The future international environment is now coming into focus. It doesn’t look promising. Government approaches to defence and human security will need to undergo a radical reassessment if they are to ameliorate the adverse effects. Global warming and population growth will be the weft and warp.
The real import of climate scientists’ work cannot be captured in simple headlines which obscure the complex regional distribution and variations in the impacts of global warming. Learning that an increase of more than 1.5°C in global temperature above pre-industrial levels is now unavoidable tells us nothing about the pertinent effects on Southeast and East Asia, for example.
The rate of greenhouse gas emissions across the world continued to rise in 2018 or 2019. Last year was the hottest on record for Australia and in the world’s oceans. If the worst performers of the 57 countries responsible for 90% of global emissions—China (27%), the US (15%), Russia (5%) and Japan (3%)—were to lift their game to match the best performers, it would ‘still not be sufficient to prevent dangerous climate change’.