Even in a federal bureaucracy infamous for squandering taxpayer dollars, the massive sums of public wealth burned up paying for and preparing for absurd “global-warming” scenarios still stick out. Now, the Defense Department is dealing with ridicule and strong criticism over an embarrassing “climate” report produced by consultants a decade ago that was wrong about literally everything. Lawmakers, too, are getting fed up with the “climate” antics, with the House voting to prohibit any more Pentagon spending on Obama’s increasingly outlandish global-warming alarmism.
The silly 2003 Pentagon document was widely cited by global-warming theorists and the establishment press as evidence that humanity was facing certain doom and that alleged man-made “climate change” was a “national security concern.” This week, though, the dubious report is in the headlines again after every single one of the apocalyptic scenarios it envisioned proved to be wildly off the mark. By now, under the pseudo-scientific “not implausible” scare-mongering outlined in the report, the world should be a total disaster zone.
Among other outlandish scenarios envisioned in the report: California would be flooded with inland seas, parts of the Netherlands would be “unlivable,” polar ice would be all but gone in the summers, and temperatures would be surging. Mass increases in hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters, meanwhile, were supposed to be wreaking havoc across the globe. All of that would supposedly spark resource wars and all sorts of other horrors.
Well, the decade is up. Unsurprisingly, like virtually every claim made by government-funded global-warming theorists over the last two decades, none of the scary scenarios ever came to pass. In fact, ironically, there has been no warming for almost 18 years and counting based on the global temperature record, even as carbon dioxide emissions continue. Polar sea ice is at record levels. Tornadoes and hurricanes are at unusually low levels, and, of course, California is not drowning in inland seas. Even United Nations climate alarmists admit those facts.
"Its predictions did not come true, of course. Yet the document is still cited by the global warming industry, as if it had not been just another propaganda piece," noted liberty-minded economist and pundit Gary North in The Tea Party Economist, who regularly lambastes the global-warming theorists and their anti-freedom crusades. "Nobody should have paid any attention to this in 2003.... Yet there are still millions of people who still take seriously this nonsense. The propaganda keeps coming."
The 2003 Pentagon report, dubbed “An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security,” was indeed seized upon by what critics refer to as the climate “doomsday cult” and its allies in the establishment press to terrorize the public. Only carbon taxes, global government under the UN, a cap-and-trade regime, energy rationing, massive reductions in living standards, and a wide array of other tyrannical measures could save humanity, the public was told. Carbon dioxide, the gas of life, exhaled by humans and required by plants, was preposterously demonized as “pollution.”
In an interview with the Washington Times, which first reported on the debunked Pentagon absurdities, George C. Marshall Institute President Jeff Kueter explained the significance of the document. “The release of this report is what likely sparked the ‘modern era’ of security interest in climate affairs,” said the chief of the nonprofit, which examines scientific issues that concern public policy. “It was widely publicized and very much a tool of the political battles over climate raging at the time.”
Even one of the report’s co-authors, consultant Doug Randall, told the Times he was surprised at how often the document is referred to. Randall defended the document, though, which called on the Pentagon to prepare for the outlandish scenarios, by claiming that the supposed analysis was looking at “worst-case.” The report itself claimed there was “general agreement in the scientific community” that an “extreme case” such as the one it fantasized about was “not implausible.”
“When you are looking at worst-case 10 years out, you are not trying to predict precisely what’s going to happen but instead trying to get people to understand what could happen to motivate strategic decision-making and wake people up,” Randall told the newspaper, which debunked the “scenarios” and showed how wildly off the mark they were by using UN and government data. “But whether the actual specifics came true, of course not. That never was the main intent.”
A spokesman for the Pentagon also defended its priorities. “The Department is incorporating consideration of likely future scenarios in planning to mitigate risk,” he told the Times. “Its responses to climate change range from the DOD Arctic Strategy — which is focused on increased engagement and stability in a region that is already seeing increased activity — to a new floodplain-management policy that directs minimization of new construction in floodplains.”
Like the $2.3 trillion (with a T) that then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld admitted the Pentagon could not track on September 10, 2001, it was not immediately clear how much taxpayer wealth had been squandered on the report or in preparing for the “climate” apocalypse that never came. For critics, though, that money would have been better spent by taxpayers themselves, or paying down the debt, or at least preparing for real threats rather than “not implausible” fantasies concocted by taxpayer-funded scientists hoping to keep the taxpayer funds flowing their way. After all, pigs might fly some day, too, but the prospect is hardly worth squandering billions of taxpayer dollars on.
Lawmakers also criticized the Obama administration’s ramped up spending on “climate” theories and the “green” agenda. In fact, last month, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) prohibiting the Obama Pentagon from wasting more taxpayer money on imaginary global warming, which has been on what alarmists call “pause” for nearly two decades.
“None of the funds authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to implement the U.S. Global Change Research Program National Climate Assessment, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report, the United Nation's Agenda 21 sustainable development plan, or the May 2013 Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order 12866,” states the amendment, which passed overwhelmingly with a handful of Democrat votes.
Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.), who sponsored the effort, explained why it was needed. “This amendment will prohibit the costs of the President's climate change policies being forced on the Department of Defense by the Obama Administration,” he said in a memo to fellow lawmakers. “The climate is obviously changing; it has always been changing. With all the unrest around the [world], why should Congress divert funds from the mission of our military and national security to support a political ideology?”
Incredibly, though, Pentagon insiders are still plotting ways to funnel even more taxpayer funds into the so-called “green agenda” — and into the pockets of crony “green” capitalists. Last month, for example, another Pentagon-financed report hyped discredited warming theories as fact and called for squandering more taxpayer funds on “climate” schemes in the military. Unsurprisingly, the document was produced by former military officers who work for George Soros-funded political outfits or crony “companies” that sell “climate” gimmicks to the government and stand to profit from whipping up hysteria around global-warming theories.
Even though the climate apocalypse outlined in the 2003 report never materialized, radical global warmists continue to push the narrative. The fringe leftist Daily Kos blog, for example, recently claimed Republican lawmakers who fail to drink the discredited climate Kool-Aid are a “clear and present danger to U.S. national security.” In the Obama era, alleged threats to “national security” can now be summarily executed without charges or trial. And, in fact, more than a few climate fanatics — former NASA senior climate scientist Dr. Roy Spencer calls them “global-warming Nazis” — have called for skeptics to jailed, re-“educated,” and even executed.
Polls show the U.S. military is one of the few remaining institutions that Americans still trust. Less than four in 10 respondents have confidence in the establishment press, Congress, the president, Big Business, the Supreme Court, Big Labor, and more. On the other hand, 76 percent of Americans have a great deal or quite a lot of trust in the armed forces, making it the most trusted institution among those listed. If the Pentagon bureaucracy continues squandering public funds and goodwill on ridiculous “climate” theories and “green” scams, though, that trust is likely to evaporate as well.
Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, environment, education, politics, and more. He can be reached at