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Sacking of Dr John Church Heralds New Era of Darkness for Climate Science

15 May 2016

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Climate Change spokesperson

In a move that defines the Liberals antagonism towards science and climate research, one of the world's leading climate scientists has been sacked from his job at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research division in Hobart.

Dr John Church is a global expert in sea level rise, an esteemed and eminent member of the global scientific community. His sacking is a devastating blow to climate science and to Australia's once strong reputation as a climate science leader. 

The shockwaves will be felt around the world, at places like the United Nations, among the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientists where John Church is a lead author, and at NASA where he has been the Principal Investigator at the TOPEX/Poseidon Extended Satellite Mission.

Research undertaken by Dr Church from his Tasmanian base has been integral to the global understanding of sea level rise and oceanic changes in a rapidly changing climate. 

As the former Minister for Climate Change, I had the great privilege of working with Dr Church when he developed the Sea Level Rise allowance as a planning tool to ensure decisions on coastal development don't place people and communities at risk in the future.

John Church is not only an outstanding scientist, he is a great human being who has dedicated his life to doing public good.  We owe him an enormous debt of gratitude.

When it was first announced that CSIRO climate research was to be gutted by the Turnbull government, Premier Hodgman claimed he was working hard to have the decision reversed. 

It was all talk.

The sacking of John Church is a demonstration of his government's failure to advocate on behalf of Tasmania's scientific community. 

The decision to gut climate science and now to sack John Church is a travesty and an indictment on the State and Federal Liberal governments' inaction on global warming.  They are betraying future generations.