March 5, 2004 “Australian Greenhouse Office” skewered

The Australian Greenhouse Office was set up with great fanfare by John Howard, as the world’s first dedicated climate change department within a national government. If you want the full gory details of how it was cut out of the decision making loop, see Guy Pearse’s High and Dry, and Clive Hamilton’s “Scorcher” (both published in 2007.)

On this day in 2004 the Australian National Audit Office (a sort of semi-independent regulator/ombudsman thing) gave the AGO a slapping.

“Annual reporting to Parliament to date has not provided sufficient information on actual performance against targets, trends and changes over time as well as about significant risks and challenges. As such, there is significant scope to improve the quality of information so that Parliament is better informed of the progress of the AGO in implementing programs of national significance.”

Howard abolished the AGO after the 2004 election.

Other things that happened on this day:

1950 American scientists Jule Charney and Jonny von Neumann and the first computerized weather simulation. (Stevens 1999, page 97)

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

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