Ex-Climate Science Chief Is Mad As A Cut Snake ‘Bout Looming CSIRO Closures

Considering a solid chunk of Australia is currently dealing with yet another “once in a lifetime” weather event – and by event, we mean an absolute maelstrom – discovering the CSIRO will definitely go ahead with funding cuts to its climate science department is kinda worrying. 

And that’s just for us. The boffins on the ground at Melbourne’s Aspendale laboratories are now dealing with the fact they’ll more than likely be out of a job, following the CSIRO’s commitment to a top-to-bottom funding shake-up. 32 positions look like they’ll be made redundant. 

Aspendale has been involved in some world-leading research involving Antarctic ice core samples, which have given us a pretty informative look at our planet’s atmospheric past; they also assisted in developing groundbreaking weather forecasting techniques. So, not a bad rap, really. 
ICYMI, CEO Larry Marshall previously indicated the body would be responding to “economic reality, commercialisation and industry.” It’s become clear that means more focus on pragmatic and profit-generating research, as opposed to science for science’s sake.

Speaking to the ABC, former CSIRO scientist and a co-founder of the org’s climate division Dr Graeme Pearman straight-up said that change was approaching scientific vandalism.

“Why would you actually make a change to high-quality work related to the climate change issue, right at a time when we are now realising we have a serious problem on our hands?”
Pearman went further, implying the decision to nix staff from the division was ideologically motivated, and blatantly so. 
“The agenda is this belief structure, this ideology, that somehow or other people who don’t actually even know how science operates are audacious enough to say, ‘well science should just be about wealth generation.’”
FWIW, Marshall responded to the deal; in regards to CSIRO funding dropping 70% over the last three years with more cuts expected, he said “given the finite envelope — both appropriation, government funding and external revenue — we’ve got to shift the emphasis from the measurement and modelling to the mitigation and adaptation.”

Needless to say, the CSIRO is doing it tough. You’d think they’d want all hands on deck about this climate deal, though. Especially when NSW and TAS are bloody underwater. 

Source: ABC.