Proposed bill would make climate change a national security issue
| 04.10.2007 | 06:54:16 | Views: 2858 | ID:
April 10 '07: A bipartisan bill being proposed in the Senate would require the U.S.' security agencies to assess the national security impacts of global climate change, the Boston Globe reported. Under the proposed bill, the director of national intelligence would be required to conduct a "national intelligence estimate" on climate change.
"The measure also would order the Pentagon to undertake a series of war games to determine how global climate change could affect US security, including 'direct physical threats to the United States posed by extreme weather events such as hurricanes,'" the Globe continued.The bill is a first-of-its-kind, and is sponsored by Nebraska Republican Chuck Hagel and Democratic Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois. Officials in Washington and experts both told the Globe that moving the issue of climate change from the scientific community into the intelligence community could help to push the issue in front of the White House in a meaningful way. "If you get the intelligence community to apply some of its analytic capabilities to this issue, it could be compelling to whoever is sitting in the White House," Anne Harrington, the director of the committee on international security at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington told the Globe. "If the White House does not absorb the independent scientific expertise, then maybe something from the intelligence community might have more weight." If a climate intelligence estimate were to be created, it would outline those populations of people who could suffer from a lack of resources such as water, electricity and food. Also, coastal areas and communities which could be affected by rising sea levels and hurricanes would be studied to assess potential risk factors, the Globe found.
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