Rather a long time ago I stated an intention:
'finally, if it remains possible, to draw the main environmental and geopolitical strands together to make some tentative predictions of the main factors likely to be at play, to give some indication of where we might be heading on present trends.'
Clearly I've spun out hopelessly on that to date, but happily this fellow has spared us all the trouble. More happily still, being a strategic analyst of such eminent standing he is syndicated to 175 journals in 45 countries, he does so with an authority that is infinitely more credible than any layperson could ever hope to muster.
Which is just as well given the logical conclusions anyone considering the human and planetary predicament objectively and with clarity must inevitably come to.
Gwynne Dyer gave an interview on the Late Night Live show on ABC (by approximation, the equivalent of the BBC in Oz) on 26 August. The billing for the programme states:
'US and UK military strategists have already started planning to deal with the threats posed by climate change: failed states, famines, floods, new warzones, and millions and millions of refugees'
It is the first I am aware of that someone of his stature and with access to the necessary privileged (ie classified) information has spoken out candidly and coherently on this subject, rather than partially and piecemeal.
The interview runs one by one through the main strategic risks such as food scarcity, water, mass migrations and so on, and analyses the likely geo-political effects on each region of the globe. As you would expect from a defence analyst, the tone is absolutely measured throughout, yet the conclusions are as sensational - read frightening - as any currently abroad.
As such it is an analysis of the deepest importance which I would encourage all to spare the 40 minutes necessary to listen to here.
But for the sceptical or more heavily pressed, a short yet telling report which went out on the Environmental Network News on 29 August can be found here.
As an appetite whetter, here is a snippet from the latter:
'there is a sense of suppressed panic from the scientific and military leaders.
"And it's not just the analysts. I spent the past year doing a very high-speed self-education job on climate change but I think I probably talked to most of the senior people in the field in a dozen countries," Dr Dyer said.
"They're scared, they're really frightened. Things are moving far faster than their models predicted. "You may have the Arctic ocean free of ice entirely in five years' time, in the late summer. Nobody thought that would happen until about the 2040s - even a couple of years ago." Dr Dyer says there is a sense of things moving much faster, and the military are picking up on that. He also says we will be playing climate change catch-up in the next 30 years. "The threshold you don't want to cross, ever, is 2 degrees Celsius hotter than it was at the beginning of the 1990s," he said.
"That is a margin we have effectively already used up more than half of. It would require pretty miraculous cooperation globally and huge cuts in emissions." And if the world does not decarbonise by 2050, you don't want to be there, according to Dr Dyer. "My kids will and I don't think that is going to be a pleasant prospect at all, because once you go past 2 degrees - and you could get past 2 degrees by the 2040s without too much effort - things start getting out of control," he said. "The ocean starts giving back to the atmosphere the carbon dioxide it absorbed.
That world is a world where crop failures are normal.'
Inevitably he discusses James Hansen's critical role in alerting us to this and Hansen's current view that the safe limit for CO2 equivalent in the atmosphere is 350 ppm (covered with references in my email of 02 May entitled “Finding oil isn't the issue – it is whether we want to find it, burn it and all fry” - do ask if you would like it resent). According to this interview we are currently at 387 ppm. That is not a typo.
He also considers that the current consensus to be that 425 ppm is the ultimate threshold beyond which you may as well forget about a future because everything blows. It is pertinent to note here that the fourth IPCC report, which remains current in that all political solutions are based upon it but is now hopelessly out of date scientifically, considers 450 ppm to be the goal to be aimed for. That is not a typo either. Allow the implications of those figures to permeate your consciousness.
'"[There will be] huge falls in the amount of crops that you can grow because there isn't the rain and it's too hot," he said. "That will apply particularly to the Mediterranean... and so not just the north African countries, but also the ones on the northern side of the Mediterranean. The ones in the European Union like Spain and Italy and Greece and the Balkans and Turkey are going to be suffering huge losses in their ability to support their populations.'
He also predicts the militarisation of the US border with Mexico within ten years.
The rest I leave for you.
In passing, I have had no success in downloading the podcast from ABC, but the streaming works perfectly via either channel offered; and there are a few inaccuracies in the ENN report - for instance the date of the broadcast, which is possibly something to do with the dateline.
Finally, in response to some very kind requests to make these discussions more widely available they have been posted on a rather rudimentary blog. It is still in beta and rather rough round the edges, but functional. All the material circulated over the last year or so is there (after a long list of vibes, hopefully to inspire, which speak of our predicament), including that originally posted on the now defunct Wild Law forum. In addition there is an RSS feed which, if you subscribe to it, has the advantage of alerting you to new postings automatically as they appear. All at
Hope it helps