Great Moments in Climate Prediction: 2020 Disaster Predicted in 2004

I am working on a bit of a climate update in a post called something like "Dear Greta, the climate is not about to kill you."  But until then, just so you can calibrate the current hype, here was the hype from 2004.  Specifically, an article in Guardian February 21, 2004:

A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies. The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents.

'Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life,' concludes the Pentagon analysis. 'Once again, warfare would define human life.'...

Already, according to Randall and Schwartz, the planet is carrying a higher population than it can sustain. By 2020 'catastrophic' shortages of water and energy supply will become increasingly harder to overcome, plunging the planet into war. They warn that 8,200 years ago climatic conditions brought widespread crop failure, famine, disease and mass migration of populations that could soon be repeated.

Randall told The Observer that the potential ramifications of rapid climate change would create global chaos. 'This is depressing stuff,' he said. 'It is a national security threat that is unique because there is no enemy to point your guns at and we have no control over the threat.'

Randall added that it was already possibly too late to prevent a disaster happening. 'We don't know exactly where we are in the process. It could start tomorrow and we would not know for another five years,' he said.

Of course being wrong then does not mean the same folks are wrong now, though it is amazing that being wrong over and over does not seem to dent these folks' credibility one bit in the media.  You would think there might be one journalist who would ask, "you keep predicting climate disaster, and it always remains 10 years away.  What's up with that?"

As always, my advice to you on climate is to be a good consumer of information.  Specifically, when the media claims a trend, look for the trend data.  And if they claim a long-term trend, check to see if the trend data is long-term.  You will be amazed how often the media will claim a trend from a single data point.   I will soon do an update on four of the most hyped climate "trends" -- hurricanes, droughts, crop failures, and sea level rise -- and show that the first three have no trend (or an improving trend) and the fourth, sea level rise, has a trend but that trend has been existent since before 1850, long before most manmade Co2 was put in the air.