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.”
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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?