Skip to comments.The Mis-Education of a Swedish Scientist
Posted on 02/03/2006 3:40:27 PM PST by redpoll
As I walked through the corridors of the chemistry department at Chalmers University of Technology one last time, minutes after having completed my last assignment leading to a Masters Degree in biotechnology, I noticed a poster on the door:
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Win a printer, tickets to the European Championship in athletics. Screening of the movie The Day After Tomorrow. Ecological wine-tasting with professionals from Systembolaget (the authorized distributor). Free food! Film room with documentaries. Lectures on the environment, economy and gender equality.
I shook my head. The systematic indoctrination of students in Swedish universities keeps fascinating me even after five years of studies. Having been taught as a fact that global warming will destroy the planet in the science classes during high school I was, like most students that took an interest in the natural sciences, obsessed with saving the planet from the evil oil companies and the greedy Americans when I began my college studies.
Since the Swedish government has decided that every single education must include both an ecological and a gender perspective, the doomsday theories of global warming and the ideas of post-modern Marxist feminists were included in many courses. Perhaps the best example from my own studies was when I took a course in human ecology. During the first lecture the speaker proudly explained to us that the institution had been born out of the 1968 left-wing radical wave. And so the course went on explaining how socialism and an ecological society was the only solution for a planet soon to be exploited to death by the evil Americans, led by their conservative ideology and profits from oil companies.
One of the lecturers talked for more than one hour about the ecological villages that existed in Sweden, about how you could make your own hut out of natural materials and the morality of living in a society without modern technology. He had lived in almost all such villages in Sweden and frankly said that most people involved in this radical environmental movement were members of sects. Still, we were encouraged to learn how we could contact the various groups. The other lecturer was not much better, explaining the ideas of post-modern Marxism and talking hatefully about the US rather than teaching us a single fact in his supposedly scientific field.
It is not a matter of chance that the movie The Day After Tomorrow is screened to students on the day they are to learn about environmental issues. The scientific level of what is taught about global warming in Swedish colleges never rises higher than this movie, which is about as reality-based as King Kong.
When I began working on a scientific study regarding bioethanol production I had to look at the actual science behind climate change, as this is the main motivation behind why the techniques of bioethanol production should be developed. Gradually, I began to realize that what we were told in college and high school was more or less a matter of indoctrination. Certainly, the release of greenhouse gases may affect temperature. But it appears likely that this effect will be negligible or at least manageable. In addition, there is absolutely no reason to rule out natural temperature variations as the dominating force behind the temperature variations our planet experiences. More importantly, the claims that everything from the hurricanes in the US to the tsunami in Asia were caused by global warming are clearly not supported by science.
The real problem is, nobody gives you the other side of the argument in an academic environment where the government has forced environmentalism and radical leftwing feminism into every education. Students are offered free food and free ecological wine from the government controlled alcohol distributor Systembolaget (a state monopoly controlled by the wife of the Prime Minister) while they watch ridiculous science fiction movies. This is the Swedish version of the indoctrination I saw as a young boy in an Iranian school named after a suicide bomber. Being forced to shout Death to America and Death to Israel in the school yard is at least an open form of propaganda. The Swedish version allows you to drink wine, feel intellectual and perhaps even win a printer, but is not much less biased.
The author is the president of the Swedish free market think tank Captus (www.captus.nu). He is also a PhD student in biochemistry at the University of Cambridge.
What this boy needs is an introduction to Bjorn Lomborg.
Here it is: http://www.lomborg.com/
It would certainly take first prize in the category of "Best Science-Related Film With Zero Perceptible Science Contents".
BTW, wine is universally an imported product in Sweden. It gets there only because ships exist and engines use petroleum products.
Without wine the Swedes would have to get along with primitive local vodka, or amanita muscaria, an hallucinogenic mushroom!