"For years, too many of us have viewed global warming as simply an environmental or economic issue. We now need to consider it as a security concern," Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said last week at the introduction of a new bill on climate and security. Co-sponsored by Durbin and Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), the bill calls for a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) to assess climate change's threats to the United States, strategically important countries, and countries particularly vulnerable to the impacts of global warming.

Dubbed the Global Climate Change Security Oversight Act, the bill calls for the intelligence community to prepare a NIE—a process that demands cooperation and data sharing across U.S. civilian and military agencies and departments. This cross-government cooperative process is a primary goal given that both climate change and security expertise are scattered across the government. The bill also calls for greater spending by the Pentagon to assess climate change's security implications.

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