Monday 10 May 2010

Abbott's science class

The Australian reported on Saturday that last week Tony Abbott gave an impromptu science lesson to a group of primary school students in Adelaide. The Opposition Leader encouraged the young students to be sceptical about climate change referring to recorded changes in climate over many centuries and arguing “It is an open question how much the climate changes today and what role man plays.”

Mr Abbott was calling for a very selective scepticism however since he did not suggest the students query the veracity of the scientific claims referenced by him about past climatic patterns - some of which have been questioned today. He also referred to the existence of the Ice Age - an event that does seem to enjoy near scientific consensus.

Mr Abbott seemed not to recognise any contradiction in his full embrace of scientific data on the existence of an Ice Age and his profound scepticism towards the modern scientific community’s projections on anthropomorphic global warming. It is the same scientific community providing the data and there is a near consensus in both cases.

The Ice Age is itself the subject of debate at the distant fringes of science and society - the group from whom Abbott takes his views on global warming. Many fundamentalist Christians would dispute that the Ice Age ever occurred since in their estimation, the planet was only created a few thousand years ago. Abbott saw no need to alert the eleven and twelve year olds to this debate. Presumably he thinks this issue is settled. Yet he warmly embraces the distant fringe view when it comes to his position on climate change.

No comments:

Post a Comment