Tony Abbott's Budget Cuts on Research a Declaration of War on Science
By Reissa Su | April 17, 2014 6:30 PM EST
Australia's scientists have found one common enemy in the person of Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Since Mr Abbott won the September 2013 election, some of the country's brilliant researchers have complained that their funding has been cut. The scientists claim their "expertise" is constantly overlooked in favour of deniers and skeptics.
Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott addresses during the Commonwealth Government Meeting (CHOGM) opening ceremony in Colombo November 15, 2013.
The scientific community in Australia is speaking out to express their fears as the Abbott government's first annual budget will have more cuts for research in world-class facilities. The further slashing of funds may cost Australia its reputation for conducting cutting-edge scientific and medical research.
According to a leading scientist who requested the GlobalPost to keep his identity a secret for fear of losing his own funding, Australia's budget cuts has left researchers with the feeling that science is "being systematically removed" in all areas.
Past budget cuts had affected the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Australian Research Council and university funding.
In a report by the Sydney Morning Herald, CSIRO has said it is preparing for an impending budget cut of 20 per cent. In response to that report, Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty said the budget cuts will speed up Australia's transition to become a third world economy.
Australia's lack of a strong climate change response has turned the heat up on Mr Abbott. The Abbott government has not accepted the Climate Change Authority (CCA)'s recommendation for Australia to triple its carbon emissions reduction target. The climate agency said Australia should be aiming for at least 15 per cent by 2020. The target rate will increase to 19 per cent once the carry-over credits that had been previously set in the Kyoto Protocol are included. Environment Minister Greg Hunt reacted to the CCA report and said the Abbott government will not revise its target of 5 per cent until 2015.
Scientists in Australia have previously accused Mr Abbott of engineering and leading Australia to an "environmental train wreck."
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