Australian news, and some related international items

Policy delay -“the new form of climate denialism”.

‘Existential threat’: climate change risks finally grab Australia’s attention,  SMH, Peter Hannam, 10 Dec 17    “………...‘New denialism’

Submissions to recent and ongoing Senate inquiries also indicate that whichever parties take government at the next election, many agencies already  have preparations underway to adapt to climate change.

Peter Whish-Wilson – the Greens’ spokesperson for Healthy Oceans who led a Senate inquiry into the impact of climate change on the marine environment that last week released its report – said policy delay was “the new form of climate denialism”.

“Whether you stick your head under the water up on the Great Barrier Reef and see the devastation first-hand or you talk to the defence force personnel involved in planning for natural disasters in the Pacific, you know that the effects of global warming are upon us and that without action the future is looking grim,” Whish-Wilson said.

“We now need to think about the increase of marine heatwaves as part of the range of climate impacts we need to prepare for, like we do with bushfires and droughts,” he said.


For its part, the Defence Department’s report to a separate Senate inquiry into the implications of climate change for Australia’s national security detailed how it expects the “threat-multiplier” effect will hinder its “warfighting role”.

“The national security threats that may emerge include inter-group rivalries, water, food and resource shortages and irregular migration,” it said. “Many of the states in Australia’s region face some or all of these challenges, in addition to being vulnerable to climate change impacts such as temperature and sea level rise.”

Defence noted how it deployed 1000 staff to help Fiji recover from its $2.5 billion hit from Cyclone Winston, a category-5 storm in 2016. The HMAS Canberra was part of the deployment, along with planes that delivered 520 tonnes of humanitarian aid.

In its submission, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection said “climate change effects could permanently alter normal business, including the accessibility of assets and capability”.

Interestingly, it noted that “there is no internationally agreed position on expanding the current definition of a refugee or impetus to create a new international protection obligation to encompass people displaced by climate change”………

Pacific nations are watching with concern the Australian and Queensland governments’ efforts to promote the huge Adani-owned Carmichael mine, which threatens to open up a massive new coal province.

“The execution of the Adani project will be a huge carbon bomb for us in the Pacific,” Fruean said.

She dismissed the characterisation of funds from rich nations to help her people cope with worse weather extremes and rising sea levels.

“I see it as climate debt,” she said. “We wouldn’t need that aid if it weren’t for these countries investing in fossil fuels, and really creating the damage that we’re seeing in our islands today.”


December 11, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming

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