Dismiss the ‘bleeding heart’ greenies if you must; dismiss the overwhelming science if you dare; but dismiss the US military at your peril – and the peril of all of us.
This is the frightening but genuine warning that Pentagon insider Sherri Goodman is bringing to Australia.
Sherri Goodman is one of 14 top climate and security authorities interviewed inThe Age of Consequences, a gripping documentary about to hit Australia’s screens.
An authority who can’t be dismissed
Among other powerful positions, Ms Goodman is a member of the US Secretary of State’s International Security Advisory Board. She’s served as the first US Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Environmental Security), responsible for global environmental, energy efficiency, safety and occupational health programs and policies. She’s also served on the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee, where she was responsible for oversight of the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons complex, including the national laboratories and the defence environmental management program.
From 2001-2015, Ms Goodman was Senior Vice President and General Counsel of CNA, a not for profit research body that provides analyses and solutions for national security leaders. She’s 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), Powering America’s Economy: Energy Innovation at the Crossroads of National Security Challenges (2010), and National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change (2014).
So Sherri Goodman can’t simply be dismissed.
And many high profile Australians will be sitting up and paying attention. Ms Goodman will be touring Australia 3-9 April 2017, meeting with government, business, and national security think-tanks, as well as speaking at three public events.
National security is the forgotten dimension
In The Age of Consequences, Ms Goodman appears along with a brigade of global security heavyweights from defence and government.
They urge the world to address the ‘forgotten dimension’: climate wars have long been predicted as a consequence of global warming (whatever the causes) – and time is running out.
“We are not your traditional environmentalists,” says General Gordon Sullivan (Retd), former Chief of Staff, U.S. Army.
Here’s how the film is described:
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 stressors interact with societal tensions, sparking conflict.
Whether a long-term vulnerability or sudden shock, 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.
These Pentagon insiders make the compelling case that if we go on with business as usual, the consequences of climate change – waves of refugees, failed states, terrorism – will continue to grow in scale and frequency, with grave implications for peace and security in the 21st century.
Wake up, Australia
You may have caught the shortened US Public Broadcasting Service version of The Age of Consequences on ABC Four Corners recently.
‘Incoming US Defense Secretary James Mattis has acknowledged that climate change is already impacting national security. It’ll be interesting to see how President Trump responds given his well publicised comment that climate change is a hoax,’ Sarah Ferguson said, as she introduced the special.
The full version has even greater relevance for Australians.
Australia21 Director, Ian Dunlop, warns The Age of Consequences is not about things happening ‘over there’, away from our shores: resource scarcity, migration, and conflict are already impacting on global stability, especially in Asia, and therefore on our national security.
We need to wake up to the domestic implications – and fast.
‘Around the world the dire consequences of human-induced climate change are becoming blindingly obvious,’ he says.
‘Climate change has moved from the twilight phase of much talk and relatively little impact; it’s turned nasty, as we are increasingly witnessing in Australia. There is little doubt that current events such as Cyclone Debbie and another bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef are all being affected by it to some degree.’
Ian Dunlop knows what he’s talking about – he’s an international oil, gas and coal industry expert and former chair of the Australian Coal Association.
‘Australian politics is consumed with passionate, ill-informed debate about the important but secondary issue of energy security.
‘We have had the solutions to energy security for years, but they will not see the light of day until our supposed leaders accept and act upon their primary National Security responsibility to address climate change as an emergency, structuring all other policies accordingly. Everything depends upon crossing that threshold.’
Leading Australian thinkers examine what the government refuses to see
The business world is paying attention to the warning in The Age of Consequences.
Ian Dunlop will join a panel discussion with Sherri Goodman at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, along with Alan Dupont, CEO of the Cognoscenti Group, who established and led the Abbott Government’s Defence White Paper team and was recently named by the Australian Financial Review as one of Australia’s top strategists.
Australia’s military leaders are also taking note. In Canberra, Ms Goodman and Mr Dunlop will be joined on the panel by Retired Admiral Chris Barrie, Honorary Professor with the ANU Energy Change Institute and Air Vice Marshall Mel Hupfield, AO, DSC.
Ms Goodman will also appear at the University of Melbourne’s Australian-German Climate and Energy College in a public event organised jointly with Breakthrough – National Centre for Climate Restoration.
Watch, listen, demand change
Sherri Goodman is in Australia on a speaking tour to promote The Age of Consequences, but there are only three opportunities to see her.
If you can’t catch her live, make sure you watch what she and the other high profile Pentagon insiders have to say in this documentary.
Ignore them at your peril.
The film’s unnerving assessment is by no means reason for fatalism – but instead a call to action to rethink how we use and produce energy. And for far greater national and global co-operation to overcome this challenge, seizing the opportunities it presents. As in any military defence and security strategy, time is our most precious resource.
It’s time to put real pressure on our local political and corporate leaders. We can’t wait for the next generation to act where we have failed.
The Age of Consequences ‘They go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent… Owing to past neglect, in the face of the plainest warnings, we have now entered upon a period of great danger… The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences… We cannot avoid this period, we are in it now.’ Winston S. Churchill 12th November 1936
Ian Dunlop is a contributor to Breakthrough – National Centre for Climate Restoration, which is hosting the Sherri Goodman tour. He is a former chair of the Australian Coal Association.