Geophysicist Michael Asten is astonished that climate science is taught in schools as an exercise in groupthink, with sceptics not disproved but abused:
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.
Web resources relating to climate science provided by this committee contain at least three teaching resource references using the derogatory term “deniers”. One listed article titled “Climate deniers cause dangerous confusion” addresses claims made in a web presentation by climate science contrarian Leon Ashby and contains the telling line: “Let’s look at Ashby’s presentation from the point of view of science. (You don’t need to have seen Ashby’s presentation to follow this one. The claims he makes are typical of so called ‘climate sceptics’. )”
If we ignore the multiple subheadings in the genre of “deniers”, “deception”, “nonsense” and “dangerous”, this article contains useful if incomplete material for science teaching. But the suggestion that it is not necessary to read the source material before engaging in a critique shows a lamentable teaching methodology.
The presentation of conclusion as incontrovertible fact, coupled with the use of derogatory terminology for the “other side”, fails to provide our future scientists with an appropriate sense of the scientific method of objective argument, hypothesis and experimental method or produce that inspiration which comes from studying scientific controversy.
We will look back at this period and be ashamed that so many of our institutions gave themselves over to hysteria and witchhunting.
Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.