Yesterday I came across this inviting tweet from Ben Harris-Roxas:
Who could resist clicking the link! It was with some wonderment that I then read this article posted on the ABC website on Tuesday â€“ Key climate change body loses government funding.
In 2009 the Lancet reported that climate change â€ťcould be the biggest global health challenge of the 21st centuryâ€ť. In the years since, as described in many postings on this site, the health challenges it poses in Australia are already projected to be substantial.
In this context I cannot help but wonder how an organisation whose mission is to â€śgenerate the biophysical, social and economic information needed by decision-makers in government, and in vulnerable sectors and communities, to manage the risks of climate change impacts, by leading the research community in a national interdisciplinary effort,â€ť could not be worthy of government funding?
Perhaps decision makers in government are already so well informed they need no further information? One might then question why a group of Australiaâ€™s leading health organisations felt the need to meet in Canberra last week formally creating an alliance â€śto raise awareness of the adverse health effects of Australiaâ€™s current minerals and energy policyâ€ť.
Maybe this is a sign that the government has decided that a â€śventure established by the Australian Government in 2008 to harness and coordinate the capabilities of Australiaâ€™s researchers, to generate and communicate the knowledge decision-makers need for successful adaptation to climate changeâ€ť is too defeatist and that we should give greater thought to mitigation? An idea I would applaud, but sweating away here in Melbourne last night while watching yet another flooding disaster unfold up north I canâ€™t help but think there may still be a role for adaptation.
It could be that research and academics in the area of climate change are already over funded â€“ Iâ€™m sure you will let me know if this is the case.
I cannot bring myself to think that climate change and the challenges it brings are no longer considered worthy of informed and intelligent debate amongst our countries leaders. Nor can I consider that the leading role Australia could play in understanding, mitigating and adapting to climate change is becoming a distant dream. But then again itâ€™s and election year and (almost) anything is possible.