A group of CSIRO senior climate scientists has defied a gag order by the organisation to speak out on Australia's proposed greenhouse reduction targets.I have no doubt that Raupach, Church, Canadell and Risbey firmly believe that anthropogenic CO2 emissions will lead to negative effects on the environment. If they didn't then they would hardly 'break ranks' with their employer, CSIRO, to make a submission to the Australian senate inquiry.
The four high-profile scientists Michael Raupach, John Church, Pep Canadell and James Risbey have broken ranks with CSIRO to make personal submissions to a Senate inquiry into the Rudd Government's emissions trading scheme.
They claim tougher targets are needed to avoid Australia being "locked in" to dangerous climate change, and list 14 recent scientific findings that support their argument.
The rebel scientists cannot comment on their decision because they are public servants. But a CSIRO source said they could risk censure and possible career repercussions by taking such a public stand against the Government's controversial greenhouse reduction targets.
A CSIRO spokesman denied there was a gag on its scientists participating in the inquiry, and said the four were, "welcome to make comment as long as they are not representing CSIRO".
All four CSIRO scientists are world leaders in their various areas of climate research. Dr Raupach co-chairs the Global Carbon project, which oversees international research on the global carbon cycle. Dr Church chairs the scientific committee for the Geneva-based World Climate Research Program, Dr Canadell is executive director of the Global Carbon project and Dr Risbey has been involved in global climate research for more than 20 years.
A CSIRO source told The Canberra Times the group was determined to "present new scientific findings to the Senate inquiry that it believes are crucial to shaping Australia's future greenhouse policies".
The source said the scientists made their decision to go ahead with personal submissions after CSIRO management ruled out any participation in the inquiry by Australia's peak science body on the grounds that it would require comment on government policy.
A CSIRO spokesman said the inquiry's terms of reference, "went to the policy of the Government's carbon pollution reduction scheme, and in line with our public comment policy, we don't comment on government policy".
The scientists had been told to, "make it absolutely clear" they were not speaking on behalf of CSIRO. If asked to testify, they will be required to take formal leave and travel at their own expense.
Their position is that Australia must ensure that it slashes its CO2 emissions else suffer the negative consequences.
They probably think that they have the moral high ground, being concerned with the environment and all.
The fact is that their position is deeply, deeply immoral.
Not that they would accept that reality.
Let's take the position for the moment that CO2 is the problem to the extent claimed by them and forget about climate models' inability to get within cooee of a correct forecast.
The unilateral imposition of an emission trading scheme in Australia will do untold harm to our economy. Only a complete economic illiterate would fail to appreciate that.
Those just leaving school, the low skilled, new migrants and those at the low end of the socio-economic scale will bear the burden of a unilateral emissions scheme.
Whatever action Australia takes will have NO impact on the environment here. It's up to China, India, Russia and Brazil - the so-called emerging economies - to agree to CO2 reduction programs. Australia is 1.4% of the world's CO2 output. China ADDS that amount every 4-6 months.
Please explain to me Messrs Raupach, Church, Canadell and Risbey how your plans will make one jot of difference?
Thus, they willfully promote the impoverishment of their fellow Australians and to no good end.
If that is not deeply immoral then the term has no meaning.