It’s been disappointing, and a little depressing, to see how parochial and partisan the issue of climate change has become in recent years in Australia, to the detriment of good policy and intelligent national debate.
There is far too much name-calling by opposing advocacy groups locked into entrenched ideological positions, and too little analysis or understanding of the science. But the greatest failing has been the inability of both Labor and Coalition governments to frame the issue in a way that makes sense to Australians and provides context for the technical discussions about emission reductions, economic costs and burden sharing that are likely to dominate the Paris climate summit.
At its heart, climate change is a national security issue. Without strong action to cap and then reverse still climbing greenhouse gas emissions, a rapidly warming planet will have adverse implications for all of us (including on the stability of states) requiring judgements about strategic risk as well as economic costs.