Climate Science Is Settled, Except When It’s Not

  • Date: 11/02/16
  • Tim Blair, The Daily Telegraph

During the past decade, researchers at the CSIRO — along with global warming alarmists everywhere — have been telling us that the “science is settled” when it comes to climate change. In other words, they’ve delivered their verdict. Bad move.


CSIRO chief Larry Marshall has recently been examining his organisation for areas where he might achieve some $110 million in budget cuts. Inevitably, his gaze fell upon the climate change crowd — the guys who, by their own admission, have already finished their jobs. Last week Marshall sent this memo to CSIRO staff:

“CSIRO pioneered climate research, the same way we saved the cotton and wool industries for our nation. But we cannot rest on our laurels as that is the path to mediocrity. 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.”

Reasonably enough, with that question answered, Marshall is now taking steps to throw most of the CSIRO’s climate researchers out on the street like common circus midgets. More than 300 climate scientists are set to be dismissed over the next couple of years. “Climate will be all gone, basically,” one senior scientist told Fairfax as news of the cuts emerged.

Naturally, this caused an immediate reversal of opinion among Australia’s cashed-up climate change community. Suddenly the science wasn’t settled at all. In fact, the science was almost completely unknown! Author and climate change sceptic Jo Nova rounded up some of the more hilarious reactions at her excellent website.

“Climate science is not solved,” declared Todd Lane, president of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society. “Most of the uncertainty in climate projections is due to uncertainty about the ways to represent physical processes in climate models. Cutting funding in this area now doesn’t make any sense.”

“This is deeply disturbing news,” wailed distressed Will Steffen, Emeritus Professor at ANU and a Climate Councillor at the Climate Council of Australia. “The impacts of climate change are already being felt around Australia at an increasing rate, and there is more to come. We absolutely need to know more about the basic operation of the climate system — how it is changing and how best can we respond to the climate change challenge.”

“The latest round of job cuts from CSIRO is nothing short of appalling,” announced Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, Research Fellow at the Climate Change Research Centre UNSW. “While we know that the climate is changing because of human activity, we have not simply ‘answered’ that question after the Paris agreement — many more questions remain.”

Perkins-Kirkpatrick continued: “Research in any field does not, and cannot stop after an apparent question has been answered.” Actually, in most fields research does stop once the central question is answered. Otherwise video referees at NRL matches would never go home; they’d remain in their reviewing suites forever, endlessly examining the same disputed try.

“I worry about [Marshall’s] statement that there is no further need post-COP 21 to understand climate change,” fretted UNSW’s Professor Steven Sherwood. Hey, prof, the science is settled. Time to move on.

“There is need for climate science,” said John Church, a CSIRO climate researcher since 1978 who anticipates losing his job. “There is a clear need for ongoing sustained and enhanced observations. The science community is actually struggling to address these issues.”

Note that word: “struggling”. So much for the absolute certainty — the alleged “consensus” — we’ve previously heard about from our climate chancey friends. The only consensus among scientists now is that taxpayer funding is really cool and climate researchers want a whole lot of it, forever. Well, those days are gone.

Economic and political priorities have shifted, in Australia and around the world. Climate change has been declining as an issue of public concern since peak panic in 2006, when Al Gore’s dishonest documentary An Inconvenient Truth succeeded in spooking so many gullible saps.

Speaking of Gore, his net worth is around double the level of the CSIRO’s budget cuts. Let’s see him put his money where his global warming gob is and fund local climate change types. The science demands it.

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