Republicans Trying to Defund CIA’s Climate Monitoring Program

In our third story of the day about the Republican Party’s big push to destroy America’s ability to deal with climate change, Climate Science Watch’s Alexa Jay reports that the GOP is also attempting to de-fund the CIA’s climate monitoring and analysis program.

The CIA Center on Climate Change and National Security has a directive both to provide the federal government with climate analysis and declassify as appropriate satellite data that may assist scientists in climate-related research.

Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), who unsuccessfully tried to block funding for the Center in 2009, has promised to renew his attempts to de-fund the program.� Entirely sidestepping the nuances of the program, Barrasso declared that the CIA should focus its resources on stopping terrorists, not “spying on sea lions” (Climatewire 1/14/11, subs. required).� This is the type of short-sighted discourse Barrasso brings to the Senate as a member of the Energy and Natural Resources, Environment and Public Works, and Foreign Relations committees.� Billing himself as “the Doctor” with a cure for the “onslaught” of EPA regulations, the Senator also plans to introduce legislation that would block implementation of EPA climate rules.

The MEDEA program (Measurements of Earth Data for Environmental Analysis), created in 1992 to advise the government on environmental surveillance, was subsequently shut down by the Bush Administration.� Under the Obama administration, the intelligence community resurrected its environmental and global change monitoring capabilities with the CIA Center on Climate Change and National Security, and has declassified thousands of MEDEA images for use by scientists in climate-related research.� MEDEA capabilities will be supported by the Center going forward.

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