Friday, October 23, 2015

A Lesson from Down Under

A couple of retired Aussie commanders, including a former chief of defence staff, are warning that their military has neglected to plan and prepare for the challenges of climate change. Hmm, does that sound familiar?

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?



Anonymous said...

Anyong said: The money used looking for Franklin's ship, could have gone for a down payment on a new fighter or a new navy vessel. Two thing that could have been thought about. However, when people believe there isn't such a thing as bad weather and environment caused by our abuse, what else can be expected. My friends in Mexico will know what they have to do in future after Patricia.

The Mound of Sound said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Mound of Sound said...

We certainly ran through a lot of money on our pointless overseas adventures. Our navy hasn't been at such a low state of readiness since the 30s. Much of our army's kit is worn out by the Afghan mission. The air force, well its problems are well known.