In 2009, a rather controversial new wing of the CIA was formed under the climate center moniker. This division was, and still is apparently, although absolutely no tangible results have been shown to the public, responsible for studying the effects of climate change on political and economic developments and their implications for U.S. national security. Now, one of the U.S.’s own intelligence office urges the CIA to stop being so secretive and start treating climate change with more transparency.
The message was issued by the Defence Science Board, as part of a written report, in which they plead the CIA to move a bit out of its traditional grounds and share information gathered on climate change for a more effective assessement, and why not, for the greater good. The report suggests that a new intelligence department focused on climate change should be created by the government, one which, however, will operate in complete open and transparent grounds.
As Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy writes, their secrecy has undermined their ability to operate effectively on climate:
The CIA’s unyielding approach to classification effectively negates the ability of its Center on Climate Change to interact with non-governmental organizations and researchers on an unclassified basis. Since, as the DSB noted, much of the relevant expertise on climate change lies “outside the government [in] universities, the private sector, and NGOs,” the CIA’s blanket secrecy policy is a potentially disabling condition.
The authors of the report don’t recommend the disbandment of the CIA climate change divison, however direct to the fact that the agency’s policy closed dors and shuttered windows approach is painfully wrong. Last year alone, the CIA refused thousands of applications for various universities or scientific entities requesting a copy of their climate change report. It’s believed the agency holds crucial information regarding global hot spots, like places where water is or is about to become very scarce – information which would greatly help a lot of governments and organizations to try to remedy the situation.
Whether the report will be taken notice, and thus lead to sharing of CIA’s climate change information with both governmental and non-governmental institutions, is yet unclear. What’s clear is that the CIA is doing it wrong. Global warming‘s no secret anymore, stop hiding it.