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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 12 February 2015) . . Page.. 335 ..

Professor Raupach was a scientist who believed that scientists should step up and engage in the public debate on climate change, and he urged his colleagues to do so. He was eloquent in his assessment of the situation we find ourselves in on this planet. In an online tribute, Brisbane-based journalist Graham Readfearn shares Professor Raupach’s thoughtful response to a question he posed last year about the state of public discourse on climate change:

The greatest cause for sorrow is the widespread inability of the public discussion to recognise the whole picture.

Much of the political discourse reduces the complexities of climate change to political football (“axe the tax”); much media reporting sees only the hook to today’s passing story; many interest groups want to use climate change to proselytise for their particular get-out-of-jail free card (nuclear power, carbon farming).

All of this misses or trivialises the real, systemic significance of climate change: that humankind is encountering the finitude of our planet, confronting the need to share and protect our endowment from nature, and realising that much will have to change to make this possible.

Professor Raupach was appointed director of the ANU Climate Change Institute in early 2014 after a long career at the CSIRO. He was a Fellow of the CSIRO, the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and the American Geophysical Union. Professor Raupach was the co-founder of the global carbon project, an international project studying natural and human influences on the global carbon cycle and their impact on climate. Between 2000 and 2008 he co-chaired the global carbon project, leading a global research program involving hundreds of scientists, practitioners and policymakers from around the world.

Mike’s research, leadership and personal commitment is understood to have been instrumental in making the global carbon project a scientifically rich, innovative and socially relevant international collaboration. Throughout his career, Professor Raupach published more than 150 scientific papers, 50 reports and edited two books. He was also a contributing author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change fourth assessment report.

I have it on good advice too that Professor Raupach was also a classically trained pianist who loved music and was a good songwriter of over 50 folk songs, having even produced a CD.

Former Climate Change Institute director Professor Will Steffen wrote this tribute to Michael:

Mike was an outstanding scientist, always rigorous and insightful. He was brilliant at connecting his science with the policy community and with society generally, always with respect, dignity and thoughtfulness. He was a wonderful human being. We are all going to miss him very much.

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