Climate Change and Australia: Warming to the Global Challenge (Paperback) book cover

Climate Change and Australia

Warming to the Global Challenge

By Ben Saul, Steven Sherwood, Jane McAdam, Tim Stephens, James Slezak

© 2012 – Federation Press

350 pages

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Climate change is one of the most hotly debated issues of this century. Politicians have risen and fallen on its wake, elections have been fought around it, and international leaders have come under unprecedented scrutiny by civil society. As Australia is battered by hotter summers, more frequent and severe floods, devastating bushfires, water shortages in capital cities, and coastal erosion on its beaches, more and more often the question being asked is , 'Is climate change the cause?'

This book provides a clear, balanced account of the science on climate change, how it is affecting the planet and Australia, and the policy options available to Australia and the world to deal with it.

It draws on the expertise of its authors from the disciplines of science, economics, geography and international law. Inquisitive readership will find this book compelling.

Table of Contents

Warming to a Global Challenge, A Crisis in Slow Motion: The Science of Global Warming and the Response Needed, Climate Change and Australia: A Vulnerable Continent in a Vulnerable Region, Global Climate Law and Politics: From Rio to Cancún and Beyond, Australia’s Response to Climate Change, Climate Change ‘Refugees’?, Climate-Related Displacement and Migration, ‘Climate Wars’?, Conflict, Security and Climate Change

About the Authors

Ben Saul

Dr Ben Saul is Professor of International Law at the Sydney Centre for International Law at The University of Sydney and a barrister. Ben is internationally recognised for his work on terrorism, human rights, the law of armed conflict and international criminal law, and his research has been cited in various international and national courts. He has published five books, over 50 refereed journal articles and book chapters, and over 150 other publications, and delivered hundreds of public seminars. Ben has taught law at Oxford, Sydney, UNSW, and in China, India, Nepal and Cambodia, and conducted training for numerous governments (including Iraq, Kuwait, Algeria, Laos, Nepal and Bhutan). He currently holds two collaborative Australian Research Council grants.

Ben is a member of the International Law Association’s International Committee for the Reparation of Victims of War, President of the Refugee Advice and Casework Service in Australia, and Editor-in-Chief of the Australian International Law Journal. As a practitioner, Ben has been involved in human rights cases concerning South Africa, Peru, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Israel, Macedonia, Fiji and the United States (including Guantanamo Bay), including before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, United Nations Human Rights Committee, Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and Israeli Supreme Court. Ben frequently appears in the international and national media on international law issues.

Previously Ben was Director of the Sydney Centre for International Law (2007-2010), a Lecturer at the University of NSW, a Tutor at Oxford University, and a Legal Officer at the Australian Law Reform Commission. He has also served as a legal expert for a UN General Assembly committee on Palestine, a delegate for Amnesty International in Cambodia, an observer for the International Commission of Jurists in Sri Lanka, and a Member of NSW Legal Aid’s Human Rights Committee. Ben has a doctorate in law from Oxford and honours degrees in Arts and Law from The University of Sydney.

Titles by Ben Saul:

•Climate Change and Australia - Warming to the Global Challenge - Forthcoming Release

•Future Seekers II - Refugees and irregular migration in Australia

Steven Sherwood

Professor Steven Sherwood received his PhD from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1995. He joined UNSW in 2009, following previous positions as a researcher at NASA and professor at Yale University. He has taught courses on atmospheric physics and global warming. His expertise is in the behaviour of atmospheric storms, clouds and humidity, and the relationship of these to climate. He has also done extensive work on climate observation.

Steven has authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications and served as a co-author and/or reviewer on several government reports including the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, the first report of the US Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) in 2006, and a Q&A for the Australian Academy of Sciences. He is a lead author of the upcoming IPCC report due for release in late 2013.

Titles by Steven Sherwood:

•Climate Change and Australia - Warming to the Global Challenge - Forthcoming Release

Jane McAdam

Professor Jane McAdam (BA (Hons), LLB (Hons) (Sydney), DPhil (Oxford)) is an Australian Research Council Professorial Future Fellow at the Faculty of Law, University of NSW. She is the Director of the International Refugee and Migration Law project at the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, and a Research Associate at the University of Oxford’s Refugee Studies Centre. Her expertise is in the area of international refugee law and human rights law. She is the author of leading works in the fields of international refugee law and climate change-related movement.

Professor McAdam is a consultant to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on issues pertaining to climate-related displacement, refugee law, and statelessness, and she has advised governments and other organizations on these subjects as well. She is the Associate Rapporteur of the Convention Refugee Status and Subsidiary Protection Working Party for the International Association of Refugee Law Judges, on the Board of the Refugee Advice and Casework Service in Sydney, and a member of the Editorial Board of the Australian International Law Journal.

Titles by Jane McAdam:

•Climate Change and Australia - Warming to the Global Challenge - Forthcoming Release

Dr Tim Stephens

Dr Tim Stephens Director of the Sydney Centre for International Law. An international lawyer and human geographer, Dr Stephens has published widely on issues of public international law, national and international environmental law and the law of the sea.

He is Co-editor in Chief of the Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law. Dr Stephens holds a PhD in law from the University of Sydney, and a M.Phil in geography from the University of Cambridge. In 2010 Dr Stephens was awarded the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Junior Scholarship Prize for his contribution to environmental law scholarship.

Titles by Dr Tim Stephens:

•Climate Change and Australia - Warming to the Global Challenge - Forthcoming Release

Dr James Slezak

Dr James Slezak heads the Sustainability Practice at New York-based social change agency Purpose. Previously, he led major projects on climate change, technology and economic development for the consultancy firm McKinsey & Company, including developing green stimulus proposals for then-Prime Minister Rudd and former US Vice President Al Gore, developing strategy for the ONE Campaign against global poverty in Washington DC, and leading the Russian national carbon efficiency project in Moscow. He co-authored the Australian Cost Curve for Greenhouse Gas Reduction (2008), the first comprehensive economic analysis of its kind in Australia, cited frequently by political leaders, NGOs and the business community as a basis for policymaking. At an international level, he took part in the landmark 1997 Kyoto climate change conference, as well as the more recent UN climate talks in Copenhagen, and has consulted independently for the United Nations on science policy and organizational change.

An Australian native, James’s background is in the natural sciences. He attended the University of Sydney and holds a PhD in Physics from Cornell University, where he discovered a new relationship between the geometry and quantum physics of high temperature superconductors. He also worked on development economics and game theory at Cornell before realizing he’d rather spend more time outside of labs. He is a fellow at Australia’s Centre for Policy Development and has hosted weekly shows on community radio stations in Sydney and New York City. His technical work has been published in the world’s leading peer-reviewed journals, including Science and Nature.

Titles by Dr James Slezak:

•Climate Change and Australia - Warming to the Global Challenge - Forthcoming Release

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General