On the eve of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s carbon tax package announcement, psychologists and scientists said the lessons were alarmist, created unneeded anxiety among school children and endangered their mental health.
Australian National University’s Centre for the Public Awareness of Science director Dr Sue Stocklmayer said climate change had been portrayed as “Doomsday scenarios with no way out”.
Dr Stocklmayer said she was not a climate-change sceptic but worried that “too much time was spent presenting scary scenarios, especially to young people”.
“(Children) feel incredibly despondent and helpless in the face of all this negative information,” she said. “To put all of this before our children … is one of the most appalling things we can do to (them).
“The public is suffering from enormous fatigue on negative information … rather than say polar bears are going to die, we have to look locally at addressing solutions.”
“When you repeat things over and over to young people who don’t have the cognitive maturity and emotional maturity to process this stuff, you end up creating unnecessary anxiety,” he said.
Federal Schools Minister Peter Garrett said the government would not stop the teaching of climate science, despite moves in Britain for the subject to be withdrawn.
In a video on climate change funded by the state government, one teacher from a public school in Sydney’s southwest explained: “Students are being bombarded from all sides about climate change … it can be a very scary thing (for) a child.”
Thanks for the great work you global warming alarmists! Why don’t you just tell the kids they’re going to be blown up if they don’t comply!