CSIRO boss sorry for climate ‘more like religion than science’

CSIRO boss sorry for climate ‘more like religion than science’

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CSIRO chief Dr Larry Marshall has apologised for describing the emotion of the climate debate as almost “more religion than science”

Dr Marshall had told ABC News the backlash from his decision to restructure the organisation made him feel like an “early climate scientist in the ’70s fighting against the oil lobby” and that there was so much emotion in the debate it almost “sounded more like religion than science”.

CSIRO-rising-sealevel-cityHe also said he would not be backing down on his controversial shakeup of the organisation’s climate divisions, telling ABC News he was yet to be persuaded.

The redirection of climate science priorities at the CSIRO has drawn international condemnation, with thousands of climate scientists signing an open letter protesting against the changes.

At Senate estimates hearing today he backed away from those comments.

CSIRO-beach-rubbish-examine“I’d like to apologise for any offence I may have caused to anyone with respect to my reference to religion,” Dr Marshall said.

“I was merely referring to the passionate zeal around this issue, not any other reference, and I deeply apologise.”

The redirection of climate science priorities at the CSIRO has drawn international condemnation, with thousands of climate scientists signing an open letter protesting against the changes.

CSIRO-Research-diver-in-the-PilbaraThe Oceans and Atmosphere division is expected to be one of the hardest hit, with 60 positions to go through a mix of redeployment and redundancies.

All up, 350 jobs will “change”, a plan that’s drawn the ire of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change co-chair and even the World Meteorological Organisation, which has made an unprecedented statement condemning the decision.

However, Dr Marshall said he had not been persuaded to reconsider the changes.

Since the changes were announced last Thursday, Dr Marshall has spent much of the week trying to clarify the restructure, stressing that there will not be a net loss of jobs.

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