More than three years—and no doubt a chunk of change—later, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is quietly shutting down its insignificant center dedicated to climate change.

That’s right; the scandal-plagued government agency responsible for providing national security intelligence to senior U.S. policymakers operated a special unit that focused on global warming. Known as the Center on Climate Change and National Security, it was an exclusive division led by “senior specialists.” It operated under a cloak of secrecy that rejected all public-records requests, despite President Obama’s promise to run a transparent government.

When the center was launched in 2009, the CIA said it would not address the science of climate change but rather the national security impact of phenomena such as desertification, rising sea levels, population shifts and heightened competition for natural resources. The unit was touted as an important tool that would bring together in a single place expertise on an important national security topic; the effect environmental factors can have on political, economic and social stability overseas.

Instead it was a big joke that accomplished nothing and wasted undisclosed amounts (it’s a national security secret) of taxpayer dollars. In fact, Americans may never know much about what the center actually did or how much cash it blew since it’s all “classified” to prevent compromising national security. At least that’s what the CIA told an intelligence historian affiliated with the National Security Archives last year in response to a records request.

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