Chief Scientist Sackett obfuscates

A true bureaucratic

It is difficult to imagine how Penny Sackett earned her title as Chief Scientist for Australia. Last night she was interviewed on Lateline where Tony Jones predictably failed to get any interesting information out of her. Jones gave a half hearted attempt to question what I call the “Dorethea Mackellar” factor, whether or not the drought and now the flooding rains is not a natural cycle rather than a consequence of global warming.

TONY JONES: Do you believe then there is a connection between the extremes or the extreme events in the Southern Oscillation Index and overarching global warming, is there any proof of that?

PENNY SACKETT: The – what we do know is that we can expect an increase in the severity and the frequency of extreme events. What we cannot say is that any particular single event is related to global warming. It’s rather statistically the number and the severity of them.

Jones tried again:

TONY JONES: But do you have a report or scientific advice for those farmers in the Murray-Darling who are essentially being told they may have to pack up their farms and stop being farmers because of climate change and restrictions to water in the future, even though they’re looking at large volumes of water now?

PENNY SACKETT: I think that holistically Australia will have to ask questions about what sort of food it can grow, where it can grow and how it can increase productivity.

He asked and repeated the question in various forms at least five times.

On nuclear energy, Ms Sackett was just as unforthcoming. This was the fourth question Jones asked her on that topic. Her fourth answer of course was basically the same as the previous three.

TONY JONES: But if the Government asked for your advice as a chief scientist on whether nuclear power’s a viable option for Australia and whether it would be beneficial, what would you say?

PENNY SACKETT: I’d say that we would need to study it. We would need to get a series of experts in who would not only look at nuclear energy, but a whole suite of energy options and provide a report back. But I certainly wouldn’t be answering the question without looking carefully at the evidence.

On emission reductions, Ms Sackett was decisive.

TONY JONES: The Australian Government is currently promising a five per cent emissions reduction target. Do you regard that as a serious target that will achieve anything?

PENNY SACKETT: I regard any action that begins to reduce our emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as serious – any reduction.

And so the dreary interview finally came to its end. This woman presumably gets paid a lot of money. Tax payers may ask what for?

And what about Tony Jones? With his token “hard” questions, he displayed absolutely no impatience, or insistence, that Sackett answer his questions. He, after all, is also on the global warming gravy trail.

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8 Responses to “Chief Scientist Sackett obfuscates”

  1. Keith Says:

    “It is difficult to imagine how Penny Sackett earned her title as Chief Scientist for Australia”

    Let me attempt an answer, or at least some context.
    Prior to the devastating Canberra bush fires in 2003, Sackett was in charge of the Mt Stromlo Observatory. The bush fires effectively destroyed the observatory and now only a rump of operations remains there.
    The main reason that only a rump remains is that ANU (owners of Mt Stromlo observatory) discovered that they were underinsured by pursuing an expensive legal claim that failed. A friend of mine was representing the insurers and won. ANU achieved only a fraction of their alleged coverage (~ 20 – 30 %). After the bush fires, Sackett was basically out of work, and another position was found for her in ANU. The chief government scientist position became available and Sackett got the job. I suspect Ian Chubb (VC of ANU) probably had a lot to do with it. He is a firm favourite with the ALP via a the Climate Institute (Steffen) and other ANU initiatives.
    ANU may or may not be very, but are most certainly very well looked after.

    Since Sackett is a former astronomer, perhaps a more fruitful line of enquiry might have been about the global warming detected on Mars, and prompting her for speculations as to why that might be happening, and how degrees of warming might compare with Earth.

  2. Keith Says:

    may not be very good, but are certainly well looked after.

  3. terry Says:

    What a joke she is,c02 is 2 parts oxygen and 1 part carbon it is not a pollutant at all but essential for every living thing on earth ,she knows this full well ,the fact they ave to get scientists in to see about nuclear power says it all i think ,the whole of the Csiro needs sacking and real scientists put in ,those emails and heaps of other fake evidence from Nasa that has come out shows its a scam ,and to prove the point just look at how wrong their models have been ,they haven’t got a clue what they are doing .She would also know c02 follows warming by up o 800 yrs ,and that climate is chaotic theory which is impossible to predict , lets face it they cannot change the weather cycles and it’s much better warmer than colder ,They are pushing utter nonsense and they know it ,this was all in the club of Rome documents and in the Iron Mountain report from back in the 60s to use this scam to control a dictatorship on the wold ,look t up for yourself on u tube ,everything they are dong now is exactly as they said they would do then ,its communist racket to stop the west from growing . Get NEW JOB TONY YOUR HOPELESS and jut a minion helping to push this busted scam .

  4. Grego Says:

    People will say that I’m a chauvinist, but really when you look at all the females who are in charge of us as in government, ie ministers and I include the Prime Minister or as this Penny Sackett is…. can anyone tell me of just one that is really up to it. They are all over the place, and if they do have an agenda? it just doesn’t show. In their own mind they probably think they are going like a house on fire. And they are, because when the fire is put out all that is left is a disaster!!

  5. Mike Says:

    I have a simple formula. If they are from the Government I ignore them. Most of these people are highly paid public servants on the gravy train for life and doing very well. They could not survive in private enterprise.

  6. Faye Says:

    Just like the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard… Penny Sackett. (appropriate name), infuriates with her spin (scientists are supposed to be factual.)

    I used to respect the CSIRO and the position of Chief Scientist of Australia before the days of Climate Change and Sackett.

    Last night on Lateline she proved she is pretty good at holding the Government line (and holding onto her job). Under her leadership, the CSIRO is perceived as weak and politically orientated.

    I bet there are people working at the CSIRO who would be seething at having her as their boss. I guess the only way to get a new Chief Scientist is to change the Federal Government.

  7. Dixon Cruickshank Says:

    She IS the head scientist – why does she need a panel of experts? Nuke power has been studied to death in any case – just google it.

    At least in the US they just pimp slapped Pelosi’s Climate Change Commitee to the dustbin as a waste – good luck over there.

    That NBN thing is a total waste and will be worse than the batts, everybody knows it – including Labor thats why they won’t do the cost benifit

    Andrew your the bomb, I stop by at least 3 times a day to check on you

  8. John of Cloverdale WA Says:

    ‘Fraid to say it, but I don’t think Ms Penny knew what the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) is. She could hardly say, I need to look that one up Tony, I only look to the sky. I wonder if she’s ever heard of the PDO, the AMO or the ENSO. She might be Chief Scientist in name, but she articulates like a politician.

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