After a year of epic weather, drought, heatwaves, hurricanes and floods, a new report from the Defence Science Board, a US government agency, suggests that it’s time the CIA stopped treating climate change as a secret, reports Suzanne Goldenberg at the UK Guardian. The report, Trends and Implications of Climate Change for National and International Security, recommends establishing a new, open and transparent agency devoted to studying climate change. The CIA’s climate centre has been struggling to justify its existence since it began in 2009. Congressional Republicans have derided the idea that climate change is a national security threat, while the Pentagon views it as a threat multiplier. Keeping the CIA’s climate centre’s reports secret has cut it off from cutting edge university research and other government agencies working on the issue, irking those agencies. Although much of the climate change data is gathered by satellites, the agency – citing the need to protect intelligence sources – said it could not release a single document. The report recommends it would be far more effective for the CIA climate centre to “make extensive use of open sources, seek to co-operate with other domestic and international intelligence efforts, and report most of its products broadly.” It also proposed that the centre produce an analysis of global hotspots where climate change and water supply were destabilizing government and economies. Then, crucially, it proposed the CIA should share that information.
CIA urged to be more open about climate change. After a year of epic weather, drought, heatwaves, hurricanes and floods, America’s intelligence establishment has come out with a bold new suggestion: maybe it’s time the CIA stopped treating climate change as a secret. London Guardian