Spy Chief Backs Study Of Impact Of Warming

Spy Chief Backs Study Of Impact Of Warming
May 12th, 2007  
Team Infidel

Topic: Spy Chief Backs Study Of Impact Of Warming

Spy Chief Backs Study Of Impact Of Warming
New York Times
May 12, 2007
Pg. 11

By Mark Mazzetti
WASHINGTON, May 11 — Stepping into the middle of a partisan debate on Capitol Hill, the United States’ top intelligence official has endorsed a comprehensive study by spy agencies about the impact of global warming on national security.
In a letter written earlier this week to the House Intelligence Committee, the official, Michael McConnell, director of national intelligence, said it was “entirely appropriate” that the intelligence community prepare an assessment of the “geopolitical and security implications of global climate change.”
The question of whether the country’s spy agencies, already burdened by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the global hunt for members of Al Qaeda, ought to investigate the security implications of global warming has been debated in Congress for several weeks.
A provision requiring a national intelligence estimate on climate change was in the 2008 intelligence authorization bill that the House passed early Friday morning. The exact amount of the authorization is classified, but it is believed to be approximately $48 billion, which would be the largest intelligence authorization ever considered by Congress.
Republicans had tried to defeat the provision on the national intelligence estimate, saying that intelligence resources were too precious to be used to study the impact of climate change.
“Let other federal agencies, as more than a dozen already do, cover the ‘bugs and bunnies.’ But let our spies be spies,” Representative Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, wrote Thursday in a Wall Street Journal op-ed article.
But intelligence officials have already recognized the importance of studying how crises caused by climate change, like famine and rising sea levels, could affect the United States’ security. Even as Congress was debating whether to order a national intelligence estimate, intelligence agencies had already planned to include a discussion of global warming in a report next year on the main security challenges facing the United States through 2025.
The proposed national intelligence estimate would project the impact of global warming over the next three decades, examining political, social, economic and agricultural risks.
In his letter to the House Intelligence Committee, Mr. McConnell said that intelligence analysts would not do primary scientific research about climate change, but would instead rely on analyses by other government agencies for global warming projections.
Last month, a report written by several retired generals and admirals concluded that climate changes posed a “serious threat to America’s national security,” and could further weaken already unstable governments in developing countries.

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