MARKEY-BARLETT LEGISLATION WILL REQUIRE NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE ON IMPACT OF GLOBAL WARMING ON U.S. SECURITY
Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), the Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and a senior member of the Homeland Security Committee, yesterday introduced H.R. 1961, the Global Climate Change Security Oversight Act. This bipartisan bill, cosponsored by Reps. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), John Larson (D-CT), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Hilda Solis (D-CA), John Hall (D-NY), Jim McDermott (D-WA) and John Olver (D-MA), will require a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) assessing the security challenges arising from global warming.
Rep. Markey said, "The nexus between global warming and the national security of the United States is a crucial, yet long-ignored, issue. The adverse consequences of rising global temperatures present not only a potential environmental catastrophe but also a national security emergency. A National Intelligence Estimate assessing the implications of global warming on U.S. security will jump-start U.S. defense planning for the consequences of global warming."
The Markey-Bartlett legislation, the House companion to legislation already introduced by Senator Richard Durbin and Senator Chuck Hagel, will provide a crucial planning and risk-assessment tool as the Congress seeks innovative solutions to global warming. Developed to assess the most serious threats to the United States, NIEs are the most authoritative intelligence judgments concerning national security issues. This legislation will also fund research by the Defense Department into the consequences for U.S. military operations posed by global warming.
Rep. Bartlett said, "As a scientist and senior member of the Armed Services and Science Committees, I am introducing the Global Climate Change Security Oversight Act with Congressman Markey because I support the first recommendation by a blue-ribbon panel of 11 retired generals and admirals for a National Intelligence Estimate of the impact of global warming on U.S. national and economic security. We need an NIE to inform our military planning for ourselves and with our allies. We also have to engage with other countries, particularly those who are leading or emerging contributors of greenhouse gas emissions and those who are oil producers or oil importers. To provide a safer, more prosperous world for our children and grandchildren, we have an obligation to examine cooperative ways to reduce emissions and to adopt mitigation and adaptation strategies including transitioning from reliance upon finite fossil fuels, such as imported oil and natural gas, to clean domestic renewable energy sources."
On Monday, a panel of retired senior military officials released a report entitled, "National Security and the Threat of Climate Change," (available at http://securityandclimate.cna.org/) which concluded that global warming is a "threat multiplier" in many regions of the world. The eleven retired four-star and three-star admirals and generals concluded that global warming is a serious national security issue which must be included in U.S. defense planning. To assist in the integration of global warming into U.S. defense planning, the panel's first recommendation included calling for the effects of global warming to be assessed by a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE). One of the authors of that report, General Gordon Sullivan, Former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, applauded the Markey-Bartlett legislation at today's hearing of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.
"Generals and Admirals who have spent a lifetime on battlefields are telling us global warming is a major strategic weakness. We must clean up global warming pollution, but we must also have the national security community begin to assess possible threats to U.S. security from global warming," Rep. Markey concluded.