Having failed to win the scientific argument, it would appear the denial machine has set its sights on its next target: science education in schools.
One of the most appalling revelations to come from the Heartland Institute leaks was the proposal to develop an “education” program that would “dissuade” teachers from even mentioning global warming due to its supposed “controversial nature”:
“…We are pursuing a proposal from Dr. David Wojick to produce a global warming curriculum for K-12 schools. Dr. Wojick is a consultant with the Office of Scientific and Technical Information at the U.S. Department of Energy in the area of information and communication science. His effort will focus on providing curriculum that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain – two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science.”
Perfectly innocent right?
- The strategy: make the science appear “uncertain” to teachers
- Their intent: to “dissuade” teachers from teaching science.
- Their target: the education of children.
It is also worth recalling that Ian Plimer recently launched a book aimed at confusing high school students and prompting them to throw dozens of irrelevant and misinformed questions at their science teachers.
We should also note that Plimer and the denial machine are happy to provide free copies to any schools or teachers interested…
Perhaps we can pass this all off as a coincidence.
However, it reveals a new phase in the strategy of the denial machine.
Bernardi: “teach the climate controversy” statements are poorly timed, but revealing
The denial machine has adopted the same “teach the controversy” tactic used by creationists in their attempts to undermine the teaching of evolution. I think we can see a pattern here: where the creationists once trod, the climate change “sceptics” now follow.
Nor is this tactic restricted to the good folks at the Heartland Institute and Plimer.
Ultra-conservative Senator Cory Bernardi is notorious for his denial of human induced climate change and his close relationship with the Heartland Institute appears to be reading from the same playbook.
In what can only be regarded as extremely poor timing (in light of the leaked Heartland documents), Adelaide Today has just reported that Bernardi selling the Heartland Institute’s message:
LIBERAL senator Cory Bernardi has questioned why a national scientific program for children appears to be teaching only one side of the climate change debate.
During a Senate estimates hearing today, the South Australian senator quizzed the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) about the content of its Carbon Kids program.
Senator Bernardi said the program contained a note for teachers which said climate change was a complicated topic many found “daunting and confusing” and could be controversial, leading to many different opinions.
“Yet the information that is produced and distributed to schoolchildren appears only to present a single opinion about what is driving climate change,” he said.
“How can you explain that given that the explanatory note for teachers says it leads to many different opinions?”
Without doubt, Bernardi echoing the same “talking points” and strategy highlighted in the leaked Heartland strategy document: in short make the science “seem controversial and uncertain”.
Bernardi has spoken at Heartland events and is closely associated with the views of the think tank, as noted in a previous post. It would seem Bernardi is following Heartland lockstep in their attempts to undermine science education.