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Sunday 29th June 2008 - 7:02 pm
Comments Off on Climate change:the realities

Climate change:the realities

by Alan Thornhill

Australia will start to get an idea of where it is going on climate change, later this week.

That will happen when Professor Ross Garnaut’s draft report on the nation’s options is published.

It will be published on Friday.

Professor Garnaut’s final report won’t be released until September.

Garnaut is making no secret of the fact that climate change science is still far from mature.

But he is  also saying that the costs of waiting until it is will, almost certainly, be higher than those of starting to act now.

He compares the state of public knowledge now with that which existed, when Columbus sailed west, several centuries ago, searching for China.

Garnaut admitted, too, that even the best climate change scientists we have now differ, even with each other, on important points.

He concedes, too, that Galileo’s case shows that one person can be right, when many others are wrong.

But he says uncertainty is no excuse for inaction.

And Garnaut warns that, in current circumstances, the “business as usual” option must be rated as “high risk.”

“This has no close precedent,” he said.

The professor’s draft report, though, is expected to provide the first real guide to the approach to climate change, that the Rudd government is likely to take.

This will be a rough – and expensive – ride.

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Wednesday 25th June 2008 - 5:29 pm

New report urges vigilance on Jemaah Islamiyah

by Alan Thornhill

Present gaps in our knowledge of the terrorist organisation, Jemaah Islamiyah must be systematically plugged if Australia is country is to be safe, according to a new report.

The Australian Strategic Policy lnstitute which produced the report, says this is essential.

“The nature and the evolution of the regional terrorist threat remains high on the list of Australia’s national priorities,” the report said.

It said JI continues to represent a significant threat to both Australian and regional security.

JI was responsible for the Bali bombings in 2002 and 2005 and the bombing of the Australian embassy in Jakarta in 2004.

The report recalled that Australia or Australian interests had been subjected to planned, conducted, or aborted terrorist attacks each year from 1999 to 2005.

“It is essential, therefore, that Australian and South East Asian governments remain vigilant, ” the report adds.

The report said that although much research had already been carried out, the “precise nature” of the islamist militancy in South East Asia had “still to be mapped out.”

“It is important that any gaps in understanding are addressed,” the report said.

“A thorough grasp of the current organisational and operational dynamics of local terrorist groups and the extent to which they are (or are not) gravitating towards pan regional designs will allow for a more informed and nuanced debate on how best to mitigate the challenge from Muslim extremists based in South East Asia,” the report said.


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Alan Thornhill

Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
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