— Australia will face a moral duty to accept thousands of "environmental refugees" when rising sea levels caused by global warming displace the peoples of small Pacific island states in future decades, Clive Hamilton, director of the Australia Institute, told an audience of around 300 at the Irish Club on May 1.
Hamilton was launching his new book, Scorcher, which tackles issues raised by the effects of climate change. The launch was chaired by ecologist Professor Ian Lowe.
Around the world, millions of people will be affected by rising sea levels encroaching on low-lying areas, Hamilton said. He slammed the Howard government for not only refusing to sign the Kyoto Protocol to limit greenhouse gas emissions, but "for actively seeking to sabotage Kyoto". "It's painful to be a citizen of a country that behaves in such an immoral way", he added.