Friday, February 03, 2012

Germany: Intellectually Insolvent U. Of Osnabrück Shuts Down Debate – Calls Skepticism “Provocative”

What do the intellectually challenged do when they’re out-matched in debate and fully exhausted of arguments?

You do what the University of Osnabrück has done: you prevent the opponent from entering the debating arena. You call it off and closed-mindedly insist you’re right.

This is what is happening today with the University of Osnabrück and Prof. Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt, who had been invited by the university to give a speech on February 8.

It’s a vivid look into the cowardice of today’s German academia and its intellectual depletion.

The problem is that Vahrenholt has just written a controversial climate skeptical book (Die kalte Sonne) together with geologist Dr Sebastian Lüning - a book that is politically incorrect because it doubts the climate catastrophe fairy tale. The book is already near or at the number 1 position in bestseller list for environment and ecology books, and is thus causing the warmists to scurry in panic. The sense of alarm and fear that have gripped the climate establishment is so strong that the University of Osnabrück decided it would be improper to have Vahrenholt as a speaker.

Vahrenholt got his dis-invitation 2 days ago. Openly questioning the dogma of catastrophic global warming is not welcome. The University prefers to stay in the Dark Ages. Here’s the public invitation:
In the series of presentations “University Speeches” of the University of Osnabrück, Prof. Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt – RWE Innogy, Essen will hold a speech titled “The Climate Catastrophe is not Taking Place”.

The IPCC is wrong. The climate debate has to be restarted. In contradiction to prognoses, there has been no global warming in over 10 years. Even with rising CO2 emissions the warming for this century will not exceed 2°C. The warming effect of CO2 is over-estimated. The latest findings show that ocean cycles and the sun, which recently entered a longer-term period of quite activity, has played a greater role in the course of climate than previously assumed.

Here is the incredible letter of cancellation:
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

When we invited Prof. Vahrenholt in May, 2011, it was done with regards to a very good speech he had given in Greifswald (Greifswald Speeches - a Foundation of the Alfried Krupp College Greifswald) on the topic of “Options for the Future Energy Supply of Germany”. This topic and the speaker also were accepted by the Osnabrück University Professorium.

When we invited him, we suggested this topic, which he did not object. When we asked him to provide us with the exact title of his speech 3 weeks before it was scheduled to take place, he surprised us with the provocative title ‘The Climate Catastrophe Is Not taking Place’. The reactions to this announcement range from positive to critical, and to negative.

Independent of these reactions, we have become convinced that such an assertion requires ‘a counter speech’ from a climate scientist and that the subsequent discussion be led by a competent moderator. Because it is not possible to organize this before February 8, we will search another date in 2012, in agreement with Prof Vahrenholt and the 2 yet-to-be-named individuals. We will inform you on a timely basis.

Yours sincerely,
Prof. Dr. Karlheinz Altendorf
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Asholt”

So unhindered, free dissent and questioning are unwelcome. Not believing that the world is on the road to catastrophe is “provocative”. Sorry, but this is the kind of insecure behaviour ones sees from dictatorial regimes. It’s intellectual insolvency.

Things really are that bad in Germany’s academia today – at least at the University of Osnabrück.

Two questions to professors Altendorf and Asholt: What are you afraid of? Does a movement steeped in fear and insecurity have any chance of victory? Your letter is as clear an admission one could get that the answer is “definitely no”.

Your decision is as about as remote as one can get from the true spirit of academia.


St. Valentine’s Day (Candy) Massacre: School Bans Candy, Pushes Origami Instead

(Yes, all the kids want folded paper)

In a move that will probably get support from the First Lady, but boos from kids and candy companies, a school in Massachusetts has banned candy exchanges on Valentines Day.

The Horace Mann School in Newton has told parents that kids cannot not bring Valentines Day candy to school. Instead, the school suggests that kids exchange things like nice cards, or gifts like “stickers, pencils, erasers, stamps, or crafts like origami.”

One mom was fully supporting the ban. She told MyFoxBoston that last Valentines Day was a difficult one for her:

"Last year was hell. The second grader and kindergartener came back with bags full of candy, cake, lolipops, and garbage. They had eaten half of it already at school. The other half they fought over or ate the rest. I tried to take it away from them – they screamed. I was like never again, this is not right."


Thousands of 'Mickey Mouse' courses will no longer count in British High School league tables

More than 3,000 discredited vocational courses will be downgraded because pupils are shunning tough subjects, Michael Gove declared yesterday.

Schools will be barred from using ‘dead-end’ qualifications – including courses in ‘personal effectiveness’, fish husbandry and nail technology services – to count towards their league table rankings.

Youngsters will instead be encouraged to gain at least a C in English and maths and study science and a language.

The Education Secretary warned against pandering to the view that school is ‘like the movies or a club’ where pupils expect to find lessons ‘exciting’ – and drop out if they are too difficult.

‘If we say that we will tolerate or accept non-attendance on the basis that school is too hard then we are condemning children to a future where, at every stage they face a challenge, we make excuses rather than encouraging them to do better, and that way lies perdition,’ Mr Gove told the Commons education select committee.

‘It’s unacceptable that people are bristling at the requirement that we have children doing English, mathematics and science to an acceptable level.’

Under a GCSE ‘equivalence’ system introduced by Labour, schools were allowed to count more than 3,000 vocational courses towards their league table position.

The courses were deemed equivalent to one or more GCSEs and given league table points in an attempt to motivate disaffected pupils. One approved course was a Level 2 Certificate of Personal Effectiveness, which taught children how to claim the dole.
Chopped from the tables

A report commissioned by the Coalition found that many of the qualifications were ‘effectively dead-end’ with no use in the job market. Its author, Professor Alison Wolf, of King’s College London, said schools had been entering pupils for the courses just to amass league table points.

Mr Gove announced yesterday that only 125 out of 3,175 vocational qualifications for 14 to 16-year-olds meet new criteria for inclusion in league tables.

Of these only 75 will count towards the main yardstick of secondary school performance – the percentage of pupils achieving five A* to C grades including English and maths. And they will count as only one GCSE.

Schools will still be able to enter pupils for the qualifications, but from 2014 they will no longer count toward their league table rankings. Many are expected to wither on the vine.

Former education secretary David Blunkett said: ‘By all means slim them down but do not send the message that this is a wholesale trashing of what was there and that vocational education has been downgraded.’


No comments: