Meet Sherri Goodman, who in two words made the military care about climate change

 

Gr: The U. S. military takes the “threat multiplier” effect of climate change very seriously. Here’s why.

“The Age of Consequences” Climate Film and Speaking Tour

“The Buzzfeed story lead says it all: “Meet the woman whose two-word catchphrase made the military care about climate” . That woman is Sherri Goodman, and she will be in Australia in early April. And the film about climate change and the military will be on ABC TV’s 4 Corners next Monday night.

“The national security dimension of climate change receives little attention in Australia, but is the subject of intense focus overseas, particularly in the United States. Climate change interacts with other pre-existing problems to become an accelerant to instability in unexpected ways. Scarce resources, growing water scarcity, declining crop yields, rising food prices, extreme weather events and health impacts become catalysts for instability and conflict, especially in Asia. This has profound implications for Australia, economically and socially, quite apart from the climate change impact on Australia itself.

“The Age of Consequences” on 4 Corners

“You are unlikely to ever see another climate film like “The Age of Consequences”, so tune into 4 Corners at 8.30pm on Monday night, and find out how the US military really see the challenges of global warming. And yes, they really do get it. A lot better than most politicians.

SCREENING DETAILS: “The Age of Consequences”, from PBS International, directed by Jared P Scott and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 20 March at 8.30pm EDT. Replayed on Tuesday 21 March at 10.00am and Wednesday 22 at 11pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8pm, and at ABC iview.

“This striking documentary investigates the accelerating impact of climate change on increased resource scarcity, migration, and conflict through the lens of US national security and global stability. Through unflinching case-study analysis, distinguished admirals, generals and military veterans take us beyond the headlines of the conflict in Syria, the social unrest of the Arab Spring, the rise of radicalized groups like ISIS, and the European refugee crisis – and lay bare how climate change interacts with societal tensions, sparking conflict. Whether long-term vulnerabilities or sudden shocks, the film unpacks how water and food shortages, drought, extreme weather, and sea-level rise function as “accelerants of instability” and “catalysts for conflict” in volatile regions of the world.

“Age of Consequences” Speaking Tour

“Sherri Goodman will be touring Australia in the first week of April. As well as meeting with government, business, and national security think-tanks, and extensive media engagement, Ms Goodman will be speaking at three public events (use the “Continue reading” link below to get event details).

“Sherri Goodman is a former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Environmental Security. From 2001-2015, she served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of CNA, a non-profit research body that provides analyses and solutions for national security leaders. Sherri is also the Founder and Executive Director of the CNA Military Advisory Board whose landmark reports include “National Security and the Threat of Climate Change” (2007), and “National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change” (2014).

Climate Threat-Multiplier Events We Cannot Ignore

“So what will you learn from “The Age of Consequences” and Sherri Goodman? Here are a few starters:

“ARAB SPRING:  Per capita, the world’s top nine wheat importers are in the Middle East and North Africa. In 2010, a heatwave and wild fires in Ukraine and Russia, and a “once-in-a-century” winter drought in China, resulted in wheat shortages and a global wheat price spike, with rocketing bread prices across the Middle East. Food riots resulted in countries such as Egypt, where basic food costs are one-third of household budget, and became a trigger for the “Arab Spring”.

“SYRIA:  From 2006-2010, sixty per cent of Syria had its worst long-term drought and crop failures since civilisation began. 800,000 people in rural areas had lost their livelihood by 2009. Two-to-three million people were driven into extreme poverty, and 1.5 million people migrated to Syrian cities, which had already received a similar number of Iraqi war refugees. The cities grew very rapidly, as did food and apartment prices. The resultant social breakdown, state failure, and the rise of Islamic State was a reaction to a regime unable to adequately respond, but global and regional climatic changes were major underlying causes.

EUROPEAN MIGRATION CRISIS:  The European migration crisis is an example of reciprocal interactions between intersecting crisis becoming an accelerant to instability in unexpected ways, with the intersection of: the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and displacement; the civil war in Syria; the Arab Spring and displacement across the Maghreb; and drought and desertification, war and displacement across the Sahel.

BANGLADESH:  Bangladesh is the ground zero of climate change. A one-metre sea level rise will flood 20% of the land mass and displace 30 million people. India has surrounded Bangladesh with a double security “climate refugee” fence patrolled by 80,000 troops.

“This is a world we ignore at our peril.” –Climate Code Red (Continue reading:  Climate Code Red: Meet Sherri Goodman, who in two words made the military care about climate change.)

Signals of Climate Change Visible as Record Fires Give Way to Massive Floods in Peru

GR:  Peru is suffering through a series of global warming weather extremes. It would be interesting to get Humboldt’s response to what is happening now, 215 years after he visited Peru.

“We’ve rarely seen this kind of rapid and quick change in climatic conditions.” — Juber Ruiz, Peru’s Civil Defense Institute

“During September through November, wildfires tore across parts of drought-stricken Peru.

“Peru’s Amazon was then experiencing its worst dry period in 20 years. And, at the time, over 100,000 acres of rainforest and farmland was consumed by flash fires. Rainforest species, ill-adapted to fires, were caught unawares. And a tragic tale of charred remains of protected species littering a once-lush, but now smoldering, wood spread in the wake of the odd blazes.

(Last November, wildfires burned through the Amazon rainforest in Peru as a record drought left the region bone-dry. From Drought Now Spans the Globe. Image source: LANCE-MODIS.)

“At the time, scientists noted that the after-effects of El Nino had combined with a warmer world to help spur the drought and the fires. And they warned Peru to prepare for more extreme weather in the future as Earth continued to heat up.

“Fast forward to 2017 and we find that the moisture regime has taken a hard turn in Peru as the droughts and fires of 2016 gave way to torrential rains. Since January, more than 62 souls have been lost and about 12,000 homes destroyed as flash floods ripped through Peru. Over the past three days, the rains have been particularly intense — turning streets into roaring rivers and causing streams to over-top — devouring roads, bridges and buildings. As of yesterday, 176 districts within the country have declared a state of emergency due to flooding.” –Robert Scribbler (Continue reading:  Signals of Climate Change Visible as Record Fires Give Way to Massive Floods in Peru | robertscribbler.)

(Flooding in Peru leaves tens of thousands homeless. Video source: TRT News.)

Help Save the World

Block Trump. Declare World War on Global Warming and Other Human Impacts on Nature

Our Problem

desert-earth

Earth could join Mars as a dry, lifeless derelict.

Scientists report that growth and spread of humanity together with rising global temperature are causing declining biodiversity, rising seas, growing storms, intensifying drought, spreading disease, and much more. The reports, made by observers all over the world, are like the thunder ahead of a storm that threatens the safety of our families, our friends, our civilization, and all life on our planet. We know it’s coming. Without a massive effort by the people of the world, the storm will grow until terrible destruction ruins our planet. We and all other life may be lost.

Donald Trump’s pre-inauguration statements and cabinet choices make it clear that he will add to global warming and every other negative human impact on Earth.

The Earth continues turning, but if we don’t exert some self-discipline there might one day be no minds that know or eyes that see.

 

Global warming and human population growth are the destructors. They are greater even than fear, hate, and desire;

Together, they threaten humanity and all life on Earth.

Polls show that sixty-four percent of Americans believe global warming is occurring. The number is growing. When the first distant rumbles occurred, we said, “Ah, it might help if we quit burning so much coal, oil, and gas.” Later we said, “Hmm, maybe we need to quit clearing so much land for cities and farms.” And as the danger loomed, we added to the list of things we should do. But we haven’t done much, and the danger has arrived. We are even beginning to realize that the coming storm might be self-sustaining. Global warming might have passed the point at which we can stop it. Seas and soils are warming and releasing their stores of carbon, and the great glaciers are melting and exposing open water. Warming might continue even if we halt all burning and building.

Why War?

Global Warming is at the brink and looking down the slip face of runaway self-sustaining increase beyond our control. The research shows that global warming is already rotting organic matter stored in the tundra and on the ocean floor. Global warming is increasing evaporation and humidity. Global warming is causing soil microbes to release carbon. Methane (CH4), water vapor (H2O), and soil carbon (C in various forms) are joining carbon dioxide (CO2) from burning and are all working together to trap more of the incoming solar energy. The buildup of these gases appears to have taken us past the point at which we can prevent the great storms, droughts, and rising seas. By adding CH4 and H2O to CO2, we are unleashing an exponential spiral that will end human civilization in decades, not centuries. And not far beyond that, end all life on Earth.

overpopulationEven if there was no greenhouse gas and global warming, the spreading human population will eventually wipe out most life on Earth. Already, more than half of all animals are gone, replaced by humans. Family planning, like cutting greenhouse gas, has become an emergency requirement for sustaining life on Earth.

I can’t quite bring myself to believe that our civilization will end within decades. I still believe that we could stop global warming if we make a total effort.

Saving the Earth–The Citizens’ Call Campaign

The Citizens

Sixty-four percent of U.S. adults say they are worried a “great deal” or “fair amount” about global warming. The U. S. adult population totals 242+ million (over age 18). Sixty-four percent equals 154+ million.

The Actions

For those with concern for the future of society and their children, I find it intolerable to say that we must wait and see what happens. Instead, I have a proposal for action:

Leadership in the U. S. and most other nations is not responding to the growing human impact and the global warming threat. I propose that we declare a citizens’ war on the behaviors causing the impacts and threats. We can begin by forcing our elected leaders and our business leaders to organize and lead the war on warming and population growth. We need their help to convert the world’s industries, economies, and societies to the needed total effort to save Earth and us.

Other thinkers are saying the same thing. Here’s Michael Moore’s action plan:

And here is a list of more actions we can take.

Our local action group is forming now and will try to make visits to some of our representatives next week.

Bolivian Water Crisis as Glaciers Vanish, Population Grows

GR:  Many places will have to begin pumping groundwater.  That’s a temporary solution, however.  Here in the arid western United States, we’ve seen what happens as the depth to water falls and the cost of pumping rises. We’ve also seen how toxic metals concentrate in shrinking groundwater aquifers.

One glacier on Chacaltaya mountain… has already completely disappeared.

“Bolivia’s government was recently forced to declare a state of national emergency — a terrible drought, said to be the worst in at least the past 25 years, plus increasing demand in the form of population growth have left the country high and dry.

“As of now, the country is trying to drill their way out the predicament with “emergency wells.” In the city of La Paz, the three main reservoirs that provide the city’s water are almost dry. It is reported that five other major cities also face severe water shortages. Hospitals are working at half capacity and suspending non-emergency surgeries and dialysis. In some poor neighborhoods taps have run dry for three weeks. The Guardian has posted a photo-essay of the situation here.

“One key aspect of the trouble is that Bolivia’s glaciers have dramatically shrank, and so the dams that rely on continuously capturing glacial run-off are rendered somewhat worthless at this point. Bolivia’s population is expected to increase by 50% (to 15 million) by the early 2040’s.” —Joe Bish, Population Media Center (Read mre here:  Bolivian Water Crisis as Glaciers Vanish, Population Grows)