Ok so I admit the headline is mostly hyperbolic in nature, but I was via the Australian Skeptics Facebook page quite shocked to hear the nature of one of the "fatty" programs that the Howard Government saved us tax payers from in the quest for their moronic budget surplus.
In 1996 John Howard defunded Australia's program to track Near Earth Objects, ie space rocks like comets and asteroids, in the skies of the Southern Hemisphere. This is a totally sci-fi nerdy concern I know, but if the previous three posts prove anything, I'm a bit of a sci-fi nerd. (Also I am aware of the irony of writing a post about the dangers of asteroids after talking about Yamato so much)
Phillip Adams wrote a great piece about this in April; and I have to echo his sentiments, if there is a danger to the public that a government can help prevent it is its absolute duty to do so. Especially seeing research like this is relatively cheap into totally budgetary terms.
This action, canning a "minor" scientific program to save a few $million is a symptom of what today causes large chunks of society to ignore the threat of anthropogenic climate change. It's not in their immediate fiscal interest to do anything so let's not bother shall we?
I'm waiting for the Asteroid deniers to step up to the plate.