Universities 'Debate' Climate Change

By Wojtonis, Adam | Review - Institute of Public Affairs, December 2009 | Go to article overview

Universities 'Debate' Climate Change


Wojtonis, Adam, Review - Institute of Public Affairs


Universities have bought into the climate change debate in a big big way - degrees in climate change and sustainability seem to be setting up an entire generation to be completely reliant on the climate change consensus'.

Take Youthdecide.com.au, which markets itself as a national youth vote on climate change. It is sponsored by Monash University and has been widely promoted by the University of NSW and the University of Melbourne. The website presents three scenarios and asks 'As a young Australian, which world do you want to inherit?' The three worlds consider the current policy of emission cut targets of up to 20 per cent and hypothetical cuts of up to 40 per cent and over 40 per cent. There is no option for a zero cut policy.

Not only pre-empting the result, it ignores the debate about climate change we should be having. The website calls for a united voice to 'compel the Australian government to lead the way in securing a strong global agreement.' Whatever happened to individualism and individual effort?

The website fails to mention is the economic situation in these three worlds as a direct result of the carbon emission cuts. Cuts in carbon emissions will have significant economic consequences. Every Australian industry will be affected. Opportunities for young people will be limited and the relative luxury that we grew up in will diminish.

No surprise then that '97-5 per cent of young people voted for emissions targets stronger than those currently proposed by the government.'

Democracy is based on the competition of ideas. That means we need to have an honest debate about the facts before we come to any conclusion. Science is about the facts. Once it is politicised, it loses any meaning and cannot be relied upon.

Monash University being a major named sponsor of this initiative demonstrates the contempt universities have for debating climate change. …

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