13 May 2024

One event could wreak global climate havoc. Neither side of Australian politics has got a clue about it.

This a case study from the report, Too hot to handle, recently published by the Australian Security Leaders Climate Group.

There is no greater disruptive physical climate risk than the collapse of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC), the main current system in the South and North Atlantic Oceans, which is linked to circulation in the Southern Ocean. 

There is a non-trivial and unacceptable risk that the AMOC flow will collapse this century, with devastating consequences for global food production, for sea levels and for flooding in Australia. Shifts in global weather patterns would likely deprive Asia of vital monsoon rains, with enormous security consequences for the region and for Australia.

Yet in the Australian Government’s analysis of climate risks, no attention has been paid to the AMOC collapse. In fact, it does not get a mention in the Defence Strategic Review, or the first report of the current National Climate Risk Assessment (NCRA). 

No minister or member of either major party has even mentioned it in parliament since the ALP came to power in 2022. Neither side of Australian politics has got a clue about it. One of the greatest climate-related threats to our future appears completely absent from the Australian Government’s thinking. 

11 May 2024

Are climate risks ‘too big’ for politics?

 by Adm. Chris Barrie (Rtd), first published at The Canberra Times.

We all know that climate change is a massive issue. So why is it not a priority for the powers that be?

The biggest risk to Australia’s future is not a priority for either side of politics in Australia, and that’s a problem for all of us.

Both the  government’s and the opposition’s security narratives are that China is the greatest threat to our future. It’s man-made. Hence we have AUKUS, the Quad, continual regional hand-shaking, more joint military exercises, the illusion of nuclear-powered submarines and an enhanced US presence in in Australia's north where bases are being expanded.

But this narrative represents siloed thinking on security. It does not align well with international perceptions. The World Economic Forum’s 2023 survey of public and private sector global leaders found that the biggest three risks in the coming decade were all climate-related, whilst “geo-economic confrontation” (read China) came in ninth.

10 May 2024

Climate security risks and Australia’s failure

 by Ian Dunlop, first published at Pearls and Irritations

 “Too hot to handle: The scorching reality of Australia’s climate–security failure” is a report published on 2 May by the Australian Security Leaders Group (ASLCG) . This article is an extract from the report

You can’t solve a problem without talking about it, honestly. Take the impact of climate disruption on security.

One line of evidence for the Australian Government’s seriousness about climate–security risks is government activity, but there is little to see. The government’s most valuable initiative, the Office of National Intelligence risk assessment, has been buried. There have been no significant or specific announcements on climate-related security issues since the report was finished, and the government has not responded to a number of requests made by ASLCG for the report’s release of any of its key findings.

03 May 2024

Climate-security risks too hot to handle for Australian Government


Register here for webinar.

by David Spratt

This week, the Australian Security Leaders Climate Group (ASLCG) released a new report, Too hot to handle: The scorching reality of Australia’s climate–security failure.

There will be a webinar on the report next Wednesday,  8 May at 6pm, and you can register here. I will be one of the speakers.

Ret. Adm. Chris Barrie, former head of the ADF and a member of the ASLCG Executive Committee says that: “It appears that the government either doesn't understand what our scientists are telling them, or they are deliberately hiding the facts from the Australian community. Facing down the climate threat will require unprecedented global cooperation, not a new arms race.”