KINGSTON, Ont. — The planet is running out of oil and heading toward a future that could trap Canada in a violent spiral of decline in the economy and the environment, a special research unit within the Canadian military is predicting.
This "global quagmire" is one of four possible future scenarios advanced by the six members of the team who are developing a plan for the army of tomorrow based on existing scientific research and analysis.
In a best-case scenario, they predict that Canada could be at the forefront of a prosperous green economy, in which clean energy and environmental protection are priorities and living standards improve around the world.
Two other scenarios fall in between, but all four alternatives conclude that energy security and global environmental change are the most serious and unpredictable factors that could radically alter society as well as the role of Canada's army.
"It all depends on what kind of steps are taken today that could lead to various futures," Peter Gizewski, a strategic analyst on the team, told Postmedia News.
Members of the team said that climate change in particular could have a wide range of consequences, as well as oil shortages in a world with no alternative sources of energy.
The team has also noted that the world is now consuming oil faster than it's being discovered. "Globally, we find more (oil) all the time, but we haven't actually found as much as we've used in a given year since 1985," said Maj. John Sheahan, another member of the research team.
From the long (term) view, it's guaranteed that something else will take over (as an energy source), we just don't know what or when. . . . Nobody has yet come up with the solution (so) that we can (continue to) do the things we do now and have done for decades. So it is possible that the time line is against us."
The global quagmire scenario predicts a world ravaged by climate change and environmental degradation in which "markets are highly unstable" and there are high risks of widespread conflicts involving ownership and access to oil, water, food and other resources.
"Indeed, the danger of resource wars, both between and within states is acute," said a technical paper produced by the group in December. "Much of the violence occurs in the developing world, as dictators, organized crime groups and revolutionary movements fight for control of increasingly desperate societies. Yet developed countries are by no means immune from strife." "As environmental conditions worsen, elements of society lash out against the ongoing exploitation of the Earth's resources and the irreparable damage it causes. Often, action turns violent with acts of terrorism directed against select government officials and corporations becoming ever-more salient."
In the best-case scenario, the team predicts that Canada could take a leadership role in the alternative energy and environmental fields after a series of technology sharing agreements with emerging economies and active support of developing sound international regimes and practices.
The findings are similar to recent studies by oil giant Royal Dutch Shell as well as research from other countries such as the United Kingdom that warn excessive energy use can be an "Achilles heel."
"There is growing recognition that we need to factor this into our thinking," said Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti, the U.K.'s climate and energy security envoy from the Ministry of Defence and Foreign and Commonwealth Office. "We need to try and treat it like any other threat we face. We need to understand more about it and how it's going to impact our national interests, how we can act to reduce the risks and the threats. We're not going to have 100 per cent certainty, but then we're not going to have 100 per cent certainty on the battlefield."
So Global Warming and Peak Oil are two of the biggest threats we face... Where have I heard that before?
Oh Yeah, I remember - This is also the gist of what the last three US Military reports have said...
On a Related Note:
Death toll at 43 as tornadoes, storms rake South By Ned Barnett, Reuters April 17, 2011 4:07
RALEIGH, N.C. (Reuters) - Three days of severe storms and tornadoes in the southern United States killed at least 43 people, downed power lines and wrecked hundreds of buildings, officials said Sunday.
North Carolina accounted for the bulk of casualties and property losses, with 22 people killed and more than 80 others injured. Significant damage was reported in at least 15 counties and power outages affected more than 200,000 people.
Virginia officials said there were four deaths and unconfirmed reports of three more in the state. Virginia emergency officials said that 177 structures were damaged by the severe weather.
It appeared to be the deadliest U.S. storm since February 2008, when 57 people died in two days from tornadoes in the South and Ohio Valley, said AccuWeather.com meteorologist Andy Mussoline.
Dominion Virginia Power said the two nuclear reactors at its Surry Power Station in southeastern Virginia shut down automatically on Saturday when an apparent tornado touched down and cut off an electrical feed to the station.
The storms began in Oklahoma on Thursday, then moved through the South and hit the East Coast by Saturday. There were 241 tornadoes reported, with 50 confirmed.
Seven people died as a result of the storms in Alabama, seven died in Arkansas and one died in Mississippi. Two people were killed in Oklahoma when a tornado flattened buildings.
“We’re used to hurricanes. We’re used to tornadoes. We’re used to floods. But we’re not used to losing 11 of our citizens,” said Bertie County Manager Zee Lamb. The sprawling, rural area in northeastern North Carolina, was the hardest hit. “The thing about this storm that is different than a typical tornado was the width” Lamb said. “It wasn’t just 100 or 200 yards wide, but a half-mile wide and it stayed on the ground for six miles or so.”
Water Still Rising in Manitoba By Jordan Press, Postmedia News April 17, 2011 3:29 PM
Officials vigilant as unprecedented flood waters continued to rise in Manitoba.
Manitoba continued to remove residents from some areas, close local roads and prepared to shut down a key cross-border commerce route.
“We have a broad geographic scope and many of the crests are some time off. We’re not even necessarily at the end of the beginning spring-flood stage right now,” said Steve Ashton, Manitoba’s minister of infrastructure and transportation and the minister responsible for emergency measures.
Officials in Manitoba said water levels will continue to rise due to the snow in neighbouring Saskatchewan, increased water levels along the Qu’Appelle River and precipitation falling in the Souris River basin in southern Manitoba.
More precipitation means more water and melting snow ending up in the Souris River, which winds its way from Saskatchewan through North Dakota and into Manitoba where it connects to the Assiniboine River. The sum effect is a rise in water levels in Manitoba.
Ashton said the province is set to close Highway 75, a key cross-border link. Officials were monitoring the water levels on the highway on an hour-by-hour basis and the closure could happen as early as Monday.
“Once it is closed, it becomes a question of how long,” Ashton said.
In 2009, Hwy. 75 was closed for 36 days, Ashton said.
As of Sunday, there were 683 evacuees, 70 provincial roads fully or partially closed and about 725 municipal roads closed because of high water levels.
“There is going to be a lengthy period in the case of some evacuees in returning home,” Ashton said. “I do want to stress these are precautionary evacuations.”
Provincial crews continued to reinforce dikes as water rose to levels not seen since the flood of 1976. That year, the Assiniboine River saw its worst flooding yet.
Officials in Manitoba have said this year’s flooding covers an unprecedented area of the province — from the Saskatchewan border to the eastern part of the province, and from The Pas, south to the U.S. border.
Huge Tornadoes, unprecedented flooding - welcome to Summer 2011 - the nice gentle runup to the catastrophe that will be 2012...
Welcome to By 2100!
This Blog is designed to be a Diary of Events illustrating Global Climate Change, and where it will lead.
Commentary is encouraged, but this Blog is not intended for discussion on the Validity of Climate Change.