Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Climate Change Tops Terror As Chief Security Risk To Australia

Australian Federal Police commissioner cited the fallout from apocalyptic levels of climate change as the greatest security threat to the nation in the coming years. Far worse than anything terrorists can unleash.

The threat of terror, whilst real, takes a backseat to the destruction, death toll and tide of human misery that may be wrought in the region by massive crop failures, rising sea levels and all the other horrors of cataclysmic climate change.

From The Australian :

....Keelty described how climate refugees "in their millions" could create a national security emergency for Australia.

...he described a scenario in which China was unable to feed its vast population.

Law enforcement agencies would struggle to cope with global warming's "potential to wreak havoc, cause more deaths and pose national security issues like we've never seen before", Mr Keelty said.

"It is anticipated the world will experience severe extremes in weather patterns, from rising global temperatures to rising sea levels," he warned.

"We could see a catastrophic decline in the availability of fresh water. Crops could fail, disease could be rampant and flooding might be so frequent that people, en masse, would be on the move.

"Even if only some and not all of this occurs, climate change is going to be the security issue of the 21st century."

Mr Keelty said the implications for China were especially alarming. By 2040, with global temperatures surging towards a predicted 3C rise, and sea levels up 50cm, the land available in China to grow grain and rice could be reduced by 30 per cent.

"The mass displacement of people, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, could create a great deal of social uncertainty and unrest in the region.

"In their millions, people will look for new land and they'll cross borders to do it."

Prime minister John Howard actually went with 'no comment' when he was asked about Keelty's comments on Tuesday.

Foreign minister, Alexander Downer, tried to claim that Keelty was talking about threats that would take a century to become reality.

The seas won't rise three metres tomorrow, Downer said on Lateline.

But that's not what Keelty was claiming.

Downer, as usual, avoided the substance of the argument and went for the false, but sensational distraction.

Ignoring the looming threats posed by climate change has become a trademark of the Howard government. As with most of the pressing issues of real importance to Australians, Howard and key ministers, like Downer, like to be seen to be doing something, but in reality are leaving it up to someone else, long after their gone, to deal with the challenges they preferred to dismiss as unworthy of their precious time.

Keelty also said that the coming carbon trading market will be rife for corruption, and police will have to become involved in its regulation.

Carbon Cops for real then?

Howard Government Has Left Australian Unprepared For The Global Turmoil From Climate Change

Keelty : Climate Change Will Make Border Security The Most Important Australian Policing Issue Of The Century