“Fanaticism and ignorance is for ever busy…”
Science tells us much about the universe.
From the formation of stars, to the recent discovery of the Higgs-Boson and the sequencing of the our DNA we have gained remarkable insight into the world around us.
But what is more telling is how we react to what science teaches us.
Case in point, Queensland conservatives.
After sweeping into power at the head of huge populist backlash against the then Labor government in Queensland, the Liberal-National Party (LNP) under Campbell Newman has been busy opening coal mines and attacking “green tape”.
This weekend the LNP is hosting a state conference to vote on a wide range of resolutions. Of course, like all conservative political parties they have climate change in their sights:
The Liberal National Party (LNP) annual convention will consider more than 100 resolutions, including the removal of “environmental propaganda” like climate change from Queensland schools.
The conference, to be held on Friday and the weekend, will be the party’s biggest meeting in Queensland and will feature 850 delegates and 1,100 attending a dinner on Friday night.
The convention will hear 101 wide-ranging resolutions put forth from LNP branches across the state.
The Noosa State Electorate Council will ask the convention to call on Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek to require Queensland schools to remove “environmental propaganda material”.
The resolution in particular mentions removing climate change from the curriculum and exams.
That Australia’s conservatives are acting like the “Tea-Party Lite” is concerning.
They are mimicking the tactics of the creationist movement in US, who every year try to have climate change and evolution removed from the school curriculum. In doing so the Queensland LNP risks making Australia an international laughing-stock.
And yet, it is not at all surprising: when faced with the often uncomfortable facts science presents the more conservative, fearful and small-minded will retreat into denial. That this denial has infected our so much of political class is tragic.
We need to defend the teaching of science in schools.
Otherwise we are locking in the march of folly