CLIMATE change, not terrorism, will be the main security issue of the century, with potential to cause death and destruction on an unprecedented scale, Australia’s top policeman believes.
In a surprise foray into the politics of global warming, Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Keelty described how climate refugees “in their millions” could create a national security emergency for Australia.
His provocative comments, made in a speech in Adelaide last night, are likely to be diplomatically sensitive after he described a scenario in which China was unable to feed its vast population.
Law enforcement agencies would struggle to cope with global warming’s “potential to wreak havoc, cause more deaths and pose national security issues like we’ve never seen before”, Mr Keelty said.
“It is anticipated the world will experience severe extremes in weather patterns, from rising global temperatures to rising sea levels,” he warned.
“We could see a catastrophic decline in the availability of fresh water. Crops could fail, disease could be rampant and flooding might be so frequent that people, en masse, would be on the move.
“Even if only some and not all of this occurs, climate change is going to be the security issue of the 21st century.”