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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

James Clapper, director of national intelligence under President Obama, cites "the range of issues that arise from climate change" as a national security threat not receiving sufficient attention:

"Half of the world’s population will face water shortages by 2035, according to the U.N. More than 30 countries — half of which are in the Mideast — will experience extreme water stress by 2035."

"More than a third of the earth’s soil, which produces 95% of the world’s food supply, is already degraded, and that degradation will accelerate over the next 20 years, as the world’s population increases. Soil degradation is already occurring at rates as much as 40 times faster than new soil formation."

  • "Sea level rises are accelerating, because of ice melt in the polar regions. At the current rate, the world’s seas will be at least two feet higher by the end of the century. This has profound implications for the increasing trend toward population concentrations in megalopolises, which are concentrated in coastal regions."

The bottom line: "Climate change (like it or not, accept it or not) is going to have huge implications for global security. And we don’t focus enough on it."

Go deeper

Ro Khanna wary of Biden approach on Middle East

Rep. Ro Khanna. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images

An outspoken progressive Democrat is wary of President Biden’s approach to the Middle East, arguing it’s like “conceding defeat of the aspiration” to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Why it matters: A number of members of Biden’s own party dislike his Middle East strategy, as his administration signals the region is no longer the priority it was for President Obama and his predecessors.

Democrats eye reconciliation for immigration

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Comprehensive immigration reform is a pipe dream, but some Senate Democrats are hoping to tie key immigration provisions to the next big reconciliation push.

Why it matters: Immigration is one of the most controversial and partisan issues in U.S. politics, which is why the budget reconciliation process — which allows for bills to pass the Senate with a simple majority rather than the usual 60 votes — is so attractive.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden meeting Quad amid own pivot toward Asia

Artists paint portraits of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in Mumbai, India. Photo: Anshuman Poyrekar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

President Biden plans to meet this month with the leaders of Japan, Australia and India in a virtual summit of the so-called Quad, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: By putting a Quad meeting on the president’s schedule, the White House is signaling the importance of partnerships and alliances to counter China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region.