The cover story of the latest edition of Business Week (Asian edition) should be a bit of an eye-catcher for sustainable development types.
I shouldn’t be too surprised, I suppose, that with the exception of The Observer, the mainstream media has paid little attention to the report commissioned by the Pentagon on the security risk associated with climate change. Neither the BBC nor CNN considered it worth reporting, and only today has it rated a mention in The New York Times, albeit in conjunction with reference to an upcoming Hollywood movie on the subject of environmental catastrophe (see The Sky is Falling! Say Hollywood and, Yes, the Pentagon). For those interested, the full Pentagon report is available here. If you choose to read it you will be doing what, according to the NYT, the powers-that-be in Washington won’t. Apparently a Pentagon spokesmen has said the report had not been passed on to the ‘top brass’ in the Defense Department or the Bush administration.
News that Ralph Nader will be running for the White House, and that another report has been released that presents a very bleak outlook for the Great Barrier Reef should come as no great surprise, but I choked on my muesli bar this morning when I read in The Guardian that the Pentagon has issued a warning on the dangers of global warming (see Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us).
From watching TV and catching up with a few rellies, it is is evident that even the most pastey-faced of Brits looks bronzed and healthy after the warmest summer in years. Indeed, it has been hard to avoid the hot sun in Europe, and this has not been without its cost.
When the Brits complain about the weather (a national pastime) many people make reference to the glorious summer of 1976, the bench mark to which all decent summers must be compared. There were 15 consecutive days of temperatures above 32 degrees in this particular year, with a top temp of 35.9 degrees. Yesterday this paled into insignificance in the UK as the highest temperature ever was recorded at Gravesend, Kent, a sweltering 38.1 degrees.
Recent research suggests that global warming is likely to occur faster than first thought. Given the trend in US foreign policy (“You’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists“) and the very explicit way in which members of the ‘coalition of the unwilling’ are being treated (e.g. Chile, Canada, France), the new ‘friendship’ between the US and Australia will be increasingly difficult to break, especially with AUSFTA to bind the relationship. What chance then of John Howard signing the Kyoto Protocol so long as the US doesn’t?