Sunday, December 04, 2016

Climate Change Will Stir 'Unimaginable' Refugee Crisis, Says Military

Unchecked global warming is greatest threat to 21st-century security where mass migration could be ‘new normal’, say senior military

People wait to receive aid at Guthail, Jamalpur, Bangladesh, where the river Yamuna’s water level is 118cm over the danger line. (Photograph Credit: Anik Rahman/NurPhoto/Getty Images) Click to Enlarge.
Climate change is set to cause a refugee crisis of “unimaginable scale”, according to senior military figures, who warn that global warming is the greatest security threat of the 21st century and that mass migration will become the “new normal”.

The generals said the impacts of climate change were already factors in the conflicts driving a current crisis of migration into Europe, having been linked to the Arab Spring, the war in Syria and the Boko Haram terrorist insurgency.

Military leaders have long warned that global warming could multiply and accelerate security threats around the world by provoking conflicts and migration.  They are now warning that immediate action is required.
Brig Gen Stephen Cheney, a member of the US Department of State’s foreign affairs policy board and CEO of the American Security Project, said:  “Climate change could lead to a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions.  We’re already seeing migration of large numbers of people around the world because of food scarcity, water insecurity, and extreme weather, and this is set to become the new normal.

“Climate change impacts are also acting as an accelerant of instability in parts of the world on Europe’s doorstep, including the Middle East and Africa,” Cheney said.  “There are direct links to climate change in the Arab Spring, the war in Syria, and the Boko Haram terrorist insurgency in sub-Saharan Africa.”

After Donald Trump, who has called climate change a hoax, won the US presidential election in November, Cheney said he expected senior military officials to impress upon Trump the grave threat posed to national security by global warming.  “I’ve got to believe there are enough folks on the national security side that we can make a dent in this.”
“Countries are going to pay for climate change one way or another,” said Cheney.  “The best way to pay for it is by tackling the root causes of climate change and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.  If we do not, the national security impacts will be increasingly costly and challenging.”

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