Shock! Horror! Australian Climate and Meteorology Scientists told to raise their own funds

Today Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt told assembled Antarctic scientists,  that they need to find a way of broadening their funding base – they will have to raise charitable and commercial funding, to supplement funds provided by the government.
According to Greg Hunt;

“Whether it’s in relation to the walrus population, whether it’s in relation to penguins, you can have iconic species which can attract community interest,”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-10/more-funding-icebreaker-flagged-in-antarctica-strategy/5804654
Hunt announced that the Australian government is putting up a lot of funding – paying for a new Icebreaker, and several other projects – but not all the funding which was promised by the previous government.
According to Hunt, “Along with the Bureau of Meteorology super computer, the investment will approach $500 million, … that wasn’t funded. The cupboard was bare. The cupboard was empty when we opened the doors and came into Government.”

The new icebreaker could come in handy – next time Chris Turney mounts an expedition to the Antarctic, to measure ice loss (or not) around the site of the 1910 Mawson landing, he will be able to hire a real icebreaker, to ensure his party is not stuck in the global warming.

The Ship of Fools fiasco in Antarctica might have hasd something to do with this:
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/02/newsbytes-ship-of-fools-rescued-at-last/

110 thoughts on “Shock! Horror! Australian Climate and Meteorology Scientists told to raise their own funds

    • The horror of it all. The next thing you know, these scientists will have to work hard to collect actual factual data instead of modeling everything. What a travesty that will be. (end sarcasm)

  1. Probably not a good thing for science actually. Commercially funded science is more likely to have biased findings.

    • Really? Government funded science is more biased towards climate change. To support governments taking our money through taxes.

      • To all who have commented, all funded sciences can have bias towards its “supporting” whoever is funding them but no matter what you want to think about research so far, commercially funded research is different to publicly funded research and is more focussed on commercially viable results. Dont confuse commercially funded research with private/philanthropically funded research which is probably the best of them all.

      • Given your logic, why didn’t US scientists publish skeptical papers during the 8 years of the Bush administration? Bush and his National Science adviser were both climate skeptics, and yet there was not a shift in the findings of climate research during this time.

    • Government funded scientists are of course immune from bias as of course we know and discuss here. If your political masters fund you, you provide them with what they want.

      • And just to make the point clear, I never said publicly funded research was immune to bias. Its not. But commercially funded research is MORE likely to have biased results.

      • Why is commercially funded research more likely to be biased?

        Private research ultimately has to yield a profit. Sure there are cases where it yields an advantage to fake the results, but in a lot of cases, such as pure product improvement, where the customer can measure the result, dishonesty is pointless and wasteful.

        Public research has one purpose – to help the politicians who commission it win the next election. There is very little incentive to conduct honest research, unless the quality of the research is easily measured by third parties, and someone cares enough about the research to check the result. And we know in the case of climate research the scientists were subject to significant political pressure – there is talk in Climategate of “pressure to tell a nice tidy story”.

      • I’ll give you a couple of examples Eric.

        A cement company funds research into sea level rise. The cement company has large contracts with sea wall building companies amongst others.

        An insurance company wants to know whether to raise premiums and commisions research into future storm damage…

    • Government money has corrupted science across the board across many nations. De-funding first. Next impartial investigations. Then where appropriate fines, confiscation and incarceration.

      In the USA a good start would be the EPA, US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Act (ESA), US Park Service and so many more that it would take multiple pages to list. The funding to these agencies has been misused for close to three decades and has only gotten worse.

    • Tim, you’ve been around here too long to make such a foolish statement. What do you think we are getting now? Look, if they have such wide support, they should raise money from those willing to donate – a perfect solution to every side of the “debate”. They have had millions of useful fools to protest. There are foundations giving millions to Greenpeace, WWF, 350.org. etc. Let’s see if the believers will pick up the slack! Perfect.

      Biased research? We will get exactly the same stuff. They have written 100,000 papers on the subject and still haven’t altered the climate formula or changed the climate sensitivity they developed in 1990. All they have done is try to patch it up to force it to work. Virtual volcanoes with virtual smoke causing the apparent low sensitivity.

      • These organizations don’t want to spend money on research – they’re spending money on PR efforts to gain more donations. Expect the ‘greenies’ of all stripes to begin screeching big-time about having to spend their own money to support their religion.

      • Gary writes “Tim, you’ve been around here too long to make such a foolish statement. What do you think we are getting now?”

        Confirmation bias. And yes, funding bias too.

      • A vacuum can get quickly filled. This can allow the WWF’s of this world to move in with their bottomless propaganda budgets. Much the same as big corporate donors manipulate political parties and big advertisers manipulate their media.

        In a choice between two evils I would have to say I would go for a Government-budgeted institution with updated and rigorous legislated oversight to keep the bastards honest.

        Cheers,
        another Tim.

    • Tim, the previous government guaranteed the warmists a multi billion dollar fund. That is where the money has gone. The left wing government was the dog wagged by the green tail.
      Business wants specific things to commercialize which advances our standard of living, otherwise we do not spend and they do not get a return on capital.
      Government is run by committees and the committee designed horse is a camel.
      Look at CSIRO, government funded, the good scientists were slowly but surely pushed out by the politically correct warmists. Good research in other areas was starved of funds because the warmists hogged it all, then ran to government with catastrophe scenarios so they could hog even more.
      Climate research is essential for the future of the planet and especially for Australia as the 2nd driest continent. However, when it crosses the line into politics and fudged ( homogenised) data, then it does and is doing a bad disservice to science and the planet.

      Cheap energy, clean water and making governments stand back from interfering in people’s lives ( ie global warming scams) are the important fields in my view.

      Cheap energy lifts people out of poverty and assists the environment by reducing the need for scavenging for a living. As soon as people get television, population birth rates drop as horizontal recreation isn’t the only fun.
      . Clean water for drinking, cooking, growing crops and general health speaks for itself. Cheaply pumped and recycled is of utmost importance as the world’s population grows.

    • Putting aside your bias against certain sources of funding (that are actually not the issue), you are correct that diminishing funding of science, in general, is bad news. However, the issue here is over a specific kind of research and a specific kind of funding. These two has not done well, AT ALL, and must be purged. That is good news.

    • Dubious statement on your part. Company funding actually is more likely to lead to useful research – as companies find necessary research already in house and in Universities. Problem is since WWII when government funding took over, research started getting silly, and hysterical – since it is easier to get funds if you “discover” a crisis than if you want to study something normal. Also if your research supports the belief of a political party in power you are likely to get more money as well (federal government employees are overwhelmingly liberals)

      I would guess 90% of government research outside the military is completely wasted, and that is probably generous by an order of magnitude.

    • Give your head a shake so that whatever marbles are there find their proper place.

      More likely to have biased findings?

      Is that why the US space program has turned to commercially funded science and engineering? So we’ll have a more “commercially biased” outcome? As opposed to a safe program that makes sure that whoever rides their rocket comes home alive and in ne piece?

      As the former CEO of several advanced technology companies I can assure you that if your “science” or R&D is biased in any way, you would be fired so fast you wouldn’t know what hit you. And in any of my companies I would be the one doing it to you. With great pleasure.

      It is one of the hallmarks of publicly funded “science” that there is no accountability -not even through “peer review” which in climate “science” more often than not is “pal” review. Which is why we are in the climate “science” mire and the environmental policy mess we’re in. You want to see an example of bias in publicly funded science? Look no further.

      If you want to understand the disaster we have today in publicly funded science, I suggest you take your time and read Eisenhower’s farewell speech to Congress in 1961, where he talks not only about the “military industrial complex” -which is what all the goodie goodie gumdrops remember- but about the great dangers of an ever growing government teat feeding the funding of science, in the end dictating outcomes.

      Guess what? The fellow who figured out how to make D-day and its aftermath work, had that question dead on in his sights.

      • Congratulations on running an ethical organization. But how about the many well-funded global NGO’s that are part of the warmist agenda. Surely they would love to get their hands on such a prize.

    • Privately funded science can be either or, publicly funded science will always be in the interest of politics.

      • Joseph writes “Privately funded science can be either or, publicly funded science will always be in the interest of politics.”

        I disagree. In general, anyway. Most research done by universities is mostly immune to any political influence because the result is unlikely to be politically influential. Its just climate science with its large crossover into politics that is horribly biased. Nobody ever set a policy based on an interesting mating habit of a squirrel.

    • LOL, that didn’t help keep climate science honest, now did it? You can be sure of one thing, and that is that commercial interests will demand at least more TRUTH from climate science … government won’t be funding the NGOs and universities to produce cr8p, commercial interests will have to take up the funding and they won’t waste their money on cr8p.

    • Commercially funded science is generally held accountable for its findings. If a finding is biased, and the result is death, injury, financial loss, or any other negative impact, there are criminal and/or civil proceedings.
      But in the climate science field, where governments have poured tons of money into research, the bias of the researchers has resulted in hundreds of billions (if not trillions) of tax dollars wasted. And let’s not forget the misery and death resulting from increased energy costs due to legislation based on the climate scientists’ biased research. Have the CAGW alarmist scientists been held accountable? We are talking real damages here, not just an “inconvenience”.

    • I can’t wait to see your cites on your assertion.

      Human beings seem to have an innate craving for power and money…this does nor appear to be a simple function government or private funding.

    • That is an interesting assertion Tim. Have any proof? From where I sit, the opposite is true.

    • Commercially funded science is more likely to have biased findings.

      Experience clearly shows otherwise.

    • I wonder if you have actually worked in commercially funded science. Those who have will tell you that is far less likely to produce biased fundings; it is free of politics and generally affords researchers a greater freedom in all respects except one: publishing and even private conversations are severely limited. Whatever the private industry’s findings are, they remain secret for a long time, and working in isolation can be stifling for many scientists. But biased it is not.

      The best funding model for public science has always been support by private benefactors who don’t ask anything in return.

  2. Mr Hunt is the greenest of the greens in the Liberal party, hence environment minister. He looks good, sounds good and is a future Prime Minister in the making. He rarely sets a foot wrong and somehow gets on easily with his right wing colleagues.
    The ship of Australia on its politically correct course has barely started to turn yet despite the command being overtaken by a bunch of ideologically driven people who have avoided the shoals of the carbon tax.
    Getting control of the radio station (ABC) and restoring proper weather communications (BOM) are the next steps.
    It reads like something out of the Phantom.

    • Pravda-on-the-yarra is not really the best source to try to use to impute the standing of anyone further to the right than, say, Lenin.

    • For the non-Aussies,

      Quoting the SHM and Age, is equivalent to quoting the most far left wing of the Democrats or socialist US newspapers.

    • Yes, Peter, you will also read another batch of articles criticizing him for this move. Ideologue fluff is always available but really proof of nothing.

    • Yes, we can’t have democratically elected ministers doing their own research – they might sometimes reach conclusions which differ from the opinions provided by their advisors.

    • well Id beg to differ on his green ness.
      hes the prat who rushed approvals of GMO crops into Victoria some years back against public wishes.
      radio int today hes pretty poor on his knowledge base re feral animals, removal of, also.
      approved mega mil for some doubtful idea for a cat bait.
      bullets work better:-)
      or traps for foxes cats n bunnies.
      as for giving the BoM more millions for bigger pcs?
      why bother?
      theyve HAD multi mil and theyre still crap at getting much if any forecasts right.
      theyd do better making some phone calls to ask locals whats happening :-) daily.
      private/biz funding..like Gates? tax dodges and definite agendas, for what they want.
      at least govt is..eventually..answerable
      or thats the theory..practice? well hmm. damn!

  3. So the jig is up CAGW con-artists, don’t forget to write to your colleagues in the rest of the fat cat world, that way the slow adopter administrations of “CAGW funding deniers” will catch on.

    Please, please grizzle and whinge as much as you can

  4. The entire previous regime simply loved spending money it did not have. It borrowed billions upon billions to get Australia from surplus to massive debt very quickly.This included billions borrowed from China to then give as foreign aid, including to China! To add insult to injury, China then uses that money to buy large swathes of Australian productive land freehold, with the produce flowing back to China without taxes being levied. They also bring in their own labour! The government before that reduced the debt by selling off assets, which is not real debt reduction. The current debt will take decades to pay off (if ever) and that is with a responsible government.
    We certainly cannot afford to fund junk science any more(if ever.) Those that have previously been paid to sprout lies should not be funded to the tune of even one cent. Hopefully the truth emerges eventually and these fee-for-comment “scientists” are excluded from all employment in research.

    • Well, actually, selling assets to reduce debt is “debt reduction”.

      What you may have meant is selling assets does not necessarily reduce the rate of spending.

  5. There really should be some relationship between the economic value of research (which is often close to zero) and how much money a government is willing to spend on it, but if there is an economic value to the research it should be fairly easy to get private funding. There is no value at all in predicting what the climate might be in 100 years. We will see what happens when and if it happens and adapt as is needed.

  6. I think they’re toast.

    The single activity that might generate serious revenue is accurate forecasting. Something which climate scientists are demonstrably incapable of.

    Time to look at new careers.

  7. Won’t the Jeremy Grantham big green hedgefund be funding them ?
    It seems to fund an awful of lot of Climate Change “research” in the UK

    • stewgreen: They could first allocate some of the research budget to assist the pensioners dying of Hypothermia due to increased power bills.

    • OK. That was cold-hearted, ice-veined, ad hom, below the belt… and funny as h3!!

      uh…ahem… (clears throat) Howdy, Mr. Grace!

    • I hope not. His brief strolls thru WUWT are great comedy relief.

      It’s impressive to watch how fast the WUWT audience upends the credibility of his sources. All in all, I’d say Mr Grace gets rather gentle handling from WUWT – sort of like you’d manage a recalcitrant child.

  8. “You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I’ll tell you what his ‘pinions is.”
    Twain, first printed after his death (I think).

    If you think privately (corporately) funded research is any more “pure”, than you are not involved with, nor are affected by, any research results whatsoever. Not likely that.
    Science is corrupt. I reckon it’s alway been so. I don’t like it, but it is what it is. Humans are just human, after all.

    I take all with a grain of salt, and nowadays, I take an extra grain, cause my body seems to like it, despite what my doctor tells me.

    • Corporate financing of research has the charm of not involving tax-payer funding to support a political/religious position.

      • did you forget the tax breaks n concessions that quite often cost the taxpayer more than the companies actually invested to begin with

      • (This is a reply to ozspeaksup, whose comment does not have a reply link)

        How does a tax break given to a corporation cost me money? If I pay $10000 in taxes, and you get a tax break so that you only pay $9000, does that “cost” me anything?

  9. Kick starter funding for iconic species should be easy to obtain This could be described as research to save the penguins, koala bears etc

  10. In the past I recounted a discussion at a conference I had with a new graduate in geology who was considering the “climate science” option. I advised her to go into mining or oil and gas exploration, that climate science was a way oversold already and soon their numbers will be looking for jobs as bank tellers and whatever. I also sent her some stuff on the climate scam that I was sure she would understand from her geological studies and offered some possible companies to solicit for work. I never heard from her again. Poor dear. There will be a 100,000 looking for new employment. Hey when your science has only one formula and you keep buzzing around that repetitively, you should expect it is going to come to a stop no matter what the arguments are about.

    • “Climate geology” – historical geology: good.
      “Climate geology” – glaciology: good.
      “Climate science” – AGW: bad.

    • @nc, Please don’t mention this crook’s name ever. He should be ( as Al Gore and others) be prosecuted.

  11. to understand the ABC reports, you must think like somebody attacking the conservatives (liberals- current government). this report is how they take a pot shot at the current environment minister and attempt to push the government to follow the recommendations in that report from press. it does NOT mean anything else. that report makes more sense in video format.

    the ABC are part of politics in australia, you must consider that what you see/hear/read is not the whole story on the matter.

    “Along with the Bureau of Meteorology super computer, the investment will approach $500 million,”

    he means this money is already in the budget.

    http://www.zdnet.com/supercomputer-to-speed-up-boms-weather-predictions-7000032723/

    its as good as gone.

    just think in the future the BOM will be able to make its totally wrong ”outlooks” that much quicker!

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?s=outlook&submit.x=0&submit.y=0

  12. What I would like to see in Australia is the ability of the ordinary taxpaying Australian to have a say where they want a portion of their tax expended, similar to the citizens directed taxation schemes where you can designate that 20% of your taxation goes to help fund what you see as important.

    Then of course it is up to those groups to lobby us for extra funding. It would be nice to see taxpayers cossetted and wooed, rather than the contempt that some government funded groups show towards ordinary taxpayers in this country as they waste our money on ridiculous airy fairy projects.

    Good for the government too as they get to see where Australian voters really want their precious tax money spent, and something they can point out to the noisy minorities that always want a disproportionate amount when they contribute very little except demands for rights and their entitlements from the public purse (trough).

    How about that Greg Hunt, Joe Hockey, Tony Abbott ? Give taxpaying voters a say? I’d like to see that!

    • Ummmm…I don’t know.

      Hundreds of billions of dollars (in the USA) sloshing around at the whim of a horribly uneducated electorate while being fetted by an army of rent-seeking con-men.

      Better idea: reduce taxes by 20% and give me my money back.

  13. I wonder how many of those scientist actually went to the continent at the bottom of the world or are these scientist that actually believe Polar Bears live there!

  14. The scientists should NOT fear the politicians. The Scientists should fear the wrath of the public when the world’s climate gets colder for a few decades and people really do suffer from something REAL, not an imaginary boogeyman.

    The people will be pissed. The people will demand to know WHY the politicians didn’t prepare better for the consequences of a cooler world (shorter growing seasons, expensive energy, less rainfall). And what will the politicians do????? They will point to the scientists “who led them astray for funding.”

    • Even if we went int a significant period of cooling, Warmists would say ‘it is just cooling on the way to a warming world’ while forgetting what it means for climate sensitivity or the IPCC’s projections.

  15. I find it more than sad that the “so-called democracies” as U.S.A., U.K., Germany (Unified) and Japan for instance, hold their own legal citizens as the most hated of enemies to the Government Class itself in the name of absolute control of human endeavors that elected and appointed “Officials, including President Obama” indulge in.

    https://www.aclu.org/national-security/first-government-officially-tells-aclu-clients-their-no-fly-list-status

  16. It is time for all the ultra rich liberals to put up or shut up. If they are so concerned about things, they should get together and fund the research themselves. Alas, I suspect their real concern is about their own bank accounts. It is so much easier to spend other people’s money.

  17. Margaret Thatcher — “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of
    other people’s money”

  18. For Greg Hunt, a lightweight dork who needs some geography lessons. My apologies to Walruses who live in the Arctic Circle.

  19. I am a viral immunologist by training, I trained and concentrated on common human viruses and their interactions with human T cell based immunologic control. But I have often thought of what the consequences would be if we cured a wild animal population of its parasites through some pharmacologic intervention. The results would probably end up being cruel as the population would temporarily expand, exhaust (decimate) a finite resource (fish or whatever they eat) and then crash in a famine of horrible starvation by the millions.

    Man has big brain that allows us to reshape our environment and through agriculture and animal husbandry expand the food stock available to us to enable a much larger population size than a hunter gathering roots would allow.

    We have the robust immunologic system, innate and adaptive, not inspite of, but because of our continued interaction with parasites throughout a co-evolved history. Man is now losing that evolved robust immunologic control system due to technology (antibiotics, vaccines, anti-helmintic drugs, advanced care), and we will become weaker as a result. That is the fate of our technology. That is, if our robots don’t kill us first.

    • Surely, immunologic advantage is gained by a species as a whole at the expense of individuals within that species.
      Antibiotics etc. have not been around long enough to be a discernible factor in natural selection.

  20. The left always demands that the government be completely secular and in no way influenced by religion or spirituality – it seems to me that removing government funding for renewables, green research and climate change theology is exactly what they would be happy to see happen.

  21. I like the idea of removing government financing and allowing the NGO to use donated funds to buy up land for habitat for flora and fauna…no problem with me.
    NGOs that are pro abortion or pro life should use donations to fund health clinics that give away birth control supplies and services.
    NGOs should support hatcheries and breeding farms to have a fresh supply of endangered species or maybe raise other food sources then releasing them for feeding the life cycle.
    How would that work?

  22. To mebbe
    “Antibiotics etc. have not been around long enough to be a discernible factor in natural selection.”

    Depends on your definition of ‘natural selection’. One would assume that it includes the environment. If the environment includes ‘anti-biotics’ and disinfectants then these antibiotics and disinfectants definitely have been around long emough. Just ask hospitals about “golden staph” and many other horrors.

    Every time a housewife kills off 99.90% of the ‘nasty’ bacteria, she leaves 0.10% of the bacteria to survive. These are the ones who may be weakened, but they survive. And so does their offspring, each more likely to survive the next onslaught of whatever disinfectant or anti-biotic is the ‘flavour’ of the month. And in a few generations, (a couple of days at the rate that bacteria replicate) you have produced a new strain of resistant bacteria.

    “Woe is me!”

  23. I’d be happy to contribute some money for a proper High Quality version of Australian temperature records. It looks to me that actual warming rates were around half of those claimed, via the ACORN-SAT data, and since the latter was derived from “standard peer-reviewed techniques”, the worldwide implications are big.

    • Maybe a crowdfunding raise could find enough like-minded people to fund it?

      Crowdfunding, after all, isn’t all about raising for-profit funds. It can be to raise funds for anything, according to any criteria, using any financial model by any legal organisational form.

  24. @ Lewis @10.02, re: letting your kids play! Thanks, we did the same with ours it works just fine. Did you know they are now trying to ban swings on playgrounds in the US! I am speechless. I am so glad my kids and grand kids are still following yours and our families standards and traditions one of them actually scraped a knee! ( and tackled the sister that did it with the usual results More laughter in the pile of leaves!)

  25. This story should be linked together with the “scared scientists” article from August (link below). Those scared scientists were Aussies who were really scared because their government funding had ceased. Just send money!!! Keep a previously government-funded scientist from being scared! Help mammologist Tim Flannery study all those Antarctic walruses!

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/24/newest-scam-donate-money-to-help-alleviate-the-fears-of-scared-scientists/

  26. @Taphomonic, read your comment just after Admad’s vid I wonder what would have happened if the funding ran out right there?

  27. The scientists simply have to choose what pre-defined narrative they are required to find evidence to support……

  28. Our ever changing climate continues to perplex and worry us.

    Abstract – 1946
    Our changing climate
    In a paper published in the Monthly Weather Review in September, 1933, the author discussed long-time temperature trends, and presented data showing that an unusual and extended warm phase of climate had at that time developed through a more or less regular rise in temperature for a comparatively long period of years. The paper also showed that the prevailing condition was widespread, in fact apparently world-wide, and in addition that temperature data up through 1932, the terminal of the records presented in that paper, afforded no indication of an impending trend reversal to more normal thermal conditions in the then near future.Up to the end of 1945, records for 13 subsequent years have become available, and these are here presented, supplementary to the original data, to determine tendencies since 1932. They show that the general upward temperature trend continued for several years but that the more recent records Indicate a leveling off, and even contain currently a suggestion of an impending reversal.
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1946TrAGU..27..342K
    ==================

    Abstract – 1949
    Ice, open water, and winter climate in the eastern Arctic of North America: part II
    http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/40506427?uid=2&uid=4&sid=21104330760891

  29. You say
    TimTheToolMan
    October 11, 2014 at 3:15 pm
    Probably not a good thing for science actually. Commercially funded science is more likely to have biased findings.

    This is not true as any privately funded science has to be able to counter the accusation that it is biassed so it at least has to stand reasonable scrutiny.
    Secondly privately funded science used for projects has to have an infinitely more severe grilling before it is used to justify any expensive project. Peer review is fine for scientific curiosity projects but any real world project based on commercial science has to have real world testing for quality that is several orders of magnitude more severe than any peer reviews.

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