Looming Climate Change security risks – we are going to have to build up our military

By   /   December 6, 2018  /   23 Comments

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…how will be protect our fishing stocks? How will we protect the shoreline? How will we respond to extreme weather emergencies? 

If we are to be honest in adapting to the grim future of climate change, we need to start ratcheting up our military budget…

Defence Force: We need to prepare for climate change

The Defence Force will be stretched beyond capacity as global warming brings humanitarian disasters and violent conflict to the South Pacific.

That’s the alarming conclusion from a report published on Thursday by the Government. It says climate change is now “a threat in its own right”.

The joint Defence Ministry and Defence Force paper warns that extreme weather patterns will threaten water, food and energy security. Shortages often spark violence.

“Climate change will be one of the greatest security challenges for New Zealand Defence in the coming decades,” the report says. “The links between climate change are indirect but demonstrable … [the impacts] will require more humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief, stability operations and search and rescue missions.”

…how will be protect our fishing stocks? How will we protect the shoreline? How will we respond to extreme weather emergencies?

Climate change makes security issues far more problematic and multi-faceted and being able to respond in challenging environments throughout the pacific when law and order breaks down as well as respond in real time to domestic weather emergencies demands a huge jump in military resources and capital.

We need a far greater Navy, a far larger air force and we need a rapid response army that can de deployed quickly.

We are going to have to see building up the military as a necessary infrastructure realignment that responds to climate change, we can’t allow large civilian populations to just fend for themselves when catastrophe strikes the Pacific or New Zealand.

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23 Comments

  1. Sam Sam says:

    By massive build up do we spend $4 billion instead of the less than $2 billion we spend now. we should be spending 2% on defence as a matter of course anyway.

    Some see it a massive increase. I see it as, it’s like doing the dishes really.

  2. Kevin Hester says:

    The N.Z. military has performed well in natural disasters in Kaikoura, Christchurch, Tonga and Fiji.
    Preparing for their greatest challenge as Dr. James E. Hansen’s storms on my grandchildren build relentlessly and the increased seismic, volcanism and tectonic activity we can expect to see with abrupt climate change we need supply vessels and choppers that can carry emergency provisions as we brace for the inevitable impact.
    https://kevinhester.live/2016/07/31/isostatic-rebound-and-our-rocky-future/

    • Keepcalmcarryon says:

      The navy was a big help in Kaikoura evacuating tourists and stocking the supermarket. the army a waste of space, no orders for this not equipped for that, as well intentioned as they were.

  3. francesca says:

    No thanks Martyn
    That expanded military is more likely to put down the coming climate change protests and revolts than protect us.
    Lets save ourselves a whole lot of money and ditch the killing component
    By all means prepare for (un)natural disasters, but we don’t need missiles and guns for that

    • Sam Sam says:

      How do you know all that? Vets voting National or NZFirst doesn’t really ring hollow because recruits come from deeply National areas of society. That still means that conservatives are much more likely to serve than a non conservative, that clearly there is at least a perception military principles and traditions hold more with the The National Party than with the Greens. I honestly don’t understand what your point is in here.

      • francesca says:

        “Saturday saw one of the worst days of unrest yet, with the third large-scale riots in Paris described by some as “urban warfare” and “the worst riots in a generation.” Around 133 people were injured — including law enforcement officials — and about 412 were arrested. France’s Interior Ministry said it had to deploy 37,000 police officers, 30,000 firefighters, and 30,000 gendarmes, members of the ministry’s armed forces, to contend with the protest.”

        https://www.vox.com/2018/12/3/18123906/france-protest-macron-paris-riots-yellow-vest-arc

      • Sam Sam says:

        The New Zealand Defence Force primary area of responsibility not only covers New Zealand’s EEZ it includes Antsrtica and the South Pacific. NZDF is designed to operate across two oceans, the pacific and southern ocean ocean. Each with very specific requirements.

        The Canterbury can carry 1400 square meters of cargo space right now and deploy it up to 10,000 kilometres away and support flight ops.

        NZAF Hercules can haul over 100 tons at 500ks and land on any major airfield in the pacific with in 12 hours

        NZDF MAN trucks can haul 8000 tons of logistics on a single tank of gas.

        Over the next 17 years $20 billion dollars will be spent improving these capabilities and will add new capabilities and insurances.

        Star Trek the series is science fiction. Transport beaming technology does not exist. New Zealanders are the most traveled populace in the world, yet it makes some feel good to expose the worlds under belly. NZDF requires big gear, big plans with big capacity and ability to travel long distances away from NZ land bases and with out the ability to refuel in the air. Not only will NZDF retain the ability to extract NZ personal/citizens, doctors NGOs ect, they will be able to do it in any threat environment. NZDF is not in the business of being passive observers. These capability sets will be improved.

        Money spent on defence is around $1 billion per year just to insure our interests. That’s enabled the New Zealand government to spend $1 billion on pacific aid programs ranging from constabulary duties to infrastructure and economic maintenance programmes. For every dollar spent on defence we spend a minimum $1 dollar on pacific aid. The upside is all the money in the pacific.

        Now what’s the upside to your political, economic, geo-strategic and military foresight?

    • francesca says:

      And after all the military has the biggest carbon footprint of all human enterprise.
      I’m not in favour of putting out the fire with gasoline

    • Sam Sam says:

      The military is inherently not for profit for that reason. Militaries, our military is constructed in away that does not allow civilians access to military technology. And our military in turn denies any adversary the luxury of a red carpet.

      • francesca says:

        Where would we buying our military hardware from Sam?
        Yes, Lockheed Martin etc, most definitely operating on the private profit principle
        buying off the US is compulsory and part of belonging to 5 Eyes.
        Its a racket

        • Sam Sam says:

          NZDF’s role in the pacific is to guard against climate change, organised crime and to protect against the militarisation of Antartica. These are the motivations with which top brass lobby the government and public for funding and big gear. They are intelligent, they are chosen specifically on their ability to play the political games. Top brass understand more than any other New Zealander how much stomach the public has for big military gear yet they will run the public gauntlet anyway. And if Jacinda Ardern, Winston Peters, Grant Robertson, Kelvin Davies, Ron Marks or any one else with even half a brain to listen to what the defence force Chiefs are saying then they will get what they’re asking for.

      • John W says:

        There are other models apart from the present Military, which can act in emergencies as well as ongoing community building.

        NZ is unprepared as we concentrate on economic growth in a failing capitalistic program of environmental destruction,
        atmospheric pollution and increasing inequity in our community, for the increased wealth of a few who allow some crumbs to fall off their table.

        Our resilience has been degraded with globalisation and the military model is not the way forward.

        • Sam Sam says:

          Other models, commercial models do not have access to superior military technology, ability to conduct operations in all weather and at night, ability to conduct operations at sea in sea state 3 and above so waves over 1 meter, ability to conduct operations in security environments from civil and police operations right up to D Day landings and everything in between.

          NZDF isn’t asking for an interventionist foreign policy. They’re saying they’re saying winter is coming and it’s time to gather our forces.

  4. francesca says:

    Whats more, Martyn, the military has the biggest carbon footprint of any human enterprise
    Putting out the fire with gasoline?
    You’re going off the rails here, veering in to Alex Jones country

  5. Afewknowthetruth says:

    Martyn,

    How secure is the global system for importing the fuel needed to power military hardware? Do you really think NZ will still be importing tankerloads of crude 10 years from now, 20 years from now?

    Do you really think present global economic-financial arrangements will persist for another 10 years, 20 years?

    20 years from now atmospheric CO2 will be over 450 ppm if positive feedbacks have not triggered superfast meltdown that releases even more CO2 and CH4 than is already coming out of permafrost and sea beds. However, there is every reason to believe the Arctic Sea will be ice-free in the summer long before 2040 and (with no ice to melt) the solar energy reaching the region will manifest much increased temperature.

    Do you really think there will not be a showdown between the major powers over control of global finances, the supply of oil and access to productive land within the next 10 years?

    Do you not think NZ will be left ‘out on a limb’ when globalised economic-financial-military arrangements turn to custard? Or that it will be targeted for occupation by a superpower we will be defenceless against?

    Do you really think there will be fish to harvest from the oceans 20 years from now when ocean acidification and temperature rise are adding to the woes of overfishing? And if there are fish to be caught, what will power the fishing boats in the energy depleted world of the future?

    There is every reason to believe peak oil of conventional oil extraction occurred decade ago and that global economic arrangements are being held together by unconventional oil which has a precarious future,

    May I respectfully suggest you study this article:

    https://peakoil.com/production/jean-laherrere-thoughts-on-the-future-of-world-oil-production

  6. Nitrium Nitrium says:

    Our military will always be insufficient to combat the superpowers and their closest allies. So I, for one, welcome our new Chinese/US/UK/Australian overlords! Joking aside, what difference will any of this make? So you think we need to protect our country from foreigners so we can continue to get ours from the land of plenty while everyone else in the world starves? Erm, that attitude doesn’t sound very socialist, does it? Indeed, this sounds more like Trump or Marine Le Pen talking than the Bomber I thought I understood.

  7. vaughanm says:

    Peter Arnett reported in one of his dispatches from the Vietnam War: “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it”.

    All living inhabitants on this planet are fucked due to the Military Industrial Complex. Driven largely by fossil fuels, its massive pollution & waste is a colossal destructive footprint on the face of Humanity.

    Not withstanding the wanton killing & maiming of civilians / destruction of vital infrastructure in their primary role as a killing machine on behalf of Banksters & greedy Corporate Fascists – it’s a little ironic [ sick fucking joke ] the number one threat to Civilisation is potentially tasked to protect and save it?

    Humanity needs to save itself, not the Military. We need to kill the Military Industrial Complex along with our wayward consumerism!

  8. vaughanm says:

    Peter Arnett reported in one of his dispatches from the Vietnam War: “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it”.

    All living inhabitants on this planet are fucked due to the Military Industrial Complex. Driven largely by fossil fuels, its massive pollution & waste is a colossal destructive footprint on the face of Humanity.

    Not withstanding the wanton killing & maiming of civilians / destruction of vital infrastructure in their primary role as a killing machine on behalf of Banksters & greedy Corporate Fascists – it’s a little ironic [ sick fucking joke ] the number one threat to Civilisation is potentially tasked to protect and save it?

    Humanity needs to save itself, not the Military. We need to kill the Military Industrial Complex along with our wayward consumerism!

  9. manfred staab says:

    New Zealand lies in a zone of several potential geo-hazards. Besides direct impact by climate change (floods, droughts, storms, cyclones, heavy rainfalls, landslides, erosion, heat waves, etc.) other disastrous effects could be triggered by accumulating events.

    The design and engagements of all institutions and organizations related to disaster risk reduction and disaster management have to be re-thought.

    A different concept of civil defense will have to evolve from the existing organizations and institutional structures. Most probably, this will have to include NZ Army operations.

    Such concept could be jointly implemented with other island-nations in the South Pacific.

    New Zealand is also one of the closest terrestrial locations to Antarctica.

    Civil security measures have to cover protection of natural resources, early warning systems, emergency responses, support for disaster risk infrastructure, supplies management, humanitarian assistance, provision of shelter and medical support, others.

    An important but controversial subject is the level of individual, neighborhood and community governance in security and safety matters.

    Certainly, a discussion on very significant social repercussions is very much needed, as this is usually a point where scarce intellectual inputs are coming from the green movement.

    Such dis-engagement is a strategic mistake, in the overall context of anticipated transformational change.

    Perhaps the TDB can help to fix this, and facilitate a wider open forum, a sort of stocktaking on the issue, as part of NZ’s climate adaptation and resilience efforts.

  10. J S Bark J S Bark says:

    Well done Bombarino, you caught quite a few with that one!

  11. francesca says:

    “Saturday saw one of the worst days of unrest yet, with the third large-scale riots in Paris described by some as “urban warfare” and “the worst riots in a generation.” Around 133 people were injured — including law enforcement officials — and about 412 were arrested. France’s Interior Ministry said it had to deploy 37,000 police officers, 30,000 firefighters, and 30,000 gendarmes, members of the ministry’s armed forces, to contend with the protest.”

    https://www.vox.com/2018/12/3/18123906/france-protest-macron-paris-riots-yellow-vest-arc

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