Heartland ‘expert’ taught climate denialism at a Canadian university
Hey, remember yesterday, when we told you about a video that imagines a world in which climate skepticism is taught in schools? It turns out that that world is not imaginary — not at all. It exists today, and it is named … Canada.
For two years, Tom Harris, a man who according to the Heartland Institute is an “expert” on climate change, taught a course on the subject at Ottawa’s Carleton University. Harris’ course was meant for non-science majors, so, as the Guardian notes, it “may for many students be the only academic exposure they have to climate change while earning their undergraduate degree.” When a group of scientists reviewed Harris’ taped lectures they found 142 “erroneous” claims.
The group, Committee for The Advancement of Scientific Skepticism (that’d be actual scientific skepticism, not knee-jerk denial!), wrote that:
Key messages for students contradict accepted scientific opinion. These messages include: denying that current climate change has an anthropogenic cause; dismissing the problems that carbon dioxide emissions cause because CO2 is plant food; denying the existence of the scientific consensus on the causes of climate change; and claiming that we should prepare instead for global cooling.
Plant food. Cute.
Carleton’s not some out-of-the-way, third-tier school: it’s been ranked one of Canada’s top 10 universities. And since college students — even Canadian college students! — are well known to believe that they know better than everyone else, you can be sure there’s now a coterie of Carletonians arguing late into the night that global warming just doesn’t exist. To quote the Climate Reality Project, “Of course it’s true. I learned it in school.”