I read with sadness that the UK Secretary of State for Education had warned teachers in the UK they are breaking the law if they fail to provide balanced coverage of climate change. Sadness, because in Australia, this confrontation with the educational status quo of catastrophic anthropocentric global warming is yet to happen, and is being pushed with religious fervor in my daughter’s school and, I assume, most others in New South Wales and across Australia.
My daughter is in Year 6 at a private school in Sydney’s Lower North Shore. The Year 6 ‘unit of inquiry’ is Climate Change. I have complained to the school about the content of the course, and have been advised that, each year, many parents object to its biased nature. The teachers have rejected my concerns, claiming the curriculum forces them to present the material in this manner. The annual parental frustration with the course has become a joke amongst them.
The online study resource contains a pantomime United Nations letter telling the children that climate change will kill us all unless the children do something. The key ‘outcomes’ of the inquiry are to (a) describe what climate change is, (b) describe what’s causing it, (c) describe the effects, (e) identify a solution, and (f) produce ‘evidence’ to support the decision.
The whole course begs the question of climate change in that it allows no provision for rejecting climate change. The school has so few resources refuting climate change, I have provided them with copies of Ian Plimer’s book ‘How to Get Expelled From School: A Guide to Climate Change for Pupils, Parents & Punters’. The year coordinator responsible for this course had not heard of Professor Plimer, even though his book is listed in a reference as a ‘skeptic’ resource.
The global warming ‘reader’ identifies who is causing it and the needed solutions. There is no room for disagreement, or even a study of the facts and positions. It contains loaded political information, such as presenting Tuvalu as a shrinking island threatened by rapacious First World countries, with other Third World nations under threat:
“It is the Western nations that have polluted the air and it is their pollution that is warming the planet. They should bear the cost and let Botswana grow.”
Of the 37 pages, which range from the purported superiority of green energy to the alleged destruction of the Barrier Reef, a total of just one-and-a-half pages is devoted to the ‘alternative’ view. ie., climate change denial. The course is overtly political: the children regularly watch ABC’s Behind the News. A typical episode can be viewed here. The ideological bent is evident almost from the opening titles.
Yet this politicisation of children in the cause of climate catastrophism is not restricted to a particular ‘unit of inquiry’. Even the Year 6 art project is drawn into the argument:
“Draw a picture about how terrible Climate Change is impacting our lives”.
When questioned that this is clearly begging the question, the teachers refuse to discuss. Nine out of ten pieces of the children’s’ artwork seem to fret about climate change, with the iconic images of polar bears on icebergs featuring. I suggested that my daughter should submit a blank page.
Even the maths classes are filled with prosletysing — pie charts and commentary about climate change, with students invited to explore ‘maths facts’ inspired by graphic representations of the damage done to the planet by coal and oil companies.
Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth is presented as incontrovertible, with the Great Global Warming Swindle shown only in excerpts and presented as representing the ‘crackpot’ element. Those who don’t believe in climate change are called ‘sceptics’, the fabled 3% of scientists who disagree with “the overwhelming consensus”.
After my attempts to balance this situation at home with my daughter, she now (perhaps typically) believes her father to be a crack-pot, since all the teachers, the movies, and the books all say that rich countries are destroying the world, coal and oil are polluting the planet, ice is melting, polar bears are dying, creatures are becoming extinct, temperatures are rising, food will be scarce, and we will eventually all die.
Most disappointing to me, this school prides itself on its educational philosophy that:
‘Takes students beyond simple acquisition of knowledge to a deeper understanding of concepts and ideas.’
This is clearly not the case as it applies to climate catastrophism.
The teachers now treat my questions with contempt; my daughter is being advised that the ‘sceptic’ position is for those ignorant of the truth, and that conservative governments are only furthering the damage.
The Federal Education Minister advises this is a state-based educational issue, and I have raised it with the NSW Education Minister. However, until we have in either state or federal governments someone as confident as the UK Secretary of State for Education to stand up to this socio-political engineering at school, I fear there will be no change and, in the turn of the next Labor/Greens government, it will only be further entrenched.
Get them young. This isn’t education: it is outrageous politicisation of children. Whilst there is such a fervor to keep religion out of schools, it a shame the green cult isn’t placed under the same constraints.