Aussie Attorney General: "If the [climate] science is settled, why do we need research scientists to continue inquiring into the settled science?"


Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Australian Attorney General George Brandis has stirred the climate pot down under, by asking a simple yet devastating question.

“If the science is settled, why do we need research scientists to continue inquiring into the settled science?” Brandis said on Tuesday.

“Wouldn’t it be a much more useful allocation of taxpayers’ money and research capacity within CSIRO to allocate its resources to an area where the science isn’t settled?”

The attorney general’s argument is similar to that used by the CSIRO chief executive, Larry Marshall, who said in an email to staff in February that further work on climate change would be reduced because climate change had been established.

“It doesn’t seem to me that the science is settled at all but I’m not a scientist,” he said. “I’m agnostic, really, on that question. But I can follow a logical argument.

“I am simply challenging the illogic of the proposition being advanced by the Labor party who say, on the one hand, that the science is settled but, on the other hand, say it is a disgraceful thing that we should make adjustments to our premier public sector scientific research agency that would reflect the fact that the science is settled.”

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In my opinion George Brandis is spot on – government climate scientists are caught in a political pincer of their own making.

If climate science is settled enough to make confident predictions, why do we need so many climate researchers? If climate science is not settled, why do climate scientists keep pretending it is?

You don’t have to be a climate scientist, to smell the “inconsistency”.

162 thoughts on “Aussie Attorney General: "If the [climate] science is settled, why do we need research scientists to continue inquiring into the settled science?"

  1. “If climate science is not settled, why do climate scientists keep pretending it is?”
    And if the science is settled, why do climate scientists keep adjusting and correcting the temperature data upon which that science is based? It seems to me that the data have to be “settled” before any conclusions derived from that data can ever be considered settled.

    • It is the function of government to continue to pour resources into things that do not work, in hopes that somehow a fountain of money will turn fantasy into reality. For more than fifty years the US government has poured trillions into a “war on poverty” in hopes of eliminating poverty. Poverty rates are no less today than they were fifty years ago, but the government insists on continuing with the insane proposition of continuing to do what does not work. With climate issues, it is the same thing; pour money into a conceptual model that has shown over and over not to work — insanity defined. It also seems to be a modern government function to destroy that which does work, such as the fossil fuel industry and free enterprise. Throw all the perpetrators of insanity out and impose term limits — term limits — term limits.

      • reminds me of the Department of Indian Affairs in Canada. Huge budget. As big as Unemployment Insurance (rebranded as Employment Insurance – as if someone needs to be insured against having a job).
        But when you actually look at the Department, you find 6,000 employees and untold “Indian Agents” completely absorb the entire budget of the department in wages, fees and operating expenses. There is no money left to actually go towards helping Indian Communities. And why Canada would be sending money to communities in India is another matter.
        Apparently the latest ploy is immigrant women from India marrying status Indians in Canada, allowing the family and offspring full treaty rights, as though they settled here thousands of years ago. Apparently the word “Indian” is a never ending source of confusion for those in government, as it was in the days of Columbus.
        “We are from the government and we are here to help (ourselves).”

      • Great analogy using the “war on poverty”. One might contend that the war on drugs is somewhat similar after fighting that war for the last 50 years, with no impact on the money end of the drug trade.

      • They are all just opportunists. Shortening terms is just shortening the queue and encouraging more opportunists to line up for the job. I don’t know what the answer is. Some kind of personality test that is released to the public would be my preference. Let’s get a look at what sort of creature we are dealing with before we give them the reins.

    • Well, when you are addicted to public funding for your “science”, you can say things are “settled”, but that would be the end of the free lollies, wouldn’t it? Twenty years ago an unemployed climatologist might be able to fake being a decent “weather specialist” on Channel Z out in the sticks. Now, they would be competing with gender studies grads at the Starbucks.
      Or, as they said in “Trainspotting”: “There’s final hits and final hits. What kind was this to be?”
      In other words, there’s settled science, and there’s settled science. What will pay my mortgage?

  2. So, you’re a graduate in climate studies?
    Where would you expect to get a job after university?
    Realistically, only certain government agencies or academia would employ you.
    But these both require substantial funding from government (read: politicians)
    So how are you going to react when some politician suggests : “climate work can be down-scaled now because it’s done”?
    Of course you’re going to bleat: “No it’s not done yet, we’ll find lots more to do”.
    After all, you have to put food on the table and provide a roof over your head just like the rest of us.
    We understand – just don’t make out there’s something else going on.

    • So, you’re a graduate in climate studies, principled & honest? Where would you expect to get a job after university? Answer: You wouldn’t.

      • I disagree!!! – there are plenty of jobs out there for individuals with such degrees – they just have to be retrained to keep saying
        “What sauce would you like with your burger?

      • “Here is your food, sir. As for your change, I calculate there is a 97% chance that the six dollars and ninety three point two five eight seven cents change you are owed will cause a catastrophic negative feedback to the bottom line of our store, so there will have to be additional studies done before we can consider this remittance.
        Have a nice day!”

    • Failing that a climate scientist could always get a job as a campaigner for Green Peace or some similar group.

      • Greenpeace terrorists, sorry I mean “activists” went about various statues etc in London placing gas masks on them in protest about air pollution (I am not sure if it was related to CO2 and climate change related). Clearly these “activists” are far too young to know what the air quality was like in London during the 1940’s and 50’s.

      • I arrived in London by train in the winter of 1959 passing thousands of terraced houses (hidden in the smog ) all heated by coal, the train was driven by a coal fired engine, which filled the carnage with a different, smell than the tobacco, in the daytime in Piccadilly square you could see about 100 feet, etc, etc.
        The Muslims have there terrorists, but the resat of the world has green pieces.

      • “Failing that a climate scientist could always get a job as a campaigner for Green Peace or some similar group.”
        Oddly enough, most of them act as if they already are campaigners for the Green Blob.

    • I will answer your question (Where would you expect to get a job after university?) Mick. At Exxon Mobil. But only paleoclimatologists need apply. Oh the irony of the thought, of these poor idealistic souls having that as the only option, in working for a fossil fuel exploration company.

      • Well, Big Oil always has room for environmental engineers. However, climate sciences don’t do a good job of preparing you for such a career. They don’t have enough law, design, or chemistry to really focus on any one aspect of the job. Emission modeling is an important, but very small part of the field, and large scale climatology doesn’t really fit in anywhere.
        However, it’s really no different than the marine biology boom that occurred during my youth. Everyone wanted to be one, but there were very few positions available. They’ll find jobs outside their field, whether as lab techs or sewage treatment specialists.

      • Ben of Houston – yes there was a time Marine Biology was a popular degree. But for many, it was a stepping stone. Like many others, my brother in law got a Marine Biology Degree and worked at the Vancouver Aquarium for some time before realizing that there were much more exciting things to do in the world than prepare whale and dolphin feed. So he went to The British Columbia Institute of Technology and learned business efficiency management. He has enjoyed a long, successful and challenging career working for forestry, oil companies, mining, materials processing, sawmills, and even large bakeries finding ways to keep them efficient and profitable in challenging times and to make peoples job’s more satisfying. His Marine Biology Degree taught him that a good job provides a challenge along with improvements to the system, not just chugging along accepting the status quo.

    • No such thing as climate studies. There are specialities such as atmospheric physics, oceanography, meterology etc.

      • No such thing as climate studies.
        That’s part of the problem, I think. Anyone can call him/herself a “Climate Scientist” and there’s no formally-recognized definition of what one is or how you get there. Of course, the alarmists consider themselves to be the Real Climate Experts and the public shouldn’t listen to anyone else.

    • ” I can hardly wait to hear the replies of those who maintain the science is settled/”
      The word you are looking for is “bleating”. As in, “I can hear the bleating of the sheep hungry for another grant.”

    • I don’t think you’re going to experience the bliss you anticipate; there won’t be any response, or if there is it won’t be on topic or address the question.
      At best, I’d expect nothing more than ideologically based ad hominem. Anyone who asks such a question must be a caveman with no intelligence, unfit for public office. By definition, a cretin. Too stupid to talk to and certainly no one to be trusted. You’ve heard it all before.
      There is nothing that passes for rational thought among the cAGW crowd. They’ve been very successful bullying and browbeating from an unjustified assumption of righteous arrogance. There’s little or no science in their position and none is actually required. The prey on guilt and ignorance and it works.

  3. Hi from Oz. Go George – speaking the truth, in plain English! Now we Aussies just need the voters at our up-coming federal election to give George’s party (the Liberal / Nationals coalition) a workable majority in both houses of our parliament then they can get on with dismantling the rest of the Labor Party’s anti-business, pro-AGW legislation, money-sucking ‘green’ bureaucracy and all those %^*&^ taxpayer subsidised bird chompers and solar panel follies. Then I can die a happy chappy!

    • Nothing is worth dying for.
      Well, maybe something are, but green subsidies are definitely not.
      If you guys are successful in dismantling the green the green racket, Turkey heads in government will invent another way how to squander public money…

      • He sure is. Aussie $100 bills are green, and he can see a way to get hold of billions worth though a carbon tax.

      • Very much so. One of Al Gore’s best mates. Turncoat wants us to believe in AGW so that he can get his ETS up and running.

    • well mate, as another Aussie…you really think the turd and his termite are NOT going to support the warmist side?
      lotta money in “donations ” from that side and hes a goldbagssux man
      his spiel re us getting into tech etc..oughta raise your bullshitmeter to high
      and his refusal to investigate the corrupt banking system as well

  4. I think the top rated comment after the Guardian article says all there is to be said about the climate alarmist community.

  5. Well, maybe somebody could figure out what caused the great climate fluctuations of the past, prior to any significant influence from humans.
    And then, we might know why the last glaciation ended and why the planet has been warming for the last 20,000years and continues to warm. Why the glaciers and ice sheets have been retreating for the last 20,000years and continue, in general to retreat today. And why sea level started to rise suddenly 20,000 years ago and continues to rise, albeit at a lesser rate, today.
    And then to explain the more minor fluctuations during recorded history, Since the Minoans.
    But, since the science is settled, I assume that scientists have a concrete and definitive explanation for the massive shifts in the earth’s climate, between ice-ball and hothouse, and that they only forgot to update wikipedia with their consensus proven explanation.
    And whilst, they are enlightening us, perhaps they could let us know whether the Antarctic ice sheet is currently experiencing a net ice gain or a net ice loss.
    Or why temperatures at the south pole are falling or at best static during the entire satellite era.
    Or did they predict that with their models and simply forget to update us?
    Or should we simply dismiss the condition of the world’s largest ice sheet as an inconvenient irrelevance.
    Maybe when we understand what factors drive the earth’s climate over millennial timescales, then we will have the foggiest idea where we are right now, and where the earth’s climate is headed in the near future and long-term.
    So – let’s hope that somebody will unsettle climate science, so that we can start trying to find out what factors dominate the earth’s climate, what is going on right now, and where it may be going in the future.
    Until we can satisfactorily explain the past behaviour, then it would be absurd to propose that we had arrived at such a point of understanding.
    It would certainly be interesting to have the answers to some of the most basic questions.

    • These basic questions are not appropriate.
      I’m threatened by your challenging attitude.
      Is there a safe place on this blog I can retreat to?
      (or – ‘to which I can retreat’, for the pedants)

      • Yeah, sorry about that. I only meant to ask what factors trigger warming.
        But, I forgot to include – a trigger warning.

    • The Ice Age suddenly ended because of all the fire pits the humans created to warm their caves. 🙂

      • What were they burning? Seals? Actually, that’s not impossible.
        How many seals would you need to burn to melt a 1mile thick ice sheet?
        That’s assuming that no animal rights activists turn up to spoil the party.

      • Well, I knew that you guys could be relied on to fill in the missing pieces!!! Problem solved.

  6. I have not heard this reported in the Aussie MSM. I may have missed it, but unlikely as news is pretty much repeated on all channels from about 7am (Makes daytime TV so boring. Thank crunchie for Netflx and Youtube on my smart TV). What is being reported is a massive increase in coral bleaching with emphasis on climate change and not on run-off and record breaking temperatures etc etc…
    So Peter Hannam is at it again;
    But remember, like the USA, it is election year here in Australia, date set for July 2nd, and Turnbull (Liberal National Party, LNP) and Shorten (Australian Labor Party, ALP) are under the pump. I see the LNP will lose spectacularly since Turnbull ousted Abbott and LNP popularity is very low. Shorten is doing the usual ALP “If we are elected we will blah blah blah bleet bleet bleet…” thing, currently targeting the banks, so the ALP won’t win either. So there is the possibility of a double dissolution election resulting in a hung parliament. We still have the budget to be announced in May, which may sway voters. I don’t see it myself. So, the pantomime that is Australian politics continues and has been doing so for about 10 years now!

    • be so much better to hang the pollies:-)
      and the banksters for that:-)
      damned if we do or dont
      with the attempt to remove ALL the minors done with malice n cunning by the turd
      voting for those we want in, while removing the whiteants..isnt going to make voting easy

  7. Hopefully that question gets asked all over the West. I have seen numerous sources that state that the “climate change industry” spends a billion a day. Why?

  8. Government climate bureaucracies are such worthy and vital organisations in that they ……….er………….er……………
    So how can anyone possibly suggest their numbers should be cut back?
    Shame on you Mr Brandis for suggesting such a terrible thing.

  9. Almost all of the comments at the article are insulting and derogatory. Clearly those making those comments are as uninformed as they claim Brandis to be.

    • Mindless followers like to be seen as having strong opinions even when they’re not their own because they’re not all that bright to begin with.

  10. George Brandis is one of the most competent Cabinet Members of Government in Australia and can see through the Climate Change Mantra. He is using the Warmistas own Mantra when he says: “Wouldn’t it be a much more useful allocation of taxpayers’ money and research capacity within CSIRO to allocate its resources to an area where the science isn’t settled?” Enough taxpayers’ money has been wasted on this fiasco and it has to end now. ‘Climate Change’ has now ceased to be a matter of public concern and ranks bottom on everyone’s tax expenditure wish list.

  11. It’s hardly settled and they know it. At every turn it seems they are “surprised ” by some new facet of climate change. It is, worse than they think. Presenting an article in Science News this week, based on random stories, could be, may, and downplaying major stories from the past, and ignoring current conditions, leaves little room for objectivity. Hurricane Katrina was 10 years ago. If they wait long enough, there will be another one. And the much vaulted sea rise was suppose to happen regardless whether Antarctica melted or not, thermal expansion. They must think we live in an age where information is not readily available. For example, they showed a picture of the retreating Arctic ice pack in 2012, but glossed over 2014. Why didn’t they show one from this year? Did they stop taking pictures.? I could have just as easily have spun a story about global cooling. Seven feet of snow in Boston? Snow in the deep south? Growing sea ice in Antarctica ? Did the Himalayan glaciers disappear? Was the drought in the midwest US as bad as the one in the 1930’s? It’s a moving target. What happened to the prediction that the Arctic would be ice free by 2013? Now it’s 2052? Did they change the math? I can tell you, they made up an equation that gave them the results they wanted. Don’t believe me? Pull up the equation and put a different numbers in there. Go and see what the relationship is between the energy budget and co2. They stopped talking about the tipping point of run a way greenhouse house. There wasn’t one word of that.
    They talk as if AGW is an established fact, it isn’t.
    There are only two ways they can convince me now. Correct math, or overwhelming evidence. So far, the math is wrong, and I am underwhelmed. Predictions are the hallmark of any theory. Which predictions made in 2000 have come about? None! Not even close.

  12. Of course for climate skeptics it’s a rhetorical question inasmuch as the answer is obvious. Which is to say, it’s not a real question. However to true blue believers, the need for more “science” is self-evident.
    They will say, “we need more science to convince intransigent, block headed skeptics. We also need more science to “fine tune” the apocalyptic predictions, most critically predictions concerning when it will become “too late.”‘
    But of course we all know the answer to the latter.

    • THe science was never of any interest to the ECo Zealots which is why they have never discussed
      “The science”. THe politicians know that being “green” will get them elected. THey will keep pumping taxes into “research” and the building of wind turbines ( which have not reduced CO2)
      And the burning of wood chips which actually Increase CO2 much more than coal does ( because
      The EU has said that burning wood is “carbon neutral” !!!) AND of course the main stream media
      Will keep pouring petrol onto the flames because disaster sell and the end of the world REALLY
      EVentually when the cost of electricity increases to absurd levels and destroys too much of the economy the “lightbulb” will turn on.

  13. I graduated in 1989 so could have jumped on the green bandwagon right at the start along with many of my contemporaries. Instead I choose to go into the oil industry. I spent the first 15 years of my career living from hand to mouth with the occasional period out of work. Things were good for 10 years from 2004 until 2014 but the oil price crash means that I have been out of work for about 8 or 9 months now.
    I don’t regret my choice for one instant. I’ve had much more fun working in the oil patch – and doing something worthwhile – than I reckon I would have had being a tree-hugging academic and I couldn’t have lived with myself knowing I’d made a career out of what is basically a hoax.

  14. The other thing that is claimed to be settled is that renewable energy is a “good thing”, and Australia has embraced this with such fervour that they are risking electricity security by not having capacity payments. Tasmania (candlemania) has been forced to restore a gas-fired power station, and to install diesel generators, and South Australia is heading down the same path, soon to have a deficit in dispatchable supply of around 1GW, roughly 30% of what they need:

    • South Australia is saved. The Govn’t will be building new Navy ships made with all that wind and solar power!

      • Good point…hang on, why pay for navy, or military for that matter.?? If science is settled, is not lack of war thesame

      • Science is one thing. Climate change is another. Threats of war and invasion are others. Don’t see new taxes for national and border protection.

    • as of today theyre warning due to Yallourn problems Vic may get power outs
      since we are feeding into SA and were tassie till the cable got damaged..
      and pt augusta got decommmed..
      hand tools resurgence for the little remaining industry we have??

    • “Electricity security”. I think this is a very important subject that doesn’t get enough discussion.
      It’s seems all the countries that are implementing these radical “green” energy policies are putting their citizens in danger of running out of power, and at the very least, the price of electricity is going up, up, up, because they are rushing into cutting CO2 emissions regardless of the consequences. Their sole focus is on reducing CO2, not on what is best for their citizens.

  15. They still need them to produce doomsday scenario after doomsday scenario and all the other papers about Mosquitoes and depressed dogs as these kinds of “studies” assume AGW is dangerous.

  16. The money is to make the science even settleder until it’s the settledest it can possibly be. You won’t believe how unbelievably settled they can make it.
    By the way, everything is worse than they thought but that doesn’t mean they were wrong when they first thought. It just means they’re even righter now than before. You won’t credit how incredibly right they are going to be next. They’ll be the rightest ever.
    Anyone disagreeing will be sent to Tasmania without candles or matches. Arguments? No? I thought not.

    • There’s a small town in Yorkshire called Settle. I’m looking for grant funding to set up a Settle Institute of Settled Silly Settleness. Hoping to enlist President Obama’s support during his visit here to tell us all about how settled the EU settlement is and how we should settle for whatever suits him.

      • “and how we should settle for whatever suits him [Obama].”
        He will definitely tell you that. He tells us that all the time.

    • Admit it, you write Donald Trump’s speeches, don’t you? All you needed to add is one NY yuge and you would have gotten all the Trump campaign buzz words in one go.
      I know you were talking about the climate press, but the similarity was quite striking.

      • We’re gonna pull down those wind turbines and make South Australia great again. And Tasmania? Those folks have been getting a raw deal down there for too long. I love Tasmanians. I love all inbred people. We’re gonna re-connect the gas and open the mines and Tasmania will be great again. Trust me.
        What’s so Trump about that?

      • Yeah, Trump had a YUGE victory in New York last night.
        I’m starting to hear a number of in-the-know pundits saying they think Trump is going to win the nomination on the first ballot. They were not saying this last week.
        That would be very good. It would eliminate the machinations those seeking to maintain the status quo are using to try to deny Trump the nomination.
        Trying to deny Trump the nomination after the real voting has taken place, would throw the Republican convention into turmoil, and might be the end of the Republican Party as a viable political force.
        You Trump deniers better hold your nose and go with the flow, if you know what is good for your party and the nation. Hillary would be much worse for the nation than Trump. Although she would be much better for the Donor Class, than Trump. That’s the problem the Republican donor class has: The money is blinding their common sense.
        The future of the United States is more important than the Donor class, of either party. The Donor class hasn’t quite realized that yet. But they are starting to get a glimmer. The Status Quo is going down to defeat. And it can’t happen soon enough.

  17. If science is settled and models can predict (or project) future climate, why do we need over 100 climate models?
    If science was settled, one model should be enough.

  18. Who at CISRO has claimed that the “science is settled”?
    Just because the basic facts of something are no longer in serious dispute doesn’t mean all further research into the subject is futile. This applies as much to evolutionary biology, epidemiology, or any other branch of scientific research as it does to climatology.

    • Biology and epidemiology research does not require a tax on energy to fund further research and mitigate any future climate related catastrophes.

      • So it’s a question about funding and who pays for what rather than about the science being ‘settled’? If so, then that’s a different argument.

      • I don’t see any other research that requires special, dedicated, taxes and trading schemes of any kind to raise funds for research and alternatives. We do see special taxes and trading schemes for alternatives to “fossil fuels” such as wind and solar when we already have a well proven technology that does not burn fossil fuels. So why the special need for special taxes on energy to fund alternatives and research? I mean, at the CSIRO the FUNDING IS BEING cut and 350 jobs are to go, we don’t need them if the science is settled and we know the solution (Tax on fossil fuels).

      • “I don’t see any other research that requires special, dedicated, taxes and trading schemes of any kind to raise funds for research and alternatives.”
        But CSIRO is not funded that way, it is funded out of government revenues the same way as the military or courts are.

      • Chris, why do we need a carbon tax or an ETS to fund climate research and fund alternatives where no other research programs are funded similarly?

      • Patrick MJD
        “… at the CSIRO the FUNDING IS BEING cut and 350 jobs are to go, we don’t need them if the science is settled and we know the solution (Tax on fossil fuels)”.
        No one at CISRO is claiming that ‘the science is settled’. Nor does George Brandis accuse anyone at CISRO of making such a claim. Brandis uses the expression to caricature what he sees as the Labour Party’s stance on the issue of climate funding at CISRO. Brandis himself states that he doesn’t believe the science is settled.

      • Patrick, can you provide links that show that the carbon tax was used to fund CSIRO’s research?

      • “Chris April 20, 2016 at 9:06 am”
        All taxes raised by the Australia federal Govn’t goes in to what is called the consolidated fund. From that fund, Govn’t grants agencies, the CSIRO for instance, money to do work for it. I don’t need to provide links that a tax, setup by Govn’t, goes to an agency to do Govn’t research. It’s how it works in Govn’t here in Australia. The carbon tax that was not to be in 2010 was to fund research in to climate and alternatives to fossil fuels.

      • ” I don’t need to provide links that a tax, setup by Govn’t, goes to an agency to do Govn’t research. It’s how it works in Govn’t here in Australia. The carbon tax that was not to be in 2010 was to fund research in to climate and alternatives to fossil fuels.”
        If you want to prove your point, you do. Just saying the words “the carbon tax was to fun research into climate” does not make it true.

      • “Chris April 21, 2016 at 1:20 am”
        It does. First, educate yourself how Govn’t funds research.

      • Chris still doesn’t get it. Skeptics have nothing to prove.
        Climate alarmism has failed. They can’t even produce a single measurement of the thing they are certain will cause cliate catastrophe. That’s pathetic, no?

    • The problem is that according to the “basic facts” brigade, those basic and settled facts are that co2 is the World’s thermostat and therefore it will get hotter – in which case we don’t need that to be researched anymore by thousands of expensive researchers. On the other hand, the more “detailed facts” legions have claimed so many things now as being directly and indirectly attributable to co2 that there isn’t anything left to research. If a hypothesis explains everything then it explains nothing according to Popper so again we hardly need to keep pumping billions into something which even in principle explains nothing.
      CAGW is not a branch of scientific research. It is a politically driven assertion of dogma and cannot by definition even contemplate looking at anything other than the imagined via. unvalidated modeling effects of the fraction of a trace atmospheric compound generated by human activity. Actual branches of scientific research, as you rightly say, such as evolutionary biology and epidemiology are notably different in that they do not state their conclusions at the outset, are open to all avenues of enquiry, and are required to make correct predictions.

      • HOw can man made CO2. Which is 0.3 per cent of the greenhouse gas envelope control
        The greenhouse gas envelope where as the other 99.7 per cent has no effect at all??

      • The greenhouse effect is settled. Other aspects of climate science, such as the precise value of climate sensitivity and the magnitude of the effects of ocean currents, need further research.

      • The greenhouse effect is settled

        The greenhouse effect is not settled as it ignores the ocean heat content and wavelengths absorbed are based on qualitative not quantitative.

    • Why does it need to be CSIRO? The Chief Commissioner of the Climate Commission, paid for by the Oz Govt, stated that the science was settled. So thank Tim Flannery for that sacred settled aphorism following in the footsteps of the greatest climatologist on earth, Al Gore. Further, Tim had big IPCC style documents to prove it! Al Gore is a Nobel laureate to prove his credentials. Come to think of it Pr Obama is a recipient too!
      Once the decision was made to heed Tim’s scientific claims and make commitments why waste more money chasing models which don’t work. Oz can get all that advice for free. Hansen volunteers it all the time!
      Funds are simply re-prioritised and focused in accord with the more restricted budget; it does not mean that climate research ceases.
      But I would grant you that there would be more wasteful areas which could have been addressed like funding of junk from Cook, Lewandowsky, ship of fools etc.. Perhaps CSIRO should have spoken up a bit more!

      • Nick Stokes:
        Tim Flannery was Chief Commissioner of the Climate Commission. He appeared on TV to present the Commission’s report (2011). He was asked quite directly as he was being greeted carrying his weighty bundle: ‘So this is it, the science is settled?’ He acknowledged it as such.
        Now of course you would not find the term “settled science” in the report itself. But the political flavour was very much along the lines of “settled science” and “science is in.” Look at the following heading:
        The science is settled. Tim Flannery’s mind is changing at an alarming rate
        Tim was sacked when the new Govt took office in 2013 despite welcoming his report at the time. The Commission was abolished. Politics does not play out on the basis of what the science is or otherwise. Once the Govt declared it accepted “climate change,” committed to fulfilling the COP21 reductions at a high target level it was free to address the issue that Brandis raises.
        The reality though is that it goes deeper than this as it addresses an issue of whether CSIRO had partially “lost its way.” Certainly the appointment of a new CEO and a new Chief Scientist (who does not work for CSIRO) seem to be a breath of fresh air as I see it.

      • “He acknowledged it as such.”
        Not exactly a quote. And the rest is just the Australian characterising (I guess, paywall) it thus. That’s why I ask – it always seems to be sceptics saying it, not scientists.

      • Nick Stokes:
        You are free to ignore my synopsis even though I downplayed the settled science meme in that interview. It was far more robust! Admittedly this was led by the interviewer but amply acknowledged by Tim.
        Alternatively you can take it as the indicator that the “science is in” and “settled science” memes have been part of the politicised flavour of the year for nearly a decade which will lead you to understand Brandis’ statements rather than flounder as you do below.
        Tim’s appointment and the Climate Commission (which was not a scientific body) were political. You can ask for evidence of that too but I suggest you accept it because it is not written anywhere. Alternatively you are free to consider it as some prestigious institute for climate science which the new Coalition Govt simply wanted to incinerate just for fun in 2013.
        It is not too hard to understand that actual science has little to do with the politics; so called science is a useful cover for ideological and political purposes. The use of RICO in the US to silence critics is sufficient testament as if this form of Lysenkoism needed verification.
        You jump to conclusions with “the rest is just the Australian characterising (I guess, paywall) it thus“ even though you could not read it. Wrong again as it quoted Virginia Trioli of the ABC morning show commenting on Tim’s denial of his own comments (believe it or not but both are left leaning and pro Tim). I can’t get the article up again either. But you miss the point; Tim is associated with the “settled science” meme.
        This may also end up as paywalled; I give brief extracts on the Climate Commission report release:
        A NEW report declaring mainstream climate science as settled has exposed deep divisions in Coalition ranks, with Liberal powerbroker Nick Minchin branding the study “offensive”.
        As Julia Gillard declared “the science is in”,
        “The science is in – climate change is real.”
        [Gillard was Labor PM at the time]
        But Senator Minchin [ of the Coalition and hence in Opposition to Gillard], told The Australian Online there was still a legitimate debate over humans’ contribution to climate change.
        “The so-called Climate Commission is a Labor government-appointed committee of known climate alarmists, selectively appointed … to further the cause of global warming alarmism.
        “I think everybody should take anything they say with a grain of salt.
        “What’s most offensive is (climate commissioner) Will Steffen suggesting the scientific debate is over.
        “That’s nonsense because there is a very lively scientific debate about the role of human induced Co2 emissions in climate change.”
        [Will Steffen is a climatologist and a Commissioner]
        “Professor Steffen said there was no debate in scientific literature over the fundamentals of science underpinning climate change “and there hasn’t been for decades”.
        I suggest “no debate” literally means NO debate; so did the Govt and Opposition. Tim and Will were at the same release presentation with PM Gillard.

    • Kindly inform us as to what basic facts you consider to be “no longer in serious dispute”. We will be happy to provide the necessary disputation which you are missing in spite of the billions that continue to be spent on “settled” facts.

  19. ‘“If the science is settled, why do we need research scientists to continue inquiring into the settled science?” Brandis said on Tuesday.’

    “It doesn’t seem to me that the science is settled at all but I’m not a scientist,”

    So is it, or not? Sounds like Brandis is saying we need to find out more. As usual, no-one is quoting exactly what was said (settled?), and by whom. The reality, of course, is that some things are settled, some not. The IPCC says the case for GHGs causing warming is very strong. But no-one claims that climate sensitivity is settled, for example, and that has important policy implications.
    A lot of chemistry is settled. That doesn’t mean chemistry research should cease.

    • Research into chemistry actually does something worthwhile. Unlike climate “science”.

    • “Sounds like Brandis is saying we need to find out more.”
      No, it sounds like Brandis is calling out the shills.

    • “The IPCC says the case for GHGs causing warming is very strong”
      That is probably more hilarious than you meant it to be. But I mean, they would say that wouldn’t they. If they said anything else then it’s so long IPCC and thanks for all the alarm.

      • “How else would they keep there funding”
        You can use that same accusation for lots of research areas – diabetes, obesity, etc.Should we stop funding those as well?

      • Chris
        When you can establish that anyone has died because CAGW then maybe you can make this argument. But until that happens or anyone can prove that any of the affects of an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere are negative or heck even produce a model that that has any reliability at all what is your ROI for this investment? I’ll give you a hint its ZERO. ROI is a funny little concept that has something to do with why you might want to spend money and resources on something.

      • Chris says:
        You can use that same accusation for lots of research areas – diabetes, obesity, etc.Should we stop funding those as well?
        If they were as abject failures as climate ‘science’, yes.
        Fortunately, that funding provides benefits, while grants to ‘study the climate’ only provide money for anti-science propaganda.

    • “Nick, I’m pretty sure that YOU quoted what was said and by whom but that may not be what you meant”
      I meant “who said the science was settled?”. What exactly did they say?

    • If the [climate] science is settled, why do we need research scientists to continue inquiring into the settled science?

      Silly response. Obviously a rhetorical question demonstrating a paradox in the CAGW argument.

      A lot of chemistry is settled. That doesn’t mean chemistry research should cease.

      Chemistry is a true science, not so “climatology”. Chemistry involves repeatable experimentation that can be verified. Climatology is based on often falsified hypothesis, bad data, and uncontrolled measurements projected so far into the future they cannot be verified. Climatology has more in common with astrology than chemistry.

    • The decision to tax your breath is settled.
      You will get what you settle for – that’s not in dispute.

    • “I meant “who said the science was settled?”. What exactly did they say?”
      Lisa Jackson, head of the EPA said it:
      “The science behind climate change is settled, and human activity is responsible for global warming,” Jackson told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “That conclusion is not a partisan one.”

  20. Some of the science is settled, but there are still questions. This happens in every field and is nothing unusual. There is only a problem if some people question those bits that are esablished. Even then the scientific debate can continue about those areas, but we can ignore the mavericks unless they start to adversely affect policy.
    In astronomy it is established that the sun is at the center of the solar system. That does not mean we can stop studying the solar system. If someone proposes that the Earth is the center we pretty much ignore them because they are contradicting established science. It would only matter if they started to affect policy -say flat Earthers were succesfully preventing ocean shipping.
    In biology, evolution is established science. This does not mean we can stop studying evolution. There are still lots of questions left unexplained, but the basic science is established. We do not take those that say evolution does not happen very seriously from a scientific perspective. We do take them seriously when they start to affect the education of our children.
    The link between HIV and AIDS is established. That does not mean we stop studying AIDS. We can ignore those that say there is no link. That is we can ignore them until they start to affect policy which means thousand die of AIDS. Then we must challenge them.

    • You leave out the business of PERSECUTING anyone who questions anything related to ‘climate change’ ideology.

      • Oh? And what about those who are persecuted when they ask for a mechanism showing how evolution produced all the diverse life forms on earth; all from primevil slime?
        Or those who ask for a definitive cause and effect mechanism between HIV and AIDS.
        Or those that point out the frauds associated with diet and heart disease…
        Or those that point out that the highest incidence of scientific fraud occurs in medicine, yet medical research is sacrosanct.
        And what about……
        I can go on and on, but you should see a pattern emerging.

      • emsnews and William. I am not sure what you mean by “persecuted”. If they ask for a mechanism for evolution that explains everything. Nobody has all the answers. If someone claims that evolution is wrong because we cannot provide an explanation for every little detail, then scientists will ignore them, as they ignore flat Earthers. If that person then claims that evolution should not be taught in school science (without creation as an equal) they will be challenged, and rightly so. I do not think that is persecution.
        If by “definitive casue and effect between HIV and AIDS” you mean a complete explanation of every aspect of disease progression, then again they will be pointed towards the areas of uncertainty. If they claim that HIV does not cause AIDS becasue we do not have every single answer, they will be ignored. If they prevent administration of drugs because of their belief then they will be challenged. As they should be.
        Medical research is not sacrosanct. There are a great many studies and published papers discussing the problems with medical research such as conflict of interest, publication bias and not specifiying the purpose of a study before the results are in (drawing a target round your shots after they are fired).

    • All of which are actually established facts with prediction and varified results. Not so climate Suedo science.

    • Astronomy shows that the “center of the solar system” is somewhere inside the sun not that the sun is the center. The center of mass of the solar system wobbles about inside the sun because the sun has by far the largest mass in the solar system, but it wobbles a bit due to the almost significant blobs circling around it. So your settled but on Astronomy is a gross simplification – but not wrong per se.
      In biology, evolution is the best explanation hypothesis we have going, but to say “settled” is a stretch. There are still many controversies about what triggers the genetic changes that move one species to another, and very few mechanisms have been explained. In fact the whole term “evolution” is more of a broad concept than a “settled hypothesis”. We simply don’t know enough and may find that our simplistic understanding understates the real wonders of the process by orders of magnitude.
      The HIV and AIDS linkage is established and the mechanisms for HIVs attack on the immune system are grossly understood (and even chemically to a large degree.) The problem is: we don’t know how to stop HIV from attacking the immune system of infected people. We know how to boost the immune system so the body fights off the infection for a while (a long while for many people,) but removing HIV from the system has been so far impossible. Thus researchers are no longer looking at the “link between HIV and AIDS” but are instead looking for ways to suppress HIV and boost the immune system’s response to it. No one is wasting time and money re-establishing the link between the virus and the disease. They do look continuously for variations and mutations on the virus, but that isn’t the same thing.
      None of your straw-man examples show what you purport them to show.

      • Researches also do not know why some people are immune to HIV infection, such as sex workers in Africa. Worth while research IMO, but there is no special tax to fund it.

      • Owen in GA – I am not sure what you think I porported my examples to show. They show – as you have described yourself – that the “basic science” is settled but more research is needed in all these fields. You agree that it is more or less correct to say the sun is at the center of the solar system – or very much more correct than to say any other body is at the center. You say “what triggers the genetic changes that move one species to another” is not yet known, but the fact that one species does move to another – i.e. evolution – is agreed by nearly all biologists. You sat the link between HIV and AIDS is established, yet we still need to do lots of research into AIDS.
        What is the common thread?
        Evolution -that evolution exista is settled science, the details need more work.
        Solar system. Basic arrangement settled science, but we do not understand everything.
        HIV/AIDS. Link is settled science, but we need more research to find a cure.
        Climate science – basic link between radiative forcing and temperture established, but need to do more work to understand the details.
        Headline of this article – ““If the [climate] science is settled, why do we need research scientists to continue inquiring into the settled science?””
        Substitute [evolution], [solar system] or [HIV] instead of [climate] and you could say exactly the same thing about any of those. This illustrates how the question asked by the Aussie Attorney general displays a staggering lack of understanding.

    • Seaice, the problem with the bits of this “settled” science is that is ordinary and not alarming. We have indeed warmed some coming up out of the LIA. It’s not enough to warrant the complete restructure of western society. Where it gets into interesting and alarming conjecture, the “science” breaks down and the “scientists” are more than reluctant to show their work. So reluctant they don’t show their work at all.

    • So why can’t anyone use the tenets of this “settled science” to produce a climate model that even approximates the observed values, why do they need to engage in fudging of the data ( there is no other way to describe what NOAA has done with SST) and why does their “science” not provide any explanation of how earth’s climate system has cycled between warm and cool over millions of years independently of CO2 levels? Why can’t they even explain the Roman and Minoan and Medieval Warm periods or the little ice age? A passive or non-biased observer might think that recent large scale climatic events That they studiously avoid might prove valuable in improving the catastrophically poor climate models that have so far been produced. The same passive or non-biased observer might conclude that we are trying to apply an infinite number of monkeys typing data into an infinite number of computers to resolve an issue that may not even exist!

  21. “Some of the science is settled…” Oh really? Like what, pray tell? Please, please, tell us, oh Great One, what we Skeptics/Climate Realists have missed all these years!
    Take your time – we’ll wait.

    • It will be very basic and not alarming, that we’ve warmed a bit coming out of the Little Ice Age, that CO2 is a GHG. Where their narrative gets frightening there is no evidence at all. They are as slippery as eels when it comes to wording.

  22. Unfortunately Brandis is only one of about two or three individuals in the current government who has intelligence greater than a gnat. Consequently, what he has to say carries virtually no weight at all, either within the government or the public at large.
    However, given the abysmal incompetence of Malcolm Turnbull and his merry band of eunich yes men, this rabble will probably be gone after the next election; only to be replaced by an even worse rabble.
    I will be doing my part by voting “informal”.

  23. Simple. The warmists of the world can just continue to spread the global warming gospel from where the expired climatecatastrophobics left off. I mean it’s all the same non-scientific computer modelled drivel pushing a political agenda. We could build a templs topped with a hockey stick so the true believers could get together on Saturdays and quote verses from the IPCC reports. We would save a fortune!
    It would be nice to see real scientists study REAL environmental issues and let the truly talented engineers work on real affordable, reliable, and safe energy technologies. I could only image what we could, or could have accomplished.

  24. Isn’t it delicious the way their words have been turned back on them ?
    All 97% of them hoist on their own petard !

    • Funny, too, that even their much-bally-hooed 97% is a total fabrication whose sole purpose is to attempt to make any who would dare oppose what amounts to an ideology shut up.

    • There are definitely more skeptics on the conservative side.
      I wonder if that has anything to do with watching the American news media? You see, the American newsmedia is about 80 percent Liberal propagandists (used to be 100 percent, not so long ago), who have distorted the truth about conservatives for decades, so naturally, conservatives would become skeptical over time as l!es are told about them, which they know are untrue.
      So I think American conservaties come to skepticism naturally. They question the false reality created by the Liberal News Media every day, and that spills over into questioning the false reality of humans causing the Earth’s climate to change.

      • There’s also the fact that if you declare yourself a skeptic, you are assigned the label of ‘conservative’ (and usually racist, bigot, etc.) whether you are or not, regardless of your opinion on any other issue.

  25. Well, just simply answering the question, Global Warming is a billion dollar cashcow for multiple industries/political parties/activist groups.
    I’ve said for a while now, near as I can tell, the difference between a skeptic and a warmist (or at least the nominally honest ‘lukewarmist’ as the alarmists can simply be quantified as soapbox nutcases), is that a skeptic says ‘we might get a degree or two of warming… no big deal,’ where a warmist says, ‘we might get a degree or two of warming… AND we might see terrible trouble for our great grandchildren a hundred years down the road, so we should continue to fund my research and all related jobs.’ Basically, safely moving Armageddon down the road out of our lifetimes, so they can never be proved wrong.

  26. I want the climate scientist to tell us how their solution will work.
    They want to establish a Carbon Tax to stop global warming so, my question is how will that work.
    How much tax is needed to stop the hurricanes and the tornadoes and the floods and the droughts and the millions to billions of people killed by rising sea levels?
    At what CO2 level does the earth stop heating and at what temperature do these catastrophes get back to their normal level?
    At what CO2 level does the ice stop melting and causing the oceans to rise and cover NYC?
    How does giving politicians a brand new revenue stream save Miami from flooding?
    So, I ask again, would someone please explain How does their solution work.

    • An even more relevant question is: “what happens to all the cash collected through the carbon tax?”
      As always, follow the money.

  27. This points to basic government economics. If the citizenry deploys their government to fix a problem the 1st law of unintended consequences kicks in: 1.Success leads to the unemployment line. Hence, once the Government Agency is fully manned the bureaucrats in charge, understanding that if they accomplish their mission they will put themselves out of job, create additional unintended consequences while keeping the original problem alive and nurtured.

  28. this recalls the irony about those who harp on most about sustainability, usually when they are most successful there is little for them to do afterwards.

  29. “You don’t have to be a climate scientist, to smell the “inconsistency”.
    Wrong. That should be “You don’t have to be a climate scientist to smell the “inconsistency”.
    No comma.

  30. So if the science is settled, funding to the advocates of the current consensus should be reduced. And so it should.
    My guess is that if and when the allocation of funds takes the logical turn and reductions begin to loom in earnest, the “consensus” will suddenly shift.
    Whereas what we have now is the settled issue of “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming,” what we will then be facing will be “catastrophic global climate science uncertainty.”
    Thus the biggest, most imminent threat to mankind will remain just what it is: climate.
    But the threat will now be framed roughly in this fashion: if the world were to keep getting hotter from here on in, if the heat that we have keeps getting hotter, then we might perhaps reasonably expect that hurricanes will get worse, snowmobiles will disappear, hot wars will be hotter, California will remain prone to cyclical droughts, some butterflies will disappear, another ice age may be triggered, heavier snows may fall, and so on ad infinitum, precisely as the previously settled science had proven; but if the world were to keep getting colder from here on in, if the cold that we have keeps getting colder, it might be that hurricanes will get worse, motorcycles will disappear, hot wars will have to be fought under colder conditions, California will remain prone to droughts, some other species of butterflies will disappear, another ice age may well be triggered, heavier snows may fall, and so on ad infinitum, but for precisely reasons different from those the previously settled science had shown to be the case. We, the climate experts, just don’t know!
    Therefore, with mankind’s fate hanging in the balance in this way, with our fate depending upon our knowing which of the two possibilities will most likely prevail over the course of the next one hundred years – significant global warming or global cooling — our funding must at a minimum continue as before, but preferably be significantly increased.
    Anyone who doesn’t agree with this is a flat out tin-foil-hatted denier, either bought by the snowmobile industry or the motorcycle lobby, or possibly even both, because 99% of all of the world’s top climate scientists (already on the payroll) strongly agree, uh, on a great many things.

    • “Thus the biggest, most imminent threat to mankind will remain just what it is: climate.” Anyone who doesn’t agree with that is a flat out tin foil hatted denier? And on somebodies payroll?
      Your claim of 99% of Top CLIMATE SCIENTISTS is like saying 99% of people with 4 years of college agree, so those of you with advanced degrees in more difficult scientific disciplines who disagree with us are flat out tin-foil-hated deniers.Norman, Hyperbolic much?
      If your group spent it’s money determining the causes of Climate changes before the burning of fossil fuel and then delivered an explanation of what caused climate change then, why those condition will no longer manifest and why now a stable climate could be relied upon without the burning of fossil fuel. I just might remove my tin hat. Until then I remain respectfully skeptically yours.

      • Hi Bill,
        I think you might have missed the purport of my comment. It is slightly impertinent toward the regnant “consensus.”
        Everything after is giving expression to a point of view that I wholly disclaim and gently mock.
        Furthermore, there are other hints, I think, that should be fairly obvious to a careful reader: a) that either the warming or cooling scenario results in the selfsame “dire” consequences that I list, none of which are really dire and b) the motorcycle lobby (?) and the snowmobile industry (?) paying people (experts?) to advocate pro or con anything related to climate change. There are, of course, other hints if you care to look.
        Think “irony.” Think “satire.”

      • Ooops. A bit of editing is in order, otherwise I’ll just end up confusing you more, and that would be entirely my fault.
        So please permit me to fix that last comment of mine:
        Hi Bill,
        I think you might have missed the purport of my comment. It is slightly impertinent toward the regnant “consensus.”
        Everything after — Whereas what we have now is the settled issue of “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming,” what we will then be facing will be “catastrophic global climate science uncertainty.” — is giving expression to a point of view that I wholly disclaim and gently mock.
        Furthermore, there are other hints, I think, that should be fairly obvious to a careful reader: a) that either the warming or cooling scenario results in the selfsame “dire” consequences that I list, none of which are really dire and b) the motorcycle lobby (?) and the snowmobile industry (?) paying people (experts?) to advocate pro or con anything related to climate change. There are, of course, other hints if you care to look.
        Think “irony.” Think “satire.”
        There, hopefully fixed it. My bad. Although I had it right when I first hit the send, but had used the “smaller than” and “greater than” keyboard characters to set off the line I wanted to, well, set off.

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