(wunderground.com) – Back in November, I wrote that our, the U.S.’s, political behavior seemed a concerted effort to accelerate our decline into the Dark Ages. This week we discover that we are not alone. Dr. Larry Marshall, the Chief Executive of CSIRO in Australia, announced large cuts in staff. CSIRO is the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization; it is Australia’s national science agency.
“At the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), we shape the future. We do this by using science to solve real issues. Our research makes a difference to people, industry and the planet.”
A large percentage of the CSIRO cuts target climate science.
Australia, Canada and the United States all have large landmasses and relatively low population densities. All have had easy access to energy, especially fossil fuels, that have allowed development of economies based on the inefficient use of energy and the sloppy management of energy waste. All have developed “gray” economies rather than “green” economies. All have the hallmarks of success and wealth, which is built on the luxury of cheap energy and the neglect of waste management.
Climate change has been a contentious issue in all of these countries. Significant political constituencies have evolved that would be happy if climate change would go away. Climate change will not go away; therefore, climate scientists are a good proxy to target. In all of these countries there have been both subtle and overt efforts to discredit the scientific study of climate as well as climate scientists. There are constant disruptions to public-funded research, with occasional grandiose budget reductions. There are political attempts to restrict the use of knowledge, and, at times, to limit the use of the word “climate.”
These efforts to disrupt and discredit climate science have been quite effective in keeping climate policy from forming, disallowing planning and preparation for accelerating climate change, and maintaining a public dialogue of doubt based on misinformation. In fact, let’s look at my last blog entry. I was organizing and analyzing information to help a scientist colleague, who is not a climate scientist, explain manufactured doubt about the warming of the Earth. That discussion was to be had on a vacation cruise. That manufactured doubt motivated research to vanquish that doubt, a disruption that consumes time, money, and highly trained people.
We are presented in Australia with what has all of the appearances of a politically motivated purge of climate scientists from Australia’s premier government research institution. It is justified, according to The Guardian, by:
“Our climate models are among the best in the world and our measurements honed those models to prove global climate change. That question has been answered, and the new question is what do we do about it, and how can we find solutions for the climate we will be living with?”
This is not a convincing compliment to the success and excellence of Australia’s scientific enterprise. There is no doubt that the first sentence of the quote is true. However, the logic of then, de facto, terminating efforts in climate modeling and monitoring has no merit. It could be stunningly naïve or misinformed management or, perhaps, it could be trying to bury climate science and climate scientists for political or punitive purposes. They are messengers of Mr. Gore’s Inconvenient Truth, and it is well-honed behavior to cause harm to the messenger. [more]