World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Nation Building - Climate Change's Silver Lining

Climate change's silver lining

Climate change offers Australia a unique opportunity to build the nation, according to a University of New South Wales (UNSW) researcher.

Professor Michael Pusey from UNSW's School of Social Sciences and International Studies will discuss the social impacts of climate change at a public lecture on nation building in Canberra this week.

"It is likely that a constructive adaptation to global warming will give rise to structural and cultural changes of a kind that we last saw in the aftermath of World War Two," says Professor Pusey, who is known for his critique of economic rationalism and for his Middle Australia surveys.

"Economic history teaches us that War transforms the relations between the economy, political culture and the state," he says.

World War Two brought changes including the concentration of income tax powers at a national level, mass immigration and infrastructure projects like the Snowy River schemes, according to Professor Pusey.

"Facing up to global warming has the potential to focus our national imagination in the same way," he says. "It presents us with challenges that obviously call, not only for incremental changes at the household level, but also for whole-of-government action at the national level."

The challenge posed by the exhaustion of the Murray Darling River system could break up the 'rusted, stalemated framework of current Federal-State relations' and could bring rural and urban Australia closer together, Professor Pusey claims.

Other opportunities which climate change affords include carbon trading markets, huge investments in water conservation, changes in land and forest management and investments in alternative energy.

While Professor Pusey concludes that the time and mood are right for nation building, he suggests that the Rudd Government has some difficult decisions to make.

"The Prime Minister is going to have to make some hard agreements in Bali, otherwise he won't have any credibility," he warns. "We have to make substantial reductions in greenhouse gas targets. We can't be vague about this. We have the capacity to do something and it needs strong leadership at the national level."

What: Public Lecture - In the wake of economic reform ... New prospects for nation building?
When: 6pm, Wednesday 12th December
Where: Manning Clark Centre, Theatre 3, Australian National University (ANU)


SEE: Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives | RSS

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>



Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC