Thursday, September 01, 2016

Colorado Springs instructors ban discussions on the climate, even in students' leisure time

The College Fix, a right-wing online newspaper on U.S. education, has brought us an incredible story (hat tip: Climate Depot, see also Newz Sentinel):
Professors tell students: Drop class if you dispute man-made climate change
Note that University of Notre Dame is a private Catholic university in Indiana. I thought that this apparently wasn't enough to save the students from the extreme far left brainwashing – but Bill Z. has corrected my misunderstanding of the location.

As Kate Hardiman, a pretty student at Notre Dame, describes, three women teach a bizarre class at University of Colorado in Colorado Springs (the main campus is in Boulder, however, and I spent a month over there in 1999 at TASI) named Medical Humanities in the Digital Age. If you click at the link, you will see that the students are being indoctrinated about the climate apocalypse, alleged bad health effects of fracking, asked to quantify their carbon footprint, and they're supposed to imagine that they are looking at the evil white male imperialists from the viewpoint of the Native Americans, not to mention lots of similar things.

According to the content, it is a typical far left extremist indoctrination course. You may also notice that the name of the course doesn't describe the content well.

Three instructors Rebecca Laroche, Wendy Haggren, and Eileen Skahill seem to be female. Numerous male aßholes often offer similar junk but the perfectly female leadership in this course may be said to result from the pathological PC movement that tries to relocate intellectually inadequate women from the kitchen to the Academia because they are women.

They could perhaps be good in the kitchen or the bedroom except that partly their environment, partly themselves have placed them in a position where they look like worthless rubbish.

At any rate, some students were shocked after the first lecture that was dedicated to the climate apocalypse cult – and they were understandably worried that they couldn't complete a course that is this terribly bad (although they were surely forced to use a different language). In an e-mail, the instructors helpfully clarified the situation:
Opening up a debate that 98% of climate scientists unequivocally agree to be a non-debate would detract from the central concerns of environment and health addressed in this course.

If you believe this premise to be an issue for you, we respectfully ask that you do not take this course, as there are options within the Humanities program for face to face this semester and online next.
Note that the degree of consensus has been increased from 97% to 98%. Kook John Cook is apparently spending 33% less time now by pretending that he is Luboš Motl.

OK, there's a perspective from which I can sympathize with the attitude. If you were teaching a course on evolution (or string theory – which has become almost equally controversial in some corners), you wouldn't like the course to be hijacked by rudimentary debates "whether it's all cr*p". You want to cover lots of details and not to get stuck at Square 1.

Obviously, this analogy between evolution and string theory on one side and the climate hysteria on the other side doesn't really work because the climate hysteria is cr*p. This fact unavoidably reduces our empathy.

The three instructors explicitly admit that their course is meant to make the life of sensible people – those who know that the climate hysteria is cr*p – harder in the college. This particular course apparently isn't a part of the unavoidable requirements; students may replace it with other courses. However, it's clear that if the number and importance of similar courses "hostile to students with certain political views" were increased, it could easily become impossible or next to impossible for students who are not unhinged fanatical leftists to complete the school.

OK, so the impact of similar sick courses on the right-wingers in the college is rather brutal. I don't have to explain it to you. Students who aren't leftists at all must be really determined and must have a thick skin to survive in the colleges and complete the degrees these days. Consequently, their numbers are rather small – which also makes the problem small (even if this silver lining may be considered a cynical remark).

For this reason, I am more worried what the course policies do to the more typical students – perhaps politically moderate or neutral ones, or left-wingers who happen to be honest. I've known lots of people in these categories whom I can or could partly identify with. And my worries about these students are perhaps even greater. We read:
The professors also note this ban on debate extends to discussion among students in the online forums. Moreover, students who choose to use outside sources for research during their time in the course may select only those that have been peer-reviewed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the email states.
Do the instructors ban the students' discussions about particular topics in the online forums? What? The activity of the students outside the classroom or the campus is absolutely not the instructors' business. If a student learns enough and fulfills the requirements in the classroom, he may very well be computing statistics for ATLAS at the LHC in her spare time, and perform human sacrifices in front of God Shiva, too.

Moreover, online discussions are clearly much more vital for the intellectual growth of the modern students than the human sacrifices to God Shiva. To prevent students from discussions conflicts with one of the basic values that the scholarly environment should be all about.

The attitudes of these three women are a textbook example of the reasons why the environmentalism is counted among one of the big totalitarian ideologies of the present. These totalitarian ideologies demand a 100% (total) political agreement with the "leaders" in the classroom – and in 100% (total) of the affected people's lives out of the classroom, too.

Incidentally, the remark that they only allow papers approved by the IPCC is "cute", too. And the formulation about "papers peer-reviewed by the IPCC" shows that these ladies don't know what they're talking about even from the viewpoint of informed fans of the IPCC. As every person who understands the words a little bit knows, the IPCC has never done anything that could be called peer review. The IPCC is/was only supposed to develop their assessments based on the basis of (previously) peer-reviewed literature. They actually claim to simply adopt and present the collective verdicts by the body of the peer reviewers who did their work before the IPCC worked on those topics. The IPCC officially does no original research and no original reviews – this claim of theirs is really a necessary condition for them to pretend that they're not acting as a transparently biased Inquisition-like filter distorting the scientific literature. Of course, they are distorting the literature, anyway, but the IPCC fans aren't supposed to talk about this dirty work.

I urge the students in Colorado to spit on these three nasty wh*res or to do something even more effective than that.

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