Retired Bangladeshi Major General Muniruzzaman, who chairs the Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change, recently published a call to action on climate change from a global and regional security perspective. He identifies climate change as a “worst-case scenario,” relating it to the kind of conflict avoidance planning he did as a major general. He states:
When I was a major general in Bangladesh’s military, my job was to avoid conflict while planning for the worst-case scenario. And, from the perspective of the military, the consequences of global warming constitute the worst-case scenario.
In that vein, Major General Muniruzzaman highlights the degree to which his former military colleagues view climate change, and its attendant consequences, as a security threat:
When I meet with my colleagues at the Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change – generals and admirals from around the world, all with career-long experience in military planning and operations – I am struck by the similarity of our concerns. All countries of the world are experiencing changes that are destabilizing communities and increasing security concerns. Diseases are spreading, wells are drying up, storms are smashing cities and destroying crops, and rain is either a distant memory or an acute danger.
In global security circles, we often speak of the “international community.” Climate change is the ultimate global challenge and global threat, and the global community must meet it together. We cannot have our separate attitudes and plans.
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