NOVEMBER 16, 2011
Although the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) already has a special center dedicated to global warming, a new government report claims the nation’s intelligence community needs yet another taxpayer-funded entity to better determine the impact of climate change on national security.
This is no joke, though it may sound like one. It was just a few years ago that the CIA opened its top-secret global warming headquarters, the Center on Climate Change and National Security. No one really knows what goes in in the exclusive unit because it operates under a cloak of secrecy that rejects all public-records requests, despite President Obama’s promise to run a transparent government. What we do know is that the unit is led by “senior specialists.”
We also know that the center, launched in 2009, does not address the science of climate change but rather the national security impact of phenomena such as desertification, rising sea levels, population shifts and heightened competition for natural resources. When it opened the new division was touted as an important tool that would bring together in a single place expertise on an important national security topic; the effect environmental factors can have on political, economic and social stability overseas.
Evidently the CIA outfit is not getting the job done because the Defense Science Board (DSB), a decades-old committee appointed to provide the Pentagon with scientific and technical advice, says the U.S. intelligence community needs an organization that can assess the impacts of climate change on national security. This means creating a new climate information system database, a whole government approach to mitigating the effects of climate change and engaging with international leaders in identifying global solutions.
The nation’s Director of National Intelligence should establish a new group “to concentrate on the effects of climate change on political and economic developments and their implications for U.S. national security,” according to a report (“Trends and Implications of Climate Change for National and International Security”) issued recently by the DSB. “Climate change will only grow in concern for the United States and its security interests,” the DSB’s chairman writes in the report’s introduction, which is addressed to the nation’s Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisitions, Technology and Logistics.
The changes in climate patterns and their impact on the physical environment can create profound effects on populations in parts of the world and present new challenges to global security and stability, the DSB asserts. “Failure to anticipate and mitigate these changes increases the threat of more failed states with the instabilities and potential for conflict inherent in such failures.” Sounds like serious stuff.
In the last few years the Obama Administration has been quite active in its campaign to enlighten Americans about the ills of global warming. A few months ago a group of esteemed scientists from several public universities warned that climate change will make food “dangerous” and add to the malnourishment of millions worldwide.
Before that separate government evaluations revealed that global warming causes mental illness and cancer and that it creates national security threats by spreading disease among people and animals. Authored by government scientists from various agencies, the mental illness/cancer report claims global warming is one of the “most visible environmental concerns of the 21st century” The separate national security assessment, made by intelligence and health officials, says climate change will destabilize developing nations as well as the U.S. economy and military.
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