Dispelling the Fog of War: Climate Change & International Security


This event comprises a brief artistic and musical performance followed by a public lecture:

Performance - Oblivion


Oblivion is a short video work by Ngaio Fitzpatrick, responding to the global threat of climate change and its effects on the fragile natural world that we, and countless other species, inhabit.

The work invites us to contemplate what a future world might look like and unfolds to comment on our inability to fully comprehend a looming environmental disaster. IT is shot in dramatic black and white and reveals the Unfolding drama of pressure building to a point of no-return.

Founded by ANU Climate Change Institute member, Dr Alexander Hunter (ANU School of Music), the Canberra Experimental Music Studio specialises in collaborative multimedia performances. The ensemble will be working from a loose score which affords each member a great deal of personal freedom to interpret and respond to the film’s striking imagery.

Lecture: Dispelling the Fog of War - Climate Change and International Security


Climate change will have ramifications well beyond crazy weather – it can affect national security amongst many other things. Temperature and precipitation changes will imperil food and water security, rising sea levels will impact on valuable infrastructure, transport and the coastal environment, and extreme weather events will create challenges for public health, national and regional economies, and military operability.

Dr. Elizabeth Chalecki, from the University of Nebraska Omaha, will discuss the connections between climate and national security that affect not only Australia but the rest of the world. As greenhouse gas concentrations increase, the climate will be shifted into a new state, and the environmental conditions we rely upon to guarantee our sovereignty and security will change. Dr. Chalecki will look at what sorts of threats will become apparent in a globally-warmed world, and what our best options are for dealing with scientific and political uncertainty.

Dr Albert Palazzo will address one of the oldest mechanisms humans have employed when faced by an existential need to adapt: war. He will discuss how climate change will encourage societies to choose war and what such wars may look like. Dr Palazzo will conclude that, as with all adaptation, climate change wars will require societies to prepare, plan and think through the myriad paths that may — or may not — lead to survival.

The presentations will be followed by audience Q&A, moderated by Professor Roger Bradbury, National Security College, ANU.

About the speakers

Dr Elizabeth L. Chalecki is an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Nebraska – Omaha. Her expertise lies in the areas of climate change and security, global environmental politics, and the intersection of science & technology and International Relations. Dr. Chalecki has published over 20 books, articles, and book chapters on diverse topics such as climate change and Arctic security, environmental terrorism, climate change and international law, public perceptions of environmental issues, and water in outer space.

Dr Albert Palazzo is a Canberra based defence thinker. He has published widely on the military history of Australia and contemporary military issues. His publications include The Australian Army: A History of its Organisation and Forging Australian Land Power: A Primer. His current research interests are war and climate change.

Presentation slides:

Dr Chalecki

Download the presentation (PDF, 2 MB)

Dr Palazzo

Download the presentation (PDF, 253 KB)

Podcast of the presentation


Updated:  30 August 2019/Responsible Officer:  College of Science/Page Contact:  https://iceds.anu.edu.au/contact