The Party is Over
by John Daly (25 Aug. 03)

A report in the Australian newspaper Australian, (Scientists Face the Ax in Cuts to CSIRO - Aug. 25th, 2003) says the Australian Atmospheric Division in CSIRO (Commonwealth Science and Industry Research Organization, the government’s main body of scientific research) can lose up to 20 scientists in their staff.

Those cuts are the result of a $2 million reduction in the Division budget. It has spent so much time, efforts and resources in investigate global warming, climate change and other related issues, that it has failed in provide an adequate attention to research that could have been of genuine economic value for Australia - as the forecast of the oscillation El Niño/La Niña. The greenhouse and global warming could be more glamorous in forums and international journals, but the waste of resources in these scaring scenarios, at the cost of more important priorities, means these scientists have contributed, and still do, with absolutely nothing to the economic well-being of Australians.

The government is more than justified in pulling the plug under these circumstances. This CSIRO division has not only feasted on public fears about climate change, but during years was feeding those fears.

On the other hand, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, and many universities are already doing research on climate and climate change, and having the Atmospheric Division of the CSIRO also doing it is a wasteful duplication. The basic purpose of the CSIRO is scientific research in direct behalf of economy and industry – and not a duplication of questionable relevance for Australia, of research being made in other places. It is the lack of direct economic benefits of the work made by the Division during the last 15 years what has provoked the loss of relevance for the basic purposes of the CSIR

Of course, the federal government could simply shut down the entire Division. It would hardly be missed.