Friday, 23 December 2011

It is the constant censoring of science that is deemed antithetical to the CSIRO's and the Gillard government's political climate agenda
Letter to editor to The Australian: written 10 30 am Friday 23December 2011
It is worse than that, Dr Art Raiche - 'Science decline inevitable'. Letters The Australian 23/12.
It is the constant censoring of science that is deemed antithetical to the CSIRO's and the Gillard government's political climate agenda that gets to me!
In 2010 the then science Minister Kim Carr did just that: initially promising to allow publication of a major article by CSIRO scientist Dr Spash - then plainly abrogating his word!
The  good Dr Spash  published it independently! The chief of CSIRO boss Megan Clarke  then threatened Spash! He had to resign.
So much for the credibility of the former Science Minister, Head of CSIRO and  - vale science!
If this is untrue - I guess The Australian and I will hear about it.
And knowledgeable people know it is true in every way!
Through all this, those lamenting the recent demise of Carr are plainly ignorant or willfully blind / ignorant.
This is the way of this post - modernist world - where there is no ostensible need for  no absolute truth.

Geoff Seidner
13 Alston Grove
East St Kilda 3183
03 9525 9299

Solidarity Online » Interview with Clive Spash: Why carbon trading ...
Interview with Clive Spash: Why carbon trading won't work ... For example, the European Commission was originally in favour of a tax but was unable to ... I cite literature on this in my paper CSIRO tried to ban and then censor (Spash, 2010). .

Clive Spash resigned from his job as an environmental economist with the CSIRO after being censored by management late last year. CSIRO management wrote to the journal New Political Economy in July, withdrawing authorisation to publish Spash’s paper. He was later threatened by CSIRO boss Megan Clark for releasing it privately. Why?
Because his paper, “The Brave New World of Carbon Trading,” is a lucid and damning exposition of emissions trading, the model behind the Rudd government’s carbon trading scheme, the CPRS.
Spash argues that problems with carbon trading schemes cannot simply be designed away. Carbon trading, he concludes, is a dangerous diversion from real solutions to climate change.
You can access the full paper via Solidarity’s website at
Why do you think governments have pushed emissions trading as their preferred solution to climate change?
The rise of neo-liberal politics and the power of key corporate interests would be my suggestions. For example, the European Commission was originally in favour of a tax but was unable to get this approved. Lobbying by large polluters was certainly an important factor there and such lobbying is clearly cited in the Australian White Paper amongst the reasons why the government has chosen key elements of its own scheme. I cite literature on this in my paper CSIRO tried to ban and then censor (Spash, 2010).
The businesses of the financial sector, by acting as middlemen, advisors and consultants, are set to make considerable profits from such schemes.
Clearly many in already powerful positions, able to lobby politicians and be heard, have strong self-interest in seeing emissions trading adopted.  There are a variety of other options: direct regulation (e.g. improved building codes; restricting the most polluting inputs), subsidies, education, building new infrastructure, and so on. However, such options challenge the dominant political rhetoric that market solutions and minimal governance are best.
Some of its supporters claim that cap and trade has limited SO2 emissions in the US—is there a comparison?

Thu, 4th March 2010


Mrs Sophie Mirabella MP 

Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
Sophie Mirabella MP, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science
and Research, said that scientific integrity at the CSIRO has taken a back
seat to the political game playing of the Rudd Government.
“In a clear abuse of the scientific process, the Minister for Science, Kim Carr, today continues to
defend his use of a confidential referees report to discredit a paper titled The Brave New World of
Carbon Trading by Dr Clive Spash,” Mrs Mirabella said.
Dr Clive Spash left the CSIRO late last year as a result of the controversy surrounding the
publication of this paper. In last month’s Senate estimates hearing, Science Minister Kim Carr
quoted selectively from a referees report criticising Dr Spash’s early draft of the paper.
“The referees report referred to an early draft of the paper prepared by Dr Spash which was
subsequently rewritten – which is the whole point of peer review and part of the scientific process
to ensure the integrity of the paper,” Mrs Mirabella said.
“It was the peer reviewed paper that was accepted for publication by an international journal that
was later banned by CSIRO managers.”
“This is a clear violation of the peer review process.”
“How do we expect scientists at the CSIRO to do their work effectively if they feel that their work
will be subject to this sort of political interference or censorship?”
Dr Spash said (ABC Radio PM 24 February 2010):
“This report must have been passed on to him [Kim Carr] by senior CSIRO
“I think they’ve [CSIRO] got themselves into a total mess both with their
public policy statements and also their charter signed with the Minister. It
seems impossible for the CSIRO to conduct research engaging on public
policy issues and yet maintain a statement which prevents them from doing
“The good work of scientists at the CSIRO, and the CSIRO brand, is under threat from a
desperate Labor Party playing political games to try and avoid criticism and open debate,” Mrs
Mirabella said.
Mrs Mirabella said that the case of Dr Clive Spash, who is not a climate change sceptic, is not
isolated. The former head of the climatology department of the CSIRO, Dr Garth Paltridge, has
said that there is systematic intimidation of scientists within the CSIRO who do not agree with the
views being put forward about the human causes of climate change

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