Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Homeland Security

Michael T. Klare makes a point about climate change that hasn't occurred to most people. While the Resident has stacked his administration from top to bottom with climate change deniers, the one federal department that still accepts reality is the military. And the military is tasked with responding to the consequences. In fact, as Klare describes, the response to hurricanes Harvey and Irma was the equivalent of a war. For example:

The military’s response to Harvey began with front-line troops: the National Guard, the U.S. Coast Guard, and units of the U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), the joint-service force responsible for homeland defense.  Texas Governor Greg Abbott mobilized the entire Texas National Guard, about 10,000 strong, and guard contingents were deployed from other states as well.  The Texas Guard came equipped with its own complement of helicopters, Humvees, and other all-terrain vehicles; the Coast Guard supplied 46 helicopters and dozens of shallow-water vessels, while USNORTHCOM provided 87 helicopters, four C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft, and 100 high-water vehicles.
Still more aircraft were provided by the Air Force, including seven C-17 cargo planes and, in a highly unusual move, an E-3A Sentry airborne warning and control system, or AWACS.  This super-sophisticated aircraft was originally designed to oversee air combat operations in Europe in the event of an all-out war with the Soviet Union.  Instead, this particular AWACS conducted air traffic control and surveillance around Houston, gathering data on flooded areas, and providing “situational awareness” to military units involved in the relief operation.
The navy also deployed an amphibious assault ship and a dock landing ship. The response to Irma was comparable but also included deployment of an aircraft carrier, a destroyer, and two additional amphibious  assault ships. Now hurricane Maria is going to re-destroy the Virgin Islands, followed by massive destruction Puerto Rico and who knows what after that. All this is going on while the U.S. military is engaged in war in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, and active maneuvers in the western Pacific. Climate change is likely to increase pressure on the military around the globe as well as at home, as climate disasters exacerbate conflicts and produce refugee crises, but the over-extended navy is becoming a nautical demolition derby.

I have plenty of reasons to despise the malignant clown in the oval office, but climate change denial is probably number one. The consequences are already here -- it's like passing a law repealing gravity. And it's terrifying.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cervantes said...

You are completely full of shit. And your delusions are imperiling civilization. Your ignorant horsehit is hereby deleted.

Anonymous said...

Well, that's just typical.

Clearly you are dumbfounded as to why anyone could disagree. Yet, you seem to acknowledge that a lot of people do.

My comment was simply an effort to make a well-reasoned argument as to why those opposed to your views might think they way they do, right or wrong.

That comment pretty much accurately reflected a very popular view.

I also gave reasons why because you seem mystified as to why anyone could disagree with you.

Don Quixote said...


You're just now becoming aware that "Anonymous," who haunts your site persistently, is full of horseshit? What I object to is that he chooses to use what seems a "reasonable" tone of writing between lobbed name-calling and stunning ignorance. I know you're for freedom of speech...but this motherfucker is either a plant or an irretrievably misanthropic nut. Either way, I vote you bar him from your site or just delete his asshole comments. That's all he is, a wacko asshole. And I do not recognize his right to play role as antagonizer. That's all he seeks to do. He's completely, hopelessly, ineluctably full of shit. Period. Cannot add anything to your blog, only detract if acknowledged. Throw him and/or his asshole comments out. They're never convincing, always ignorant, and often downright invidious. Asshole.

Don Quixote said...

By the way--PS: Yes, I know I am calling "Anonymous" names, but I'm actually just stating facts that I've observed. I mean to call him an antagonizer, a tool, an asshole. It's just who he is. What purposes, other than antagonizing and being purposefully harmful, can his comments possibly serve on this site? I get nothing from reading the bipolar mental masturbations of such a shitty person. But I get a lot from your blog and the other commenters. I vote you take the fly out of the ointment.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it would be better if you heard it from NYT 'cuz it ain't just me and it ain't just a few people, either...

Anyone who has read the 2014 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change knows that, while the modest (0.85 degrees Celsius, or about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit) warming of the Northern Hemisphere since 1880 is indisputable, as is the human influence on that warming, much else that passes as accepted fact is really a matter of probabilities.

That’s especially true of the sophisticated but fallible models and simulations by which scientists attempt to peer into the climate future. To say this isn’t to deny science. It’s to acknowledge it honestly.


Claiming total certainty about the science traduces the spirit of science and creates openings for doubt whenever a climate claim proves wrong. Demanding abrupt and expensive changes in public policy raises fair questions about ideological intentions. Censoriously asserting one’s moral superiority and treating skeptics as imbeciles and deplorables wins few converts.

None of this is to deny climate change or the possible severity of its consequences. But ordinary citizens also have a right to be skeptical of an overweening scientism. They know — as all environmentalists should — that history is littered with the human wreckage of scientific errors married to political power.

Anonymous said...

(The other Anonymous)

Oh, you mean like the human wreckage in New Orleans after scientists had been predicting for years what would happen to the city if precautions weren't taken before a major hurricane hit it? This includes a large article printed in Scientific American the previous year laying out the consequences of doing nothing.

I guess you could blame the scientists since they should have known that predicting something would force a large portion of the population to deny it could ever happen, since scientists aren't omniscient.

True, rushed or shoddy technology has been at the root of many disasters, but I'd really like to know about some of those catastrophes that you claim have been caused by scientific errors. And how they were worse than those not caused by scientific errors.