The CIA, National Security Agency, the Pentagon and FBI should undertake a comprehensive review of the national security threat posed by climate change, according to two US Senators Dick Durbin and Chuck Hagel.

Last week, Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, and Hagel, a Republican from Nebraska, introduced bipartisan legislation that would require a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) to assess the security threats posed by global climate change.

“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,” said Durbin.

“Many of the most severe effects of global warming are expected in regions where fragile governments are least capable of responding to them. Failing to recognise and plan for the geopolitical consequences of global warming would be a serious mistake,” he said. “This intelligence assessment will guide policymakers in protecting our national security and averting potential international crises.”

It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall for the first meeting. “Right gentleman, how do rising sea levels, increased droughts, more hurricanes, less food and more violent weather affect the security of the US?”

“Hmmm. Why didn’t we think of this before we gave all those subsidies to our friends in the oil industry?”