IN some Australian schools science teachers are being asked to tell about the dangers of global warming and show Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth in order to prepare the students for the big vote at http://youthdecide.com.au/ .
The vote is sponsored by World Vision; Australia’s largest charitable organisation with a history of working with schools.
When I was about 13, in about 1976, my school promoted World Vision’s 40 Hour Famine to raise money to feed children in poor countries. I only raised a small amount through the sponsorship program but it made me feel like I had participated in something good – something worthwhile.
Now World Vision is involved in not only humanitarian work but also the politics of climate change: ‘Youth Decide ’09’ is a national youth vote on climate change sponsored by World Vision and no doubt results from the poll will be used leading up to the United Nation’s Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen to tell the Rudd Government how Australian Students want cuts in emissions by at least 40 percent by 2020.
Indeed according to ‘Youth Decide ’09’ only by Australia signing up to drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emission can the worst impacts of climate change be avoided, the Great Barrier Reef be saved, less people around the world face water and food shortages and the list goes on… http://www.youthdecide.com.au/home.aspx
In reality it will make no difference to any of these things, or global temperatures, if the Australian government agrees to reduce emissions or not. So World Vision is not only involving itself in politics, but also spreading misinformation.
There is no science, not even Ross Garnaut science, indicating Australia makes a significant contribution to global emissions.
Indeed the ‘Youth Decide ‘09’ website is full of misinformation and yet it includes Monash University as a partner.
While the rhetoric is little changed from 1976 when I raised money for World Vision, the difference is that back then no one was involving science. It is one thing for teacher to tell kids about poverty and encourage them to raise some money to be charitable, but it is an entirely different matter to involve science teachers in politics and morality – which is exactly what ‘Youth Decide 09’ is all about.