4 Pub. Space: J. L. & Soc. Just. 1 (2009)

handle is hein.journals/pubspac4 and id is 1 raw text is: Public Space: The Journal of Law and Social Justice
Nicole Rogers*
I don't agree with those whose reaction [to a strong response to climate change] is to warn against
restricting civil freedoms. Were the forecasts of certain climatologists to come true, our freedoms
would be tantamount to those of someone hanging from a 20th-storey parapet.
In Australia, the extensive policy and legal implications of anthropogenic global warming began
to be understood only in 2006, after the release of the Stern report2 and Al Gore's documentary
An Inconvenient Truth. Until then, the Howard government in collaboration with the fossil fuel
industries had downplayed the extent of anthropogenic warming and its likely impacts.3 The
delay in Australia's response has meant that there is still very little Australian legislation which
addresses climate change4 and no legislation which contains effective mitigation measures. Nor
has there been a concerted legislative response to the likely impacts of climate change through
the imposition of effective and proactive adaptation measures. Other Western nations, with the
exception of the United States, have been somewhat quicker than Australia to respond to a global
* Dr Nicole Rogers is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law and Justice, Southern Cross University, Lismore.
Vaclav Havel, 'Our moral footprint', New York Times (New York), 27 September 2007
2 Nicholas Stem, Stern Review: The Economics of Climate Change (2007) <http://www.hm-
treasury.gov.uk/stem review-report.htm>.
3 See Clive Hamilton, Scorcher. The Dirty Politics of Climate Change (2007).
4 See Tim Bonyhady and Peter Christoff, 'Introduction' in Tim Bonyhady and Peter Christoff (eds), Climate Law
and Australia (2007) 3.

Public Space: The Journal of Law and Social Justice (2009) Vol 4, pl-34

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