Australia’s unprecedented bushfire season has brought into many people’s lives the realities of a changing climate, with the tragic loss of human and animal lives and homes, economic hardship and collapse, destroyed forests and disruptions to agriculture.
As climate change brings more extreme weather, it makes it more difficult for us to obtain vital resources, and to stay healthy and safe. Importantly, it also increases the risk of social tension and unrest.
To understand how climate change creates threats to Australia’s peace and security, the Royal United Services Institution, Queensland (RUSI), invited the director of Griffith’s Centre for Environment and Population Health, Professor Cordia Chu, to hold an expert seminar on what climate change research tells us.
Her talk, given on February 19 2020, was entitled “Climate Change and Disaster Risks and Impacts: What do we know and where to now?”
RUSI is an institution “that provides reliable and authoritative input to the public discourse on defence and national security”. As such, the talk’s attendees come from a wide variety of backgrounds, from the Australian Defence Force (active and retired), to NGOs and university students.
In keeping with its mission, RUSI provided the audience with a lengthy period for discussion. The audience’s questions allowed Professor Chu and her team to enlarge their understanding of what particular concerns and issues people have with regard to climate change.