As Professor Ross Garnaut suggested in his authoritative 2011 Climate Change Review for the Australian Government, climate change is a “diabolical public policy problem” because it impacts on every aspect […]
This is a piece I published in December 2011, but the sentiment bears repeating… — Christmas can be a magical time. I like the sense of expectation in the lead-up […]
When my son grows up, I will have to look him in the eye and tell him I tried my best to limit the damage to his future. I want […]
This article was originally published in East Asia Forum, 9th November 2013. — North Korea is a curious case among Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change […]
Climate change is a strategic wildcard that will increasingly shape Asia-Pacific international relations over the coming decades. Climate change is a unique strategic threat. Climate change impacts are not analogous […]
Sea level rise driven by anthropogenic climate change presents a number of problems for the international relations discipline. This article is intended as an introductory primer on the impact of sea […]
Francis Fukuyama’s prediction about the “End of History” might be fulfilled after all, although not in the way he intended. Fukuyama argued in 1992 that liberal democratic capitalism was the […]
Negotiating teams representing countries from around the world have converged this week in Doha, Qatar, for the 18th conference of parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, […]
BY BEN HABIB. The North Korean government has every reason to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and participate in the global climate change mitigation project. As early as August 2002, […]
World leaders and government officials as well as representatives from NGOs and the corporate sector are currently convening in Rio de Janeiro, for “Rio+20: The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.” The conference is timed to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of the seminal 1992 Rio Earth Summit. It is therefore worth looking back on the achievements of the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 to remind ourselves of what can be achieved when parties from around the world unite to address global environmental problems and highlight the obstacles and limitations of international multilateral processes in pursuing environmental objectives.
BY BEN HABIB. One of the exiting aspects of living lightly is the opportunity it provides for community building and connecting with other people. Strong social networks will become increasingly important as we grapple with environmental problems, energy insecurity and financial turmoil at the end of the age of growth. As a specialist in international relations, I look to Chinese culture for ideas on building social cohesion during tough times.
BY BEN HABIB. The sustainability movement has for many years been preparing to confront converging environmental, energy and financial crises. That moment is now here. To adapt with as little disruption as possible, it has never been more important to embrace living lightly.
BY BEN HABIB. The report ‘State of the Climate 2012’ released this week by the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology makes for sobering reading, concurring with numerous other scientific reports published by independent researchers and expert organisations from numerous disciplines around the world about the dangerous trajectory of human-induced climate change.
BY BEN HABIB. Last Saturday I provided comment in an article in the Border Mail—‘Doug takes up fight on carbon tax’—about a new group called Border Says NO to Carbon Tax being established by local trucking operator Doug McMillan. No-one wants to see hard working local businessmen like Doug McMillan lose their livelihoods. If people with climate-related expertise can work cooperatively with local businesses and other impacted members of the community, we can constructively adapt to the many challenges posed by climate change instead of further fracturing the community for the sake of argument. However for the cooperative approach to work, everyone has to begin from a position of informed empowerment.
BY BEN HABIB. The current Gillard-Rudd confrontation highlights the problems that Australia’s 20th century political parties face in dealing with 21st century policy problems. The Gillard-Rudd rivalry is a story of ambition, bitterness and betrayal. Yet there is a broader dimension to the ALP leadership crisis that is more complicated.
BY BEN HABIB. This article delves into the terrain of macroeconomics, political economy and energy. Human societies, along with the economies that facilitate the exchange of goods and services within and between them, can only grow to the extent that the physical limits of the natural world will allow. Systemic breakdown is likely if these limits are exceeded, a reality with which we are beginning to grapple as ecological, energy and economic crises coalesce into a perfect storm.
In a recent class activity, members of the second/third year undergraduate subject International Politics of Climate Change: Triumph or Tragedy at La Trobe University’s Albury-Wodonga campus engaged with a video presentation delivered by emminent American environmentalist Lester Brown. The following excerpts are a summary of the class discussion on what Lester Brown has to say in the video clip.
BY BEN HABIB. Paper presented at the World International Studies Committee Third Global International Studies Conference, 17th – 20th August 2011, University of Porto, Portugal. This paper paper and presentation […]
BY BEN HABIB. On Sunday 10th July, 2011, the Gillard government announced the details of its long-awaited carbon tax—the Clean Energy Future scheme. The hype surrounding the announcement was justified; for a number of reasons, this was one of the most important public policy announcements since Federation. I have a cautiously favourable view of the scheme, based on clear scientific evidence about the seriousness of the climate change threat and expert analysis indicating that a market-based carbon price is the cheapest and easiest way to achieve comprehensive nation-wide greenhouse gas emission reduction.
BY BEN HABIB. The recent spate of threats against climate change scientists in Australia is an act of tactical ineptitude from those responsible within the climate sceptic movement, which only serves to highlight the weakness of the sceptic position on climate change in the face overwhelming contrary evidence.