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.”
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”.