“Treating cancer with a band aid”: Science Minister cops flack for shutting down climate change science

Karen Andrews

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews speaks during a funding announcement in Adelaide, on Monday, April 15, 2019. Source: AAP Image/Kelly Barnes.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews yesterday confused onlookers by calling a roundtable of leading scientists to address the bushfire crisis but then blocking a national conversation about climate change.

Instead, she urged the nation to “move on” and “adapt and mitigate the impact of those changes” rather than “keep having debates about climate change”.

“Every second that we spend discussing whether or not climate change is real is a second that we don’t spend talking about and putting place the strategies to mitigate the effects,” Andrews told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Andrews’ acceptance that “the climate has changed, the climate is changing and we need to look at what we’re going to do about that” puts her at odds with some Coalition peers, such as vocal climate change deniers Craig Kelly and George Christensen.

However, Andrews is being criticised by the public for prioritising actionable solutions for the bushfires while suppressing climate change discussions, which many are considering a band-aid solution that ignores the source of the issue.

Others pointed out the opportunity Andrews has to make real, meaningful change.

Members from the CSIRO, Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, and the Bushfire and Natural Hazard Cooperative Research Centre yesterday attended the roundtable in Canberra.

Others on Twitter were surprised Australia has had a science minister for the last two years (especially given the position was previously done away with under the Abbott government).

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