Students striking over climate change inaction have been described as victims of “politically correct teaching” and include some who are “barely literate or numerate”.
Thousands of young people across the country — and countless more worldwide — will walk out of school on Friday in a global day of action to incite governments to do more to reduce fossil fuel emissions.
Organisers believe crowd numbers will be triple those of student strikes held in November.
But Dr Kevin Donnelly, a conservative commentator and senior research fellow at the Australian Catholic University, claimed the movement was the product of “biased” academics and failings in education.
“I’ve just been on the Strike 4 Climate webpage, where you’ve got seven or eight-year-old kids barely out of nappies being involved in a strike,” he told ABC Radio Adelaide.
“A lot of these students are barely literate or numerate.
“I think it’s absurd.”
Dr Donnelly, an education expert who has written about political correctness which he says is “destroying” Australia, said 1,000 international scientists had dissenting views about the cause and extent of climate change.
He said there had been next to no recognition of this by academics who support the striking students.
“It’s all very well to be politically correct, but there’s no rationality or reason behind it that stands up,” he said, adding that students should protest on the weekend so they didn’t miss school.