This is a tendency that goes from suppressing research on the plight of the polar bears and honey bees to NASA and NOAA.
In this country there is a campaign to top people from knowing the truth about abrupt climate change, including a misinformation campaign by Tim Groser and the Ministry for the Environment (an Orwellian term if ever there was one!)
Exclusive: The CIA Is Shuttering a Secretive Climate Research Program
Scientists used the Medea program to study how global warming could worsen conflict. Now that project has come to an end.
—By Tim McDonnell
Polar bears approach the submarine USS Honolulu near the North Pole. US Navy Photo By Chief Yeoman Alphonso Braggs/ZUMA
21 May 2015
So some national security experts were surprised to learn that an important component of that effort has been ended. A CIA spokesperson confirmed to Climate Desk that the agency is shuttering its main climate research program.
Under the program, known as Medea, the CIA had allowed civilian scientists to access classified data—such as ocean temperature and tidal readings gathered by Navy submarines and topography data collected by spy satellites—in an effort to glean insights about how global warming could create security threats around the world. In theory, the program benefited both sides: Scientists could study environmental data that was much higher-resolution than they would normally have access to, and the CIA received research insights about climate-related threats.
But now, the program has come to a close.
"Under the Medea program to examine the implications of climate change, CIA participated in various projects," a CIA spokesperson explained in a statement. "These projects have been completed and CIA will employ these research results and engage external experts as it continues to evaluate the national security implications of climate change."
With the closure of the program, it remains unclear how much of this sort of data will remain off-limits to climate scientists. The CIA did not respond to questions about what is currently being done with the data that would have been available under the program.
Marc Levy, a Columbia University political scientist, said he was surprised to learn that Medea had been shut down. "The climate problems are getting worse in a way that our data systems are not equipped to handle," said Levy, who was not a participant in the CIA program but has worked closely with the US intelligence community on climate issues since the 1990s. "There's a growing gap between what we can currently get our hands on, and what we need to respond better. So that's inconsistent with the idea that Medea has run out of useful things to do."
Still, it's possible Medea had outlived its useful life, said Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, a 23-year veteran of the CIA who had first-hand knowledge of the program before leaving the agency in 2009. He said he was not surprised to see Medea close down.
"In my judgment, the CIA is not the best lead agency for the issue; the agency's 'in-box' is already overflowing with today's threats and challenges," he said via email. "CIA has little strategic planning reserves, relatively speaking, and its overseas presence is heavily action-oriented."
So does the conclusion of Medea signal that the CIA is throwing in the towel on climate altogether? Unlikely, according to Femia. At this point, he said, US security agencies, including the CIA, are still sorting out what resources they can best offer in the effort to adapt to climate change. Regardless of whether the CIA is facilitating civilian research, he said, "continuing to integrate climate change information into its assessments of both unstable and stable regions of the world will be critical."
"Otherwise," added Femia, "we will have a blind spot that prevents us from adequately protecting the United States."