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Obama’s Plan to Save the World

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Posted on Mar 24, 2009
AP photo / Elizabeth Dalziel

Burning coal, whether within America’s borders or in China, above, contributes to global warming. As sea levels rise, so does the threat of mass migrations of people, intensifying competition for the resources essential for survival.

By Scott Ritter

(Page 2)

The goals and expectations that individual nations bring to these assemblies, whether it is Obama’s Global Energy Forum or the UNFCCC, differ greatly. As a developed nation, the United States has flexibility in internal operations that nations conducting major development programs, such as China and India, do not. Negotiating viable greenhouse emissions caps with China, India and other major developing nations is essential to defining a realistic emission cap in the United States. Without such a global agreement, U.S. industries may be compelled, because of simple economics, to flee a constrictive American domestic environment for more permissive locations abroad. Such flight would be counterproductive to the Obama economic stimulus plan, which hinges on industries, and their associated jobs, remaining in the U.S. It would also hamper the overall goal of reducing global emissions to make the homeland more secure.

Another problem is the issue of projecting caps in a fair and equitable manner. While the United States and Europe can project with some confidence energy consumption models for the foreseeable future, the same cannot be said of many developing nations. A cap level for the U.S. and Europe projected over a 50-year period is viable. However, for developing nations, population changes alone will radically alter their energy consumption requirements, as well as their population-related infrastructures. Caps using present-day criteria would rapidly become unrealistic, and consequently would be subject to violation. However, adjusting U.S. and European caps based upon such projections would place an even greater burden on the industrial bases of these nations. Managing the issue would be a major challenge for the Obama administration and the rest of the world.

The linkage between global climate change, national security and energy consumption models is not one of normal association. Today, however, the potential impact on global social, political and economic systems simply cannot be ignored. This impact would be not only iterative, but would cumulatively have an effect that is several orders of magnitude greater than what normally would be projected. Preventing, or at least containing and mitigating, the potential dire consequences of global climate change will require sweeping reform which will affect existing global energy consumption models. How this reform is framed, and the manner in which it is implemented, will likewise heavily influence the economic, political and physical aspects of the world energy markets, making global climate change perhaps the most critical issue when it comes to the future of energy security, and national security.

Given the paramount role played by the United States in world affairs today, the energy policies implemented by the Obama administration will have an influence unmatched by any other nation or group of nations. While the Obama energy plan is complex, a major indicator of whether or not the plan is unfolding as expected will be the issue of cap and trade. The success or failure of the cap-and-trade initiative will impact the overall viability of Obama’s clean energy initiatives, domestically and internationally, and as such should be closely monitored by all parties with a vested interest in energy and related security matters. And given the inherent problems confronting the successful implementation of the cap-and-trade initiative, it is imperative that the Obama administration develop alternative plans and courses of action. There might not be enough time to do so if “cap and trade” fails.

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The threats faced by America and the rest of the world today from terrorism and so-called rogue states will shrink into insignificance if entire populations begin vying for habitable land and the basic resources required to sustain life. This is a predictable problem, with recognizable solutions. Whether America and the world have the collective wisdom, and courage, to implement these solutions is yet to be seen.

Scott Ritter is a former intelligence and arms control official who was an inspector in the former Soviet Union (1988-1990) and Iraq (1991-1998). He is the author of “Target Iran” (Nation Books, 2007) and the forthcoming “On Dangerous Ground: Following the Path of America’s Failed Arms Control Policy” (Nation Books).


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By 99jonny100, March 24, 2009 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

I recently saw a depressing article on bbc wherein science has determined that
the already catastrophic results of greenhouse gas will stay in effect for AT LEAST
1000 years; regardless of any real time decrease in the amount of emissions now.
If one is to believe this “scientific” prediction, then the efforts to curb emissions
are not only too little too late, but in fact of no help at all for our future.
Some researchers believe that the current rate of global warming will raise
sea levels by 5 meters in the next 90 years. So long New York, L.A., New Orleans
and Bangladesh…Mass migrations of low- lying populations will be the issue for
our grandchildren. And we’re worried about a few million “illegal” Latinos…

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By RUSS del, March 24, 2009 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

There is more than meets the eye.

March 24, 2009

The headline says: Stranded whales returned to sea off SW Australia

Did they realy save those whales (7 out of 70 that died) or just prolong their agony considering what mankind is doing to, what long has been thought of, oceans too mighty to ever be ravaged, but has finaly reached that point, and is continually being degraded from there?
Oh well, spend a few million dollars doing a study on the rate of degradation just as is being done on the rate of global warning.

When we get there, we will know precisely how long it took, we are masters at doing that.

Visited my daughter once in Denver. On the trip up to the mountains, pulled up to a scenic stop overlooking an expansive valley. There were pictures of a clear day where one could distinctly see all the way across to the mountain on the other side. Then it depicted other days, with what could aptly be called a no view, because not more than several feet from the scenic stop, nothing could be seen but a grayish haze. But the information display informed us about the highy sophisticated measuring device that could detect the minutist pollution particles that combined in such larger numbers to almost turn day into night.

I recall, I think it was sometime during the 80’s, a report of researchers preserving a sample of the air somewhere out west in the mountains, a rare location that held the least amount of contaminant of anywhere in the US, to use as a comparison in the future to what it was like at one time.

Can’t do anything about it, but carry on mighty engineers and scientists so that we can rest with assurance, knowing that the utmost calculation is being done, and of course, keep an accurate record of the casualties. Carry on you whales too, knowing that your life is in good hands.

It is time, it is time, the soothsayer said.

Don from Real Union Of Social Science (google it)

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By Paracelsus, March 24, 2009 at 8:09 am Link to this comment

I suppose a Club of Rome Part 2 will convene over the crisis of global cooling. The centralizers of the world need more tax revenue going into more oligarchic and unaccountable hands. I hope enough wise people will scream at Congress to head off this insanity, because another systemic tax like this will kill the western world.

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By Matt, March 24, 2009 at 8:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

And to “so left i am right” - Maybe the “Deniers” aren’t being paid to troll the internet looking for harmless Global Warming B.S. to debunk - maybe there’s some people that just aren’t stupid enough to fall for it.

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By Matt, March 24, 2009 at 7:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Whether Jason is Corporate funded or not is irrelevant.  He’s right.  And to lmedina15 - what the hell makes you think that you or any other person on this Planet does or should have the authority to tell people how many children they can have.  This whole thing is just ushering in the domination, control and unilateral totalitarianism that’s been hunted by so many despots for so many centuries.  Oh, sure, let a Youth Civilian Volunteer Corp come to my house and check my thermostat to make sure I’m not keeping MY house too warm/cold.  You do know what’s going to happen don’t you?  Come on, y’all are smart enough to know people take the sanctity of their home very seriously.  Seriously enough to fight, kill and die for.

Look, there is NO credible evidence of “Global Warming” - especially caused by something so trivial as my truck or a cow’s farts.  How is it that people can look up in the sky and see the 1,391,000 kilometer wide BALL OF NUCLEAR FIRE in the sky and say “Nope, that’s nothing.  It’s the cow farts”?  Carbon Dioxide is a NECESSITY on this planet.  You’re subscribing to a bunk theory that is going to KILL all life.  Get rid of “Carbon” and see where that gets you.  YOU’RE MADE OUT OF IT!

It doesn’t snow where I live but maybe once every couple of years.  It snowed pretty damn good this year once and it did in ‘06, but not as much.  However, if I travel 200 miles north, I can see snow covering the ground for most of winter.  200 miles.  That’s it.  The distance from the Earth to the Sun is between 91 MILLION and 94.5 MILLION Miles, changing based on many factors including disruptions in our orbit, gravity vacillations and interferences etc. etc. etc.  The forces at work here are almost beyond comprehension of the normal human being.  The distances are almost beyond the comprehension of a normal human.  However, 200 miles on this planet is enough to DRASTICALLY affect the weather patterns.  Now, what kind of changes do you think we’d see if our orbit moves, oh, a couple of MILLION MILES to or from the Sun?  Not to mention that power output (Read: Light and HEAT) in a giant Fusion Reactor is a constant oscillation as well…

Now, go ahead, I work for a Corporation, I love Pollution, I hate Al Gore - one of those is right.  Before you start in with that tripe, think, HONESTLY think, about the numbers and the vastness of the world, about the absolute essential nature of Carbon on this planet, the Fossil Record that PROVES when temperatures get a litte warmer LIFE GETS BETTER.  We survive in Heat much better than cold.  And then, once you’ve pondered that, ponder the Money.  Ponder the power.  Think about whether this concept is really just a means for wealthy men to grow even more wealthy.  Once a “Carbon Tax” is placed on every human because of the Carbon Dioxide which we exhale (and plants then inhale and convert to Oxygen that WE NEED) then you are getting a constant tax on LIFE ITSELF!  It’s a grand scheme to make massive, MASSIVE amounts of money.

People, there are REAL environmental hazards going on.  Monsanto has made corn that is genetically altered to produce it’s own insecticide - cross genetic breeds are being grown in the OPEN AIR - what do you think that will do to the Biosphere we rely on so much when no true non-hybrid seeds exist anymore?

Human Genetic Tampering, TRUE pollution concerns and on and on and on.  There are real threats.  Don’t let yourselves get hijacked because of your valid concerns about our world and used for this “Global Warming” scam.  You’re being used as a tool for the powers that be to gain MORE POWER. 

It’s time to REALLY think about this and to consider one thing, the basic command they teach in all investigations classes - FOLLOW THE MONEY.  Who’s getting rich off this?

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By voice of truth, March 24, 2009 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

This is a joke.  Quick, one person, name for me the NUMBER ONE producer of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere?  Second, what is the % of emissions from automobiles?  Third, how much has the earth warmed overall in the last 12 years?

Answers are:
1 - “Black dirt” - this is the layer of carbon under the soil, mostly formed by burned detritus.  For example, forest fires.  This alone issues more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than any other source AND it emits for up to thousands of years AND man has no control over it.

2 - Automobile usage contributes less than 5% of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, so leave my SUV alone.  Also, another fact, the Toyota Prius, from start of production through five years of service, actually causes more environmental damage than a Ford Expedition.  Mainly because it uses nickel based batteries from a source in Canada (one of top 5 polluters on earth) and all the parts are shipped to Japan and back as completed to the US (and not on a sailing ship).

3 - The overall mean temperature of the Earth for the last 12 years cumulative has dropped by 1/10th of one degree celsius.  Where’s the warming.

My point is, even if you do believe in Global Warming, and I don’t know if I do (and I’m not on a “corporate payroll, whatever that idiotic comment meant), if you take the time to look at things objectively, you’ll see that the science behind this is so up in the air it’s laughable.  Models that are inherently biased, measurements that either taken out of context, plain wrong, or simply ignored, etc.

If you ask me, throughout history anytime a group of people become so fervent about a subject that they refuse to even listen to another viewpoint, they are usually either wrong or trying to hide something.

I do believe in the point about the overpopulation, however.  With China as the world’s single worst polluter, and no existing or imagined treaty planned to halt that, even at 1 child per couple that would still add 270 million people, a 20% increase, to China alone (assumes 1.2B currently, 60% of the people become married and half have a child).

That’s my 2 cents.

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By freeyourmind, March 24, 2009 at 7:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Jason is right and this Global Warming bullshit will not stop until they impose a tax and then it will vanish. People you can’t stop what has been going on for millions of years. That why its called climate change, that’s what it does even without us. Peace

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By knobcreekfarmer, March 24, 2009 at 6:59 am Link to this comment

Sure is amazing how fast the deniers get on the spot. Almost like they are being paid to search the net and slam anything related to global climate change.

Jason!!,

So, what corporation’s name is on your pay, or dividend, check? Are you paid by the hour or by the denial?

“it is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it” - Upton Sinclair

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By knobcreekfarmer, March 24, 2009 at 6:54 am Link to this comment

“global climate change has emerged as one of the most critical and contentious security issues of the 21st century”

Um, very true - but don’t forget about an even bigger security issue (for life that is) resource depletion and all “we” will do to keep the cars running and the shoppers shopping…

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By GW=MCHammered, March 24, 2009 at 6:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

New World Order anyone?

EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Declaration May Pressure U.S. Lawmakers
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aeIMm4IAEsMI&refer=us

China calls for new global currency
http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2009/03/24/ap6203036.html

Geithner to Ask Congress for Broad Power to Seize Firms
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/24/AR2009032400847.html?hpid=topnews

Expanding National Service
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/24/opinion/24tue4.html


Could it be true?

The Obama Deception
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7718996325782443244&ei=Upe5SbScI6L-qAOJnOG1AQ&q=obama+deception&hl=en

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By eyes wide open, March 24, 2009 at 6:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What is the end result of taking proactive measures to reduce carbon emissions? Life is only temporary.Why bother.Humans will never stop polluting,killing maiming raping,stealing,cheating oppressing.Just try to enjoy whats in front of you.Stop worrying about the planet

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By jmc, March 24, 2009 at 5:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Global Warming is NOT Happening”...The “global warming apocalypse” scare has the potential greatly to enrich scientists, academics, industrialists, and politicians willing to take unscrupulous advantage of it. However, we should do some due diligence before we join in reaping the considerable but short-lived rewards available to those who parrot the scientifically-baseless orthodoxy. - Christopher Monckton

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By lmedina15, March 24, 2009 at 5:12 am Link to this comment

Nothing matters if we don’t control the explosive growth of our population. I don’t understand why this issue is not being discussed. Efforts to reduce carbon are only window dressing to the very real problem we face. China’s one child policy needs to be emulated on a global level.

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By Jaded Prole, March 24, 2009 at 4:40 am Link to this comment

Excellent article. Ritter is right that global warming and its consequences far outweigh all other issues. I’m glad our present administration is on it but they face the resistance of not only repugs but of a powerful ruling class used to calling the shots. The other aspect of this is that even with the best success in greenhouse gas reduction, climate change is coming and we will have to adapt. That means physically restructuring our society for the different world of the near future as well as working globally in insure that basic necessities get where people need them to avoid massive migration and war.

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By Jason!!, March 24, 2009 at 4:31 am Link to this comment

“Global Warming” is a scam!

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