Tuesday, June 6, 2023

PBS Digital's 'Be Smart' recounts 'How the CIA Secretly Spied On Climate Change'

Yesterday, the subject was Beat plastic pollution on World Environment Day. Today, it's a different environmental problem, climate change. PBS Digital's "Be Smart" has an interesting story about it, along with space, technology, and history, in How the CIA Secretly Spied On Climate Change.

Cold War… warming planet?
A few years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a top-secret, first-of-its-kind US spy satellite program was declassified, leading to the unexpected story of how former enemies became scientific allies, and technology invented for Cold War espionage was repurposed to study and combat the newest and greatest threat to human civilization: Climate Change.
This story is what a lot of science fiction depicts, humanity uniting in the face of a greater threat. Unfortunately, this only works if everyone agrees that something is a greater threat. Note when the program was suspended and discontinued, during the administrations of George W. Bush and Donald Trump. They didn't regard climate change as a larger threat than terrorism or illegal immigration, respectively. The Biden Administration takes the issue more seriously, but the war in Ukraine precludes resuming this king of cooperation with Russia — yet another reason to oppose Russia's aggression.

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