Environmentalists want to imprison a scientific argentina for doing their job

The geocientífico argentine Ricardo Villalba specializes in paleoclimatology, and is a contributor to the IPCC; part, therefore, of the famous scientific consensus around climate change. But that has not spared the ire of environmentalists, who accuse him of collaborating with a mining company to exculparla to poison the environment. Why? Follow the international standards to make the inventory of the glaciers in argentina.

Villalba was director of the Argentine Institute of Nivology, Glaciology and Environmental Sciences (IANIGLA) in 2015 and 2016, when it is detected spills of cyanide that was put down to the mining activities of the canadian company Barrick Gold. The case against the company was filed, but despite this has continued a process against the scientific institution is encouraged by environmental activists, who accuse him of being responsible for the spill by not having catalogued a small glacier near the mine, which according to them would have prevented Barrick to be installed in the vicinity. On 27 November a judge has been prosecuted for abusing his authority and violating his duty as a public official.

The IANIGLA under the direction of Villalba began in 2011 to catalog all of the glaciers in argentinean but limited to those who have more than a hectare of extension following the international standards for the analysis of glaciers via satellite images, because it is not technically feasible for the detection of smaller glaciers. But the environmental group Jáchal Not Tap sued the institution for failing to make an inventory of the smaller glaciers and, according to the argentine law, the responsible party would not be the institute, but its director at that time.

The scientist has received the support of the journals Science and Nature, have published articles explaining the case and collecting the opinions of other scientists, who do not hesitate to establish a parallel between this situation and the conviction of six seismologists Italian murder reckless, not having been able to predict the L’aquila earthquake of 2009, but were later acquitted on appeal.

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