Climate Change Rhetoric in Bangladesh: A Curse or a Blessing?
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The rhetoric about climate change in Bangladesh is diverse. First, there is the scientific evidence by the IPCC Fourth Assessment foreshadowing bleak scenarios, including the significant rise of sea level and sinking of coastal areas; others refute it with alternative views. Second, many see India’s unilateral withdrawal of the Ganges water in the summer as increasing the desertification in the western half of the country and accuse the morally bankrupt government for its incapacity to address the water-sharing problem. Third, religious and spiritual people perceive climate change as a result of human transgression of nature’s limits. The fourth view maintained by innate naturalists, such as Baul mystics, acknowledges all natural phenomena as the act of Nature/Creator. Bangladeshi people recognise climate change as neither a curse nor a blessing. A sustainability assessment requires examination of the positive and the negative sides. The paper analyses the positive perceptions in light of the interpretation they bring towards understanding the changes and human behaviour within a framework of spiritual values. It concludes that despite the diverse rhetoric, people in Bangladesh should continue to address climate change within a sustainability framework and without attempting to technologically dominate nature.
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