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« EPA stripped of power to regulate GhGs | Main | Is CCS worth it? »
Friday
Mar112011

Crushing of dissent

A high school student in Australia is struggling to keep quiet during climate change lessons...

For the third lesson the PowerPoint was brought out again with even more questionable statements claiming that putting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is causing: an increase in temperature by one degree; a rise in sea levels; more bush fires; more droughts; more animals to become extinct; malaria to become more widespread (so much so that it would spread to the Northern Territory); the Arctic Ocean to be ice-free by 2050; the extinction of the polar bear; and, my personal favourite, “China and Indonesia will be too hot to grow rice.”

H/T Deadman



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Reader Comments (130)

Brainwash the kids early enough before they develop critical thinking.
I hope Alfred is watching out for the 'red button'!!

Mar 11, 2011 at 8:18 AM | Unregistered Commentermeltemian

Like all religions, they have to start the indoctrination early before the kids can think for themselves or have the where-with-all to challenge authority.

Mar 11, 2011 at 8:32 AM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

Teachers in Australia using imperial measurements? Kids in Oz hardly have an idea what 20 feet is.
Amazing academic level for a 2nd year high school kid as well.

can't tell much I'm a sceptic to the bone ha?

Mar 11, 2011 at 8:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterBaa Humbug

It is not only in Australia that there is a problem with scientific theories being presented as established facts and solutions to problems being promoted without any critical examination. The same thing happens in Britain and lots of other countries.

There have been threads in this blog before on the subject of schools. Therefore I am surprised that (unless I have missed it) nobody has brought up the subject of "climate week."

“Climate Week” will be 21-27 March. As part of that week there will be a Climate Week Challenge for school children in the UK.

The Climate Week website says:

“The Climate Week Challenge is the biggest single activity of Climate Week. It will involve tens of thousands of people in schools, colleges and workplaces all over the country tackling the same task.”

http://www.climateweek.com/

An information pack for schools in the form of a PDF file can be downloaded from the website. At the top of the first page it says:

"One Task – One Country – One Day"

That rather reminds me of a slogan that was popular in Germany in the 1930s and early 1940s but perhaps "climate change deniers" should not say such things.

Mar 11, 2011 at 8:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Just looked at the website for Climate Week - I'm worried about the impact on the planet of all the 'events' they are organising.

Surely if they are genuinely concerned about their impact on the planet, they should all sit quietly at home with the heating and lights off. Maybe go that extra mile, and put bags over their heads to sequester their personal carbon emissions.

Mar 11, 2011 at 9:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterR2

I am a retired high school teacher, so forgive me if I seem unduly sceptical about the quality of this young bloke's writing and his critical thinking. I see a parent 'doing the boy's homework' in this, but I could be wrong as their very well may be isolated outbreaks of accurate spelling, grammar, syntax and adult thinking among the young. One lives in hope, and the overall message it imparts about the Greens and their Marxism/alarmism being a major and very unsavory factor in the education of our young is very accurate.

Mar 11, 2011 at 9:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

... their very well may be isolated outbreaks of accurate spelling...
One hundred times, please, young Alexander, "I must remember to proof-read my comments before posting".

Mar 11, 2011 at 9:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterSam the Skeptic

I see a parent 'doing the boy's homework' in this

Well, I am, I freely own, instructing my son how to use that sadly moribund feature of English, the relative adverb, and I suggested most of the semicolons, and corrected typos. The thoughts and expressions are Alfred’s own.

Mar 11, 2011 at 9:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterDeadman

Deadman - at least your syntax is better than Alexander's! I suspect that young Alfred's isn't far behind, either. :-)

Mar 11, 2011 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Josh

Is there any mileage in a 'school fete' style cartoon for Carbon Week?

Mar 11, 2011 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterR2

Alexander,
as a retired high school teacher you would know how there are teaches better then others, and then there are the other ones. My English teacher, who doubles as my SAH teacher, is no gifted mind. If I am to learn I must look for alternative ways of doing so.

Mar 11, 2011 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlfred

Good find!

Some fine and vivid writing by the youngster:

'The reaction of the class to my statement was, of course, to fall into an absolute silence of disbelief which my teacher broke by saying, in a sarcastic manner, that “There are some people, that [sic] don’t believe in climate change and think that it is a hoax or a con.” Thereafter I was shunned for the rest of the day and most of the next.'
...
'The class fell silent once again, relying on the teacher to put me in my place; she broke the silence by telling me to ask only positive questions. She then continued the lesson by reading the PowerPoint presentation. '
...
'My reaction was to cry out, “What?” The teacher simply told me to be quiet then went on with what she was saying whilst the rest of the class glared at me'
...
'Most of my class, including the teacher, has been completely brainwashed into believing everything that the Greens have said on the impact of climate change. The teacher has supplied no evidence for her statements, no proof, no scientific arguments except that “the majority of scientists” say so, and she has considered no contrary points of view. '


The Powerpoint presentation seems to have been used like a sacred text, to be read out, absorbed, and admired. That is revealing, as are the reported silences most of the pupils. How would you feel if what you had been led to believe as gospel was so casually challenged in class? We are of course only hearing one view of this, but that view is certainly a dismal one of indoctrination rather than discussion. One wonders how many teachers in how many schools 'read out the Powerpoint presentation' when 'climate change' comes up, rather than actually teaching or encouraging critical thinking.

Pupil enjoyment of 'speechless teachers' is captured in a cartoon here: http://comics.com/big_nate/2010-11-17/ (with some climate indoctrination-related comments by me here: http://climatelessons.blogspot.com/2010/11/new-hope-for-climate-sense-in-classroom.html )

Mar 11, 2011 at 10:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

I was going to post the following comment on Alfred's site but I don't have a Google Account or anything like that.


Good on you mate. Stick to your guns. It takes bravery to stand up to any authority.

All the best:

Jimmy Haigh.

Mar 11, 2011 at 10:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

Josh

'schools FATE' :-)

No pressure

'Blut und Ehre'

Mar 11, 2011 at 10:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

Well done to Alfred. He needs to persuade some of the less gullible of his classmates to look into the scam.

Mar 11, 2011 at 10:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Off topic, but indicative of the madness that is greenery...

About 30 years ago I was one of a large squad of lads who planted lots of trees near Aberfeldy. I reckon I planted about a million in total over the years. They are now cutting them down to make way for a wind farm. Apparently there will be 200 people employed to cut the trees down.

Are these 'green' jobs?

Mar 11, 2011 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

@ R2

Surely if they are genuinely concerned about their impact on the planet

I can't say I've ever seen any evidence that they are.

What ecofascists are worried about is your choices - specifically, that you are allowed to make some with which they disagree.

Having thought about it for a while, I actually cannot see how an environmental movement can be anything other than totalitarian. If you reflect on it, it's clear that by definition enviromentalism has to be fascist.

Mar 11, 2011 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

As is well known, this brainwashing is going on all over the world. I taught 1st year university students and they all were already brainwashed; when I told them it might not be as they were told, they did pay attention and even checked what I said, but I had the notion they couldn't care less. The amount of bright, educated people who don't care about this, and go with the green line, is impressive. They have nothing to gain or lose by questioning themselves, but they won't do it.

Mar 11, 2011 at 11:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterJosualdo

@Josualdo - a few years ago I was out for a few drinks with a group of postgraduate law students when I mentioned in passing The Great Global Warming Swindle TV programme, which was to be shown that evening.

The derision and closed-mindedness from the group about holding a sceptical viewpoint on "global warming" was both disturbing and depressing at the same time, coming as it did from educated people who are supposed to value inquiry and evidence.

Mar 11, 2011 at 12:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterwoodentop

Sorry about that, Sam. I spotted the error too late, just as I was in the process of posting.
As an aside and not in my defence, I only ever taught English as a cover teacher when colleagues were away.
My areas particular enthusiasm are the Fine Arts plus Design Tech and the History of Art, just to spice up the mix and make kids aware of the great sweep of culturae and history, and where they/we fitted into that.. I mourned the passing of Fred Dibnah, who knew how important stuff worked and was made, and could draw like an angel.
I loved teaching practical stuff in which the kids learnt to do real things and make stuff that works, always with one eye on how the technology of whatever we were doing evolved. I was quite annoyed when my services were dispensed with when I collected my free bus pass a few years ago.

Mar 11, 2011 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

Deadman,I have only just spotted your comment - you are obviously an excellent parent and I take my hat off to you After a few years teaching in some less-than-lovely State high schools (Comprehensives) in London, I had forgotten that good parenting, in the very best sense, still exists. My apologies, if I offended you. Your son has clearly been brought up to think matters through, which is wonderful to see.

Mar 11, 2011 at 12:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

"What ecofascists are worried about is your choices"
Mar 11, 2011 at 11:22 AM | Justice4Rinka

........and he's off again. This comment was posted over an hour and a half ago on the top thread, and not one person since has pulled him up on the term 'ecofascists'.

Both, he, and every person who read this term and failed to write a comment to condemn it, are a disgrace.

Mar 11, 2011 at 1:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

Zed

So are people who use the Denier term, when it's an obvious LIE.

Ever heard of the saying "People who live in glass houses should not throw stones".

Mar 11, 2011 at 1:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper

I think there's a very real sense in which the social phenomenon of CAGW, independant of what the science may eventually converge to, has a life of its own. And that life is sustained by and evolves through a constant narrative, transmitted through many channels including schools.

http://judithcurry.com/2011/03/06/climate-story-telling-angst/#comment-53804
(and posted by Dixie Pooh in reply to this, is a great paper)

Mar 11, 2011 at 1:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndy West

In the US we are stumbling towards the conclusion that universal pubic education is a great, expensive failure.
This is a perfect example of why.
These children are not being educated to be citizens. They are being trained to be subjects.

Mar 11, 2011 at 1:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

"In the US we are stumbling towards the conclusion that universal pubic education is a great, expensive failure."
Mar 11, 2011 at 1:36 PM | hunter

Mmm. I mean, God forbid that someone born in a country would have the right to be educated by it. I'm sure you'll find a lot of people supporting you in 3rd World countries too, where the poor simply don't have any education, and grow up illiterate and find it almost impossible to change their lot in life.

Mar 11, 2011 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

Alfred, I know exactly what you mean about the variable quality of teaching and teachers. I dropped out of high school at 15 with no qualifications whatsoever as most of my high school teachers in the immediate post WWII era, which had over-full employment and as a prominent NZ poet of that time put it, "many teachers only taught as they couldn't get a job in the Post Office". After working at all sorts of jobs for some years, I fetched up at university and went on to become a teacher, motivated in part by memories of the dreadful time-servers and bullies I and my schoolmates had to tolerate. I have worked with wonderful teachers and I have worked with totally incompetent time-servers, both of which will always be with us. There are many ways to success; with your obvious reasoning powers and the support of your Dad, you should do well. Good luck!

Mar 11, 2011 at 1:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

Zed

J4R

Since this thread is entitled 'Crushing of Dissent' I am going to plead on-topic.

J4R is in error:

it's clear that by definition enviromentalism has to be fascist.

Which is the other reason why I wish people would avoid the term 'ecofascist' and its derivatives. Extreme 'environmentalist' views are indeed totalitarian. They are absolutist and viciously intolerant of dissent. Which is crushed, whenever possible. No pressure.

Both fascism and communism are totalitarian systems. Thus the term 'ecofascism' is revealed as an emotive insult rather than an accurate description of the mindset.

Zed. This is trivial stuff really, and perhaps you should tone it down. You sound shrill and a bit deranged, which will never do if you want to dismiss commenters here as the lunatic fringe.

Or do you simply seek to crush dissent?

Mar 11, 2011 at 1:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

zed,
An ecofascist is an ecofascist. Fascism is not some unutterable term that ought not to be used in any meaningful discussion. People held, and continue to hold fascist ideas - these are political realities we need to face. Don't push your political correctness on my head. I do not accept the thesis that those who harbor ecofascist ideas should be 'free' to continue to do so, whereas I should be refrain from using accurate descriptive terms, not out of a concern for false characterization apparently, but from the mere inhibitory billows of political correctness.

What are you indulging in, with your schoolmarmishness, if you object to the use of words, but cannot substantiate why those words are unsuitable?

You performed your drive-by act with the WWF previously, but yet cannot offer any real reason as to why they should be considered 'harmful'.

Do not abuse your privileges of voicing your opinions if you cannot engage.

Mar 11, 2011 at 2:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

I think ecofascists sums them up very precisely. They want to tell us what to eat, how much energy we are allowed to use (or power if you are zbd), what we are taught and what allowed to think etc etc. The earthquake in Japan and the Tsunami show the true force of nature compared to anything we can do.

Mar 11, 2011 at 2:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Unfortunately the kid lives in the "San Francisco" of Australia. Hobart is a hippie haven. I love Tasmania and Australia in general. I found Tasmania to be about the most beautiful are I've yet seen on this planet. It's probably why there's such eco-facism there.

Mar 11, 2011 at 2:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy

Name-calling is counter-productive. Why not ask 'them' to show how what they demand we do will stop China and India industrialising?

Ask 'them' how de-industrialising Western economies is supposed to 'tackle climate change' in any meaningful way?

Ask them to stop telling and start answering a few straight questions.

Engage. Show 'them' up for dogmatists, dreamers, narcissists and anti-democratic, anti-humanist hypocrites. But get it from their own mouths.

Ask the hard questions. Name-calling is counter-productive.

Mar 11, 2011 at 2:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Zebedee, your whining about the use of perfectly correct terms, of which 'eco-fascist' is one, is tiresome in the extreme and has nothing to do with the title of this post. You may not like the term, but it is a perfectly valid histo-sociological term and entirely apt in the way it was used on this thread.

Mar 11, 2011 at 2:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

@ Alfred

One comment I frequently make to climate mugs to which they have no answer is á propos of their models. It's a remark that constantly gets me banned from their blogs no matter how politely phrased, so we can be sure it's because it's unanswerable rather than offensive.

The polite question runs as follows.

The "evidence" that the world will warm up is derived from models that predict a range of possible future climate states between 100 and 1,000 years ahead.

A major input to these models is, of course, human carbon emissions. The levels of these are driven by what fuels we use, in what quantity per capita, and by how many people.

It follows that any model that claims to predict the climate in 100 years' time must also be making some assumptions about energy supply hence energy price (which is intimately coupled to supply), technology, and population.

So. These models that predict the climate in 2111. What do they assume will be

1 the main fuel type in use in 2111?
2 its price?
3 the five most significant technology developments over the next 100 years?
4 the population of the world in 2111? and
5 the level of atmospheric CO2 in 2061?

Who produced the forecasts used? Who peer-reviewed the methodology?

The relevance is this. Imagine it's 1890 and you're trying to predict the level of atmospheric CO2 in 1990. How accurate would your forecasts be if you didn't know about gas central heating, nuclear power, or cars, or if you guessed the population level?

I can tell you the answer to 2, the one about price. Nobody produces 100-year forecasts of energy price, nobody produces 20-year forecasts of energy price and in fact nobody believes the 5- and 10-year forecasts of oil price you sometime see because they are always and unfailingly wrong. Oil price prediction is not intellectually respectable, but it's critical to the accuracy of the models.

You don't even need to mention astrology or geomancy.

Mar 11, 2011 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

My son's girlfriend is German and in her final year at school. When she first visited us she viewed us with horror at the sacriligious things we were saying about climate change. I sent her home with Christopher Booker's book (her english is that good) and am pleased to report another convert. She has tried to educate her classmates but was received with horror and experienced some of that shunning by her classmates. I suggested she stop because she was new to the school and wanted to make friends, but I did admire her for taking the plunge.

Mar 11, 2011 at 3:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterbiddyb

Three cheers from me, too, for Alfred. Although I've lived in this country more than he has, I dare say he has a better command of English than I.

@Alexander K

"...culturae..."

Sir, is that the plural of 'culture'?

Mar 11, 2011 at 3:59 PM | Unregistered CommentersHx

Please check out today's Today program on R4 - at 0615 the business correspondent discussed wind turbines with the "hippy" owner of Ecotricity who was the "Friday Boss". The interview was quite fawning. He claimed that all of the power needed for Ford's diesel engine production factory is provided by 2 of his giant turbines which sit beside the plant. The interviewer did not ask what happens when the wind stops blowing.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/b006qj9z/console

Starts at 20 minutes in.

Mar 11, 2011 at 5:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterFredBloggs

Zed

"....and he's off again"

Our thoughts exactly. How like you latch onto a word you don't like by insulting everyone around you and failing to address the original, well constructed post. No thoughts on education, then - are there no little Zeds requiring it?

Mar 11, 2011 at 5:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Alfred - great that you are thinking for yourself and questioning the green groupthink. I'm sure some others here will have seen this but you probably haven't - as Alexander says there are some good teachers out there - e.g. http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2010/11/30/quote-of-the-day.html

Mar 11, 2011 at 5:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

How like you latch = How like you to latch

Murphy lives!

Mar 11, 2011 at 5:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

FredBloggs:

And Vince Dale, the hippy business man, never mentioned that his business model relied on enormous subsidies. Any fool can run a successful business, given big enough subsidies.

Mar 11, 2011 at 5:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

FredBloggs

That would be Dale Vince. A national institution here in the UK. The man who single-handedly showed the nation that renewables could work - as a means of generating profit from subsidies.

He is an inspiration to us all.

Mar 11, 2011 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Sorry Philip. Our posts crossed.

Mar 11, 2011 at 5:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Zed

Try reading this

http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2010/1/3/good-and-bad-charities.html

Mar 11, 2011 at 5:10 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

BBD

Ecological Crushers Of Dissent, abbreviates to

ECOCOD

Which does tally with the somewhat fishy science they use to justify their expensive and crippling demands on the rest of us.

Mar 11, 2011 at 5:22 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

Ecotricity EcoBonds smash expectations
Eco bond scheme attracts applications totalling £15m, making it 50 per cent oversubscribed.
Monday 20 December 2010
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/ecotricity-ecobonds-oversubscribed

Mar 11, 2011 at 5:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

biddyb - I've got a couple of German friends who when they were last over here (about 2 years ago) I quizzed about their thoughts on AGW. They too were slightly shocked when they realised my scepticism was genuine, as I don't think they had ever come across any sceptics in person before. They are intelligent people though and it didn't take me long to get them through to them. In fact, the bloke was soon beaming when I told him of the car challenge two Times journalists had just done, in which a BMW 520d managed to get from London to Geneva on one tank of fuel, while the Prius ran empty about 25 miles short. [ http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/driving/used_car_reviews/article3552994.ece ]

Mar 11, 2011 at 5:34 PM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

Andrew

I had a look, but I'm not convinced I'm afraid. As you point out, after looking at it, Oxfam still felt that Universal education provision was the solution. Now, you insinuate that it is in their interests to keep people poor, so that they still have a raison d'etre. You're not daft. I'll assume you're just playing devil's advocate (for some reason) on that one. You can't really imagine that Oxfam is a conspiracy of Dick Dastardley types, theatrically chuckling into their capes as they somehow control a cycle of poverty.

Prosperity is partly achieved through equality of opportunity. The best are more likely to rise to the top and benefit everyone. In a wholly private education system, the impoverished depend in some way upon charity to receive that education. We've just experienced a massive global recession with some spectacular bankruptcies. With state provision, those children will still get education. With private, some of those benefactors are going to rethink their priorities, or not be in a position to help any more at all.

Mar 11, 2011 at 5:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

Mar 11, 2011 at 5:34 PM | lapogus

I've just read the article you reference. The Prius used less fuel than the BMW for the journey, which is kind of the point.

Mar 11, 2011 at 5:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

SHe - nah, thick fingers and crook eyesight!

Mar 11, 2011 at 5:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

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