Climate change & Australia’s National Security

Australia’s current Federal government has been flogging the dead horse of ‘national security’ for a long time now, yet when it comes to Climate Change, they’re incapable of seeing the potential for true national security impacts.

What impacts?

Answer: the refugee crisis looming amongst low-lying pacific nations.

As sea levels rise, many of these small, island nations will either cease to exist altogether, or they will lose so much land mass that their populations will be squeezed past tolerable levels. One of the first to go will be Tuvalu:

Click the photo to be taken to

As the largest, and emptiest land mass in the region, Australia will have to take responsibility for its share of displaced people. These Refugees won’t be from the other side of the world, they’ll be on our doorstep, and we will have a moral obligation to help.

In the Innerscape trilogy, I forecast that Australia would accept its responsibilities in the region, albeit grudgingly. The way things are going, however, I’m no longer sure we will. But what if we don’t?

If Australia’s government continues denying the impacts of Climate Change, we’re going to be caught without a paddle when reality proves the deniers wrong. There will be refugees, and if we refuse to accept them, our poorer neighbours will not be able to cope. That’s when they will look at our large landmass and tiny population and say “this isn’t right”, “they shouldn’t be allowed to shirk their duty”, “they’re letting us suffer while they live selfish, greedy lives”.

Guess what happens then?

Haven’t we, and our Western allies invaded other countries for similar, ‘humanitarian’ reasons?

For a more detailed analysis of the impacts, please read the article by Chris Barrie on the Conversation Room[Chris Barrie is Honorary Professor, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University]

We have to stop thinking of Climate Change as a ‘choice’. It isn’t. We’re going to be hit from all sides in the not-so-distant future, and only a concerted, united effort with our neighbours will save us.

If the military can see that Climate Change is a problem for national security, why can’t the Liberal National Party?




About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

30 responses to “Climate change & Australia’s National Security

  • Amy

    Happy to find your blog. I’m kinda new to blogging properly. I’m an Australian living in London and live in a bit of a knowledge bubble, very curious as to how the conversation is unfolding in Australia, my family are very sensitive about it and it easily derails into emotional battlegrounds.


    • acflory

      Hi Amy. Welcome to the blog. I’m not sure that we’re any better informed than you are in London. In fact, it seems as if some things are being reported in the UK that we don’t hear about at all. Even the ABC is ‘filtered’. I don’t know if that’s because of the funding cuts or…don’t know.

      If you like Twitter, I’d recommend following #auspol . There’s a lot of anger on auspol, but it also seems to have the most up-to-date information about what’s happening here.

      As you’ve probably guessed, I lean to ‘left’ rather than the right, but I do try to see both sides. Where climate change is concerned, however, I’m very much ‘follow the money’, and the /big/ money seems to be very much anti climate change action.

      We live in strange times.

      Liked by 1 person

  • eddieb

    That was a well written article and I appreciate your concerns. Firstly, nobody is denying there’s climate change. They’re questioning the validity of the hypothesis that human activity is a principal factor in rising temperatures. Here’s an alternative analysis of the “Green” movement and its ultimate objectives, seen through the prism of controlled opposition group, Extinction Rebellion:


    • acflory

      Hi Eddie. Thanks for commenting.

      I read your article, and whilst I agree with you about scientific research always being a moving target, it’s a moving target with consequences. We would never have made it off the planet if the science behind the technology had not been sound. And we must trust the science behind jet engines too, or we would never fly in a passenger jet. Or use a phone, or a microwave etc etc etc.

      Why then should we /distrust/ the science when it says that we are the cause of climate change? Because there are no consequences? Or because we don’t like change?

      Human psychology aside, you lost me with this:

      ‘To emphasise this point, last month 500 scientists penned a letter to the UN Secretary-General declaring that “there is no climate emergency”. Which is to say, that the so-called consensus is political, not scientific. ‘

      I first came across this ‘declaration’ a few weeks ago and did some fact checking. I started with the one who seemed most prominent – Guus Berkhout. Not only is he not a climate scientist [he’s an engineer], he has also spent most of his career working for the oil and gas industry.

      Why should anyone trust Guus Berkhout’s views on climate change? All I can see is strong evidence that his views are biased, at best.

      Sadly, this ‘declaration’ is a tactic perfected by Big Tobacco to muddy the water about the science relating to the harmful effects of its product.

      The tactic is quite simple. They get scientists from non-related fields to make sweeping statements. The media relays the statements and that they’re made by ‘scientists’. The general public, who want the status quo to remain, shrug and say ‘see, my cigs aren’t harmful after all’.

      The ‘500 scientists’ you mention are just more of the same, highly successful tactic.

      You imply that Extinction Rebellion is run by some kind of shadowy ‘power’. Is it not more likely, given the evidence of history, that it’s the fossil fuel industry itself that’s the power behind the anti-science movement?

      The fossil fuel industry has an awful lot to lose. Billions.

      By contrast, what does every climate scientist have to gain by deliberately falsifying the evidence? Because that is what we are talking about here. Falsifying ice cores, historical records, you name it.

      I imagine that some scientists might be tempted to risk their whole careers for some kind of gain, but what kind of gain are we talking about?

      Academics get funding for their research. They do not get funding for luxury mansions and ocean going yachts. Why would any sane scientist falsify the evidence for no gain?

      Yes, there is a political element in the climate change debate, but it’s skewed away from climate science.

      Ultimately we can believe whatever we want, but if I jump off the roof because I believe I can fly…well, there will be consequences.

      Liked by 1 person

      • eddieb

        Thanks for your reply. Not all things in life are the same, nor can be compared. Clearly the science behind rocket technology and electromagnetic radiation are not comparable. They are distinct disciplines. However, what they do share in common is that are driven by results. They contrast with climatology in this respect. A hypothesis that co2 has been a driver of climate change has consistently been proven wrong over many years. The only thing reliable about the projected models to date, has been the reliable gross exaggeration of warming trends.

        Why should we distrust the science? Because it is being proven wrong with remarkable regularity. If rocket scientists kept failing to send us into space, with all previous efforts leading to something akin to the Challenger disaster, we’d all question getting into a shuttle for the next flight.

        I hold my hands up. I didn’t check the signatories of that letter and their backgrounds. As of publication most of their names were yet to be released. But you have taken that ever so slightly out of context. My main point was that membership of the IPCC is composed of nations. The final draft of the SR-15 was written by diplomats after recommendations from the scientists, who are themselves handpicked and whose bloated budgets depend on patronage. Dare I say that the IPCC is a body that was set up by the U.N. to find problems. The clue is in the name. From the outset a problem and a cause are presumed. This is all redolent of politics and not science. It’s hard to conceive of something more untrustworthy than the United Nations and the forces behind it.

        The very fact that there are literally 100s of different ways to formulate temperature averages should inform us that this isn’t an exact science. Leading scientists and prestigious institutions have been caught fudging data. Furthermore, some of the language I’ve read in reports is suggestive of wanting to find warming trends. Scientists disappointed data hadn’t matched the hypothesis. Disappointed, therefore, that we are not heading to environmental catastrophe as quickly as they hope. You would think they’d be besides themselves with joy if self-interest wasn’t so tied to end of the world scaremongering. Perverse?

        There is a persistent and obstinate impression that the interests of fossil fuels industry and carbon emissions industry are opposed; that there isn’t considerable overlap. Most of the major players behind the theory were fossil fuel tycoons.

        There are huge commercial interests behind the science of climate change. You make it sound like the fossil fuels industry is the big bad wolf hindering progress for economic and social change. They are outranked and outgunned. They have been for decades. Major politics which, when it comes down to it, is money and power, has been behind the theory and is desperate to instigate economic and social change. The theory has the support of most of the big bad wolves. They are at the door.

        IMO often policies which present themselves as moral are in fact policies about commercial interests and the pursuit of power. This is what idealist politics is generally about. This is what the left is ultimately about. I should know, I used to be a Marxist. They simply wrap their interests in something that will more likely garner public support. That, in a nutshell, is what politics is all about.

        If China and India don’t change their ways it’s irrelevant what the rest of the world does. This is not about the climate but reducing consumption. It’s about changing the culture and increasing the control in western liberal nations, and the climate is being used as the vehicle to take us to that destination. The fact China has been absent from the rhetoric of those pushing the debate is telling.

        I have to be careful what I say about Extinction Rebellion because there are punitive libel laws in the UK. Let’s just say I have read documents that incontrovertibly prove the points I made in the article. I can’t go any further than that.

        Thanks for your reply.


        • acflory

          -frowns- I understand that a comment is hardly the place to present facts, and I’m not particularly interested in Extinction Rebellion, but I am puzzled by:

          ‘Major politics which, when it comes down to it, is money and power, has been behind the theory and is desperate to instigate economic and social change. The theory has the support of most of the big bad wolves. They are at the door.’

          That is a very strange statement to make when you say nothing about ‘why’ the big bad wolves would want to do any of this. They don’t control the renewables industries and have nothing to gain by creating an environment in which they will go out of business.

          Furthermore, the de-democratisation of the western world has happened already, and it did not need climate change. All it needed was the perceived threat of terrorism by the ‘Other’. In other words, Muslims. No one panicked when the IRA consistently terrorised London/UK. No one panicked when ‘white’ terrorists blew something up. But Muslims were other and could be used very successfully to herd the sheep into pens. 9/11 was the beginning of a steep decline in terms of democracy.
          And then there’s social media on top of that…-rolls eyes- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc etc are all being used to manipulate the masses with disinformation. That role is still being played, to an extent, by the main stream media, but the digital media do it better. And no one notices or cares.

          I’m sorry. I’m sure you have your reasons for believing as you do, but your arguments simply don’t make sense to me.

          I learned a long time ago to ‘follow the money’, and the money leads straight to the big bad wolves.


  • Mick Canning

    No matter how bad it gets, the deniers – who unfortunately seem to include a huge number of politicians in the western world – will just deny it is happening. All off to hell in a handcart? Very possibly.


  • flawedman

    We have coined the phrase ‘travel broadens the mind ‘ but what it really does is create an inner restlessness , so we end up with vast airports and massive road networks. The desire to go somewhere must be replaced by the satisfaction of being somewhere. Give a child a spade and some sand and he is content building sand castles.


    • acflory

      Mmm…yes and no. I think the urge to travel/seek out the new, is hardwired into young brains. I also think we need the new in order to appreciate what we have to come home to. I know that happened to me, back in the dawn of time. The urge to make something grow in one place didn’t hit me until my 30s.
      That said, we will have to find less destructive ways of travelling, or stay closer to home, if we are to have a future.

      Liked by 2 people

      • flawedman

        Things have changed ; in hunter gatherer days the only traveling they did was to eat. Animals don’t travel they mark out a territory and live in it , no mountain climbing for them.


        • acflory

          -grin- But what about those geese? And moose?

          I take your point though; travelling for pleasure is very new, but it can break down the parochial biases that give rise to the whole ‘us vs them’ mindset. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  • Bette A. Stevens

    We’re all in this together, AC… Sharing your insights.


  • Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

    Interesting Meeks. at the moment most of us in other Western countries have our heads firmly in political chaos of one kind or another.. and when the inevitable happens, surprise will be claimed.. as usual.


  • D. Wallace Peach

    Same issues in the US. Of course, Republicans in the US will simply chant, “Let them die” as they did when committed to denying healthcare to their countrymen. The willingness to let people suffer is outrageous. And nothing is going to change until the suffering lands on our leaders’ doorsteps.


    • acflory

      Yes. The problem is, our leaders are always the very last to have anything land on their doorsteps. After all, they still have those bunkers left over from the Cold War.

      ‘She’ll be right, mate.’

      We’re all happy for the $hit to hit someone else’s fan. -sigh-

      Liked by 1 person

  • Candy Korman

    The twin horses called ‘Economic Growth’ and ‘National Security’ are going to kill us all with climate change…


    • flawedman

      The Club of Rome has been fighting for limits to growth for decades but we seem to have a built in desire for progression , absolutely nothing can be allowed to stand still. Science is in restless pursuit of knowledge continuously.


      • acflory

        I agree, but how much of that is conditioned into us from a young age? The corporates have no other raison d’etre but growth and shareholder dividends. Everything else is just monopoly money. But for that constant growth to happen, they have to convince /us/ to consume…all…the…bloody…time.

        There’s a tv show on Australia tv called Gruen. No idea what the name means but essentially it’s a panel of advertising gurus explaining how advertising works.

        Gruen is very funny, a lot of the time, but it’s also rather horrifying because they know exactly how to press those subconscious buttons. And they see nothing wrong with manipulating us for their clients. It’s not quite subliminal advertising, but it pulls every other trick in the book.
        I fear that we’re going to have to learn about true ‘need’ before anything changes.


    • acflory

      Ah…sorry. Replying to comments in reverse order. If I were biblically inclined, I’d say we have two of the four horses of the apocalypse right there. 😦


  • flawedman

    You make a good point and in Europe we see the same thing but these are poor migrants hoping for a better lifestyle , rather than desperate people who have nowhere to go.
    Everything revolves around money because money boils down to lifestyle and we all wish to protect our own lifestyle.
    Thousands of years ago the strongest tribe had the best land and hunting grounds and our tribal instincts have not changed with technological advances. Curiously even Extinction Rebellion are trying to maintain human lifestyle but the climate is no respector of any creatures and it may be the turn of the rat to become top- dog.


    • acflory

      Yes, that us against them instinct hasn’t changed, and you’re right about lifestyle and money. Nevertheless, a drop in lifestyle is quite bearable if it occurs slowly and with an element of control. I guess that’s all the Extinction Rebellion protesters want. Sadly I think what we’ll all get is a last minute, extreme knee jerk reaction that exemplifies ‘too little, too late’.



    Sadly Meeks, best case scenario on current form, climate change -which the flat-earthers really don’t rate as an actual thing- refugees will be treated same as the other so-called wannabe queue jumper riff raff and whacked into an offshore detention centre which will likely have waves lapping at its doorstep, so those in charge that no-one has owned up to voting for can complain about how much it costs to pay the corporation it uses conveniently as a budget line item to sweep its responsibility under the mat of humanity… or worst case scenario, we’ll all be in the same boat/s… figuratively and literally.


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