If you were an organization looking for government assistance with research funding, these days it would pay you to have some tenuous link to Climate Change in your proposed research title. I know that sounds cynical, but let me show you what I mean.
Over at WUWT today, in one of Anthony’s many stimulating posts, I found an article that sounds almost as cynical as my own (grin).
I grew up in a family that enjoyed playing the Monopoly Board Game – that was before the advent of computers and DVD players etc. I remember being thrilled at earning that additional $200 when I managed to pass ‘GO’.
If only it were so easy to do in real life you might say…. And I say it really does seem to be easy if you are in the business of doing research that shows some impact on or a tenuous link to AGW – Climate Change.
After all, if you wrote a paper that took a stance in opposition to the so-called ‘accepted norm’…. remember according to the Media the ‘Science is settled’, then you will not get published and you will become a social outcast within your own scientific community.
I expect your department would be closed down and all funding would be cut off as well. So as well as being a social outcast you would be unemployable too! It is not a nice place to find yourself in really is it?
Anyway Monopoly is a board game – a fun thing to take part in around the family table – a bit of amusement right? But to scientists in their chosen field this is not a game at all – it really is all about the money. Follow the Mighty Dollar Folks!
I was recently working my way through the Australian Research Council’s list of successful Discovery grants for 2011, which are commencing this year and most of which will run for the next three years. Along the way, I was tickled to see just how far-reaching the impact of climate change will be in Australia.
In case you hadn’t realised the seriousness of the problem, I thought I’d share these budding projects with you. Names of grantees and institutions have been omitted to protect the innocent, but I have included the FOR, or Field of Research as coded by the ARC, and the total grant monies. Enjoy.
Physiology: “Abrupt environmental changes can put natural populations at risk of extinction. The project will show to what extent individuals can compensate for temperature changes and thereby render populations resilient to climate change. This research will make theoretical advances and improve the power to predict impacts of future climate change.” ($370,000)
Civil Engineering: “This project will develop innovative light gauge steel roofing systems with considerably increased wind resistance and reliable design rules for cold-formed steel codes worldwide. It will contribute to the Australian government’s goal of increasing building resilience against future extreme and more frequent wind events caused by climate change.” ($320,000)
Public Health and Health Sciences: “This study will investigate the effects of extreme heat, increasing temperatures and consequences of climate change, on the population health of rural communities in South Australia. Findings will inform adaptation strategies to prevent an increase in heat-associated and climate change-associated morbidity and mortality in rural areas.” ($122,000 – 2 years)
Political Science: “Commonsense says that claims about how social and political life ought to be arranged must not make infeasible demands. This project will investigate this piece of commonsense and explore its implications for a number of pressing issues, such as climate change, multiculturalism, political participation, inequality, historical justice, and the rules of war.” ($408,587)
Sociology: “We know very little about the ways food security is governed in Australia. This study – the first social-science based study of food security in the nation – will allow us to understand how a multiplicity of agencies come together to ensure the delivery of food, especially at a time of climate change impacts.” ($100,000 – 2 years)
Psychology: “Climate change represents a moral challenge to humanity, and one that elicits high levels of emotion. This project examines how emotions and morality influence how people send and receive messages about climate change, and does so with an eye to developing concrete and do-able strategies for positive change.” ($197,302)
Journalism and Professional Writing: “This project will examine the use of news management or ‘spin’ by Australian governments. Is it a legitimate tool of government in the face of a hyper-adversarial news media or a technique which undermines democracy? It will examine ‘spin’ in connection with policies on climate change, economic policy, indigenous policy and asylum seekers policy.” ($95,000)
Literary Studies: “The project will devise and develop a new ‘cultural materialist’ paradigm for science fiction studies and apply it to a case study of science fictional representations of catastrophe, especially nuclear war, plague and extreme climate change.” ($239,000)
Historical Studies: “This project will produce a comprehensive new biography of H.V. Evatt, High Court judge, minister in the 1940s, President of the United Nations General Assembly and leader of the Australian Labor Party opposition during the 1950s. Evatt’s life resonates with modern challenges both of liberty in a time of terror, and of internationalism in a time of global warming.” ($185,000)
I hope you have gained some insight into the minds and wallets of those who have been granted research funding for this financial year in Australia. Remember, like it or not it is your hard-earned tax dollars that is funding this stuff. And in my opinion, nothing tangible will come of this waste of our money! So we Australians have once again thrown bundles of money into the vortex of the Climate Warming Debate in Canberra!
Now the fact that money is being wasted is nothing new, it happens all the time. But every once in a while you get to read a head line that makes you ask ‘WHAT’ the heck?????
Did you know that burning trees release Carbon Dioxide? Oh my goodness, it was only a few days ago that I mentioned using trees for carbon sequestration. Sequestration equates to storing that evil gas that is going to destroy Planet Earth. And now we learn that fire can release it all – who would have thought (sarc)?
The article is about the forests in the US Pacific Northwest granted, but surely it shows the grave consequences all of our woodland will face with the continued creep of AGW? Burn the trees due to bush fires and lightning strikes, and goodness, yes – even deliberately lit fires such as arson and forestry annual burn offs, and you are doing two things.
Firstly you may be destroying the trees – trees do die in forest fires, therefore limiting carbon storage mechanisms. And secondly you are causative in releasing that stored up Carbon Dioxide back into the atmosphere therefore accelerating the so-called problematic green house effect that CO2 is being held responsible for.
I live in an area where the forestry regularly conducts burn offs. These are done ostensibly to keep the undergrowth in check, but have been known to get out of control, turning what was intended as simple weed control into a full and raging bush fire. The raging bush fire endangers the forests, the animal life, homes and civilians, yet they are still done on a regular basis. Goodness they are releasing that Carbon Dioxide too!
What if we could get the local Government to accept the fact that not only is the biodiversity in danger, but they were actually responsible for increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. In Australia the Gillard – Green’s government has already heaped a Carbon Tax on the entire nation, yet it allows the Forestry and Local Government areas to continually back burn (burn off) and poison the atmosphere!
In case I have not made it plain – I do not subscribe to the CAGW theory. I believe Carbon Dioxide is deliberately being misused as a scapegoat simply to raise revenue and impose rules and regulations upon the masses. It is the Australian Government, who bow scrape and grovel to the United Nations who are the real evil baddies in all of this. The love of money is – they say – the root of all evil. The Gillard Government got the country into a real bad deficit and they had to pull something out of the bag – to attempt to get the budget back into the green….. Carbon Dioxide is their patsy!
Who would have thought that by burning trees you would release their stored up Carbon Dioxide? Geesh what will they come up with next?
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs,
but not every man’s greed.”
That will do for today….. See you again soon…… JustMEinT