A threat to our nation’s security

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Whether or not you believe that climate change is an actual a threat to the future of the planet, our former Defence Force Chief Admiral Chris Barrie believes it may also be a threat to national security.

The former Defence Force Chief has even co-authored a paper, Be Prepared: Climate Change, Security and Australia’s Defence Force in which he discusses his theory.

His report describes how natural disasters, such as food shortages, floods, famine and fire, occur as a result of climate change, which, in turn, displaces people who then become desperate and create conflict.

“Believe you me, when people are hungry, they will do anything,” said Admiral Barrie.

Barrie’s co-writer Professor Will Steffen believes that the upheaval in the Middle East, known as the Arab Spring, was caused, in part, by long-term drought.

“Food prices rocketed up, people in the Middle East couldn’t afford it, and that was a contributing factor to the Arab Spring,” he said.

Professor Steffen says that we need to prepare for climate change now so we can avoid having to “clean up the mess later”, and Admiral Barrie feels that the new Prime Minister will take climate change a little more seriously than his predecessor.

“I’ve shared panels with the Prime Minister on national security issues, I know that his antennae are tuned to these kinds of things,” said Admiral Barrie. “No-one is asking them to say it’s the number-one priority at all, but it’s among those things they need to think about.”

Read more at www.sbs.com.au

What do you think? Had it ever occurred to you that climate change played such a significant role in the problems in the Middle East? Do you think that Mr Turnbull will treat climate change more seriously than Mr Abbott?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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92 Comments

Total Comments: 92
  1. 0
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    Swap food for oil

  2. 0
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    In my studies of terrorism/counter-terrorism, issues such as this that can create movements of people within an area and create the issues of homelessness and poverty (perhaps our government should look at this internally), are viewed in the context that they may create a national security threat. Factors that may come into this are a need for Lebensraum (sic) for people displaced by, for example, rising waters, those savagely disadvantaged economically in several ways, disaffection with the advanced societies that are causing the alleged situation, and the perception that those nations are not doing enough to help those injured by their actions. Even the loss of access to resources is a national security issue.

    ‘National security’ is a very holistic issue, covering many areas of interaction, socially and economically.

    So, in a sense, and with the proviso that you actually accept the issue of climate change etc as being valid, it is fair to consider it as a potential national security threat.

    What is more important is that the PERCEPTION that climate changed causes all the problems in a region that it is claimed will be caused – a perception generated by the media and by argument over the realities or otherwise of climate change -is the primary mover to any action by those who feel they may be affected.

    Will Mal take it more seriously than Tones? On the surface anyway, and only in as far as there is a perception of genuine threat.

    Climate has definitely changed down here – it’s still Winter….. days of icy winds and grey skies.. and only a couple of hours from Cambra – Heart Of The Nation.

    • 0
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      ** I like to make my comment before reading the issue entirely – I see Admiral Barrie et al agree with my (general) views.

    • 0
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      The reason why the coal funded trolls can twist the climate argument so well is that climate, just like the stock market, does not have a linear movement. Whilst the long term trend might be up or down people are told that a year which does not conform means that the model is wrong. Nothing is further from the truth.

    • 0
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      So are we discussing a trend upwards of downwards or just remaining static? I’ve read arguments on both sides and so far am not persuaded, especially given the amount of volcanic activity recently.

    • 0
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      The trend is up.

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    First it was Global Warming and then it was Climate Change. Next it will be Global Cooling although that has now been included in the new name.
    The climate has been shown to be variable throughout the ages with weather patterns changing at will. The do gooders will always be looking for something to bleat about and get their names in the headlines. “Prof” Tim Flannery did this country no good with his rantings.
    The El ‘Whatever’ effect is only the universe changing very slightly and we have no control over that.
    I hope that the new PM will follow the line of last PM in keeping the soothsayers at bay.

    • 0
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      I’m with you superboy!

    • 0
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      Read my post above. If you get a hot series of days in the middle of winter does it mean winter is over? If you get a cold series of days in summer does it mean summer is over?
      The long term climate TREND is a heating planet:
      1. CO2 is at a half million year high. Much higher than anything ever!
      2. the ice belt around Greenland is gone.
      3. whilst ice in the arctic comes and goes the thickness of the ice shelf has been decreasing for decades.
      4. climate is experiencing some wild swings…..which older people will understand has differed from the long term model.

      Your post flies in the face of the facts superboy. Its easy to do the coal industry thing and dismiss anybody who puts the facts down as a crank but the facts are the facts are the facts. Whilst climate is not exactly an exact science it is improving as computing power grows. Think about weather forecasts in the past and now. They are rarely wrong. You are!

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      Well professor Mick, my readings tell me that there was four times the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere during the time of the dinosaurs. The planet has experienced many ice age and melting events including that of 14000 years ago that separated Tasmania from the mainland. Australia emits just 1.4% of the world emissions and what ever we do will make no difference except put our power prices up and 4 billion Asians don’t give a stuff as indicated by the recent Indonesian forest fires with the smoke haze reaching well into S E Asia adding to the already existing Asian Cloud.

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      Yes the Indonesian burning of Orang Utan habitat, that simultaneously leads to complaints from Our Lady In KL about smoke…. contribute a hell of a lot into the atmosphere. A long term dispute down here has been over burning off of native forest for reason such as ‘it needs it occasionally’ – in which case why not let it run its natural course instead of burning wildlife alive?

      I’ve said for ages that if the government was serious about CO2 into the atmosphere, they wouldn’t be pumping it willy-nilly up there six months of the year in places far away from built-up areas.

      On top of that, the rise in power costs has lead to an increasing number of home fires… how now cut emissions when by forcing up power costs to reduce emissions from power stations, you only succeed in compelling little old ladies to warm themselves by an open fire or with a firebox?

      Same as above – governments are simply not serious about this… meaning it either doesn’t exist or they just don’t care as long as they can turn a buck directly or indirectly.

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      Bottom line …….there are now way too many people s….ting on their own doorstep and we will suffer the consequences until we pull our collective noggins out of the bluddi sand and face the future NOW 🙁 “Iss imples, yes”??

    • 0
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      jackyd: look at the CO2 graph for the last 650,000 years.

      http://climate.
      asa.gov/evidence/

      So much for your argument. You need to read more!

    • 0
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      mick,
      a pity that your reference to Greenland only covers the more recent years of its History and Geography. In your schoolboy History lessons you would have learnt that Greenland was believed to have been first settled by a group of settlers from Iceland about 985 AD (Remember learning about the Viking, Eric the Red?). The settlement grew and lasted until the 1400s when it died out due to the worsening of what was already a harsh climate. (Not Global Cooling, surely!!!)

      Colonisation began again in 1721. Until you can satisfactorily explain what it was that caused the warming of Greenland prior to the 1400s, sufficient to make it habitable, then the current situation you describe for Greenland seems to me to be nothing more than an example of a cyclical climatic change, exactly the type of change that has been occurring since the beginning of time.

    • 0
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      It appears that your “schoolboy” experience missed logic and EVIDENCE. The NASA examination of CO2 levels for the last 650,000 is compelling and the more recent measurement of the polar cap thickness reinforces what is happening.
      By all means cherry pick. That is what the coal industry does.

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      The Himalayas, the‘Third Pole‘, are also melting. This and rising sea levels places incredible amounts of people in India and Bangladesh at risk of being climate refugees. The science and evidence are staring us in the face but we have some of the stupidest right wing politicians ruling over us. Abbott did away with the position of Science Minister, says it all really!

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      Superboy, I somewhat agree with you.

  4. 0
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    Saw that recently. Sadly digging up coal is more important than making the planet sustainable. This has been the business model for centuries and the national traitors in big business who behave this way never have a case to answer. And when the planet becomes an almost uninhabitable tip with people killing each other for a cup of rice then those who did this will be dead and gone and get off Scott free……as they always do.
    Younger people are tuning in on this and do not want a degraded future. Lets hope that some fresh wisdom can overcome corrupt disregard for that which we all need to survive.

    • 0
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      What a load of bloody rubbish you lefties haven”t a clue.

    • 0
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      Spoken like e true right wing troll. A bit hard for you to call me a “leftie” when I never vote for the other side!
      All that I have written above is factual. What you have written is the normal brain dead troll comment.

    • 0
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      Hunger Games, Mick – the elite will live in Capital City – the rest will struggle for a cup of rice…. and any attempt to get into Capital City for a share will be beaten back by tanks in Tianenmen Square….. laugh not – the parallel is right there….

    • 0
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      MIck that is the lefts view I am afraid and I thought you where a union man

    • 0
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      Yeah right……..Frank.
      Its all well and good making a “leftie” comment but YOU HAVE NO EVIDENCE. Trolls do it all the time.

    • 0
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      robbo, I think there are a couple of posters who try to frighten us with their unfounded predictions of mass destruction brought about by people going to work. If they can pin it on the government or big business they will. It may not make sense to anyone else but that’s ok, it keeps them amused.

  5. 0
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    Global warming & Climate change are exactly the same thing ! Heat powers the weather. More heat, more power. So stronger cyclones, more violent storms, heavier rain, floods & snow, hotter weather & longer droughts.

    Our local climate has changed. Cyclone going inland furthur, & traveling inside the coast. Violent unpredicted storms – the worst ever. Our roofer he’d never seen the like ! 90 roofs to fix & not from wind or lightning – purely from extreme rainfall.

    Bushfires never threaten our area, now they do. Native trees are from sudden extremes. Summer temp for a week in mid winter. Mid winter night temps in spring.

    Last few years saw worst floods ever in Uk & NZ & parts of Qld like Grantham & here. How can any one not notice these things.

    Unbelievable that people ignore climate scientists, marine biologists, oceanographers, meterologists, statisticians, biologists ! ! Yes of course there was extreme weather changes in past earth history. But were prior to mankind arriving. Whole species died from it, landscapes changed. Yet even these changes did not happen as fast as the current climate change.

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      Supernan, Global Warming and Climate Change only became “the same thing” when the alarmists suddenly discovered that the globe was not warming – has not done so for some twenty years. Since this scaremongering was not working, so “climate change” became the “global warming”.

      Prof. Flannery warned us in 2007 that our dams were going to run out of water by 2010; that the rivers would never run again; that any rain that did fall would be absorbed by the dry earth. That was during a period of drought when our dams were at about 40% capacity. By 2013 our dams were at 85%. They now have 95% capacity. Some states responded to the alarmists by constructing desalination plants. They now cost some $500,000 each annually to maintain and have yet to produce a single litre of water. Flannery, together with then Climate Change Minister, Greg Combet, were so concerned about the rising sea levels of which they warned us, that they went off and bought themselves waterfront cottages.

      Predictions back then were that the polr ice caps would disappear and that the polar bears would soon become extinct – they didn’t and they haven’t. We were supposed to contribute to a fund that would somehow save the people of the Maldives and some Pacific Islands from disappearing under the risin g sea levels. That concern seems to have passed as the Maldives are investing in a much larger airport to cater fro the increase in tourism they are experiencing. The Pacific Islands which were supposed to disappear beneath the sea are experiencing increases in population, rather than the decrease one would expect if the land was, in fact, disappearing beneath the sea and the population sought refuge elsewhere.

      As others have pointed out previously, Australia contributes 1.4% of the 3% of the total Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere attributable to man. Carbon Dioxide makes up 0.04% of the total atmosphere. If Australia were to cut its total Carbon Dioxide emissions tomorrow, this works out at 0.000000168% of the total Carbon Dioxide in the world’s atmosphere.

      Yet how the alarmists rejoiced when Obama announced that China had agreed to cap its emissions in 2030, but in the meantime would continue to increase its emissions each year by an amount at least equal to Australia’s current total emissions.

      Meanwhile the looney left would have Australia relying on the grossly more expensive and unreliable solar energy and wind turbines while we export our coal to India and China to assist them reduce the massive poverty in those countries.

      Go figure!!!

      Supernan also mentions that her area experiences bushfires but had not done so previously. I also live in what is regarded as a bushfire-prone area. We had bushfires over our home in 1957, 1968 and 1977. However, we have not had one since. Using your rule of thumb measure, this must mean that the climate in our area has changed for the better – but I will still take the necessary precautions in case you are wrong.

    • 0
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      The planet is warming. Statistics are available. It is also well understood that the last 2 summers have both been the hottest on record. They keep tumbling.

      Flannery made the same mistake as Bob Hawke did with his ill-fated “no child will live in poverty……..” statement. Both sea levels and temperatures are rising. Just not as fast as the original models forecast.

      The polar ice caps are still there but the thickness of the ice has decreased. Greenland used to be surrounded and covered by ice. Now gone. And you are right about civilisations on the Maldives and low lying islands. There are already tides which cause water to swamp them. They will be gone. When, not if.

      So because Australia is a small player we should pollute like the clappers and justify this to the rest of the world…and wonder why nobody wants to start.

      The rest identifies you Luchar: A COAL FUNDED TROLL!!!! For your information (as if you do not know) Germany will be coal free in 10 years time and other countries are following (not Australia).

      As for solar being vastly more expensive than coal I am in uproarious laughter. WHAT A LIE. Solar is already CHEAPER THAN COAL. That is why this coal industry funded government has tried to eradicate renewables. Queensland and South Australia were producing 25% of their power from solar. Can’t have that can we? And then lets add in the cost of soon to be replaced generators and the $8 billion a year taxpayers have to put in with the repeal of the Carbon Tax.

      So “lefties” are the problem are they? I would suggest that the trolls who prostitute themselves to the coal industry and write the above sort of dishonest fiction are the problem. I can see we have our contingent going at it here. Disgraceful people who dishonour everything that the word ‘Australian’ stands for.

    • 0
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      So, Mick, Australia now “pollutes like the clappers”, producing as it does 0.000000168% of the atmosphere’s Carbon Dioxide? Further, if, as you claim, solar energy is cheaper than coal, why is it that there has not been a rush for homes to install solar energy now that the government subsidies are no longer available? And why is it necessary for the government to be paying out enormous sums in subsidies for those countries installing all of the wind farms across our country? I also see, mick, that your limited vocabulary still has you calling everyone who disagrees with you a “troll”.

    • 0
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      In the recent Canning by election one of the interestimg statistics mentioned frequently by candidates of all political persuasions was that over half of the residences in Canning are solar powered.

      If you think that’s high wait until the new batteries from Tesla and others just hitting the market have been around for a few years.

    • 0
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      Good one Crazy Horse.

      Luchar: you again are cherry picking. The facts are that Australia is a small player in the world because we have such a low population. We ARE polluting like the clappers on a per capita basis! The costs of infrastructure in the countries you mention would be no more than building a coal fired generator. Funny how the you seem to miss that point.

    • 0
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      mick , so now “We ARE polluting like the clappers on a per capita basis!” ???

  6. 0
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    A look at the overall history of the World, the whole World not just the UK and Europe, is essentially one of mass migrations over time from regions of disadvantage, famine, lack of water etc, to areas which fulfil the needs.
    Those on the move have suffered hard times and so have generally be tougher and highly motivated to achieve improvement.
    Admiral Barrie therefore is not stating something new but just a basic fact of life. A very good example is the flood of economic refugees into Australia after WW2. The fact that the Australian government assisted in their travel does not take away the fact that those were refugees seeking a better life.

    • 0
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      True but until the end of the Vietnam war these people were immigrants who were needed and gratefully accepted.

    • 0
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      They are still needed and gratefully accepted by most of us.

    • 0
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      Mick and Crazy Horse you both missed the point I was trying to make, obviously not very well.
      The history of the world, when looked at in the long term is one of the movement of people because of their need for survival. Their original “country” could no longer support them so they moved. Sometimes by conquest, the Mongols, the Huns, the Saxons and sometimes not by conquest but by pushing their way into another area.
      This movement continues today and there really is no reason to think it will ever stop.
      The modern world is such however that communications show people living in real poverty that other countries might provide a better life. Can you seriously blame them for not wanting their share of that?

    • 0
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      Tom Tank — you mention “the flood of economic refugees after World War 2”.
      It sounds like they broke down the doors which was not at all the case. Our government was almost pleading for them to come here. Their arrival was totally legal.
      As ‘displaced persons’ – sure, they could not return to their home countries; so they waited for ‘invitations’.

      As for CLIMATE CHANGE; the climate has been changing since time began. Yes, I’ve heard that the past two Summers have been the warmest on record; but that has to be in some selected areas (perhaps in the cities.)
      The Victorian region in which I reside had it’s last ‘hot’ Summer at the end of 2009 and since then, they have been quite mild with perhaps 6 or 7 scattered really hot days. During each of the past 5 Summers, comments were frequently made regarding non-use of air-cons.

      Sen.Cit.84 – I hope you don’t take offence at the ‘Rantings of mick’. I did not read the article you mention, however; I did hear it being talked about.

    • 0
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      The point I was trying to make was that the movement of masses of people is not new. In the case of post war refugees coming to Australia yes they were welcome, I know I was one of them, but they were still refugees in search of a better life.
      The point is trying to stop these mass migrations is like trying to stop the tide coming in, as that Danish King in England is famous for proving to his nobles.
      Climate change is a bit of a Furphy in the sense that our climate has never been stationary. The question is whether humans are affecting the natural cycles of our climate?

  7. 0
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    Hi,
    Some time ago I read an article on climate change. It considered the cause was a slight extra tilt of the world’s axis. To me, this made more sense than other claims when we read of the climate changes to the other sides of the world!! Has anyone else read this article?

  8. 0
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    ‘NOT a number one priority’ ?? Are some people really going to wait until it smacks them in the mouth ?? Then it WILL BE TOO LATE to do anything to change our fate 🙁 Poor Space- ship Earth we REALLY aren’t looking after you, are we ? You would think we had a couple of spare ones stashed somewhere 😀

  9. 0
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    You really are an a###hole arnt you mick

    • 0
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      Hi Mike,
      You are correct his comments bear this out.

    • 0
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      Why make personal attacks because someone has a different view from you which is backed up by facts. This is not the forum. Once upon a time, people thought the Earth was flat, it was their strongly held belief despite the facts!

    • 0
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      Small minded people normally behave in this manner. Sadly low intelligence is what it is.

    • 0
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      Hey Mike Omment — You got that in one!!
      Sadly, there are those with a rather feeble grasp on English vocabulary and are lost for words when a differing viewpoint or observation is posted.
      Perhaps it’s that lack of decent vocabulary which makes an interesting debate into an unpleasant experience.
      I wonder why Bookwyrm believes Pauline Hanson has ‘no brain cells’. Perhaps she voiced her views!!

  10. 0
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    Many experts, such as scientists, are stupid and ignorant (or pretend to be). The only way to slow down or stop altogether a global catastrophe is, yes, slowing down consumerism. Forget about GROUTH and please, stop procreation. Just a few of us on this planet could survive with dignity if every one forget about becoming rich of material items and focus on humanity instead.

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