'Geophysicist Michael Asten is astonished that climate science is taught in schools as an exercise in groupthink, with sceptics not disproved but abused:
Climate Nonconformist, who is also in Australia, adds some recollections from his own school days:
'I remember my year nine science text-book doing a similar thing with the moon landing conspiracies; giving the conspiratorial argument alongside a scientific reply. The difference is that - to my knowledge anyway – there is no scientific reply by the conspiracy theorists. This hatchet job on Ashby makes a mockery of science by excluding one side of the argument and forgetting that science is defined by debate. Students are being sucked into this fallacy that science is unquestionably authoritative and one-sided.
In my Environmental Science classes, only one lesson was devoted to the other side of the debate. Our teacher merely informed us that there was another point of view, and showed us a video featuring Andrew Bolt. A token gesture. The rest of the course was dedicated to renewable energy, greenhouse theory, energy efficiency and alarmist outcomes, while ignoring the key parts of the debate; namely the hockey stick controversy and climate sensitivity.
We were uncritically shown Al Gore’s now debunked movie, forcing us to sit through the hysteria and self-adulation the former vice-president engaged in. We were told that the film contained errors, but none were specified. This is unfortunate, considering the deception surrounding the Vostok ice cores. For high school students, it is difficult to critically evaluate what appears to be irrefutable evidence of man-made global warming, especially when we’re dissuaded from questioning “the science”. The concept of causation did not occur to anyone. For us, this was proof.
The precautionary principle was taught as though it was scientific idea, rather than as the flawed approach to policy-making and environmental propaganda that it is. We learned about the potential beneficial uses of organisms, something which I now realise provides environmentalists the excuse the preserve every possible species, justified on the off-chance they might hold the cure to cancer or something like that. Together, these two ideas provide the green crowd with a potent tool to prevent industrial development. Of course, I couldn’t see through that at the time.
On the plus side, I did have one science teacher who was dismissive of global warming alarmism.'
The comments on the Andrew Bolt article are overwhelmingly from readers outraged by this reported abuse of education, and/or adding experiences of their own or their children's. For example here is a selection scattered over the three (currently) pages of readers' comments:
Sadly this travesty has been endorsed by a large swag of science education gatekeepers in a wide range of education jurisdictions including the national curriculum.
My son encountered this first-hand when his class had to study ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. When he challenged some of the claims made in the film, he was threatened with detention.
When he produced a printout of British High Court judge Mr. Justice Burton’s ruling on scientific errors and political activism in the film, it was thrown in the bin.
This is simply an abuse of children.
(hat-tip: Tom Nelson)
Note added 10 May 2012. That article by Michael Asten on climate education is available in full here: http://www.climaterealists.org.nz/node/885 Extract: 'The interested student, however, will discover material that may illustrate larger problems in science education. Perusal of the resources for secondary school physics students provided by the Australian Institute of Physics (Vic) Education Committee suggests some of our science educators have indeed lost the ability to teach objective and open-minded scientific inquiry.'