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The Securitization of Climate Change in Australia Essay

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There is little doubt left that climate change represents a tangible and time critical environmental threat to Australia. The climate change debate has gone from one of speculative conjecture and dismissal on one extreme of the political continuum, to scare mongering and doomsday prophesying on the other. Though over the past decade the climate change debate has matured significantly and has transformed into a scientifically quantifiable argument with international significance, leaving the conservative un-believers no longer with the option of outright dismissal. Now the role they play is one of questioning, countering and conducting a political auditing of the proposals, policies and action plans put forward by others.
Whether governments are concerned with rising sea levels and failing crops due to droughts, or with the resulting effects of salinity, food shortages, economic loss or increased irregular maritime arrivals of displaced persons as a direct result of it, climate change and the security considerations it generates are issues that no government can ignore. This essay will critically examine both sides of the climate change dilemma from an environmental vs. security perspective and argue that the role that the securitization of climate change as an environmental security threat to Australia in the 21st century has played, has afforded the government opportunity to ballyhoo climate change as a pressing security issue, though in doing so it has come at the detriment of traditional environmentally derived climate change priorities.

The role which the securitization of the issue has played in identifying climate change as an environmental security threat to Australia has been to dramatically alter the way in which ...


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Australian Government. 'Tackling Climate Change'. National Budget Report 2008-09. Retrieved 31/01/2012
H. Brauch. 'Securitizing Climate Change'. Presented at the 50th ISA annual Convention, New York Marriot Marquis, New York, USA, 15 February 2009. p. 9
ibid.
A. Dupont & Graeme Pearman. 'Heating up the planet: Climate Change and Security'. Lowy Institute Paper No. 12. Published by Longueville Media for the Lowy Institute for International Police. 2006. p. 5. Retrieved 02/02/2012
T. Johnston. 'Climate change becomes urgent issue in Australia.' The International Herald Tribune - Asia Pacific. 3 October 2007. Retrieved 02/02/2012 < http://ussc.edu.au/s/media/media/07/071003_IHT_Survey.pdf>


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