At least they’re being honest now.
When left-wing activists at the University of Western Australia (UWA) shut down Bjørn Lomborg’s proposed Australian Consensus Centre before it could even get off the ground, we were told it was because they were ‘concerned about academic standards’.
UWA Student Guild President Lizzie O’Shea argued that it had ‘started to harm UWA’s world-class reputation’, and the National Tertiary Education Union’s Gabe Gooding claimed that it was ‘absolutely not censorship’.
South Australian Climate Change Minister Ian Hunter, however, has confirmed what we knew all along: that the shrill campaign to shut down Lomborg’s proposed Australian Consensus Centre was purely ideological.
In a media release this week, Hunter called on Flinders University to reject establishing Lomborg’s Australian Consensus Centre, labeling him a ‘discredited pundit’:
It needs to be made abundantly clear that the Federal Government’s funding carrot to set up the Lomborg centre comes with ideological strings attached.
This funding tactic is similar to those used by the tobacco lobby when they were trying to obfuscate the science around the health impacts of smoking.
The Federal Liberal Government’s attitude to climate change is well known – and derided globally – and this funding is designed to buy willing researchers to support their agenda.
The distortion of Lomborg’s work is wrong; Australian society and academia is all the worse for it. Lomborg does not question the validity of the anthropogenic climate change hypothesis; his work seeks to assess the cost-benefit of various climate change policies, and how best to allocate scarce resources to the world’s development challenges. This includes climate change and other issues like health, education and nutrition. Comparing federal funding for the consensus centre to federal funding of the tobacco industry is insulting.
The truth is that left-wing ideologues, and champions of progressive causes like climate change don’t want to justify themselves. They don’t want to engage in a discussion of ideas, or attempt to explain to those that disagree why they think the way they do. They want everyone to agree with them, and if they don’t, to shut them up.
As I wrote in FreedomWatch in May, the real victims of this progressive group-think saturating universities are the students:
The culture of muzzling ideas we don’t agree with not because they are bad, but because they fail to meet a perceived moral threshold is dangerous.
The reality is that there are thousands of students on Australian university campuses who are too afraid to make their voices heard and share their opinions because they dissent from the increasingly aggressive, dominant and hostile Left.
Not everybody has to agree with you – and not everybody will. Sadly, open minds and a willingness to engage in respectful discussion of ideas and policy are currently missing in Australia. We go nowhere as a society if people are too afraid to say what they believe because they do not want to be the next victim of ridicule and abuse.