Australia – The Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) announced last week that they are moving to exit some of their climate change work and refocus up to 350 employees in the next two years. They plan to relocate those employees where the nation “has more needs”, according to a statement. A division of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is criticizing the cuts in CSIRO as “worrisome”.
The CSIRO pointed out that Australia’s biggest challenges and opportunities lie in the health, prosperity and sustainability in the face of rapid global changes. They added that climate is one piece of a much larger puzzle.
“No one is saying climate change is not important, but surely mitigation, health, education, sustainable industries, and prosperity of the nation are no less important,” said Larry Marshall, chief executive of the organization.
Climate change communitty reactions
Negative reactions are being portrayed by international organizations like WMO. Those cuts will sever vital linkages with Australian colleagues and to essential southern hemisphere data sources. Those links connect Australia to the United Kingdom, the U.S, New Zealand and many other nations, said WMO in a press release.
The international organization also said that Australia would find itself isolated from the community of nations and researchers devoting serious attention to climate change.
WMO found the most worrisome a statement made by CSIRO that indicates that the questions about climate change have been already answered. They think the next step is to figure out what they can do about it and how they can find solutions for the climate they are living with. To that, WMO asked whether they know their own water future or if Australia knows how actions or inactions around the planet will determine the climate Australians will live in.
Researchers at CSIRO like John Church, an oceanographer at the organization, said that the situation is saddened for climate science itself, for services to Australia, and especially for the young scientists who were just starting to make their mark in the area.