Future historians will remember the George W. Bush administration for allowing two colossal catastrophes on U.S. soil: the 9/11 terrorist attack and the Katrina hurricane invasion. In both cases, Bush the Younger ignored mounds of evidence pointing to each impending disaster.

In December 2002, Bush announced that his administration planned to study the issue of climate change for five more years rather than be forced into any action regulating fossil fuel emissions. The question of global warming was put on the back burner.

Even if Bush refused on principle to read those boring policy papers he might have accidentally stumbled on the fact that New Orleans was in peril from leafing through the pages of Rolling Stone, glancing at the pictures and reading a paragraph or two.

The February 20, 2003 issue of Rolling Stone had a graphic of the U.S. Capitol under water, and citing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said "New Orleans, which has an average elevation of eight feet below sea level could become the next Atlantis."

Midway into Bush's first term, the United Nations sponsored Panel, consisting of hundreds of scientists, had come to the conclusion in October 2002 that pollution created by humans has "contributed substantially" to global warming.

Also in 2002, the New Orleans Times-Picayune ran a prophetic five-part series exploring its imperiled hometown in the wake of a hurricane. The paper specifically outlined scenarios involving the flooding of the city, massive drownings and the toxic stew that would be left to swallow up the destroyed buildings. David Stipp's seminal Fortune magazine article "Climate Collapse" noted in January 2004 that "most of us spend as little time worrying about it [global warming] as we did about al Qaeda before 9/11." Pentagon strategic planners were warning the Bush administration about the possibility of "abrupt climate change," Stipp revealed.

While the Bush administration officially "studied" global warming, his right-wing ideological allies at the competitive Enterprise Institute and the Reason Public Policy Institute publicly derided global warming as some paranoid liberal hoax. Meanwhile, renowned Department of Defense security planner Andrew Marshall led a secret team of risk assessment experts who found global warming to be a greater threat to U.S. national security than al Qaeda. Marshall drafted Peter Schwartz, the former head of planning at Royal Dutch Shell Group, among others, to study what the president was dedicated to ignoring. Co-author Schwartz said that climate change "should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a U.S. national security concern."

The Pentagon "secret report" on global warming emerged briefly, albeit in Britain, as an election year issue. While neither Bush nor Kerry seemed overly concerned with debating the contentious issue of global warming, the British Observer ran the following lead on Sunday, February 2, 2004: "Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters."

The Observer, citing the report "suppressed by US defence chiefs," claimed that global warming posed a "threat to global stability [that] vastly eclipses that of terrorism." The Observer predicted that "The findings will prove humiliating to the Bush administration, which has repeatedly denied that climate change even exists."

A week before the Observer report, Environmental Protection Agency whistleblower Jeremy Simons claimed that the Bush administration had suppressed the Pentagon's report on climate change for four months. The Observer stated that the "scathing findings will aid Kerry's cause." Amidst the swiftboat attack ads and the non-debate on the Iraq occupation, the question of abrupt climate change and the possibility of devastating hurricanes never surfaced as a key campaign issue.

Bush and Kerry avoided the secret report, which predicted, among other things, increased "violent storms" and levees being breached in California and other coastal regions.

Two weeks after the Observer article, Munich Re, the world's largest reinsurance company, issued its annual report on natural catastrophes. The report stated: "It is to be feared that extreme events which can be traced to climate change will have increasingly grave consequences in the future."

"Neither human beings, buildings, and infrastructure, nor the agriculture or livestock sectors are prepared for such extremes," the Munich Re report said.

Swiss Re, the number two reinsurance company, concurred in its annual report. Swiss Re warned "that the cost of natural disasters, aggravated by global warming, threatened to spiral out of control, forcing the human race into a catastrophe of its own making," Reuters news service reported.

The Swiss Re report noted "sea levels will continue to rise, glaciers retreat and snow cover decline." The reinsurer concluded: "The human race can lead itself into this climate catastrophe – or it can avert it." As Bush and Kerry crisscrossed the nation in a mad scramble for campaign cash, FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Region VI quietly issued a press release on July 23, 2004 entitled, "Hurricane Pam Exercise Concludes."

It begins: "Hurricane Pam brought sustained winds of 120 mph, up to 20 inches of rain in parts of southeast Louisiana and storm surge that topped levees in the New Orleans area. More than one million residents evacuated and Hurricane Pam destroyed 5,000-6,000 buildings."

The Hurricane Pam FEMA exercise "used realistic weather and damage information developed by the National Weather Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the LSU [Louisiana State University] Hurricane Center and other state and federal agencies."

President Bush on September 1, 2005 would tell ABC's Good Morning America that "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees."

Two days later at a press conference, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, admitted that Bush administration officials anticipated "there would be overflow from the levee, maybe a small break in the levee. The collapse of a significant portion of the levee leading to the very fast flooding of the city was not envisioned."

Lieutenant General Carl Strock told Cox News Service that, "‘We certainly understood the potential impact of a Category 4 or 5 hurricane' on New Orleans."

A day before Katrina hit New Orleans, Ivor van Heerden, Director of the Louisiana State University Public Health Research Center, warned that the city "is definitely going to flood."

When the essential book of key George W. Bush quotes is compiled, his universally famous lies will lead the list: that no one "anticipated the breach of the levees"; no one anticipated the attack by al Qaeda; and that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.

Bush the Younger's embracing of ignorance as a virtue and reliance on divine revelation over scientific fact has ushered in a new era of global terrorism. Global terrorism can take the form of al Qaeda or global warming. The real risks to humankind are deliberately hidden and false enemies are manufactured for political gain. Bush created the false threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq but ignored the obvious threat on the homefront from global warming that destroyed New Orleans.

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