Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Where are the solar powered Australian underpants we have been waiting for?

In  Australia opposition finance spokesman Andrew Robb has been criticizing the Australian Research Council´s lavish funding of climate change related research. Here are a couple of examples:

- "Sending and responding to messages about climate change: the role of emotion and morality" by a Queensland university, which secured $197,302.
- A study to determine if birds are shrinking, which got $314,000

Mr. Robb added:

"Australian Research Council criteria has been extended beyond the scientific, the innovative and the practical to include some real airy-fairy stuff. Which means less money for more worthwhile research."

The Australian Research Council has responded by claiming that "the study into climate change emotion was an important psychology project". Indeed.

A quick look at the ARC´s website showed that this is not the first time climate change related projects have been favoured by the Research Council.

Here is an example from 2008:

"The Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr, today announced funding of nearly $90 million for researchers in Victoria to conduct 292 research projects that will produce significant national benefit.
Some of the projects funded include developing portable and compact solar cells that may be incorporated in fabrics opening the solar cell market to the clothing industry, storm activity in the Arctic and implications for rapid climate change"

It would be interesting to know what happenened to the "portable and compact solar cells incorporated in fabrics" that were supposed to revolutionize the Australian clothing industry. Has anybody seen the solar powered Australian clothes we were promised? During the arctic cold spell here in Europe this winter I would certainly have been happy to own a pair of solar powered Australian underpants!

1 comment:

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