Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dave Lindorff: "Don’t ask don’t tell: Denying Climate Change -- While Exploiting It" @ This Can't Be Happening!

For years, climate change skeptics in Congress and energy lobbyists like the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the American Coal Council (ACC) have been successfully blocking significant action in the US on reducing this country’s emissions of carbon into the air. But as the ice melts up north, some of these same industry skeptics are moving to profit from it.

Certainly the Pentagon knows the earth is getting hotter. Here’s what US Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Robert J. Papp wrote in the February 2012 issue of Proceedings, the magazine of the US Naval Institute:

“The world may seem to be growing smaller, but its seas are growing bigger—particularly in the great North, where a widening water-highway beckons both with resources and challenges.”

The Admiral, while ignoring issues of causality, continued:

“The Arctic Ocean, in the northern region of the Arctic Circle, is changing from a solid expanse of inaccessible ice fields into a growing navigable sea, attracting increased human activity and unlocking access to vast economic potential and energy resources. In the 35 years since I first saw Kotzebue, Alaska, on the Chukchi Sea as a junior officer, the sea ice has receded from the coast so much that when I returned last year the coastal area was ice-free. ”

Recognizing the truth of Admiral Papp’s statement, the Navy is gearing up for an ice-free Arctic Ocean in the summer months as soon as 2016—84 years ahead of conventional model projections.

This estimate is the result of an ongoing US Department of Energy-backed research project led by a US Navy scientist at the US Naval Postgraduate School‘s Department of Oceanography, Professor Wieslaw Maslowsky.

Republicans Cool Down Navy Statistics

The Republican House-led Armed Services Committee relied on the Navy’s research, too, but used older data that put the date several years further off. Still, even with outdated estimates, the Committee’s comments on the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) refer to a future ice-free Arctic Ocean that will occur alarmingly soon:

“The committee continues to be concerned about the Department of Defense’s resources and preparedness for accessing, operating in, and protecting national interests in the Arctic. The Navy currently estimates that between 2020 and 2030 the Arctic could be ice free for one month during the summer which may lead to an increase in trans-Arctic passage for vessels seeking to reduce transit distance by utilizing the Northern Sea Route and the Northwest Passage. The Navy’s Strategic Objectives for the Arctic …include ensuring Navy forces are capable and ready, contributing to the safety, stability and security in the region, safeguarding U.S. maritime interests, protecting critical infrastructure and key resources in the Arctic, and strengthening and fostering new cooperative relationships in the region. As a global Nation, the United States needs to ensure that the Navy is adequately prepared to preserve U.S. national security interests and collaborate with other Arctic nations if and when the region will be open for passage with increased traffic.”

Even with the later predicted ice-free date, this is pretty unambiguous stuff, and yet, incredibly, the Republican majority on the House Armed Services Committee is stacked with people who are climate change deniers...

For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF please go to:


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