Massive cuts to funding in climate change research in order to fund more commercialization research is angering the scientific community.
The main scientific research agency is pulling a huge amount of funding from climate research, prompting international concern and criticism.
The chief executive of Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) announced the cuts to its climate change programs, saying it will instead focus on innovation and corporate cooperation — a focus scientists worldwide are ripping as misguided and a serious blow to efforts to halt global warming, according to a Christian Science Monitor report.
About 350 employees will be relocated or retrained as a result of the decision, announced Larry Marshall, who took over as head of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in January 2015.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in December that Australia was falling behind when it comes to “commercializing good ideas and collaborating with industry,” according to the report.
Marshall appeared to agree with this sentiment in announcing the changes on Monday. He said in a statement that while “no one is saying climate change is not important,” the prosperity of Australia was just as important and wasn’t getting the attention it needs.
However, hundreds of scientists around the world are protesting Australia’s move, arguing that research is needed to find intelligent solutions to climate change, and by cutting funding this slows the progress toward that.
CSIRO will continue to do some climate research, Marshall said. CSIRO is the leader in Southern climate models, helping scientists predict weather and climate changes.
The World Climate Research Programme slammed the move in a letter on Monday, saying the Australia will “find itself isolated from the community of nations.”