Security Experts Step Into the Climate Fray

Guess who’s asking the hard questions on climate science and policy. The U.S. military and geopolitical/security specialists.

Earlier this week, an array of of defense, national security and climate experts took part in a conference hosted by the Scripps Oceanography Center for Environment and National Security. This was the symposium agenda and here’s the opener from a story by Lauren Morello:

Tell us what you don’t know.

That’s the message military and national security experts gathered here want to send to climate scientists.

This follows on the heels of a panel event held earlier this month by the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change Security program. That discussion, between environmental security scholars and policy experts, explored

the unintended security consequences of climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.

The conversation there appears to have centered on the complicated interplay between energy policy, food security, environmental conservation and geopolitical concerns, among other things. Here’s a nice overview of the specific issues covered, and this summation:

The panelists stressed that taking actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change is necessary, but that we must evaluate the full range of potential effects of these strategies. “We need to blow open the box on how complicated these problems are,” [Cleo] Paskal said. “We need as many different people involved and as many different sorts of solutions as possible.”

Paskal is a climate security scholar, whose recent book Global Warring: How Environmental, Economic and Political Crises will Redraw the World Map, I reviewed several months ago for Nature.  (I have a longstanding interest in the environment/security nexus; here’s an exchange with experts and a related interview I conducted recently on this blog.)

To me, the calls for better forecasting and additional voices and options at the climate policy table is a good thing. In some popular quarters of the blogosphere, though, where climate change is of paramount concern (and political calculations are always present), this plea for more information by military and security experts is likely to be considered “unhelpful.” Heck, on one influential blog, raising such nettlesome issues that draws undue attention to any limitations of climate science and a preferred policy prescription, is liable to get you pegged as an “anti-science, climate disinformer/delayer.”

31 Responses to “Security Experts Step Into the Climate Fray”

  1. dhogaza says:

    “In some popular quarters of the blogosphere, though, where climate change is of paramount concern (and political calculations are always present), this plea for more information by military and security experts is likely to be considered “unhelpful.” Heck, on one influential blog, raising such nettlesome issues that draws undue attention to any limitations of climate science and a preferred policy prescription, is liable to get you pegged as an “anti-science, climate disinformer/delayer.””

    Maybe you should be more specific so we can judge for ourselves?  I suspect that the security people’s concern lies with the inability of climate science to outline a reasonable worst case for planning purposes.  Because most signs out there are that things are worse than climate science has been telling us (i.e. the 2007 arctic sea ice surprise, unanticipated acceleration of melt rate in Greenland, etc).

    Security types, after all, don’t typically plan for best case scenarios.  Not their job.

    I can’t see any influential blog suggesting that such concerns are “anti-science, delayer” tactics.

  2. andrewo says:

    dhogaza is right.
    as it stands, I think this is a very weak post.
    frankly, I don’t care who is asking “hard questions on climate science and policy” “” I’d be much more interested in a post on the range of policy options currently on the table and few details as to why the experts you cite believe these options are insufficient.
     

  3. Judith Curry says:

    I think this is a very important issue, related to the “uncertainty denial” or “ignorance denial”  issue I’ve raised previously.
     
    Consider another quote from Richard Feynmann:
    “”When a scientist doesn’t know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty damn sure of what the result is going to be, he is still in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress, we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty “” some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain.”

    And now consider the following statements from the IPCC AR4:

    · Warming of the climate system is unequivocal.
    · Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.
    · Continued greenhouse gas emissions at or above current rates would cause further warming and induce many changes in the global climate system during the 21st century that would very likely be larger than those observed during the 20th century.
    · Advances in climate change modelling now enable best estimates and likely assessed uncertainty ranges to be given for projected warming for different emission scenarios.
    In the parlance of the IPCC AR4, the term “unequivocal” denotes a >99% confidence level, “very likely” denotes a confidence level of 90-99%, and “likely” denotes a confidence level between 66%-90%.

    The military guys deal with risk and even the unknown unknowns all the time.  The are basically asking for our assessment of how big the unknown unknown territory might be, and what might be out there.    If you understand science and you understand risk, it is difficult to find the IPCC confidence levels credible.  The military guys aren’t trying to derail energy policy, they’re trying to get a handle on what the unknown unknown territory looks like.

    So we need to do a much better job of characterizing, assessing, and reasoning about uncertainty regarding this extremely complex system of climate science and the climate-science policy interface.  For a whole lot of different reasons.

  4. Barry Woods says:

    How much solar climate forcing is actually out there…

    ie if certain solar predictions are to be believed we may be in for a decade or three of collong..

    Even Phil jones ‘hoped that another climate scientist was wrong’ in making that statement (climategate emails in reponse to trenbeth, in an email discussing a BBC article by Paul Hudson: Whatever happened to Global Warming’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/2009/10/whatever-happened-to-global-wa.shtml

    That prompted Michael Mann to say he might give Richard Black at the BBC, a call to find out what was going on..

    This is very relevant, because these climate scientists seemed to aware and open to the possibility  20-30 years of cooling privately. Which does have implications with security. These guys are part government funded.

    Cold has implications for the military as well..
    ie world food production down, etc..

    solar observations appear  to correlate much better than CO2 with known cool/warm/little ice age periods in human history..

    of course a correlation is not proof..

    But if one correlates much better than the other, it would be reasonable to investigate the one that correlates best..

    After all big ball of fusion in the sky directly working on the atmosphere vs, absorbtions of this energy by man additional production of CO2 (4 ppm annually) to a tracegreenhouse gas in the atmosphere, and then computer models predicting high temps, with assumed not proven, varying degrees of +ve forcing, was just never that believable to me…

    From the military perspective, COLD is a worse scenario than warm, in potential ‘conflict’ causes.

  5. Vinny Burgoo says:

    A minor but perhaps not untypical example of uncertainty denialcarelessness in the AR4 Synthesis Report. 3.3.2:
    By 2080, an increase of 5 to 8% of arid and semi-arid land in
    Africa is projected under a range of climate scenarios (high
    confidence). {WGII Box TS.6, 9.4.4}

    If you follow the references back, the ‘high confidence’ is unjustifiable, indeed elsewhere in AR4 the results of the cited study (Fischer 2005) are described a ‘highly uncertain’.

  6. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Oh. Doesn’t the strikeout function work? Uncertainty carelessness, then.

  7. #4
    Why are you citing the blog ramblings of Hudson a weather presenter for BBC Yorkshire? Hudson is not a journalist nor a climate expert of any kind and was just re-cycling stuff he cut and paste from other blog sites.

    This is enough to check.

  8. #3
     
    Judith can you explain what you mean by your statement?  “If you understand science and you understand risk, it is difficult to find the IPCC confidence levels credible.”

    The examples you cite are not about risk.

  9. Barry Woods says:

    I can only assume that the BBC article has not actually been read:

    “To confuse the issue even further, last month, another member of the IPCC, Dr Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University , said that we may indeed be in a period of cooling worldwide temperatures that could last another 10-20 years. But he makes it clear he has not become a sceptic; he believes that this cooling will be temporary, before the overwhelming force of man made global warming reasserts itself. ”

    I would recommend reading the full article, , this was enough to get the CRU and Micahel Mann team, twitchy, as it was less than 2 months before Copenhage, I imagine the ;last thing they needed, was 20 years of cooling predicted, politically, even if it was still thought to go up afterwards.

    I’m sure the American military would think it relevant, as I’m sure their counterparts in China, Russai, India are not unaware of it..

    Paul Hudson was merely reporting what some professors were saying about lack of warming and causes!!!

    disparaging the messenger? and me, ‘cut and paste’

    In the climatehate emails, at least some of the IPCC climate scientists were conceding this posibility, privately..

    Paul Hudson is much more qualified than the average environment correspondent at the BBC, Richard Balck will not say, Roger Harrain is an  english graduate.

    Paul Hudson has a first-class degree in Geophysics and Planetary Physics from the University of Newcastle
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/england/looknorthyorkslincs/content/articles/2006/09/27/paul_hudson_feature.shtml

    ‘citing blog ramblings’ would imply you are trying to ‘spin’ theis for only pirposes that you know. it was reporting from a respected BBC journalist, on the world’s biggest website.

    You make out, it is some random ‘denying’ blog.

  10. Barry Woods says:

    I’m not  sure, Shub, what a link to presumably your own website is all about, or trying to imply..  The above comments are on the record and verifiable.

    Pertinant as a branch of the police force that investigates terrorism is investigating the climategate leaks. 

    Paul Hudson, received ‘some’ of the ‘climategate emails’ a month before the leak (presumablythe ones where he is mentioned – belittled – as a ‘weatherman’) –

    Interestingly in the emails – they also be little him in just the  same terms  used above  (do you have any connections).

    So he is a part of this story, and was no doubt interviewed regarding tracking down the CRU whistleblower/hacker.

    So how does a link to:
    Shub Niggurath
    A Complete Doistortion of the Facts help..

    It would come across as an attempt to belittle,me , or besmirch me, or I imagine distract people reading this thread at collide a scape, from what is said that that is not ‘approved’ of by some.

    Back to the milatary/security aspect, might the USA have taken their eye of the ball, regarding shorter term cooling, 10 -30 years, depending on the physicist,  (with the security risks/political upheavals possible) partly because of the IPCC, Al Gore, etc.  Have they preached so heavily about ‘global warming’?  That it has become to ‘politically correct’ to consider cold scenarios, in the USA security services because of the USA politics..

    Russia has always been non-commital on AGW, probably because they would welcome quite a lot of it!!  Russians know all about COLD.

    The positive implications of global warming are always an overlooked part of IPCC reports, russia would benefit.. Open up the artic for drilling for oil, mining for mineral resource in Siberia, longer growing season, etc.. 

    Russia also, has always had very good physicists, so I’m sure they would not ignore possible solar (lack of activity) that would predict periods of COLD.. It is the interests of Russin national security to consider it.

  11. Pascvaks says:

    “Security Experts Step Into the Climate Fray” – I can assure you that  ‘Security Experts’ have been at this for longer than anyone else and that this conference was just another in an endless list of such conferences on the subject.  The so called “experts” on the issue of AGW were taught at the knees of retired security types and a very long list of predecessors in military weather and climate prediction.  While the focus of this specific conference was limited, the focus of the experts is not and never has been — they want to know everything that can be known, before anyone else, and they’re not inclinded to share new information or discoveries.

  12. #11
     
    I read Hudson’s post last fall easily established he’d cut and pasted stuff from other sites. I also read Latif’s paper and the poor guy has been forced to explain over and over how his results have been distorted and endlessly repeated.
    And there is no question Hudson is a weatherman who blogs, not a journalist.

  13. Barry, dude, I have a lot of respect for you and I always follow your comments. ;). The comment was made as a one-off observation only broadly related to how the military thinks.
    The video is a caricature of military analysts and their brand of logic and militaryspeak.
     

  14. Barry Woods says:

    Text is such a poor method of communication, people do read and perceive things, unintentionally sometimes..

    I wonder how the security experts might perceive the following?

    Paul Hudson has a first-class degree in Geophysics and Planetary Physics from the University of Newcastle

    So he would be perceived by many as more qualified (scientifically) to discuss this, than 99.99% of the UK population, he also workded on hurricane forecasting at the MET office, he is also arguably better qualified (scientificall)  than the entire environment team at the bbc, who write extensivley promoting CAGW, they also appear to set the BBC’ policy on the CAGW issue.

    So should we as easily dismiss, Richard Black as a bbc journo (with no relevant climate qualifications) as just a journo that blogs..
    as Michael Mann and CRU personel dismiss Paul Hudson, in the ’emails’

    The very high profile: Richard Black Earthwatch (BBC) blog
    you might spot me in the comments there 😉

    Michale Mann and cru, were concerened enough to say,, the BBC has a huge influence outside of the USA, regarding climate and CAGW

    Michael Mann’s thought was to  contact Richard Black (BBC) to see what was going on and also said ‘we might also do something about this (Paul Hudson’s article) at RealClimate.

    To me, because of these emails, I have always perceived, the scientists in question and RealClimate to be very much involved in promoting AGW policy to the media and active participants in advocacy (despite protestations that they are not)

    So, I  perceive the use of ‘weatherman’ as an attempt by others to minimise the message, the bbc being percieved by many a ‘sceptic’ as very influential evangelical almost, advocate of  CAGW and AGW.

    ie Fiona Fox: Director of Science and Media, who wrote a report for the UK science minister about bias and reporting of science in the media (particulary speaking on BBC Newswatch.)

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/newswatch   Newswatch 23/04/2010
     
    Fiona Fox said:
    “Fight the good fight for accuracy, in fact
    On Climate change there has been a real change..People like Richard Black and Roger Harrabin, fighting internally (at the BBC) to say we DON’T have to have a sceptic every time we have a climate story.”

    And:

    “to have a sceptic in every interview is misleading the public about ‘climate science'” – Fiona Fox

    The BBC, by it’s public charter is supposed to be impartial, does/did Steve Mcintyre, Lindzen or Spencer, others have as apparent easy access to the BBC, or expect their views to be reported evenly by the BBC as Michael Mann?

    So, putting the above into context of security matters as a thought experiment.

    IF in a few years we are in a period of 20-30 years of cooling, (as Phil Jones said he was concerned about and ‘hoped’ not, in the linked emails – of the Paul Hudson (BBC) emails ) and the USA military and USA politicians are less prepared because of the confident believe in AGW, than Russia, China, India and Pakistan and are unprepared for the conflicts that could arise because of cold , ie food production, etc..

    The russians listen to their astrophysicists, no green, environmental wwf lobby in Russia to speak of.

    What might the American ‘politicians’ and military ‘intelligence’ think of scientists that have taken government funding, and pushed for a highly likely, very likely warming agenda, in the run up to an international conference – Copenhagen – where huge policy decisions would be made, whilst ‘privately’ discussing concerns about cooling in the future?.

    Whilst some may laugh at the concept ‘military intelligence’, it is on a par with ‘political intelligence’, sometimes,  imho, the military (especially, I think in the USA) have very little sense of humour with respect to issues of national security, and the politicians ALWAYS will look for a convenient ‘scapegoat’ (ie scientist said one thing publically, another privately, we – politicians did not know)

    Maybe a few ‘elite scientists’ will be, or are thinking they wished they had done a bit less PR.

    Just a thought experiment.

  15. Barry Woods says:

    Sorry. I came over all ‘post norma’ this moring and forgot to provide a link so that anyone can look and come to their own conclusions themselves..
    http://eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=1057&filename=1255553034.txt

    The original email drew quite a few email responses..
    Search for bbc or paul hudson.. (to get all of them)

    Just one below, classic response from Trenbeth.

    “Hi all
    Well I have my own article on where the heck is global
    warming? We are asking that here in Boulder where we have
    broken records the past two days for the coldest days on
    record. We had 4 inches of snow. The high the last 2 days
    was below 30F and the normal is 69F, and it smashed the
    previous records for these days by 10F.”

    AND:

    “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at
    the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there
    should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong.
     Our observing system is inadequate”

    Blame the planet? the model must be right?!

  16. Keith Kloor says:

    Barry,

    I believe you alluding to the this Trenberth email without the proper context.

    At any rate, what does this have to do with the post? You really need to avoid making all these off-topic references/insinuations regarding the CRU emails in the various threads.

  17. Barry Woods says:

    The link is about security national, etc, and in the context of national security issues and decisions  based on scientists highly certain public pronouncement, vs private concerns and uncertainty…

    ie because of this, the military might miss cooling risks.

    Would you agree that is very on topic?

    and I added the link, to back it up, so people could make their own conclusions. ie, lack of warming privately and  Michael Mann’ contacting the BBC…. comments,

    There was an article in the Telegarph, about that a Chinese lead negotiator at a conference had let slip that climate change was all natural and a few other choice words, surprising an indian delegate.

    (i’ll track down the link if you are interested, it is in the russian, chinese interest to let the west indulge their co2 policies)

    Trenbeths words were attached/next email..

    And just spotted it, ‘the 4 inches worth of global warming’ –
    ( a climate scientist with a great sense of humour, he was definetly trying to be funny, makes him a real person…!) 

    just thought it was funny, sorry about that.

    However in the, Unbearable Lightness thread’ , just now, there was talk about lindezens work, and discussion of  no positive feedbacks observed/proven
    The someone there said the heat balance would add up, if you do not assume positive feedback (which were essential for CAGW)  so worth mentioning?!

    Am I missing something realy obvious in what they were  saying, that makes my interpretation silly/wrong?

  18. Keith Kloor says:

    Barry,

    I think you need to be more concise and specific in your comments.

  19. Kooiti Masuda says:

    Barry Woods, if you want to criticize Trenberth, please first read his article.
    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/EnergyDiagnostics09final2.pdf

    We cannot observe everything on the earth. Sometimes we are more confident in theories than in observations. At least we have the physical law of conservation of energy. In addition we know about absorption and emission of infra-red radiation by molecules. So we are theoretically confident about the global mean energy balance though we do not observe all components well. Unfortunately neither theories nor observations are powerful enough to determine the quantitative partitions of the energy among the parts of the earth. So Trenberth lamented.

    By the way, though I do not understand what you mean by CAGW so well, I do not think that Trenberth preaches about “catastrophic” something. As far as I know he does not tell the prospects of runaway warming (unlike James Hansen).

  20. Ron Broberg says:

    Let’s try this in baby steps so I don’t end up in the spam filter …
    CIA funded Center on Climate Change and National Security’s report National Security and the Thread of Climate Change and the Joint Forces Command
     

  21. Ron Broberg says:

    Joint Forces Command report Joint Operating Environment 2010.
    The JFCOM report is a speculative look-ahead which does not define policy. It’s emphasis is adaptation to quickly changing geopolitical situations. Climate change is a relatively minor player in the report. Oil dependence and peak oil also make brief appearances.

  22. Gator says:

    What a way to spin a story. Everyone should go look at the conference schedule. Each session is of the type “Global warming is happening, what will this do to us?” None of the conference is of the type “Is global warming happening?” or “The CO2 rise is not manmade” or “Mars is warming too!” or any of the other anti-science claptrap we are subjected to. I’m glad the security types can face reality. Instead of spinning this as “the IPCC doesn’t know anything” or “maybe we don’t know if GW is happening” the real story is that some people are planning for what will happen as the globe warms. They want to know what the uncertainty is on these projected effects. Realism instead of politically motivated obfuscation and hand-wringing. Pretending that this “tell us what you don’t know” *might* mean that the world is not warming is political anti-science.

    And smearing by innuedo some imagined portion of the “warmist” blogsphere is again a political act. I’ve yet to see anyone one the science side who would oppose improved measurements and models. In fact, the science side is the side of this argument that is calling for increased funding for this and implementing these improvements. It is the denier side that would claim that improved measurements or models is a waste of money. All part of a conspiracy don’t ya know — those evil scientists sucking at the government teat, making up reasons to spend yet more money. Mr. Kloor’s snide remarks are nothing but political posturing.

  23. Ron Broberg says:

    Improving technology may make mineral resources in the Arctic Ocean accessible. A melting Arctic may have influences over what tech is needed and which mineral beds are ultimate accessibility. The “Law of the Sea” treaty plays a role in who has rights to what. The US is not a signatory – how will our competing claims be adjudicated?
     
    A melting Arctic requires an adaptive response by the Navy and the Coast Guard. Should new harbor facilities be built? What new ships are required to effectively patrol a warmer-summer, still-cold-winter Arctic.
     
    Who controls the “Northwest” passage. Is it an international waterway or is it Canadian territory? This becomes important as the route becomes commercial.
     
    Will Russia ship crude through the Bering strait to China? How should environmental concerns be addressed?
     
    Lots of interesting questions unaddressed, unanswered. Better luck next thread.

  24. Keith Kloor says:

    Ron (24):

    Countries are already positioning themselves for the mineral rush in the Arctic.

     

  25. A far more important thing to worry about than access to minerals is the impacts of a melting Arctic has on the global climate system…. namely that winters in the NE and Europe will be colder and wetter like this year based on the latest science.

  26. Ron Broberg says:

    Maybe more interesting, but what is the national security angle?
     
    “Ten thousand horses every night
    were smitten by the frost,
    Full thirty thousand rank and file
    In Beresina lost.”

  27. Marlowe Johnson says:

    what Gator said (minus the snide Kloor bit) :).

  28. barry woods says:

    26#
    so the previous science was wrong, with its predictions?

    ie, snow, would be a thing of the past, uk, less throughout northern europe, many previous predictions.

    Seriously,(AGW allows) no more snow, more snow,, global warming, less rain, more rain, hotter colder, wetter drier. 

    Is it possible to have an experiment that allows the possibilty to ‘falsify’ man made global warming?

    If the USA, Northern Europe, Russia has a couple of more winters like the last one, the general public, is just is not going to buy, we previoulsy said this because of AGW, we are now saying this because of AGW..

    Someone is going to stand up, and say’ Hey I thought, Obama, gore, etc said the science is settled?!

    general public voice:
    “Not just minor differences in predictions, but you guy’s are all over the place.  Has anything predicted in the computer models come true , in a 10 year – 15 year – 20 year window?  Journalist might start looking back at the early 90’s, etc predictions by the same group of scientists, and work out how ‘accurate’ they were.

    This is why the CAGW, or AGW, or aGW advocates will need to start being nicer to people, if the general public ever gets to a critical mass or ‘tipping point’ on CAGW  ‘scepticism’.  If the public is ‘lost’, the politicians will be ‘lost’, and then the funding will be ‘lost’.  To the detriment of ALL areas of climate science, not just paleo, and compueter modelling.

    What does China really think about climate change, something the security experts will definetly take into account.  For the moment,it is in the chinese interest to allow the west to run with AGW.  Lots of rare earth metals to mine, green technoligies to manufacture, co2 possible ‘future’ reductions in China used as a very powerful negotiating tool (ie china has less CO2 per capita, why should we pay for the west who caused the problem?”)

    Maybe this Chinese Senior Climate negotiator let something slip, that he shouldn’t have.

    Post Copenhagen, Post Climategate
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7067505/China-has-open-mind-about-cause-of-climate-change.html
    (just a small article buried away, blink and you’d have missed it)
    “There are disputes in the scientific community. We have to have an open attitude to the scientific research. There’s an alternative view that climate change is caused by cyclical trends in nature itself. We have to keep an open attitude,” he said.
    “It is already a solid fact that climate is warming. The major reasons for this climate change is the unconstrained emissions produced by the developed countries in the process of industrialisation. That’s the mainstream view [but] there are other views. Our attitude is an open attitude”.

    The secuity experts, will still be puzzling over what china really thinks about AGW.

  29. JohnB says:

    #23 Gator. Correct, what a way to spin a story. But you should try flicking your wrist a bit and thereby avoiding the net. 

    Future security concerns do not include Mars or CO2 because they are simply not relevent. It doesn’t matter why the world warms or cools, from a security standpoint the only thing of concern is what happens when it does?

    In a similar fashion, IIRC a lot of the US West Coast gets its water from Canada. What does America do if Canada turns off the taps? That is a security concern, why Canada turned off the taps is not.

    Please do not confuse cause and effect, it upsets Dr. Lorentz.

  30. Brian Smith says:

    I would like to address the question of forecasts.  Having done some of the environmental security forecasting that is being bandied about, one thing is for certain:  most of the forecasts have been pretty right on in one key respect – the places that have poor or heavily degraded environments tend to be in bad shape politically unless there are offsetting factors.  Saudi Arabia is a case in point.  What the forecasts have not predicted well are the counter-intuitive cases where there is an environmental component, but it is not a sufficient cause to tip the balance to instability.  In other words, they have been pretty useless vis-a-vis other forecasting techniques on instability because they don’t tell you very much that is different than other models and tools.

    The second issue to address here, in part related to forecasts, is time.  Yes, the planet may be changing very quickly by geologic or ecologic standard, but it is still a lot of time in terms of military planning and resource alignment.  The Navy and Coast Guard are concerned about the warming of the Arctic and how they can get up there to deal with the issues, but they don’t need to be there tomorrow.  Weapons systems development cycles do take a long time, so if there is a platform that will be needed, it is better to get it into the POM cycle now rather than later.  US-Canadian relations have their ups and downs, but we aren’t rattling sabres between Vancouver and Seattle or Buffalo and Toronto outside of hockey season.

    Military planners are asking questions about forecasts and the science because they want to be able to plan for multiple scenarios.  If it warms 5 degrees or 10 degrees, it has an impact on their planning.  Some are skeptics, no doubt, but they plan for contingencies and if the reading the impact of changes produces different contingencies, they will want to know about them and the factors that drive events in different directions.

    Interesting thread because it goes to the heart of the question of how science plays into policy, planning and resource distribution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.