Friday, 24 Mar 2023

Bureau of Meteorology was cowering in the corner on climate crisis, former staff claim

Bureau of Meteorology was cowering in the corner on climate crisis, former staff claim


Bureau of Meteorology was cowering in the corner on climate crisis, former staff claim

The Bureau of Meteorology has been accused of "cowering in the corner" on the climate crisis, with current and former staff describing a conservative culture that left the Australian public poorly informed.

Talking proactively on climate change was seen as a risk for the bureau, staff said, and scientists within the bureau were frustrated at the agency's position.

The bureau this week backtracked on a request it no longer be referred to as the "BoM" after a rebuke from the environment minister, Tanya Plibersek.

Employees said the furore over the rebranding had made an allegedly toxic work culture worse, with Guardian Australia revealing staff and their union had contacted federal government ministers documenting complaints.

Plibersek said she has "now received a brief on a range of issues at the BoM - including cultural issues - and I'll be considering that carefully".

Two former staff members have now told the Guardian of an exodus of communications personnel in the last two years, alleging a "horrendous" culture with staff mentally "broken" and distraught.

Prof Scott Power, a climate scientist who left the BoM in 2020 after more than 25 years, said under the leadership of the chief executive, Andrew Johnson, the agency was "trying to keep the lowest profile it can get away with on climate change".

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