Queensland: stop climate brainwashing in schools

Climate sense

A few days ago, The Australian reported on the fact that, in the Queensland curriculum, science is regarded as a “social and cultural activity”, an approach totally at odds with the concept of the scientific method:

“Science is a social and cultural activity through which explanations of natural phenomena are generated,” it says.

“Explanations of natural phenomena may be viewed as mental constructions based on personal experiences and result from a range of activities including observation, experimentation, imagination and discussion.

Accepted scientific concepts, theories and models may be viewed as shared understandings that the scientific community perceive as viable in light of current available evidence.”

In other words, we are talking about here is “post-normal science” where objective truths are no longer paramount, and where various societal “interpretations” can be overlaid on bare scientific facts. As I quoted in a blog post back in 2010:

The guiding principle of normal science – the goal of achievement of factual knowledge – must be modified to fit the post-normal principle…For this purpose, post-normal scientists should be capable of establishing extended peer communities and allow for ‘extended facts’ from non-scientific experts…In post-normal science, the maintenance and enhancement of quality, rather than the establishment of factual knowledge, is the key task of scientists… Involved social actors must agree on the definition of perceptions, narratives, interpretation of models, data and indicators…scientists have to contribute to society by learning as quickly as possible about different perceptions…instead of seeking deep ultimate knowledge. (source: Eva Kunseler, Towards a new paradigm of Science in scientific policy advising)

It’s utter garbage of course. But nowhere has this new flexibility of post-normal science been exploited more effectively than in the teaching of climate change in schools. Political correctness and “social and cultural interpretations” have trumped scientific objectivity, so that students are fed a stream of eco-propaganda cut-and-pasted from environmental activist groups press releases, which masquerades as impartial science.

The typical line would go like this:

Man-made emissions of CO2 are causing global temperatures to rise and we should cut our emissions urgently to avoid the risk of dangerous climate change. A tiny minority of scientists (or “deniers” as we should call them), funded by large oil companies who want to maintain the status quo, are paid to state that climate change is not happening/is a hoax/is a Marxist plot/etc etc…

Dissent is suppressed at all costs and only the “authorised” line is plugged. If you think this is exaggerated, have a look at the extract from a geography text book at the end of this post (see original here).

But it seems that a number of Queensland Liberal National Party (LNP) members are in favour of an overhaul of Queensland’s education system, specifically the teaching of climate:

LNP members have overwhelmingly voted to ensure the removal of “environmental propaganda” about climate change from schools.

The motion, proposed by the LNP’s Noosa State Electorate Council, calls on Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek to require Queensland schools to “remove environmental propaganda material, in particular post-normal science about ‘climate change’, from the curriculum and as adjunct material at exam time”.

The mover of the motion, LNP member Richard Pearson, railed against “those false prophets who would poison the minds of our children in our schools”.

“Few people understand that the so called science of climate change is really what can be defined as ‘post-normal’ science,” he said, arguing it went beyond traditional understanding of science based on experimentation and falsifiable theories.

Another member spoke against the motion, saying he was concerned when people tried to dismiss differing opinions and he believed children to have access to all information.

The motion was nonetheless passed with overwhelming support from the LNP members at the gathering.

At last year’s conference, LNP president Bruce McIver questioned the role of humans in driving climate change, arguing the climate was always changing and children were being “brainwashed” in the way climate science was taught. (source) [Update: The Australian has more here]

I guess we wait for the brainless alarmists to start saying that this is akin to teaching creationism alongside evolution or that gravity isn’t settled science or some other idiotic comparison. No, it isn’t. Whereas there are centuries of hard empirical evidence for both evolution and gravity, there are about 20 years of flaky computer modelled projections on which the entire climate scare is based, not to mention the massaging of temperature data to prop up The Cause.

Furthermore, whereas there are no political gains to be made from evolution and gravity, climate change has been swamped by political motivations of global organisations like the UN and the IPCC (which, having been infiltrated by environmental activist groups, have already made up their minds that CO2 is to blame and are just desperately searching for evidence to back it up) and national governments, implementing pointless gestures like the carbon tax to appear politically correct (and in Australia’s case, stay in power).

For anyone to claim the “science is settled” and that only the approved version be taught in schools is delusional. At least Queensland LNP is taking a stand against this brainwashing.

Extract from NSW Year 8 Geography text book:

Propaganda (click to enlarge)

Comments

  1. Ken Ward via Facebook says:

    First global cooling , then global warming , now its climate change , why dont we just give it a new nick name like Green Communism.

  2. Aaron James Duff via Facebook says:

    Whatever it takes to gain control over the masses, they could care less how they sucker us!

  3. I am shocked by the blatant propaganda in the NSW Year 8 Geography textbook, it is appalling. What is the name of the text book (or is it one released by the education department)?

  4. Gayle Lowe via Facebook says:

    This is one thing that really annoys me, do they not realize kids stress over this rubbish? Its like a religion being pushed down their throats… The fires of hell etc, someone should be held accountable

  5. See here for more on the textbook: http://auscm.co/MnGABq

  6. Sam Priest via Facebook says:

    This kind of thing is why science texts need to focus more on how we know things, as opposed to just stating that we know them.

    Also, somebody above mentioned the religion thing – I’ve seen biology books have to give the same propaganda-like introductions to evolution to counter creationist numbskulls. It isn’t entirely unfounded to include this stuff in all cases. Its the wrong approach, but it has its reasons for being there.

  7. Ken Ward via Facebook says:

    I taught my kids by 8th grade that most teachers are Losers who cant do a real job.

  8. Aaron James Duff via Facebook says:

    Those who can’t do, teach.

  9. Well when you consider that the teachers federation is now the most reviled and militant union in the country, and the unions control labor and the greens and getup up control labor, do you really think that an unbiased, balanced review of the earths 6 billion year history (if you believe that) would be presented? Bear in mind, these are the same people who tell children that they have rights that parents must adhere to! They have 1 right, to be punished when they disobey!

  10. Kerrie Anne via Facebook says:

    Well excuse me!! I am a teacher and have been for 25 years. Yes they are brainwashing kids but you need to read the curriculum to know what to teach and the curriculum is written by state govts. So the teacher should only be teaching what is in the curriculum. Next year we go to a badly written National Curriculum by the federal govt. I personally do not teach global warming because I don’t believe in it as many other teachers!!

  11. Kevin R. Lohse says:

    “Explanations of natural phenomena may be viewed as mental constructions based on personal experiences and result from a range of activities including observation, experimentation, imagination and discussion.”
    The University of, “It Stands To Reason”, with lectures by Professors of, “The Man Down The Pub Told Me”, produces graduates qualified in Consensus Studies. I wonder if Copernicus, Galileo and William Harvey think that their efforts were worth it?

  12. Without sceptics, The Earth would still be a flat disk in the centre of the universe

  13. Simon Colwell says:

    Would I be correct in assuming that the above extract from the NSW Year 8 textbook is from the book “Global Explorations, Stage 4 Geography” ? When I read about this earlier this year I was so enraged by it I sent an email to my local state member, one Barry O’Farrell, and copied the NSW Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli. After two months I received a copy of the reply from Piccoli to O’Farrell. The first two paragraphs are mainly blather of no consequence, apart from one sentence which states “they [students] learn to identify and discuss geographical issues, including climate change, from a range of perspectives”. Fantastic ! Does that mean history students discuss slavery or the final solution from “a range of perspectives” ? The remainder of the letter bears repeating in full:

    “The selection of teaching resources, such as Global Explorations, Stage 4 Geography, is a decison that is made by each school. Schools make these decisions based on their local context considering the suitability of the resource to the curriculum, the students and the available resources of the school”

    “Public schools are also guided by the Controversial Issues in Schools Policy that states that principals are responsible for ensuring a balanced a reasonable consideration of various viewpoints is contained within curriculum content delivered by teachers. The policy is available at http://www.det.nsw.edu.au/policies/curriculum/schools/cont_issue/PD20020045.shtml?level. ”

    “Concerns about the use of particular resources in a school should be discussed in hte first instance with the principal. The school principal is best placed to address these concerns”.

    In other words, f_ck off.

    If I had received such a reply from a Minister who was a member of the Liberal Party I would not have been surprised, given that many of them probably should be in the Labor party anyway, not least O’Farrell himself. This reply is what I would have expected from the previous Labor NSW government. But, as a member of the National Party myself, to receive such a reply from a Minister who is also a member of the National Party disgusts me.

    Has this clown Piccoli not realised that, as Minister, he has the power to actually DO something about this ? Or is he too gutless to take on the ratbag teacher’s union whose thumb prints are all over this ? If the selection of teaching resources is “made by each school” and issues such as climate change are to be discussed “from a range of perspectives” does that mean the books by Ian Plimer and Bob Carter are also used as textbooks in this particular syllabus ? I think we all know the answer to that question and, again, the stench of the teacher’s union is ever present.

    Piccoli, like the rest of the O’Farrell government, is pathetic. I can’t imagine his federal colleagues would let this issue slide like this. This is state-sponsored brainwashing and that fact that a so-called conservative government is allowing it to happen is a disgrace. For those of you who live in NSW and have school-aged children, remember this at the ballot box.

  14. ACARA’s deadline for comments on Draft senior secondary Australian Curriculum is 20th July.
    Over at Jo Nova’s website there are some notes (under “Queensland science is a mental construction”) giving links and advice on making a submission. I read the draft on Earth and Environmental Sciences, as this sometimes results in students considering joining my profession.
    Usual wishy-washy stuff, but not too bad, until I got to page 19 (of 23 pages) and the “Climate Change” stuff. Sent them my 10c worth, and copied my submission to my State and Federal Members.
    Keep dropping pebbles in the pool ….

  15. The real problem is not just the curriculum. That’s bad enough but the underlying learning theory is called the Bronfenbrenner Ecological Systems Theory. Education is a way to get at people’s behaviors and their minds which are in turn embedded in communities and economies and the Climate and Planet Earth. It’s an all-encompassing political theory created as a tool against the West in the early 80s as Marxism was gaining a bad name. But it functions the same.

    I wrote this post about it because it is officially coming to the US now too. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/so-now-common-core-rejects-individual-thinking-to-embrace-soviet-psychology-ecology/

    Until you have actually seen that BEST graphic which you should be able to capture and post on this site, it is hard to appreciate why sustainability targets all social policies and practices. And people. And the economy.

    To get a good handle on constructivism in science, it is still hard to do better than the book Higher Superstition. To gain a true appreciation for how outlandish it is today I suggest tracking Bruno LaTour’s work. And which campuses in Oz have invited him to speak to students.

  16. Brilliant.

    Teach science in schools: the very definition of science includes skepticism; then inform the students that skepticism is a very bad thing.

    Brainwashed? More like downright confused.

  17. Kerrie Anne, I have no doubt that most teachers are reasonable educators but in the Teachers Union has input in what is being taught not for the teachers or students sake either. What most people then see, is that teachers are passing on propaganda supplied by both the Teachers Union and State Governments but in the end everyone just blames the teachers. You see similar aspects in science organisations with some in the past conducting surveys to find most members do not support the IPCC on their stance on man’s impact on the climate. This does not stop the organisation from being run by extremists within their own organistion giving the opposite to what the majority understand.

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