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


WMO: Another La Niña Impacts Temperatures And Precipitation – But Not Climate Change
La Niña has developed for the second consecutive year and is expected to last into early 2022, influencing temperatures and precipitation. Despite the cooling influence of this naturally occurring climate phenomenon, temperatures in many parts of the world are expected to be above average because of the accumulated heat trapped in the atmosphere...

UN: Violations Of Palestinian Rights Puts Two-State Solution At Risk, Chief Warns
The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, continues to pose a significant challenge to international peace and security, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, said on Monday... More>>

Oxfam: Afghanistan Faces Multiple Crises

ActionStation, Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand, Christian World Service, Oxfam Aotearoa and World Vision New Zealand say that while Afghanistan faces chronic poverty, persistent droughts, war, the Covid-19 pandemic and an economic crisis, winter is about to bring a whole new set of challenges...More>>

World Food Programme: Millions More In Need Of Food Assistance As A Direct Result Of Conflict In Northern Ethiopia

The number of people in need of humanitarian food assistance across northern Ethiopia has grown to an estimated 9.4 million as a direct result of ongoing conflict, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced today... More>>

Food: Three Billion People Cannot Afford A Healthy Diet

Approximately three billion people, almost 40 per cent of the world’s population, cannot afford a healthy diet and another one billion people would join their ranks should further unpredictable events reduce incomes by one-third, the UN food agency said, launching a new report on Tuesday... More>>

COP26: Enough Of ‘Treating Nature Like A Toilet’ – Guterres Brings Stark Call For Climate Action To Glasgow
As the World Leaders Summit opened on day two of COP26, UN chief António Guterres sent a stark message to the international community. “We are digging our own graves”, he said, referring to the addiction to fossil fuels which threatens to push humanity and the planet, to the brink, through unsustainable global heating... More>>

  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC