Thursday, January 27, 2011

Russia Views Climate Change as a Threat to Its National Security

The personnel at a "science institute" run by "Bob," a mighty wizard who somehow manages to operate reconnaissance satellites and other classified sensors from his primary address (mailbox #209 in a Haymarket, Virginia parcel post store), may not share the CIA's perspective on climate change.

With the exception of our home-schooling, scientist-stalking Grand Inquisitor (AKA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli) and our barking-mad, scientist-stalking, "ex-CIA case officer" Kent Clizbe, everybody in Northern Virginia knows that the CIA views climate change, not climate scientists, as a threat to America's national security.

It should be obvious, even to the most casual observer, provided that he is sane, that the CIA's Center on Climate Change and National Security is probably not dedicated to the pursuit of climate scientists. According to press reports, the director of the CIA's Center on Climate Change and National Security is Larry Kobayashi; and Director Kobayashi is tracking climate change, not climate scientists.

For people who are interested in filling their heads with something more than the conspiracy theories of lunatics who hound climate scientists, Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism has a National Security Reporting Project is publishing an informative series of articles and videos called Global Warning. This series is based on what the CIA, Pentagon, National Academy of Sciences, and all our other scientific agencies are learning about climate change and about the threats these changes pose to America's national security.

The personnel at a "science institute" run by "Bob," a mighty wizard who somehow manages to operate Secret Sam reconnaissance satellites and other classified sensors from his "primary" address (mailbox #209 in a Haymarket, Virginia parcel post store), may have a different perspective.

How do Russians view climate change? Views vary, (see also here) but in March 2010, Rossiiskaya Gazeta (3-19-10) interviewed Yury Averyanov, a member of Russia's Security Council, about climate change in Russia.

The interview was held on the eve of a the Security Council's meeting on the threats and challenges posed by climate change.

The Barents Observer summarized the Rossiiskaya Gazeta interview in an article titled "National Security Challenged by Arctic Climate Change" (3-23-10).

Former CIA analyst Paul Goble also summarized this interview in an article titled "Moscow Views Climate Change as a Security Threat, Mulls Creating ‘Climatic Assistance’ Program" (3-24-10), but the Google translation tool is also helpful for people who like to read Rossiiskaya Gazeta (3-19-10) for themselves.

Mr. Averyanov confirmed that climate change was happening. Asked if climate change was associated with a national security threat, Averyanov told
Rossiiskaya Gazeta (3-19-10):

Climate change could cause new interstate conflicts related to the exploration and production of energy, the use of marine transport routes and biological resources, drinking water and so on. The risk of conflicts related to water scarcity and food are particularly high in the south.

According to Averyanov,

Many cities, thousands of miles of pipelines, roads and railways are in permafrost regions. About 80 percent of BAM runs on permafrost. Its melting...calls for the revision of building codes with respect to a changing climate. A quarter of the homes built in Tiksi, Yakutsk, Vorkuta and other localities will be completely unfit for habitation...[i]n the next 10-15 years.

The Barents Observer (3-23-10) observes:

Mr. Averyanov also believes climate change in the Arctic could results in new inter-state conflicts following different countries’ search and exploration of energy resources, use of sea transport routes, bio-resources and more.

The circumpolar countries, and first of all the USA and its allies, are actively expanding their scientific, economical and military presence in the Arctic in order to get control over Arctic waters […] and seek to restrict Russia’s access to developing its Arctic deposits, Averyanov told the newspaper.

He also believes that the permafrost melting could significantly hamper the country’s abilities to use military equipment in the region.

The statements from the Security Council representative are outlined also in Russia National Security Strategy, which was adopted in spring last year. As BarentsObserver reported, the document outlines the shelf of the Barents Sea and other areas of the Arctic as regions of upcoming international competition for energy resources, and that competition and conflict over the hydrocarbon resources might eventually lead to the use of armed force and a disrupted power balance in Russian border areas.

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