The intelligence of promoting global climate change

With some of the nation’s top spies testifying before Congress today about a 58-page report entitled “The National Security Implications of Global Climate Change Through 2030,” there’s likely to be a major elephant in the room, although not an Indian one (they’re endangered). 

A growing chorus of voices in the Bush administration’s own intelligence community is now calling for global climate change to at least be a part of long-term military and intelligence strategic planning, but Bush himself seems determined that part of his legacy will be lifting the nearly 30-year ban on offshore oil drilling on his way out the door. 

The latest intelligence report, coupled with a report last year by a panel of retired three- and four-star generals, comes to the rather obvious conclusion that global climate change could destabilize already volatile areas of the world, displacing their populations, prompting food shortages and generally creating a far more fertile environment for terrorism and armed conflict. 

So while reducing our dependence on oil from those parts of the world seems like a swell idea — even if it’s up for debate just how much that dependence would be reduced — anything that contributes to global climate change seems a tad unpatriotic these days.In other words, if you’re not against global climate change, you’re for global climate change, right?

is an award-winning reporter who has covered energy, environmental and political issues for years. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Denver Post. He's founder of Real Vail and Real Aspen.