Australia May Fire 350 Climate Scientists Because Climate Change is Proven

Illustration for article titled Australia May Fire 350 Climate Scientists Because Climate Change is Proven

There are down sides to success. Australia’s national science industry has announced that, as far as they’re concerned, there is no longer any doubt that climate change exists—so they will no longer be funding research that seeks to prove it. They will, however, employ scientists to lessen its effects.

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Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, or CSIRO, recently put out a news release full of terms that employees dread. It includes terms phrases like “embrace change,” and “pick and choose where to prioritize.” Soon rumors were flying about exactly how many people were not going to be a priority, and why.

The why, Nature reported, was, in some ways, the result of victory. CSIRO considered the existence of climate change proved—as well as it could ever be—and wanted to short toward studying how to minimize it and mitigate its effects. It would switch its focus away from basic climate science. Understandably, CSIRO scientists were extremely upset, for both personal and scientific reasons.

Earlier today, CSIRO chief executive Larry Marshall released a second statement. This one included the phrases “spirit of openness,” “made redundant,” and “choices about what to exit.” Although some people will be retraining and moving to different departments, up to 350 people will be leaving the center.

Marshall also clarified why the shift is happening. “We must weigh up where we can have the greatest impact and where Australia has the greatest need,” he wrote. “No one is saying climate change is not important, but surely mitigation, health, education, sustainable industries, and prosperity of the nation are no less important. CSIRO is working on tomorrow.”

He also points out the center’s limited resources, and the need to decide how to use them. We’re interested in what you think. Is it time to declare that climate change is an established fact and start working on ways to ameliorate, its effects? And, if so, is the best way to do this by shifting away from basic climate science and towards technology and prevention? Or is this kind of shift removing both scientists’ ability to convince the public of climate change, and their ability to understand what they’re dealing with?

[Via Nature]

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DISCUSSION

artiofab
artiofab

Tonight’s first contestant, Evil White Male.

The climate is always changing.

This is a fairly boring contrarian non sequitur.

As far as man-made climate change goes, there are a hell of a lot of scientists who don’t go along with herd on this.

This is either a person who is misinformed about how much of a consensus exists in climatology about anthropogenic climate change, or is trying to make an attempt at an argumentum ad populum because they are unaware that scientists are highly specialized, not generalists. It’s also someone who doesn’t understand what a consensus is but that’s kind of secondary.

Everyone’s voice should be heard.

Balance fallacy, and a vast misunderstanding of how people’s knowledge bases work.

Overall a D- or so. Mostly just boring.