Australia gets serious about climate change?

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One of my new friends at the office is from Australia, and, after speaking with her and her boyfriend last night I awoke to see John Fleck blogging about the impacts of prolonged drought on that continent. He linked to this NY Times article showing 40 percent of Aussies thinking global warming was more of a threat to national security than “Islamic fundamentalism.” ((for the sake of this post, I’m not going to get into an argument on just what “Islamic fundamentalism” is or isn’t.))

Anyhoo, the Times piece is a good overview of what the Australians have been doing, and what might happen if they don’t limit the effects of climate change in the future:

The survey’s results echo comments last week by the head of Australia’s police, Commissioner Mick Keelty, that climate was a growing security concern. “We could see a catastrophic decline in the availability of fresh water,” Mr. Keelty said. “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.”

This was also an interesting point:

“It is very interesting to see how climate change has moved from the environmental field to the security sphere,” said Alan Dupont, who heads the United States Studies Center, referring to the report released today. “Most of the government response has been about reducing greenhouse gas emissions rather than trying to manage the effects of the change.”

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