Climate Change Authority No Longer Has Any Climate Scientists On It

A climate change authority now has a grand total of zero climate scientists. Vestman/Flickr

James Felton 05 Jul 2017, 16:30

A climate change authority in Australia has a grand total of zero climate scientists, after their final climate scientist left the board.

Professor David Karoly left the Climate Change Authority (CCA) after finishing his five-year term. He is the only scientist to have stuck out his term there, the Guardian reports. 

Other climate scientists, including Professor Clive Hamilton and Professor John Quiggin, left in frustration after they felt that the government was listening to anti-science advocates instead of the board of scientists they had appointed.

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David Karoly, one of Australia's leading climate scientists, speaking at the launch of a community wind farm. Tibor Hegedis/Flickr

Now that Professor Karoly has left as well, the board can still continue to advise the government on climate science, even though none of the board are climate scientists. 

Quitting the board back in March, fellow climate scientist John Quiggin blamed the government for his decision to leave.

"The government’s refusal to accept the advice of its own Authority, despite wide support for that advice from business, environmental groups and the community as a whole, reflects the comprehensive failure of its policies on energy and the environment," Professor Quiggin wrote on his website, explaining his decision to step down.

"...the government is beholden to right wing anti-science activists in its own ranks and in the media. Rather than resist these extremists, the Turnbull government has chosen to treat the vital issues of climate change and energy security as an opportunity for political point scoring and culture war rhetoric."

Now that the authority's final climate scientist has left, the government will look to replace him, but as the Huffington Post discovered last month, there may not be any requirement to have a climate scientist on the board, and the government declined to confirm that they would appoint one.

When questioned, they only stated that: "Government appointments to the CCA will be made consistent with the CCA's legislation."

Karoly told the Guardian he stuck out his term rather than resign because he wanted to provide the best science possible to the Australian Parliament.

"I believe that it is important that the Parliament and the Australian people are provided with the best possible independent science-based advice on Australia’s climate change policy."

Unfortunately, with Karoly and the rest of the climate scientists gone from the authority, it's unlikely they will continue to get the best advice possible on climate change, let alone listen to it.

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