The magnitude of the threat from climate change is starting to be realized by the world's political leaders. A positive aspect of such a threat is that it could unite the world behind a common purpose, but this will require a drastic change in policy, primarily in the United States and the growth countries in Asia. This article argues that India and China could turn the threat from climate change into a political advantage by adopting a new development strategy, based on a demand for full access to all such technologies that may allow to quickly surpass from the dirty stage of development. To develop a leapfrog strategy, however, Indian and Chinese analysts and policy makers need to acquire a profound understanding not only of science and technology but also of how the problems of climate change, energy security and political instability in West Asia (the ‘Middle East’) are related to each other. This will require a combination of knowledge from several academic disciplines.