Climate Action Ready Universities Offer Us their Geopolitical Leadership

Australian National University Logo. “First to learn the nature of things” By Source, Fair use, Link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to Australian National University Vice Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt, in a speech he gave at Davos, universities will be the most critical of institutions in the coming transition to a new world order, to help design policies which “governments can turn to”.

Unis are key to meeting our climate change challenge 5 FEBRUARY 2020

In 2015, through the Paris Agreement, the world came together to chart a way forward to limit global warming to between 1.5 and 2 degrees. But we are nowhere near being on target to limit warming to 2 degrees, either as a world, or as a nation.   

Since the Paris Agreement, CO2 has increased by an amount in our atmosphere higher than in any other four-year period in human history.

We – the global citizenry – are seeing a comprehensive failure of the global political system; a failure that has existential consequences for our collective prosperity. The university sector, in my opinion, will be amongst the most critical of all institutions, if we are to find the pathways to a prosperous and sustainable global future.

We will educate those – young and old – who will be productive in a rapidly changing world.

We will undertake much of the research that underpins the technological development required to cope with our demands on the planet.

We will be the place where much of the thinking emerges on how to marry technology with human behaviour.

And we will be the places most open to contemplating whatever changes to the world-order are going to be required to keep the peace as change occurs.

It has been the role of universities for almost a millennium to challenge orthodoxy and think big.  Facing up to the challenges isn’t something we, the university sector, can’t wait for permission to do – our job is to get out in front of issues, and find answers before the calls for help.

But it is not just technology that matters – all of this has to be underpinned by a highly rational set of policies at the local, national, and international level, as well as things like financial instruments, and public education.

We need to help design the policies that governments can turn to. We stand ready to lend our deep expertise to governments as they act to tackle this enormously complex challenge – ensuring that these do not leave individuals and nations behind. Because if they do, they either will not happen, or will create civil unrest that will undermine their implementation. 

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I think C.S.Lewis provided the perfect response to this sincere offer by Professor Brian Schmidt to accept the burden of making decisions on our behalf, to help usher in a sustainable new world order of “rational” decision making and policies, to replace what Professor Schmidt described as “a comprehensive failure of the global political system”.

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals – C.S.Lewis.

Thank you for your offer but no thank you, Professor Schmidt. What you see as an untidy geopolitical failure is what we call freedom.

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John McClure
February 5, 2020 8:15 am

Come On — what’s up with this !!!

The headline of this post is juvenile!

Is Mr. Watts awake these days?

John McClure
Reply to  John McClure
February 5, 2020 9:45 am

Well, are you awake these days?

Hello Watts, are you awake?

John McClure
Reply to  John McClure
February 5, 2020 9:46 am

Well, are you awake these days?

Hello, are you awake?

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  John McClure
February 5, 2020 12:13 pm

I think you mean awoke.

Matthew Sykes
Reply to  John McClure
February 5, 2020 11:06 pm

No it isnt.

John McClure
February 5, 2020 8:19 am

Is “Climate Action Ready University” a thing?

God help us if it exists!

John McClure
Reply to  John McClure
February 5, 2020 8:56 am

You appear to be the “normal ” soul in this universe.

Care to do a cartoon “stand off”?

John McClure
Reply to  John McClure
February 5, 2020 9:28 am

Odd to discover you’re a Brit.

It took a single comment, a decade later, to see beyond the crayons.

My gut says, lets start with Mosser vs Monckton’s pissing quest.

Awaiting your reply

Mickey Reno
Reply to  John McClure
February 5, 2020 1:07 pm

In the event that this horrendous nightmare ever DOES come to pass, which I highly doubt, because it would mean that the academics who like to hide and slack away in anonymity, suckling at the public teat, will actually have to be known, take responsibility, and be held accountable, which they won’t like and will refuse to do, because they are a class of [trigger alert for cat lovers] ginormous, uh, ‘performers in the musical “Cats,” let me be the first to coin the term “Univexit” for those of us who want to opt out.

Roger Knights
Reply to  John McClure
February 7, 2020 12:59 am

“Is “Climate Action Ready University” a thing?”

Two hyphens were needed, thus: “Climate-Action-Ready University”

Ed Zuiderwijk
February 5, 2020 8:43 am

People with that mindset always had a high probability of ultimately hanging from lampposts.

February 5, 2020 9:25 am

We will educate indoctrinate those – young and old – who will be productive subservient in a rapidly changing world.”

If these academic loonies imagine for a moment they can design global political policies, they are up a gum tree. Most of them can’t change a car wheel!

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  HotScot
February 5, 2020 3:59 pm

Professor, or is that Einzatsgruppenfuhrer, Schmidt is no doubt mindful of Australian government policies that removed babies from ‘single’ mothers and placed them up for adoption and with Indigenous Asutralians removed children on masse from their families and communities and placed them up for adoption all on the basis of ‘improving’their life circumstances.

We are still counting the cost including people like Robert Tickner, a former Labor Federal MP and minister.

So, thanks but no thanks Prof, you academics stick to your academic knitting and let the real world look after itself. We’ll call you when we need some advice.

February 5, 2020 9:26 am

There seem to be a lot of stupid people in universities, not least at the top of the management tree.

Carl Friis-Hansen
February 5, 2020 9:27 am

And Agenda 21 the details of the plan.

Taking over the world was attempted by the Greens in Germany in 1933 by burning the Reichstag building, removing the voice of the Skeptics who were still clinging to the “old” system. The Greens then made war and the Skeptics took over again.
Now the war is long forgotten or suppressed, and the Greens goes more slowly ahead with greater cleverness in re-pursuit of the new world order, using plastic and weather as promotion tool.
The “modernized” universities, schools, kindergartens and medias will serve the elite well in the pursuit of building the perfect population all thinking and behaving correctly.

The above is not meant to be sarcastic, whereas the line below is.

As Louis Armstrong sings: “What a Wonderful World”

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
February 15, 2020 6:45 pm

AH was a vegan, Himmler studied agriculture,

Albert Speer was undecided, …

Craig Rogers
February 5, 2020 9:47 am

This propaganda push using Climate Change to takeover the world by the UN and the elites who want absolute power, they get off on it, was foretold in the Bible and its happening right now.
The UN is Satan’s counterfeit version of God’s Messianic Kingdom by Jesus Christ!
in 1009 Languages

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Craig Rogers
February 5, 2020 2:12 pm

So much worse than trying to take over the world with religious kookery!

February 5, 2020 9:55 am

Those that desire or hunger for power are usually those least able to lead.

“The university sector, in my opinion, will be amongst the most critical of all institutions, if we are to find the pathways to a prosperous and sustainable global future.”

Typical socialist glad handing and drivel with hidden tyrannical and despotic desire for absolute control.
Eric’s C.S. Lewis quotation is spot on!!

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  ATheoK
February 5, 2020 1:48 pm

The least desirable trait in any leader is the fervent desire to be a leader.

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
February 6, 2020 12:41 pm

Good point, Zig Zag.

Leaders just are by nature. Followers recognize leaders and follow. Leaders don’t have to beg or lobby for the job.

Note: Some leaders are headed down the road to ruin, but they truly are leaders and they attract followers. Sure, it ends badly in those cases, but leaders gonna lead and followers gotta choose wisely.

Kevin Hearle
February 5, 2020 9:58 am

From his bio
“Public education
One of his first acts after winning the Nobel Prize was to donate $100,000 out of his prize money to the PrimaryConnections program, an initiative of the Australian Academy of Science that assists primary school teachers.[25][26] He has continued to press for improvements to the public school system, particularly in the sciences and mathematical literacy (numeracy).[27] He sees the major problem is that so few of the teachers are trained in “STEM” (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines.[18] He used the opportunity of delivering a speech at the National Press Club to call for more focus on the public education system, including holding principals more accountable and the proper use of standardised testing, concluding with the warning that otherwise “the fundamental tenet of Australian democracy, that we all deserve a fair go, is at risk of being eroded away along with our public school system.”
Perhaps he should stay focused on the heavens and leave democracy to the electorate as a first step and then focus on using his obvious excellence in science to check the IPCC hypothesis of CAGW before he attempts to run the world order.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Kevin Hearle
February 5, 2020 1:58 pm

In my experience, STEM is essential to understanding Climate Scientology.

Maths: understanding misleading numbers and statistics. Understanding poor uses of statistics (hockey sticks). Understanding ‘record’ measurements, and how they must always occur at some place at some time and are not cause for alarm.

Physics: understanding the role of CO2 in radiative physics. Understanding convection and how it trumps radiation. Understanding the inherent chaotic nature of our climate.

Chemistry: understanding how CO2 cannot ‘acidify’ oceans.

Biology: understanding the essential role of CO2 in the carbon cycle of life itself, and how close it came to being too low to sustain life.

Yes. What we desperately need is the ability to work these simple things out for ourselves, and not some political activists telling us how we must live.

Russ Wood
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
February 6, 2020 8:03 am

May I add to Chemistry: Knowing what a battery IS and what it can do (and not mistaking it for a SOURCE of electricity!)

HD Hoese
February 5, 2020 9:58 am

Old story, Save us from those who want to save us. New story, Diversity in universities, changed the meaning of the word. “Diversify–l. to produce variety. 2. to engage in varied operations.”

They know not that they are losing their credibility. “We need to help design the policies…”

February 5, 2020 10:17 am

That offer is about as important to the world as the offers of help to Hillary upon the election of Bill Clinton as President. You had hangers on coming out of the woodwork to help with everything from clothing and personal appearance to style and manners. Such people had no idea they we reaching out to co-President (aka the shark) Hillary Clinton. She politely slapped them down like so much waste paper or gnats.

Carl Friis-Hansen
February 5, 2020 11:26 am

A little OT

Maybe the universities in Germany has driven the Green game too far.
Government change in Germany from left to right.
The Greens and the liberals are demonstrating in the streets and going bongos. They cannot understand that a major part of the population are getting tired of Green liberalism.

James Schrumpf
February 5, 2020 11:34 am

Did the “Australian National University Vice Chancellor” actually write

“We need to help design the policies that governments can turn to”?

Does he not know that one never uses a preposition to end a sentence with?

This is a grammar failure up with which we should not put!!!

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  James Schrumpf
February 5, 2020 2:02 pm

That is something up with which I will not put!

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
February 5, 2020 4:19 pm

The whole thing is a “put up “

Up with which we should not put.

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
February 6, 2020 7:23 am

NOBODY’S going to put up with freezing in the dark, having their food rationed and their travel curtailed, I can promise you that. Especially enforced by the globejetting Davos crowd and their useful idiots who think policy-wonks can change the weather! The Gilets Jaunes will look like tame house pets compared to the backlash against this crap; we’ve seen behind the smoke & mirrors now.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  James Schrumpf
February 15, 2020 7:01 pm

Dramatic Twist by “Australian National University Vice Chancellor”.

You wouldn’t await him starting “poure Elise”,

would you.

Jay Johnson
February 5, 2020 11:48 am

Interesting that the Protocols expend much ink in elaborating how universities will be at the base of the Khazarians’ rise to power.

Walter Sobchak
February 5, 2020 12:16 pm

Henry VIII for the lot of them. Shut the universities down. Confiscate their endowments. Fire the faculty and administrators. Tear down the buildings. Plow the land and sow it with salt.

Kevin kilty
February 5, 2020 12:17 pm

I spent my first 23 years out of graduate school in industry, and have spent the most recent 23 or so in academia. Though I love to teach, like my students, and relish resources to do a bit of research on topics I find interesting, I can say that I am familiar enough with universities to guarantee they can only provide leadership in over hiring and then over paying multitudes of administrators, who will produce nothing but a surplus of red tape, silly policies, authoritarianism, and expense.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Kevin kilty
February 6, 2020 9:09 am

I’ve seen the same thing at Stanford and at SLAC, Kevin.

In those institutions, the camel’s nose of sociological corruption has even penetrated the tent of science.

Andy Pattullo
February 5, 2020 12:31 pm

How dare you professor Schmidt. You are attempting to steal all of our futures by putting yourself in a position of dictating economic suicide to the rest of us while you flatten yourself off the taxpayer teat. Try living in the real world and solving real problems and then get back to us. In the mean time make sure you have your utilities disconnected, don’t use any mechanized transport, throw away all your electronics, and restrict yourself to eating whatever you find during your daily hunting and gathering.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Andy Pattullo
February 5, 2020 2:10 pm

I wish he would flatten himself. Unfortunately, I’m sure he is both flattering and fattening himself.

Reply to  Andy Pattullo
February 6, 2020 4:31 am

with the cost to be at a uni for even a year…
the chance to BE a student is already a matter of social class and not necessarlily ability
and where the f? did the ANU see fit to pay out 71K or so in aussie dollars to send him there???
and thats not with airfare food and accom i dont think.

id like to see unis stop the arts and unicorn farts courses, go back to real and serious meaningful studies
we have more than enough bad actors and writers and journos media twits already

Ian Coleman
February 5, 2020 12:40 pm

University faculties are flush with people with monster IQs who are also prone to various versions of foolishness. Once you make it a competition to see who can learn the most arcane and essentially useless information, and then you gather together a lot of people who have given their entire youths to acquiring that information, and you let them make their own rules for how their special society will work, you have set up a self-reinforcing society based on a false idea. It is a world gone mad.

Imagine believing that there was some sort of benefit to be had in reading all of Shakespeare’s plays, and then coming to believe that reading Shakespeare’s plays was an inherently venerable thing to do, and then actually studying all Shakespeare’s plays. Well, you’d have in some sense gone mad.

Bill Gates is a university drop-out. I tell you, that guy’s got all the brains and all the luck.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Ian Coleman
February 5, 2020 2:07 pm

As I understand it, Gates did not drop out. He is just on an extended sabbatical. Harvard don’t like the idea of any student dropping out.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Ian Coleman
February 6, 2020 9:35 am

Shakespeare was a genius.

Reading his work, and thinking about the situations he so beautifully describes, can only bring wisdom and insight into the human condition. Not to mention provide training in writing expressive prose. Studying Shakespeare is a route to a more deeply humane sanity, not to madness.

And I say that as an academic research chemist.

Shakespeare is one of the subjects excoriated in the modern Humanities as the product of a racist white male. The tragedy to scholarship could not be greater. Mark Twain is also on the chopping block, as is Harper Lee.

The flight into stupidity has birthed a commitment to ignorance and barbarity.

February 5, 2020 1:16 pm

“Since the Paris Agreement, CO2 has increased by an amount in our atmosphere higher than in any other four-year period in human history. We – the global citizenry – are seeing a comprehensive failure of the global political system; a failure that has existential consequences”.

And a comprehensive failure of the global statistics education system.

Kevin McNeill
February 5, 2020 1:16 pm

“Too much of what is called ‘education’ is little more than an expensive isolation from reality.”, “The next time some academics tell you how important diversity is, ask how many Republicans there are in the sociology department.” Thomas Sowell

February 5, 2020 2:00 pm

Inside every seemingly well-intentioned Liberal, there is a ravening screaming Fascist struggling to get out.

ray boorman
February 5, 2020 2:04 pm

You’ve gotta love a misguided fool using a $1 million, taxpayer funded salary, to extol his own supreme holiness to anyone listening – or maybe you don’t!

February 5, 2020 3:36 pm

“It has been the role of universities for almost a millennium to challenge orthodoxy.”
Oh good. Professor Schmidt is going to lead the challenge to the so-called consensus on climate change.

Reply to  Alba
February 5, 2020 5:11 pm

One hopes to see Professor Schmidt as a political candidate.

Joel O'Bryan
February 5, 2020 6:53 pm

“We need to help design the policies that governments can turn to.”

“We need to help” = Send us money, endowments, grants.

The Climate Scam – It’s all about the money.

David Chappell
February 5, 2020 8:47 pm

“We will educate those – young and old – who will be productive in a rapidly changing world.”
No Mr Schmidt, you need trade schools to produce productive people

david purcell
February 5, 2020 10:46 pm

I studied Geology in the 1960’s at ANU. It was then a great place to study, no matter what faculty. The Geology Dept was unfortunately abolished some time ago. Perhaps it was not “sustainable” enough?
The universities reputation, especially in Earth Sciences, will continue to be damaged by the continued consensual nonsense VC Brian Schmidt pumps out about climate science.

Matthew Sykes
February 5, 2020 11:16 pm

“We – the global citizenry – are seeing a comprehensive failure of the global political system”

This is such rank bullshit, and arrogant to the point of nauseous. How dare he claim to speak for me! How dare he claim that because someone whose life doesnt span two countries, they are not a ‘global citizen’ and have no voice! (Oh, I have lived in six countries and speak three languages by the way, I am more global than you Mr Schmidt with your ‘American-Australian’ nationality eh?)

At a time when we have seen the collapse of communism, and I would say with the exception of Islam, the spread of democracy, the reduction in poverty, the increase in health and wealth, across the globe, this clown says it has failed?

You know, this is nothing but envy. Intelligent, middle class, yet not earned as much as his peers who went into engineering, banking, finance, law, he has lived on a pittance of a salary, and riddled with envy tries to destroy the system that created this supposed imbalance. You never see working class people support climate change, the only ones who do are low income middle class higher IQ people.

February 5, 2020 11:27 pm

Good Lord havent they wasted enough of our money and human capital already?

I am starting the think the cost of having Universities these days is too high, they appear to be a force for evil.

Reply to  yarpos
February 6, 2020 4:41 am

they earn billions a yr
Oseas students@ a ratio far exceeding Aussies.
what they learn and what use it is for many?

Reply to  yarpos
February 6, 2020 5:48 am

I agree – A case can be made stating that universities outlived its usefulness and needs to be closed to stop its growing harm to society.

Pat Frank
Reply to  yarpos
February 6, 2020 9:59 am

The universities systematically violate the tenure agreement, which agreement is political neutrality in scholarship and pedagogy in return for tenure.

An epidemiological study of university teaching would reveal, and has revealed, an enormous bias to the left (also here): indoctrination rather than scholarship.

The cure is to remove the public funding from all such departments. Then remove the public funding from all universities that refuse to correct the bias.

Private universities depend on public money almost as much as do the public ones.

The response would be howls of outrage, followed by a stampede to set things right. University professors of cultural studies, post-modernism, gender activism and so forth will stand on the evidence indicted for systematic bias. They can be either terminated for cause, or perhaps allowed to remain as tenured faculty but without a salary and with no course responsibilities.

Care should be taken that public funds removed for bias are not replaced with private money. All public money should be taken from universities that deliberately support bias. If they can survive on purely private money, good for them. Their reputation then becomes that of a center for indoctrination. No one hires their graduates except for biased think-tanks.

STEM is an expensive major, mostly because of the very necessary laboratory courses and their centrally important instrumentation. Privately funded politically-biased universities will not be able to afford or offer STEM degrees. Their graduates will be service-oriented at best, but generally productively impotent. I believe they will wither away.

If certain elite universities, of too-arrogant faculty and administrators, wither away by adherence to bias, we can only be better off.

Al Miller
February 6, 2020 6:56 am

Well said Eric! I am facing a huge inner battle as I fund my children to go to university for their future careers and I read the egregious behaviors of those at universities- not the least of which is UVIC where one of my progeny goes, who recently fired the wonderful Dr. Crockford in stinking mess of blatant bias towards the blob and goes against any notion of free thinking – which ought to to be the ONLY principle behind a supposed higher learning institute.

February 6, 2020 7:13 am

The article is well put in showing how educational institutions see their purpose to indoctrinate students in a socialist cause.

The quote of CS Lewis defines very well how much damage can be done through wrong headed education.

Craig Rogers
Reply to  Olen
February 6, 2020 2:27 pm
Roger Knights
February 7, 2020 1:04 am

“We – the global citizenry – are seeing a comprehensive failure …”

Chinese citizens aren’t seeing it. Nor many 3rd-world citizens.

“… of the global political system;”

There isn’t any such system, you just wish there were. To the extent that a prototype does exist—the UN—it has done its utmost.

February 7, 2020 4:14 am

It’s a little known fact that for a while the ANU was promoting itself under the slogan of “Join the Thought Police”. Then I looked again & saw that it actually said “Thought Leaders”, but I think I read it right the first time.

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