Another indicator that climate is falling off the threat radar: CIA shuts down Center on Climate Change and National Security

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I suppose if the CIA doesn’t think enough of it to keep their center going, climate isn’t as much of a security problem as the NYT once claimed. I wonder what the pols and military guys on this list think about climate and national security these days? From my view, there are many other national security threats far more tangible and worrisome. – Anthony

Amid budget scrutiny, CIA shutters climate center

Annie Snider, E&E reporter – Greenwire: Monday, November 19, 2012

With the U.S. intelligence budget shrinking, the CIA has quietly shut down its Center on Climate Change and National Security — a project that was launched with the support of Leon Panetta when he led the agency, but that drew sharp criticism from some Republicans in Congress.

Multiple sources with knowledge of the center said it closed its doors earlier this year, with its staff and analysis continuing under other auspices. 

CIA spokesman Todd Ebitz confirmed the change.

“The CIA for several years has studied the national security implications of climate change,” Ebitz said in a statement to Greenwire. “This work is now performed by a dedicated team in an office that looks at a variety of economic and energy security issues affecting the United States.”

The CIA launched the climate change center in September 2009 after a spate of reports linking climate change and national security that drew interest from some members of Congress seeking political action on climate change.

The center was designed as a small unit of senior specialists focused on the impact that environmental changes could have on political, economic and social factors in countries of concern to the United States. The analysts probed questions such as, under what scenarios might a massive drought cause large-scale migration, and when might a government’s failure to respond to a devastating flood open the door for terrorist groups to win over the local populace?

Analysts at the center worked to develop warning software that combined regional climate projections with political and demographic information, and held climate war games looking at what might happen in extreme scenarios, such as if rapid glacial melt caused the ocean’s major currents to shut down.

Full story here: http://eenews.net/public/Greenwire/2012/11/19/1

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38 thoughts on “Another indicator that climate is falling off the threat radar: CIA shuts down Center on Climate Change and National Security

  1. Question. If this was a cost cutting measure, did they lay off these employees? Apparently not. They got shifted to another department. And this reduces the budget how?

  2. From my view, there are many other national security threats far more tangible and worrisome. – Anthony

    Yeah like everybody knows Canada is massing an invasion force led by Generals Bob and Doug McKenzie — at the Windsor Casino. Do I see news about that? Nooooooo waaayyyyy.

    So much for your vaunted CIA!

  3. Since this is apparently a budgetary matter, doesn’t it seem obvious the CIA might want to restrict itself to areas within its expertise? And areas where it can make a difference? Climate’s just not within its bailiwick.

    Besides, Defense already has an intense effort to anticipate and deal with emerging climate-induced global realities. No sense in duplicating their effort.

  4. “This work is now performed by a dedicated team in an office that looks at a variety of economic and energy security issues affecting the United States.”
    So it didn’t go away, it was simply integrated into other proletariat-creating entities.

  5. All that warming since the Little Ice Age but nary a shot fired in anger.
    A little cooling in relations between an Arab and a Jew; bang, it’s on for young and old.

  6. From my view, there are many other national security threats far more tangible and worrisome.

    Um, like the EPA, the IPCC, many NGOs, etc.? Maybe the shut down ought to be reconsidered?

  7. I think someone should be figuring out when the next glaciation is going to start.
    It will. It will be bad for humankind. It will be strategically important.

    Once China buys the U.S., I think they’d want to know just how safe their investment really is.

  8. Not really a big deal. Governments are always opening new departments and then amalgamating them with others. They think that’s what they got elected for. At least it keeps people employed where they print the new stationery.

  9. Don’t cheer just yet, this is a shell game. Note from the article:

    “Multiple sources with knowledge of the center said it closed its doors earlier this year, with its staff and analysis continuing under other auspices.”

    So….it isn’t closed, it is just operating elsewhere under a different…uhm… “auspice”. Where? They tell you right in the article:

    “This work is now performed by a dedicated team in an office that looks at a variety of economic and energy security issues affecting the United States.”

    This all ties nicely into the big picture. Remember this thread on WUWT?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/19/shocker-from-uea-consensus-based-decision-stifles-progress/

    So the UEA thinks the UN Climate Change Conference is too complex to achieve a consensus and suggests a “simpler” approach is required. Then the IPCC doesn’t even get invited to it. Looks like itz dead right?

    No. Itz ALIVE, in the worst possible way. The “simpler” forum that the UEA was talking about is the MEF (Major Economies Forum) which is comprised of just 18 countries with the economic clout to drive whatever they decide down the world’s throat. That’s why the CIA centre has closed down and the resources transferred to “an office that looks at a variety of economic and energy security issues”.

    They’re letting the show go on at the conference to keep everyone distracted while they push their real agenda through a “simpler” forum that nobody is paying attention to.

  10. “Analysts at the center worked to develop warning software that combined regional climate projections with political and demographic information, and held climate war games looking at what might happen in extreme scenarios, such as if rapid glacial melt caused the ocean’s major currents to shut down.”

    Spooks and climate war games? After a brief bout of ygbsm ‘you gotta be kidding,’ I started wondering – Do you suppose they wore guns?

  11. Funny how restriction of funds can make one focus on what’s really important, even by a giant bureaucracy. Pity Congress doesn’t get it that the driver of our deficit and national debt is not lack of sufficient revenue; it is spending.

  12. Climate change is a serious security problem. If, as we are told, the world cools a lot in the next thirty years, we will have famines like there were in the Little Ice Age. That should de-stabilize whole continents. Of course, if I had to bet money I would say that was the one scenario they didn’t consider. :-)

  13. Pamela Gray says:
    November 20, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Question. If this was a cost cutting measure, did they lay off these employees? Apparently not. They got shifted to another department. And this reduces the budget how?

    It puts them to work doing something useful in the way of analysis. The CIA has an essentially impossible task. They try to achieve that task by trying to anticipate every conceivable kind of flashpoint that can be imagined, then try to envision whether associated events – population movements, local conflicts, Canada invading – could be threats to the US. They have tracked the issue of freshwater in the Middle East closely, since the pitiful trickle of water that is called the Jordan River is the only “large” source of fresh water in the region. Anything that exacerbates the existing situation is watched very closely. The CIA would have been remiss not look into the potential problems that changing climate would trigger; it was very likely examined in detail at least once since the 1950s. The odds are that the short shrift given to the study mean that the analysts found no significant differences to earlier models that were already prepared.

  14. Here is the report from the CIA (The Central Unintelligent Agency)

    “The western world’s leading climatologists have confirmed recent reports of a detrimental global climate change. The stability of most nations is based upon a dependable source of food, but this stability will not be possible under the new climatic era. A forecast by the University of Wisconsin projects that the earth’s climate is returning to that of the neo-boreal era (1600- 1850) – an era of drought, famine and political unrest in the western world.

    Climate has not been a prime consideration of intelligence analysis because, until recently, it has not caused any significant perturbations to the status of major nations. This is so because during 50 of the last 60 years the Earth has, on the average, enjoyed the best agricultural climate since the eleventh century. An early twentieth century world food surplus hindered US efforts to maintain and equalise farm production and incomes.”

    “The University of Wisconsin was the first accredited academic center to forecast that a major global climatic change was underway. Their analysis of the Icelandic temperature data, which they contend has historically been a bellwether for northern hemisphere climatic conditions, indicated that the world was returning to the type of climate which prevailed during the first part of the last century.” “Their “Food for Thought” chart (Figure 7) conveys some idea of the enormity of the problem and the precarious state in which most of the world’s nations could find themselves if the Wisconsin forecast is correct.”
    August, 1974
    Office of Research and Development of the Central Intelligence Agency

    http://www.climatemonitor.it/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/1974.pdf

  15. “4. Economic Espionage

    This issue concerns foreign power-sponsored or foreign power-coordinated intelligence activity directed at the U.S. Government or U.S. corporations, establishments, or persons, which involves:

    The unlawful or clandestine targeting or acquisition of sensitive financial, trade or economic policy information, proprietary economic information, or critical technologies; or
    The unlawful or clandestine targeting or influencing of sensitive economic policy decisions.

    For instance, foreign scientists using “environmental risk” to shut down industries in the US?

  16. Folding one department into another can save money by reducing support staff and supervisory positions even while the number of people doing the research stays the same. The reductions may occur over time through attrition.

  17. Well, if the stability of most nations depends on a dependable source of food, it might behoove us to stop putting our corn crops in our gas tanks when we are expected to be the new Saudi Arabia of fossil fuels.

    The CIA may have shut down their Center on Climate Change and National Security which according to Judicial Watch “operates under a cloak of secrecy that rejects all public record requests.” But they have apparently just moved the Center to somewhere else, though the somewhere is not identified. What the heck is so secret about it except that some scientists and sensible people don’t see much that is alarming in past history unless you want to go back to the ice age. The Center got some serious GOP criticism, which apparently is the real threat.

  18. No doubt this was set into motion under Petraeus’ watch. These days we can all join with the Lefist rabble rousers in calling him “Betray-us” – I digress. What the CIA miss is the fact that it is cooling that is meant to be feared. So sayeth Attila and those who were oppressed by his hoards.

  19. The work will probably continue to be done by others. For example the CIA commissioned a report from the National Research Council. It was called Climate and Social Stress: Implications for Security Analysis and was published a few days ago-

    http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=14682&page=R1

    Other climate/security work is already being done by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence-

    http://www.dni.gov/index.php/about/organization/national-intelligence-council-nic-publications

    This is the BBC getting in a flap a few years ago about climate change and security-

  20. I seriously doubt that the Pickle Factory had any interest whatsoever. I wonder how many $600 toilet seats they ordered in three years of doing nothing?

  21. They certainly have better things to focus on, but I’m not sure they’re any better at any of those, either.

    Maybe they can work on teach the next Director how to encrypt his personal emails.

  22. This is where the real action has moved to:

    Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate

    http://www.majoreconomiesforum.org/

    Take a look at who the member countries are, and if you live in one of them ask yourself; did you even know your country was participating in this? What level of government? Under whose authority? To negotiate what?

    Well, based on the last meeting, they’re figuring out how to get $100 Billion by 2020 to fight climate change:

    http://www.majoreconomiesforum.org/past-meetings/fourteenth-meeting-of-the-leaders-representatives.html

    This is why the UEA is yapping about a “more focused” group that can more easily reach a consensus.

    This is why the World Bank suddenly produced a “climate study”, bankers presenting economic issues to financial leaders, the science presented as a “fait accompli”.

    This is why the CIA resources have been seconded to another group more focused on “economic and energy security issues”

  23. The CIA obviously figure out cAGW was a hoax, but they should keep their eye on the cAGW propaganda machine !

  24. Watching Beijing says:
    November 20, 2012 at 10:49 am

    “4. Economic Espionage

    This issue concerns foreign power-sponsored or foreign power-coordinated intelligence activity directed at the U.S. Government or U.S. corporations, establishments, or persons, which involves:

    The unlawful or clandestine targeting or acquisition of sensitive financial, trade or economic policy information, proprietary economic information, or critical technologies; or
    The unlawful or clandestine targeting or influencing of sensitive economic policy decisions.”

    For instance, foreign scientists using “environmental risk” to shut down industries in the US?

    ——————————–
    Exacta-MundoO!

  25. It was me who said Exacta-Mundo because it’s true every word, as well as it’s patently obvious what Al Gore did is terrorism to the letter.

    This is crime girls, and it’s being done under your noses while government employees threaten to unleash the power of ‘popular opinion’ on you for ‘dissenting’.

    It’s crime pure and simple and always has been and always will be and this generation of Americans will be the one known as the ones who couldn’t stop a scam so obvious it amounts to demanding Americans adopt the religious belief that there is a Magic Gas in the atmosphere which can hide massive amounts of a spectra of infrared light: infrared heat – and that there’s no way known to mankind to find out if this is true, so we all have to go ahead and install Al Gore’s policies he would have installed if he’d have won the election.

    He called on people to ignore the election and install the policies anyway, and his followers, did, have, and are.

    Now. Does it sound like I was too disinterested to really care because I said ‘ditto’ to what Watching said? Because I’m personally tired of watching an entire generation of people act like they never saw mass communications used to take over and bludgeon citizenry to satisfy the greed of a failed presidential would be.

    It’s crime.
    Period.
    Always was
    Always will be.

  26. I guess it means that the move to less visible premises is in response to a less visible threat. In a few years the threat will disappear entirely along with the small dedicated team who have no doubt realised the original threat was from their own NASA and not foreign climate refugees.

  27. CIA + FBI should start preparing to collect the top protagonist FROM BOTH CAMPS, that are confusing the regular climatic changes with the non-existent GLOBAL warmings. The ones that are lying that global warmings exist -> in jail == the ones that are ”skeptical” that climate is changing all the time – direct on loony farm. Bottom line: human can change the climate, for better and for worse, BUT human cannot produce any GLOBAL warming

    CIA & FBI, here are the therm of references:
    human can build extra dams on dry lands; to save extra storm-water = improving the climate – the green people are against dams and new water storages on land – direct to jail!

    2] human can chop the forests -> rain stops coming on land / clouds avoid dry lands, as Australia, like cars around traffic island = objecting dams to be built and improve humidity level + extra CO2 as food for the trees – CIA &FBI, nutters from both sides of the sandpit in straight-jackets and direct to a loony-farm

  28. One could make the argument that prior to the climategate emails they had good cause to consider it a problem. (Not the climate, per se, but that too many people believed what they were being told about the climate.)

  29. The CIA center was a legitimate planning cell when it was set up. With all the clamoring in the press and some very vocal “scientists”, they needed to look to see what policy/intelligence indicator implications there would be for climate change induced resource wars anywhere in the world. In intelligence, you sometimes run down some strange rabbit holes to try to track down all the “what ifs”. The real concern wasn’t Canada invading from the north or Mexico from the south (though that is a different topic), but wars breaking out in Asia and Europe after crop failure due to climate change. Our relationship is good enough with Canada that we would work something out if a new ice-age was imminent,

    Of course the other problem is the CIA has traditionally recruited almost exclusively from Ivy-League institutions. The Ivys seem to have all imbibed large quantities of kool-aid in recent decades, so the analysis may very well have drifted off through the looking glass.

  30. @Elephant’s Child: Judicial watch is wrong to be upset on this. Intelligence sources and methods is an excepted document area of freedom of information. Pretty much everything the CIA does involves intelligence sources and methods. It is up to congress on this one to keep them in check. We the people just need to make sure we send reliable representatives to congress to pull in the purse strings when the intelligence people start to stray from their remits. FOIA is pretty much irrelevant to most of what the intelligence community does by law.

  31. Truth be known the CIA was probably looking to see if the ‘climate investigations’ could get them access to areas of the world where they could not easily send in operatives before (like we don’t read thriller novels out here…)

    If the office is close it more likely means they couldn’t use the cover to get where they wanted to go….

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