views aren’t the ones that get floated in surveys.
    Unfortunately we have a self serving prime minister who jumps onto any issue that he views as popular to promote his personality hence his parroting the mantra of global warming being the greatest threat mankind has ever faced.
    In our system of democracy we used to have an Opposition party to review and challenge government policy. Unfortunately it is currently led by an insipid self promoter parroting the same line as the prime minister.
    But the times they are a’changeing and the punters are starting to wake up to the scam, albeit slowly.

  20. The ADF is ROTFLM*O at the IPCC.
    I hope.
    Now about those launch vehicles and missile defense. Let’s keep our Aussies around, we like them…

  21. Kerry’s new TV commercial says: “Scientists and military experts agree: The next global hot spot won’t be a spot at all,”
    John Kerry now calls Cap N Trade “The Pollution Reduction and Investment Incentive Mechanism”.
    You can see Barbara Boxer call it that in this 4 min video :
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-october-5-2009/carbon-copout
    When politicians get grandeur and more verbose I tune them out. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

  22. Paul Thiers (18:17:22) : Are you implying that the Austrian Defense Force is a better source for analysis of this type than the US Pentagon?
    I would never imply such a thing. I would only state it outright.
    The Pentagon is great at taking great heaping mountains of money and turning it into endless purchasing boondoggles. At the end of it all, we do tend to get a decent set of hardware; which we then often throw away to buy the next not quite ready “bright idea”…
    They were going to scrap the A-10 Warthog until it amounted for more kills on ‘rolling stock’ (from trucks to tanks to..) than anything else in Iraq. Then they were going to scrap it again until Iraq-II came around and they needed it again. Best ground support plane in the world and instead of making more, they want to melt them.
    We won’t talk about MacNamera and his decision to not chrome the barrel of the early version of what became the M-16 (that lead to all the jamming and ‘cleaning’ issues). Nor the F-104 Starfighter that was one of the best bits of gear ever invented but they were not going to buy any; UNTIL it was adopted by a bunch of other countries. The list goes on and on.
    The Pentagon is more about who gets the money than it is about efficiently building the best gear possible.
    Other countries, such as Australia, need to be more careful with their money and tend to make better long term decisions. The Israelis are spectacular at it.
    And I’ll second the notion that there isn’t anything to DO to get ready for a climate change world, unless the change is to -40 as the warm bit. We already work in mud, snow, sand, beaches, marshes, heat, you name it. If it goes over the 140 F we already operate in, nobody will be fighting at that point anyway. You need boats that float, planes that fly and shoot / bomb, trucks that move, and GIs to staff it all with guns (large and small) that shoot. We have that already. Oh, and things that go “bang”. We have lots of them…
    I would love to know just exactly WHAT they think will need to be different.
    In related news, Government Motors sold Hummer to the Chinese.
    Guess we know what China will be driving in the next war. Wonder what we’ll be using? Solar powered Geo Metros?
    Now if you want to be prepared for “global warming” maybe keeping ownership of the Hummer (that works well in heat, desert, and mud) would be a good place to start…
    (FWIW, yes, I know that for military purposes the U.S. can make anything and ignore any patents, design rights, etc. But when the factory and personnel are handed over to someone else, the next bright idea tends not to be under your control…)
    Now I can’t imaging the Aussies making those kinds of decisions…
    (Once went into a bar near the Back ‘o Burk – at the end of the road straight at the outback from Sydney. 3 or 4 folks gave me the “you a stranger” look over. I ordered a beer by asking: “What are they having?” Then said, “I’ll have one. And give all them one too.” Didn’t buy another beer all day… Great folks.)

  23. I seem to recall the difficulty in predicting the needed equipment for WW2 in 1918 – and that was only 20 years into the future. The ADF already have to consider fighting a war in the South of Australia AND in the North around Darwin. I rather suspect the normal variation of temperature is far more between those two extremes than any Climate alarmist. I will not even mention the normal SEASONAL variation in temperature amd rainfall – try living through a ‘wet’ up north.
    Cannot these “Climate experts” even consider the day to day variation ? from say, Dawn to about 3pm in the afternoon ?.
    Doug in Seattle (18:34:33) : had it right when he said, ” Last time I checked, nearly all military equipment operates at pretty much all temperatures..”

  24. “you need to begin to make the decisions now to purchase the kinds of equipment that you’ll need for climate change world.”
    Tinfoil hat. – Check
    Very dark sunglasses. – Check
    Big warm coat. – Check
    Politician repellant spray. – Check
    Portable generator and fuel. – Check
    Down Booties. – Check

  25. My advice to military is to buy long sleeve underwear.
    Soldiers have to rely on real info to carry out their stuff, otherwise catastrophes happen. Nice to see someone using its own head, instead of blindly believing the politics.
    E. Rommel in North Africa considered Aussies as the best Allied troops there, even “it was probably not easy to command them”. That ADF gentleman above re-confirmed that.

  26. “In the US and the UK,
    ………………
    They are also moving to ensure defence equipment will function in more extreme weather conditions.”
    ROTFLMAO

  27. Paul Thiers 18:17:22
    When did the Austrian Defense Force have any say in Australia’s military stategy? Alphabetical neighbourhood doesn’t give the Austrians any right to interfere!

  28. I’m fearful of professors. They seem to say the most outlandish things and get away with it. Are they out of touch, or are they subject to following the band wagon just like the polititians do.
    Their words carry a lot of weight, especialy when the media get hold of it. Yet I’ve read some truely dumb things spoken by professors. They scare me more than the polititians do. A poly will listen to both sides, a professor is right no matter what.

  29. I think the ADF is planning for urban insurgency as the next major threat scenario. I’m unsure how far sighted this is. Obviously a defense threat comes from politics and climate is only one of the factors that might affect this. Still, one would think that climate change might be a good excuse to get air conditioning and water coolers installed in their armored vehicles at least.
    Bin Laden tacked climate change onto his list of complaints about the west, causing the counter-insurgency theorist David Kilcullen to realize Al Qa’ida was pure propaganda, not expressing genuine grievances at all.

  30. Look at the French in 1940, still using tanks with a one man turret with no radio! Maybe the best thing our Army could do is to go up to Sovereign Hill in Ballarat and see if we can borrow the Eureka flag for a short while!

  31. Kerry’s new TV commercial says: “Scientists and military experts agree: The next global hot spot won’t be a spot at all…”
    That report was one of several *contingency* evaluations the Pentagon produces each year. The process is known as “What-Iff’ing The Situation,” and has exactly nothing to do with estimating the *probability* that a given event will occur — the Pentagon has also produced contingency plans for an invasion by Canada.
    Why would they invade in the first place? We have better health care, but they have better beer — it’s a no-brainer…
    Meanwhile, Kerry’s reputation for playing fast and loose with the facts remains intact.

  32. E.M.Smith (00:11:43) :
    The Pentagon is more about who gets the money than it is about efficiently building the best gear possible.
    Exactly. The Pentagon operates on the Golden Rule — “Whoever has the most gold makes the rules.” The Navy isn’t currently downsizing in order to make itself relevant to the future of warfare, it’s downsizing because the Army and the Air Force won bigger slices of the Defense Budget.
    Loved working with the Aussies in the Delta. In fact, the only gripe I have with them is they export Foster’s and keep Victoria Bitters for themselves…

  33. David in Davis (17:45:41) : “… Where are the statesmen brave enough to confront it?”
    Statesmen? We don’t have no stinkin’ statesmen!

  34. Let us suppose that average climate warms by even one degree over the next 20 years. I doubt this will happen, but suppose it does. Will this have any impact on the performance of defense systems? No. Will we need to redesign everything in the arsenal? No. The performance of commercial and civilian equipment is robust enough to work properly. Industrial and military equipment have even wider tolerances. Refugees? From where and by what cause? Conflicts over resources? Isn’t that partially why defense exists in the first place?
    The defense establishment have produced a report leading to reasonable conclusions. The rest of goverment and the NGOs are horrified at the example of government exhibiting good sense.

  35. Moderator, wordpress appears to have identified my last posting as spam, and not placed it on page. When I try to resend, WordPress recognizes it as a duplicate. I had this trouble before on another site, and wonder what causes it. Would you check this for me? Thanks.

  36. It has already been mentioned in a couple off posts, but the ADF already operate in some of the most temperature extremes on the planet. If the temperature where to increase a few degrees, just what changes for them?

  37. I think someone needs to ask Anthony Bergin if he can please provide evidence that the Flying Spaghetti Monster (blessed be his name) doesnt really exist. If not, clearly he does, and all other religions in the world should be immediately disbanded.
    What an idiot thing to say – “There was no supporting evidence presented in the Defence White Paper for the judgement that there would be no strategic impacts of climate change for 30 years,” he said.”

  38. Based on conversations with people on the street, climate-alarmism messaging (even though most people don’t believe it) has interestingly influenced people to believe international conflicts over resource-shortages will escalate. Yet when pressed to be specific about plausible scenarios, people have nothing to offer. A lack of due restraint & sober reflection has led to this senseless paranoia. People want something to be all excited about? Is it that simple? If anything is threatening security, it is the messaging. The communications sensationalists are undermining public confidence; thus, sensible & stable minds will have to prevail with a firm, but cool (& fair), hand. The simple truth real environmentalists have to recognize: The environment will come under a lot more threat if the world is allowed to fall into instability; not only is sensible restraint strategic, it is arguably necessary. If it becomes less fashionable to rock the boat with excessively-partisan messaging over the next few years, our collective attention might develop some freedom to shift from imaginary problems to real ones.

  39. Oh if it was so simple! Australia is in the grip of a Prime Minister who asserts the “science is settled” and is pushing his ETS (emissions trading scam). The opposition can’t agree if they want to oppose or collaborate. The leader of the opposition is a warmist but the party are mostly skeptics so we may soon be looking for a new leader of the opposition. Australia have a strange election system – compulsory voting with a preference system. In this system, you vote for each candidate in order of preference so if your number one choice doesn’t get enough votes, your number 2 selection gets your vote. This is important because there is a green minority that actually has the balance of power and encourages green voters to give preference to one or other of the parties depending on their green policies. So – to get elected, the current Labour government has taken on the green mantle.
    So when the Defence department is not pushing the “correct” warmist barrow, my skeptical mind thinks that there are reasons that have more to do with getting additional “warmist” budgets than good sense prevailing.

  40. There’s definitely a threat. At the rate of warming over the past century, in a mere 512 years, Melbourne will be as warm as Sydney. Panic now before its too late !

  41. Jimmy Haigh (20:11:06) : As a tribute to me Aussie mates here’s my compatriot Eric Bogle. I give you ‘Waltzing Matilda’. For those lost at Gallipoli.
    The name of the song is “And the Band played Waltzing Matilda”

  42. War is always the last resort of failed politicians. Always. And what is happening is failure of politicians around the globe. This AGW nonsense will only lead us, all of us, into the greatest war the world has ever seen. And the bands of every country of western culture will indeed be playing the countries’ equivalent of “Waltzing Matilda”.
    We Americans will not willingly go back to another “dark ages” or live as life was lived in the Little Ice Age, when there isn’t a bit of truth in the AGW “theory” or any reason to do so. Hardly should be called a “theory”. At best, it is a bit of speculation, not even a decent hypotheses, which has been ballyhooed beyond belief by those who are either trying to get their “3 minutes of fame”, government grants, or just plain get rich on others stupidity and lack of scientific knowledge.

  43. “It has already been mentioned in a couple off posts, but the ADF already operate in some of the most temperature extremes on the planet. If the temperature where to increase a few degrees, just what changes for them?”
    We just turn the air conditioning up a little bit more & keep on shooting 🙂

  44. Gene Nemetz, Wouldn’t it be great if they were talking about creating jobs.
    Well, lucky us. Our Senator Milne representing the Greens (Yes we have a green party) said our recent dust storms and dry weather was a definite sign of AGW forgetting about good old El Nino a frequent visitor to our shores. But she has a plan. Reduce CO2 emissions by 25% by 2020, force the coal fired generators into insolvency with a big ETS tax and we will have green jobs installing insulation bats imported from China. Every one else forced out of jobs will be erecting windmills and PV panels. Oh and by the way the Greens are totally opposed to Nuclear energy. I’d be tempted to start making candles but they pollute too.
    Australia wont need a defence force because no-one in their right mind would want to come to a country with no cars, lights or industry. Then again maybe old tree huggers would find it appealing.

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