Defining the problem

DEFINING THE PROBLEM … The Supreme Court will look at whether the EPA should have the power to regulate carbon emissions from new vehicles today. Recently I had a chance to ask Jim Woolsey, former CIA director, whether he thought global warming should be considered a national security threat (given the possibility of increased natural disasters, forced migrations, conflicts over resources). Here’s his response:

In a real sense, yes. But not the kind of security threat people that people are accustomed to talking about. I distinguish between malignant and malevolent threats. No one is trying to create global warming; it is not something anyone is planning. In that sense, it is a malignant threat, not a malevolent threat. But it is a real threat.

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Christina Larson

Christina Larson, a former Washington Monthly editor, is an award-winning science journalist who has reported from five continents.