A wet dream about police action to enforce Warmism below. The authors are Anthony Bergin, director of research programs at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) and Ross Allen, an "independent researcher". We read: "ASPI is an independent, non-partisan policy institute. It has been set up by the government to provide fresh ideas on Australia's defence and strategic policy choices". The "fresh" ideas below go back to Mussolini in the 1920s. Musso was a Greenie too
AFTER the release of the Rudd Government's green discussion paper on climate change last month, eyes are focused on how business and the community will be affected by the mitigation costs of climate change. But there has been little attention given to climate change and its implications for Australian policing. As the principal domestic security actor in Australia, with 44,000 officers, the eight police forces that serve this country need to think harder about how climate change may affect their core business.
Most Australian senior police officers haven't considered climate change to have much relevance for their work. The notable exception is Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Keelty, who suggested last September that climate change could eclipse terrorism as the security issue of the century.
Climate change could have wide-ranging implications and challenges for Australia's police. New legal regimes are required to manage carbon markets and these will require compliance and enforcement. Compliance under the carbon pollution reduction scheme will involve liable entities monitoring and reporting emissions at least annually.
The Government proposes establishing an emissions trading regulator as an incorporated body with a high degree of operational independence. The regulator will have its own investigation and enforcement mechanisms, and trading activities could be covered by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Detailed compliance and enforcement arrangements are to be developed, but the regulator and ASIC may wish to invite police involvement to investigate criminal breaches of the scheme once legislation has been defined. This will require police to develop knowledge and competencies on the use of emissions trading for money laundering and fraud.
But we may have expectations of law enforcement agencies that they're not in a position or resourced to deliver: large-scale fraud has proven to be resource intensive, particularly when the territory is uncharted. The possibility of a "green shoe" brigade emerging as the scheme begins can't be discounted. The financial scale of emissions trading and the proposed future linkages to existing international carbon trading schemes suggests the AFP will need to explore what opportunities exist for criminal activity, particularly where emission trading intersects with world financial markets.
While we may be confident in the capabilities of Australian policing and our regulatory institutions, there's cause to be concerned that Pacific Island states will be vulnerable to criminal activity associated with carbon markets. They don't have the capacity to handle large and complex investigations.
We may see changes in the type, rate and frequency of crimes as our climate alters. Anecdotal evidence suggests that weather does encourage particular types of criminal behaviour, such as changes in domestic violence patterns, a rise in drunkenness and associated anti-social behaviour, especially in the aftermath of disasters.
A key risk is that climate change could push already vulnerable pockets of communities further into hardship. The drought, for example, is changing the demographic make-up in areas affected by water availability. Lower socio-economic groups are relocating into drought-affected towns because the cost of living is cheaper. This could create a vicious cycle of poor economic prospects and associated social ills, including increases in personal and property crime rates. If drought conditions continue we may see increases in a range of water thefts. Crimes of opportunity will increase with more climate-affected natural disasters: if custodial sentences are given to looters this will have obvious implications for our prison system.
Climate change may have implications for police budgets; responding to a higher frequency of weather-induced disasters will divert already scarce resources from core police business. Climate change may contribute to regional events that require police to act in complex emergencies. Australian police could provide, for example, a security presence at refugee camps or at key transit areas in regional countries to help manage any potential mass movement of people. More climate refugees or climate migrants could pose problems for community policing, possibly leading to changes in the rates and types of crime that police forces will have to confront.
In vulnerable areas, police will need to play an active role enhancing community preparedness by educating the public in disaster-response protocols. The co-operation between state police and the military will need to improve to aid the Australian civil community in times of traumatic environmental stress.
In the face of increasing numbers of state police involved in responding to disasters, police agencies will need to consider the physical and psychological effects of climate change on their personnel. The emotional trauma of dealing with affected communities in natural disaster areas could have a psychological effect on some officers when they return to normal duties.
Australian police forces will also need to take on board the lessons from recent natural disasters and start a process to climate-proof their infrastructure and address redundancies in systems to adapt to climate change. Our police officers may have to face more environmental protest groups challenging governments to go further in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Law enforcement bodies would want to avoid aggressive and heavy-handed approaches in responding to this potential problem.
Police will need to adopt a "low carb" approach to daily business; like other large organisations in Australia, police agencies will have to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. There has been little planning to make existing police infrastructure more energy efficient. Police fleets still largely consist of petrol-guzzling vehicles that are out of touch with efficiency trends and spiralling fuel costs.
Australia's police should bring together in a national information hub present knowledge and future thinking on climate change and its implications for law enforcement. Understanding the criminal implications of drought conditions would be an obvious starting point. Australia's police forces should co-operate with research bodies to develop risk assessments of locations likeliest to be affected by climate change as part of a multi-agency strategic approach to climate change adaptation.
While it's unlikely we will see climate-change squads in our police forces in the near future, the release of the Government's green paper provides the opportunity for Australian police officers to start considering how they will need to adapt to the challenges posed by the severity and effect of climate change.
Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH