Climate Science Denial at Carleton University

The Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism (CASS), part of the Centre for Inquiry Canada, has released a report auditing a climate change course at Carleton University in Ottawa.

The course “Climate Change: An Earth Sciences Perspective” has been taught for the past few years by Tom Harris, an individual with a background in climate science denial. With that in mind, CASS undertook a detailed study of the course, identifying 142 claims that were either incorrect, misleading or otherwise in error. These include:

* Carbon dioxide is plant food.

* There is no scientific consensus about climate change causes.

* Prepare for global cooling.

* Climate science is changing quickly

* Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

From the report:

“We describe a case in which noted climate change deniers have gained access to the Canadian higher education system through a course taught at Carleton University – Climate Change: An Earth Sciences Perspective (ERTH2402). These academics are closely associated with a number of organisations that have involvement with the energy industry. 

Carleton University teaches a range of courses on various aspects of climate change and the vast majority adhere to the highest academic standards. However, the content of this particular course is heavily biased against the scientific consensus concerning the anthropogenic causes of dangerous climate change. 

This course is taught with little reference to the primary literature and is largely presented to non-science majors. We note that other courses at Carleton University teach the established science on climate change, with instructors who have been involved with the IPCC and sharing in the Nobel Peace Prize that that organisation was awarded. 

We acknowledge the need for academic freedom and the promotion of multiple viewpoints on course material – particularly in such an important area as climate change. However, it is important to note that the unbalanced nature of the course, the lack of peer-reviewed literature cited, and the non-science audience mean that the course fails to constitute ‚promotion of debate‛ and instead merely presents a biased and inaccurate portrayal of contemporary climate science. 

We present our report to highlight how one extreme of the climate change debate is being taught in higher education and where that teaching diverges from the contemporary scientific consensus.” 

 The press release and the report can be found here.


28. February 2012 by Chris
Categories: Local News, Local Research | Leave a comment

Leave a Reply