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.
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:
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?