Networkers, I would like to draw your attention to Bernard Keane's article, Taking stock of climate change — what now? Keane's assessment is reasonable and worth noting. I would particularly draw attention to the following paragraph:
As the recalcitrants like to note, we only account for a tiny part of the world’s emissions. In climate change terms, we are a mendicant state. Our future is heavily dependent on the actions of the world’s biggest economies. As a country that will be more exposed, and more quickly exposed, to the impacts of climate change the highest priority is sort of effective international regime that will reduce the growth in emissions, with the aim of stabilising carbon levels.
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The linked site is useful for basic characteristics of island nations.
I would also like focus on the following paragraph and will do so in a second part to this post:
Australia also needs to develop a stronger position on assisting communities overseas, or at the very least in its Pacific backyard, that have limited resources for dealing with the immediate and future impacts of climate change. Both Labor and the Coalition have buried their heads in the sand on this issue; Wong and Stephen Smith announced some limited climate change funding for Pacific nations in 2008 but it is far too little.
Australia's attitude to Pacific Island neighbours is chequered at best and paternalistic and ignorant at its worst. Australians seem to think that colonialism went out the door on 1 January 1901 when Australia became a nation with its own national government and parliament. There are a lot of people within Australia and nearby who wish this was true.
Colonialism and colonising attitudes are alive and well in Australia. We do paternalism very well. And that's before we get to racism, latent or overt. Followers of Pacific affairs over the decades will have noted that our neighbours, when in need of advice or a helping hand, prefer to talk to New Zealand first, not Australia. Continued in Part 2