One-sided climate lessons

LIBERAL senator Cory Bernardi has questioned why a national scientific program for children appears to be teaching only one side of the climate change debate.

During a Senate estimates hearing today, the South Australian senator quizzed the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) about the content of its Carbon Kids program.

Senator Bernardi said the program contained a note for teachers which said climate change was a complicated topic many found "daunting and confusing" and could be controversial, leading to many different opinions. "Yet the information that is produced and distributed to schoolchildren appears only to present a single opinion about what is driving climate change," he said.

"How can you explain that given that the explanatory note for teachers says it leads to many different opinions?"

He said the material contained a number of statements which lead to a single conclusion, that carbon dioxide was virtually solely responsible for driving climate change and presented a range of "apocalyptic scenarios".

The CSIRO's deputy chief executive for operations Mike Whelan said he had not personally seen the material, but envisaged that the program would be consistent with comments made to teachers. He told the senate committee the program had only become his responsibility three weeks ago, but he would examine the material.


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