More Global Warming Fascism: Australia
Dissenting from any one of these propositions can lead to demands that you be fired, silenced, shunned and banned from public discourse.
And this indeed is exactly what happened at the University of Western Australia, where a climate change “contrarian” named Bjorn Lomborg was banned and denied a job because of his views.
We frankly wonder whether something like this could happen at Marquette. While faculty of natural science departments are mostly not into race, gender and sexual orientation political correctness, there is a certain kind of science political correctness. The prevailing attitude is “we scientists have discovered the truth, and don’t you dare doubt what we say.”
A writer for Reason makes some points that people in academia used to understand, but increasingly appear not to:
Learning is a process of testing, discussion, submitting your ideas to debate and standing by them as the brickbats of disagreement and counter-argument come flying in. This is why academic freedom is so important: the liberty to think and speak and argue is the only real way of getting to the truth of a matter, and in the process boosting our understanding of the world.
In the Lomborg scandal, this process was circumvented. Lomborg’s center was pre-emptively denied the right to put its case in Australian academia, by “passionate emotional” protesters who think they already know The Truth on climate change: that it’s happening, it’s terrible, and we will only alleviate its worst impacts by putting restraints on humanity’s material aspirations.
This isn’t learning, far less academic freedom in action. Rather, it echoes the old, pre-modern view of a university as, in essence, a bookish guardian of ecclesiastical authority. Only now it’s eco-authority that is protected from intellectual poking and awkward analysis, ringfenced from ridicule just as surely as the pointy-hatted overseers of universities in the pre-Enlightenment era also ringfenced ideas that they just knew were true.