- Date published:
9:20 am, January 19th, 2020 - 157 comments
Categories: act, climate change, Culture wars, david seymour, Environment, farming, farming, Politics, science, Shane Jones, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, uncategorized - Tags:
I don’t get farmers, or at least their representative organisations. You would think that a sector whose business model depends completely and entirely on the environment would be concerned at the prospect of environmental devastation. And that melting ice caps and out of control recent fires in Australia and California would be all the confirmation that they need that the environment is indeed changing.
But too many of them and their representative organisations have bought into the notion that there is a culture war being raged against them. Whereas all we actually want to do is save the planet.
The latest indicator of this is the manufactured scandal over a teaching resource aimed at getting our kids ready to address climate change. Federated Farmers is that upset by the notion of our young citizens being taught science that they have started a petition.
From Rachael Kelly at Stuff:
Federated Farmers has launched a petition asking the Ministry of Education to change its new climate change teaching resource.
The resource, which was launched earlier this month, was designed for year seven to 10 pupils and schools could include it in their curriculums this year.
The farmer lobby group say the resource, “Climate Change: Prepare today, live well tomorrow” was not appropriate for use by teachers in classrooms in its current form.
Federated Farmers climate change spokesman Andrew Hoggard said there were a number of mistakes in the resource that the Ministry needed to go back to and review before they put it out to teachers, because it supported misinformation about New Zealand agriculture’s contribution to global warming.
“We’re not denying climate change, we’re just saying some of the facts are wrong.”
What were the features that caused them concern? Well they want information about the short-lived nature of methane included, want the methane based nature of NZ’s agriculture reinforced, want to teach about “food miles” and “buy local”, remove suggestions about food choices beyond “avoid waste”, remove reference to “activism” and ensure all material is relevant and appropriate for the New Zealand context.
There are some references to Methane in the material which refer to it being a potent Greenhouse gas, which it is. But we should bear in mind we are talking about educational material for years 7 to 10, not University level, so I am not sure that relative break down levels is a vital piece of the material.
And the material contains reference to food miles and buy local. For instance it contains this passage:
“When you buy local food or products it means that your food hasn’t had to travel so far (in a vehicle which uses fossil fuels). You are also helping our economy.”
As for the teaching of activism why not? And should we purge educational material of references to Martin Luther King, Mahatma Ghandi or Mother Theresa because they were also activists? Not teaching our children about activism is an affront to them and to our education system.
The Taxpayers [not a] Union has come in with one of its typical stupid takes.
And David Seymour went full conspiracy on the resource saying it was state organised bullying of kids. He is afraid that it does not allow kids to debate the science.
From Zane Small at Newshub:
Seymour, leader of the ACT Party, said he’s concerned the curriculum doesn’t allow for students to debate the science, telling Magic Talk he fears it’s designed to suppress opposing views.
“There is a supporting document that is all about how to deal with kids that disagree and one of the things it says is that if you’ve got a difficult kid that disagrees just change the seating plan.”
Seymour was referring to the “wellbeing guide” provided to teachers, which tells them: “With angry or obstructive students (depending on your understanding of them), consider seating plan, offer choices for ways to proceed, or share authority by delegating a student.”
He then totally contradicted himself.
The Epsom MP also criticised an activity in the syllabus called “myth buster role-play” where one student will play the role of an ‘activist’ for climate change and the other a ‘sceptic’.
“I just think that sort of exercise, given that it doesn’t provide any sort of resource or credence to why people might be sceptical, amounts to state-organised bullying of kids,” Seymour said.
No doubt the dissenters can source all the material they need. There is a whole internet full of it. Shame it is not scientifically rigorous and it is ridiculous that a Member of Parliament should be insisting on bogus scientific material being included in what is taught to our kids.
He also accused the resource of undermining national education standards, even though it has only been used so far in one school. Who could imagine that a teaching resource that has only just been released could be so powerful?
Semour and the Taxpayer’s Union are not the only ones complaining about the resource. In a statement that looks like it was focus group tested on a group of geriatrics Zane Small in Newshub has quoted Jones in this article:
New Zealand First MPs Shane Jones and Mark Patterson are speaking out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet.
The resource, announced on Sunday by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students how they can help to reduce emissions, including advice to “eat less meat and dairy”.
Jones, a Cabinet minister, slammed the dietary advice, telling Newshub he “grew up on a farm unlike a lot of these green apostles” and said he regularly feeds his children “copious amounts” of fish and other meats.
“I don’t want the politically correct brigade colonising my dietary habits – it will never, ever happen… Schools have absolutely no authority to stigmatise and demonise us meat-eaters.”
Patterson tweeted the following tweet. One wonders if he has actually read the material.
And they don’t get it. Sure New Zealand’s agriculture may be more efficient than overseas models. But it still produces huge amounts of greenhouse gasses, just more efficiently.
We could dumb down our kids and confuse them by feeding them material that has been scientifically debunked time and time again. And we could turn them into nodding automatons by not teaching them of some of the greatest and most transformational movements that humanity has ever seen.
I prefer we don’t do that.
And dear Federated Farmers. Without the environment your businesses will fail. You should be joining the campaign against climate change. Not fighting it.