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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Spooks for Climate Change

Last month, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency announced it was creating a "Center on Climate Change and National Security." Though reportedly a small operation, the announcement is an indication that the issue of climate change and security is getting a serious look at relatively high levels. Perhaps more importantly, it suggests that security challenges are being framed in new ways, with a greater appreciation for complexity, indirect effects and feedbacks.

According to the agency's press release:

"[The Center's] charter is not the science of climate change, but the national security impact of phenomena such as desertification, rising sea levels, population shifts, and heightened competition for natural resources. The Center will provide support to American policymakers as they negotiate, implement, and verify international agreements on environmental issues. That is something the CIA has done for years."

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