The Greening of the Intelligence Community?
Or, Cosmic Contingency #1.
My understanding is that an Intelligence Community task force with broad powers related to "saving the planet" is being set up under the supervision of the Director of Central Intelligence and with ample new funding from Congress.
It is expected that this task force will be coordinating greater IC support for ongoing US environmental programs as well as support for US sanctioned international initiatives. This support would include providing assistance with the full range of technical and intelligence services and resources at the disposal of the IC.
I believe that saving the planet is an urgent and worthy cause, deserving of support from all quarters including the IC. Much of the new effort on the part of the IC need not be controversial. It would simply be an extension of what they are already doing as a matter of course. What I would like to focus on are the areas of possible activity that would be more controversial. Some of these activities may already be ongoing.
An obvious application would be to include robust environmental modeling in all forecasting and contingency planning efforts. I would hope that this is already being done to a large extent. The potential for controversy would be in planning for various doomsday scenarios that would hearken back to the days of the cold war. Such planning would have to include the possible employment of emergency powers on the part of the government.
I would suggest that the results of such forecasting should be made available to the public on an experimental or need to know basis, as a way of keeping the public informed as to the possible seriousness of the environmental threats.
The above applications will, of course, arouse further public fears concerning the emergence of a sinister New World Order. Such fears may be well founded, and the only way to ameliorate them is to ensure that the underlying issues are given a continued public airing.
Almost all of the environmental issues are international in scope, and so when it comes to enforcement we have recourse to international bodies and to the Super Power, namely us. There will be ample opportunity to augment international agreements with ad hoc, behind the scenes operations and pressures.
So much for the business as usual approach to saving the planet. That is just a very rough sketch of an area about which I have only a general knowledge. For the remainder of this very short piece, I would like to address an area of more immediate concern to me, which I believe has a direct bearing on saving the planet, and which also may be relevant to the Intelligence Community.
Let me point out some obvious connections and parallels. Saving the planet is tantamount to saving humanity, and the saving of humanity is tantamount to salvation, in the minds of most people. Most people expect that saving humanity will necessitate some new spiritual impetus or a fundamental global change in attitudes that will take us far beyond our present concepts of business and politics as usual. This would be the positive aspect of a New World Order, which would thus be seen as the utopian divine kingdom to come. However, according to the same lines of thought, this new order must be preceded by an apocalyptic crisis. Purely humanistic, business as usual, efforts to save the world will generally be seen as either being futile or downright sinister, in this more spiritual context.
There is, however, the glimmer of a compromise between the humanistic and divine plans for saving the world. This would entail a dramatic shift in our world view away from pure scientific materialism. An intellectual revolution could initiate a spiritual or attitudinal revolution without recourse to the traditional prophetic sequence of an apocalypse followed by divine intervention.
If you are looking to see what role the Intelligence Community might play in such a scenario, you may not have to look too hard. The answer might be in plain sight. You may already have been co-opted into this role by forces rather beyond your control. This is just a possible contingency of the cosmic variety.