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Settled science bites

Sceptics have often pointed out that if the science of global warming is "settled" then it's clearly not necessary to spend a fortune researching it. The government down under now seems to have taken this message on, announcing that jobs in the ocean/atmosphere divisions at CSIRO are to be slashed. Their reasoning could have come straight from the pages of this blog:

The cuts were flagged in November, just a week before the Paris climate summit began, with key divisions told to prepare lists of job cuts or to find new ways to raise revenue.

"Climate will be all gone, basically," one senior scientist said before the announcement.

In the email sent out to staff on Thursday morning, CSIRO's chief executive Larry Marshall indicated that, since climate change had been established, further work in the area would be a reduced priority. 

It was Lord May who said to Roger Harrabin "I'm the President of the Royal Society and I'm telling you that the science is settled". I wonder if he is reconsidering the wisdom of those remarks.


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Reader Comments (71)

MikeHaseler Feb 4, 2016 at 2:01 PM MikeHaseler

notorious 350 organisation (the ones that advocated blowing up children and anyone else that was sceptical)

Wrong group, Mike. You want the group 10:10
[goal to reduce CO2 10% in 2010; prior to the "No Pressure" video they did "The Age of Stupid."]

Feb 4, 2016 at 4:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn F. Hultquist

It is clearly settled in climate science that you can forecast anything, get paid, and never be held to account, for any consequences, no matter how disastrous.

Feb 4, 2016 at 4:58 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Gonna be fun watching these folks suddenly find lots to research.

Feb 4, 2016 at 5:00 PM | Unregistered Commentermojo

Long experience in corporate america shows me that the favoured ones will be rehired as consultants at even higher salaries while the dissidents and suspected heretics will be "managed out". In the end little will have changed. Hope I'm wrong.

Feb 4, 2016 at 4:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterchris moffatt

You are probably mostly right, Chris Moffatt, but their empires will be smaller.

Feb 4, 2016 at 5:07 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Settled science is a secularist synonym for "religious dogma".
The only thing not settled in the climate hypester's world is their need for more of our money.

Feb 4, 2016 at 6:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

There's a Gilbert and Sullivan opera in which Gilbert wrote these wonderful lines:

The Law is the true embodiment
Of everything that's excellent.
It has no kind of fault, or flaw,
And I, my Lords, embody the Law.

That could so easily apply to the characters who have taken over the Royal Society in recent years (except that what they have done isn't funny).

Feb 4, 2016 at 9:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterOwen Morgan

The science has indeed been settled for too long, and evicting 350 of the settlers is a good first step.

Feb 4, 2016 at 10:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Swan

If the science is settled, could the Department of Energy and Climate Change, be renamed the Department of Economic Chaos and Calamity? They don't do Energy, and Climate Change just happens anyway, so what the heck are they actually doing?

Could they run a competition for the most exciting things for a family of four to do, on a dark, cold, wet sunday afternoon during a powercut? (apart from driving somewhere without a powercut)

Feb 4, 2016 at 10:37 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Nothing to do with the two main front runners for The Republican Party Nomination Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are both avid Climate Skeptics.

And Hillary is just one Email Scandle away from disaster.

Feb 4, 2016 at 11:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

" Settled science bites."

Nay lad, settled science no longer has a bite. Its stuffed, gorged on mega misdirected grants. Presently its preened feathers are about to experience an un-modelled self imposed anthropogenic induced moult.

Feb 5, 2016 at 12:48 AM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Jamspid, looks a bit iffy for US climatologists doesn't it! Obviously some may be given a chance in a Court of Law to explain some of their science, and why it has been so enriching for them.

Let us hope that where FIFA leads, the IPCC will follow.

Feb 5, 2016 at 12:57 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The Royal Society, heh. As Max Beloff might say, though he was writing of absolutism, the history of climate science is only just beginning to be written.

Feb 5, 2016 at 2:38 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Thermodynamics and the physics of radiative transfer and equilibrium remain un-unsettled by the bishop's disbelief.

Feb 5, 2016 at 8:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Hearken, to the chicken farts.

Feb 5, 2016 at 8:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Philip Bratby, "I believe that in 1997 Sir Robert Watson, then Chief Scientific Adviser at Defra, said:

The science is settled"

He did indeed say that, as reported by the late Henry Lamb at Kyoto. Watson was at that time the Chairman of the IPCC, before Pachauri.

Feb 5, 2016 at 8:59 AM | Registered Commenterdennisa

the scientists surveyed were full professors (ie senior)
full paper visisble here (h/t Judith Curry)

"From these, all full professors were selected who, according to their publications or CVs, had
conducted natural scientific research on the climate. 300 climate scientists were identified and
asked to participate in a mail survey in late 2010. Eight scientists were ineligible: five were
abroad for at least one year; three did not consider themselves climate scientists. Of the remain
ing 292 climate scientists, 123 (42%) completed the questionnaire. 117 respondents confirmed
their participation on a separate postcard that had been sent to them with the questionnaire.
Figure 1 shows the diversity of respondents’ subject areas

Feb 5, 2016 at 10:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods


And Hillary is just one Email Scandle away from disaster.
Oh, I do hope so! This morning, on Today, they interviewed the woderful Renee Fleming. Her criteria for POTUS boiled down to: "it's about time we had a woman for President". She seemed to advocate Clinton regardless of her policies, just because she was a woman.

Feb 5, 2016 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

For the present purpose, it suffices to say that the climate scientists have little doubt about the human impact on the climate but are more or less split on its extent and danger as well as on the reliability of future climate projections

So the 97% is 100% in Germany.

Feb 5, 2016 at 12:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Perhaps it is time to cull the Met Office?

Feb 5, 2016 at 5:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

It would have helped to quote more fully from Mr Marshall's comments about the CSIRO job cuts, for example:

"For example in land and water we have a large number of social scientists who have been focused on attitudes to climate change and attitudes to mining, and how humans respond to those things. I think a new opportunity for them is using big data... so how do you figure out human behaviour from data. That means moving them out of the traditional space they were in around land and water and more into the digital age."

Note the words "we have a large number of social scientists who have been focused on attitudes to climate change and attitudes to mining, and how humans respond to those things". These guys are obviously NOT studying climate, but sociology (I think). Maybe they can join Lewandowski in the UK?

Feb 6, 2016 at 2:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterBoyfromTottenham

CSIRO has done plenty of useful work on things like drought resistant crops, irrigation systems etc.

But their "climate scientists" are just publicly salaried activists. Australia has a biggish government deficit issue, so the more useless quangos are being culled.

Feb 7, 2016 at 11:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterBill

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