By now, climate change is obvious to everyone except the most ardent deniers. But the data collected by the Center on Climate Change and National Security remains classified. What are they hiding from us?
In Wired.com, David Kravets describes a Freedom of Information Act request made by Jeffrey Richelson, to which he received this reply from the agency's information and privacy coordinator, Susan Viscuso: "We completed a thorough search for records responsive to your request and located material that we determined is currently and properly classified and must be denied in its entirety."
He quotes Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy, as commenting that the CIA's reply to Richelson means that all "the center's work is classified and there is not even a single study, or a single passage in a single study, that could be released without damage to national security. That's a familiar song, and it became tiresome long ago."
But one person who ought to be glad of this is Presidential candidate Rick Perry, who as governor of Texas clashed with the EPA over issues like pesticide regulation and climate change. In the September 30th edition of the New York Times, John M. Broder and Kate Galbraith write that "Perry (is) claiming credit for improvements in air quality brought in large measure by the very federal laws he has resisted and railed against, and that air pollution in Texas remains worse than in nearly every other state."
Texas has led more than a dozen states in suing the EPA to halt its greenhouse gas regulation program and has refused to participate in the federal permitting system that every other state now follows.
Let's hope this changes in the future, so we don't wake up to a Global Superstorm, the title of a novel which is uncomfortably close to the truth, which you can get (along with an autographed bookplate designed by Whitley) from the Whitley Strieber Collection.