The curious case of the CSIRO and climate change

By Ruth Limkin

I believe that every person on the planet has a responsibility to care for the creation around them. The world we live in, and the way we treat it, matters for very many reasons.

The way in which we should best do this is a subject of intense debate, with often emotive language.

Removing ourselves from the rhetoric, and stepping towards science, is a wise path when such significant scenarios are being discussed. After all, we are discussing proposals which may have significant ecological and economic effects.

So I was surprised to recently discover the disclaimer that the CSIRO uses when it has provided predictive climate reports based on computer modelling. After all, the CSIRO and it’s climate models are influencing Government policies.

“This report relates to climate change scenarios based on computer modelling. Models involve simplifications of the real processes that are not fully understood.

Accordingly, no responsibility will be accepted by CSIRO or the QLD government for the accuracy of forecasts or predictions inferred from this report or for any person’s interpretations, deductions, conclusions or actions in reliance on this report.”

It’s in the CSIRO report to Queensland.

It’s also in the CSIRO report to the Northern Territory.

Nothing like a little certainty when you’re making billion dollar decisions.

And I’m not sure that’s even a little certainty.

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ruth@ruthlimkin