Tag Archives: Penny Sackett

April 20, 2009 – “6 years to act on #climate change.” Oops.

On this day, Australia’s new (and first female) Chief Scientist said that Australia did not have long left to act…. Sackett stepped down in February 2011 btw, about halfway through her five year term…

The Government’s chief scientist wants the country to set the toughest possible targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, warning that action must begin now against climate change.

The Government has committed to cutting Australia’s emissions by 5 to 15 per cent of 2000 levels by 2020 and wants to start an emissions trading scheme next year.

However, the target has been slammed by the Greens and environmental groups as being too low and the Opposition has also recently signalled it would support a stronger cut in emissions.

Professor Penny Sackett would not put an exact figure on what she thought the target should be but she said she has advised the Government to set the steepest target possible.

Anon. 2009. World has 6 years to act’ on climate change. ABC, 20 April.

Also on this day-
The 2020 summit took place in Canberra, 19-20.  Anna Rose was underwhelmed-

The 2020 Summit: Coal Industry Chiefs overheat Kevin’s Climate – “I found myself in the climate stream with representatives of coal mining companies including Xstrata and Shell, yet not a single person from an environment Non-Government Organisation. No-one from Friends of the Earth, the Australian Conservation Foundation, Greenpeace, Climate Action Network Australia or any of the State Conservation Councils.”

Feb 18, 2011 – Chief Scientific Advisor quits her post

It’s hard to speak truth to power. Scientists can talk about science, sure, but politicians have little time, training or appetite for hearing the truth.  On this day in 2011 Australian Chief Scientific Advisor Penny Sackett, quit her post,  having been ignored on climate change (only met Rudd once, wasn’t on the huge delegation to Copenhagen, had just been stood up by Julia Gillard).

See the Sydney Morning Herald’s account.

See a 2008 profile of her when she was new in post…

 

Also on this day

The climate issue had burst into life again in late 2006, and already some Liberals were publicly pushing back. Nick Minchin would of course play a key role in the overthrow of Malcolm Turnbull as opposition leader in November 2009, over Turnbull’s willingness to help pass Rudd’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme…

Topsfield, J. 2007 Costello and Minchin split on climate changeThe Age, 19 February.
DIVISIONS continue to emerge within the Government over climate change, with Treasurer Peter Costello yesterday disagreeing with Finance Minister Nick Minchin over whether the extent that humans were to blame for global warming was in doubt.

“I think the scientific evidence is now accepted, and that is that climate change is occurring, that human activity is leading to carbon emissions, which is slowly leading to an increase in temperature,” Mr Costello told Channel Ten. “I don’t think that’s in dispute any more.”