Australia's former prime minister, Cap'n Coal, Tony Abbott, didn't have much time for climate change issues and apparently his top military staff didn't either.
"I don't think it's any secret that we've spent three years in the wilderness" on these issues, Chris Barrie, a former admiral who served as ADF chief from 1998 to 2002, told Fairfax Media.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott's aversion to making global warming a priority meant the issue was downplayed. "When the Abbott government said you will not use the words 'climate change', the senior leadership had to do as it was directed, but at the same time they know this is important work," Admiral Barrie said.
The challenges may be illustrated within weeks if - as expected by aid groups and others - Papua New Guinea seeks help from Australia to deliver urgently needed food to remote highland villages hard-hit by the unfolding El Nino-linked drought.
"If the situation gets out of hand, and by that I mean people are starving, they will act unlawfully and then it turns out in a monster security situation," he said.
Michael Thomas, an army major who retired in June after 22 years of service, said the politicisation of climate change had been "a huge distraction to defence".
Real militaries, such as America's and Britain's, are, by contrast, fully engaged on this issue seeing it as an immediate and growing threat to international and domestic security.
Which begs the question, what of Canada, where Tony Abbott's alter-ego ran the shop for nearly a decade? How has our military leadership assessed the climate change business, what is their level of readiness, what have they got in the works?