"By encouraging, or even requiring, students to take stands where they have neither the knowledge nor the intellectual training to seriously examine complex issues, teachers promote the expression of unsubstantiated opinions, the venting of uninformed emotions, and the habit of acting on those opinions and emotions, while ignoring or dismissing opposing views, without having either the intellectual equipment or the personal experience to weigh one view against another in any serious way."

Thomas Sowell, 'Intellectuals and Society', http://www.amazon.co.uk/Intellectuals-Society-Sowell-Thomas/dp/0465025226

Monday, 27 April 2015

The future of this blog: helping anyone wanting to resist climate scaremongering in schools

My heartfelt apologies to regular visitors.  It has been a long gap since the last post, and you may feel clicking to here has been wasting your time.  I had hopes that this blog would encourage discussion and lead to lively exchanges with frequent inputs from active teachers and educational administrators as well as parents, but this has not happened.  Given the trolling and junk comments that occur so often on more lively sites, the tranquillity here has not been all bad!

I now see the next phase of this blog as focusing on proving reference materials, useful links, and occasional encouragement for parents and others who wish to see an end to schools being used to promote radical political views using concern over climate variation as the vehicle, and often 'sustainability' as the cloak.  The facile use of fearful images and projections about the near future has been part of this, and deserves to be the first target of those concerned to let children grow up without such burdens being imposed on them by ruthless campaigners, or by naive followers convinced they are doing what has to be done.

The astonishing political success of eco-alarmism over the past few decades has been a dismal sight for anyone who has spotted the lack of substance behind so many of the claims and campaigns.  The global warming one has been the most successful by far, and has arguably done the most harm as a result.  The penetration of school curricula, both formal and informal, has been part of this 'success', and the prevalence of 'sustainability', so closely associated with climate alarmism,  in tertiary educational institutions recognised in the recent NAS report* suggests that new waves of teachers and administrators will emerge to damage the mental and indeed physical and moral well-being of further generations of schoolchildren.

In Germany, the physicist Horst-Joachim Lüdecke has been talking of the 'sobering-up process' he thinks may be underway with regard to the excesses of renewable energy programmes there:

'Lüdecke thinks that the sobering-up process will take time because every political party has made green issues part of its platform. Green is a very difficult colour to wash away, the German physicist writes.'  

Lüdecke then explains the primary disadvantage of renewable energy: their low energy density, i.e. meaning they require vast areas and that the major ones are weather-dependent. The German EIKE professor does not know how long the sobering-up process will take, citing the immense power of an array of lobbies behind the green movement.

Lüdecke also aims harsh words at Germany’s pompous and one-sided media:
Finally a word for the German media, here especially for the public TV and radio networks. They are rightly being compared by the current contemporaries to the conditions of former East Germany or even earlier times.”

At the political level, Lüdecke blasts the atmosphere of intimidation against people who have alternative views, who often are threatened with physical violence from radical leftists groups.'
I fear something similar applies in schools.  The standard leftist mentality that anyone who disagrees with them has to be malevolent and must be treated with contempt is part of the problem.

I have been involved in a couple of unsuccessful attempts to get groups of people together to campaign against climate alarmism in schools, and I have concluded that I am not well-suited to that, nor at stimulating debate through this blog.  I have therefore decided to concentrate on studying the details of one corner of climate science.  The corner I have chosen is the Arctic in general, and Greenland in particular.  I will simply be aiming to become much better informed about them, and in due course be ready to contribute when they are raised in support of political/educational goals.

I will keep this blog going however, by updating its reference pages from time to time, and with the occasional post.  My hope is that some of those who will think of becoming more active against climate scaremongering, and other manipulation of children for radical political ends, will find useful information and ideas here to help them get started.  Next month, I plan posts on two themes:
(1) some issues or tactics that seem to be emerging from 'the other side', and (2) some suggested reading for those thinking of getting involved to protect children from the threat of being misinformed, misled, and indeed scared by those who want to use them as footsoldiers in their war against industrial civilisation.



*'Sustainability is fast becoming the dominant ideology at colleges and universities in the United States, Britain, and many other parts of the Western world. It is an ideology that harms both the spirit and the substance of liberal education.'
 http://www.nas.org/images/documents/NAS-Sustainability-Introduction.pdf




Thursday, 18 December 2014

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all people of goodwill everywhere

Of the three major religions to emerge from the Middle East, Christianity seems to be the most impressive for its compassion, gentleness, and generosity towards non-followers (such as myself) as well as to its faithful. It has also inspired far more great works of art and music than any other religion anywhere as far as I know (which is not very far, but I share my limited view nevertheless). J S Bach produced a fair few of them. Here is an exquisite rendition of his 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring' by the Norwegian singer often referred to there simply as Sissel, assisted by a young choir and orchestra:





Wednesday, 17 December 2014

CO2 Driven Climate Panic in Jeopardy: a prospect of it being disgraced even further by observation of ice variation

WUWT
WUWT has what I think is an informative and important presentation by Jim Steele.

Very much in the tradition of Hubert Lamb, he makes a plea for much better understanding of natural variation of climate as a pre-condition for being able to assess our impact on it.

He makes a plausible case that the next 10 to 20 years could be decisive in assessing the strength of human impact (via CO2 in particular) and natural variation on glacier and icecap variation.

Another reason to postpone panic over our CO2 emissions.  Unfortunately, we have had panic already, and a great deal of consequent suffering and damage to societies around the world, and indeed to the environment thanks to the headlong rush into bio-fuels and wind-turbines.  The damage to children who grew up over the last 20 years or so of intense scaremongering directed at them, and an associated promotion of contempt for industrial progress, may be the biggest harm of all.  But who can tell?  How could this be measured?  How might that damage, however extensive, be repaired?

Jim Steele notes that 'the public remains ill-informed and fearful about the causes of retreating ice'.  He presents evidence for solar, and oceanic influences being the dominant sources of variation over the past several thousands of years.

Screenshot from video
He notes the 'failed climatic interpretations' of glacier retreats on Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and Glacier National Park in the United States. Neither of them correlate with rising CO2 levels, and both can be explained by other sources of variation.  It is worth noting that 'failed climatic interpretations' would make a good sub-title for the propaganda movie 'An Inconvenient Truth' which was foisted upon schools by a government in the UK and has been widely shown in schools elsewhere as well.


Jim Steele concludes the substance of his presentation with these words:

'With the recent decline in solar flux, and the shift to cool phases of ocean oscillations, natural climate change suggests that although glacier retreat and sea level rise will likely continue for the next few decades, the rates of sea level rise and glacier retreats will slow down.

The next decade will provide the natural experiment to test the validity of competing hypotheses.
Are changes in the Earth's ice driven by natural, or by CO2-driven climate change?

I'm betting on natural climate change.'


Jim Steele's website is here: http://landscapesandcycles.net/

It is of particular interest for this blog that as well as being a director of a field centre for nature studies, Jim Steele has decades of high school teaching experience in San Francisco.  See: http://www.sfsu.edu/~sierra/Instructor_JimSteele.html

Thursday, 4 December 2014

President Obama's Last Resort? A New Propaganda Push on Children and Climate.

US News
Allie Bidwell writes at US News: 

'Perhaps unable to convince older Americans of the severity of global warming, President Barack Obama is hoping to have better luck with the next generation by turning to the classroom.


The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on Wednesday announced it will launch a new initiative aimed at climate education and literacy that will distribute science-based information – in line with the administration's position on the issue – to students, teachers and the broader public.
Educators, government officials, philanthropic leaders and those from the private sector will participate in a roundtable discussion at the White House Wednesday. The participants will focus on how to spread more resources to teachers and increase professional development and training related to climate change for educators, federal employees and informal educators, such as those working in national parks, museums, aquariums or botanic gardens. '
This is not good news.  After blundering big-time in both domestic and foreign policy issues, and with only 2 years of shelf-life left as president, Obama will have noticed that his legacy is going to be a very unflattering one.  He may now be betting on there still being lots of momentum left in the climate scaremongering movement.  He may well be right.  But, to borrow a phrase, will no one think of the children?

PS There was an announcement back on October from the OSTP*, giving a two-week window for inputs: 'Do the activities of your school, institution, organization, or company align with the call to action to enhance climate education and literacy? Send your ideas, commitments, summaries of your work in this area, or even photos of you, your students, and colleagues working to enhance climate literacy to ClimateEd@ostp.gov by November 7. 
Your input is critical to building an educated, next-generation American workforce that grasps the climate-change challenge and is equipped to seek and implement solutions. '  I dread to think what the campaigners sent them, or had already sent them since two weeks looks like a nominal gesture of 'public consultation'.  

*OSTPCongress established the Office of Science and Technology Policy in 1976 with a broad mandate to advise the President and others within the Executive Office of the President on the effects of science and technology on domestic and international affairs. The 1976 Act also authorizes OSTP to lead interagency efforts to develop and implement sound science and technology policies and budgets, and to work with the private sector, state and local governments, the science and higher education communities, and other nations toward this end.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Background briefing for climate teachers: false prophets and false prophecies from the cult of CO2 alarmism

What with a Nobel Peace Prize shared between the IPCC and Al Gore, and no end of awards presented by CO2 alarmists and their followers to one another, the casual observer is at risk of concluding that wise and distinguished people are leading the call for dramatic reductions in our CO2 emissions. The reality is that buffoons and charlatans, confidence tricksters and shallow opportunists, not to mention malevolent sociopaths, are in this odious vanguard. Dramatic threats of imminent doom, portentous language, terrifying imagery about what is going to happen to us are their stock in trade. A journalist has picked up on summaries of failed prophecies from such as the WUWT site, and in a recent article at The New American he notes:

'Warnings have been issued for many decades now regarding catastrophic climate change that forecasted certain trends or occurrences that we should already have witnessed. Yet such predictions have turned out to be very, very wrong. This was certainly the case with the alarmist predictions of the 1960s and ’70s that man’s activities on Earth were causing a catastrophic cooling trend that would bring on another ice age. And it is also the case with the more recent claims about catastrophic global warming. '

The examples he gives are listed below:

Global cooling – one of the eco-threats of the 1970s: FAIL (see the article for more details of each fail here and below)

Global warming – one of the eco-threats from the 1980s onwards: FAIL after FAIL after FAIL:

'In 2005, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) warned that imminent sea-level rises, increased hurricanes, and desertification caused by “man-made global warming” would lead to massive population disruptions. '  FAIL

'In its final 2007 report, widely considered the “gospel” of “settled” climate “science,” the UN IPCC suggested that Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035 or sooner. ' FAIL

'Like the UN, the Pentagon commissioned a report on “climate change” that also offered some highly alarming visions of the future under “global warming.” The 2003 document, entitled “An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security,” ...
By now, according to the “not implausible” scaremongering outlined in the report for a 10-year time period, the world should be a post-apocalyptic disaster zone. Among other outlandish scenarios envisioned in the report over the preceding decade: California flooded with inland seas, parts of the Netherlands “unlivable,” polar ice all but gone in the summers, and surging temperatures. Mass increases in hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters were supposed to be wreaking havoc across the globe, too. All of that would supposedly spark resource wars and all sorts of other horrors.' FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL


'For well over a decade now, climate alarmists have been claiming that snow would soon become a thing of the past. In March 2000, for example, “senior research scientist” David Viner, working at the time for the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, told the U.K. Independent that within “a few years,” snowfall would become “a very rare and exciting event” in Britain. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he was quoted as claiming in the article, headlined “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past.” ' FAIL

'The IPCC has also been relentlessly hyping the snowless winter scare, along with gullible or agenda-driven politicians. In its 2001 Third Assessment Report, for example, the IPCC claimed “milder winter temperatures will decrease heavy snowstorms. ' FAIL

'In 1988, Hansen was asked by journalist and author Rob Reiss how the “greenhouse effect’ would affect the neighborhood outside his window within 20 years (by 2008). “The West Side Highway [which runs along the Hudson River] will be under water,” Hansen claimed. “And there will be tape across the windows across the street because of high winds. And the same birds won’t be there. The trees in the median strip will change...There will be more police cars .... [since] you know what happens to crime when the heat goes up.” In 1986, Hansen also predicted in congressional testimony that the Earth would be some two degrees warmer within 20 years. ' FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL

'Separately, another prominent alarmist, Princeton professor and lead UN IPCC author Michael Oppenheimer, made some dramatic predictions in 1990 while working as “chief scientist” for the Environmental Defense Fund. By 1995, he said then, the “greenhouse effect” would be “desolating the heartlands of North America and Eurasia with horrific drought, causing crop failures and food riots.” By 1996, he added, the Platte River of Nebraska “would be dry, while a continent-wide black blizzard of prairie topsoil will stop traffic on interstates, strip paint from houses and shut down computers.” The situation would get so bad that “Mexican police will round up illegal American migrants surging into Mexico seeking work as field hands.” '  FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL

'Perhaps nowhere have the alarmists’ predictions been proven as wrong as at the Earth’s poles. In 2007, 2008, and 2009, Al Gore, the high priest for a movement described by critics as the “climate cult,’ publicly warned that the North Pole would be “ice-free” in the summer by around 2013 because of alleged “man-made global warming.” ' FAIL

'Even more embarrassing for the warmists have been trends in the Southern Hemisphere. Of course, all of the “climate models” and “climate experts” and “scientists” predicted that rising CO2 emissions would increase global temperatures, which would melt the ice in Antarctica - by far the largest mass of frozen H2O on the planet. ' FAIL

'In his second-term inaugural address, Obama also made some climate claims, saying: “Some may still deny the overwhelming judgement of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and powerful storms.” Ironically, all three of the examples he provided of what he called the “threat of climate change” actually discredit his argument. ' FAIL FAIL FAIL

The article, by journalist Alex Newman, concludes 

'Few people would make an important decision based on next week’s weather forecast. When it comes to “climate,” though, the $360 billion-per-year climate establishment is telling humanity that civilization must be reorganized from top to bottom based on failed models purporting to make predictions decades and even centuries in advance. Flawed predictions aside, a great deal of evidence suggests accuracy or truth was never the intent — generating fear to seize more money and power was (and is). Many top alarmists have admitted as much, with some responding to the implosion of their theories with calls for censorship or, more extreme still, the imprisonment, re-education, and even execution of “climate deniers.” '



So, beware of what you are letting into your classroom should you be tempted to bow to the establishment pressure to promote acute alarm over our CO2 emissions. The case for alarm over these emissions is very weak (See for example the recent NIPCC reports). On the other hand, the case for alarm over those those who promote such alarm is very strong.



Friday, 17 October 2014

Climate change 'prophets, and projectors, and half-instructed meteorologists': the press found them amusing back in 1871

IMAGINARY CHANGES OF CLIMATE
                    (Pall Mall Gazette)
THREE consecutive years of drought, while they have stimulated the inventive resources of practical agriculturalists, have had the natural effect of calling forth a plentiful crop of speculation from weather prophets, and projectors, and half-instructed meteorologists, and all the philosophic tribe of Laputa in general, to whom the periodical press now affords such fatal facilities. We have often noticed that in the tabular statements of those compilers of weather records who write to the Times, useful and welcome as their communications are, every season is sure to be “extraordinary”, almost every month one of the driest or wettest, or windiest, coldest or hottest, ever known. Much observation, which ought to correct a tendency to exaggerate, seems in some minds to have rather a tendency to increase it.



Hat-tip: Steven Goddard.


Steven Goddard's blog Real Science is an excellent resource to find old press cuttings relevant to climate that would enhance many a school project by helping give the perspective which is so easily missed.  

The above example would grace any project quoting any of today's 'half-instructed meteorologists' such as James Hansen (an astro-physicist) or Gavin Schmidt (a computer programmer) or Al Gore (no qualifications to speak of) as they take pains to persuade us that we are seeing "extraordinary" weather thanks to their pet obsession, carbon dioxide.  The press today, and now of course the broadcast media, are sure to give them 'fatal facilities' and have done so for decades, without even the sardonic challenge of the above quote.  

Note also the calm assurance about the three consecutive years of drought.  Today, this would be amplified as a crisis, a a catastrophe, as a forerunner of doom to come.  Back in 1871, they merely noted that the drought would have 'stimulated the inventive resources of practical agriculturalists'.  Perhaps they were made of sterner stuff in those days.  Perhaps they were less readily panicked.  Perhaps we could learn from them.


Monday, 13 October 2014

Sacrificing Children for a Better Climate: the Aztecs used knives to kill them quickly; we take longer by depriving them of energy, food, and hope – but we do get more victims in the end.

(1) The Aztec God of Rain: Tlaloc.

'The worship of Tlaloc [the rain god] was among the most ghastly in Mexico... children were constantly sacrificed to him. If we may believe Sahagun, at the feast of the Tlaloque "they sought out a great number of babes at the breast, which they purchased of their mothers. They chose by preference those who had two crowns in their hair and who had been born under a good sign. They pretended that these would form a more agreeable sacrifice to the gods, to the
end that they might obtain rain at the opportune time. . . . They killed a great number of babes each year; and after they had put them to death, they cooked and ate them. ... If the children wept and shed tears abundantly, those who beheld it rejoiced and said that this was a sign of rain very near." ... it is to be suspected that the rite was very far spread, for in the myths of many of the wild Mexican tribes and even in those of the Pueblo tribes north of Mexico the story of the sacrifice of children to the water-gods constantly recurs .... '



(2)The Eco Demon of Doom: CO2


Great Insights into the Eco-Scourge
Now the modern superstition is that our carbon dioxide emissions do what carbon dioxide has never been known to do before, and that is drive and dominate the climate system, leading to catastrophe.  There are so many people who dislike our industrial civilisation, that this invented horror over a trace gas has been like a gift from the gods.  They can use it to deprive the poor of all the great benefits that fossil fuels can bring.  They can use it to create agriculture that grows not food but fuel for cars, despite fossil fuel being generally cheaper and less damaging to their engines.  When basic food prices rise as a result, more people starve.  The food they need could readily be produced, but they can't afford to buy it.  The demonisation of CO2 also means higher energy prices in the developed world, increasing fuel-poverty and reducing the prospects for economic growth there because heavily-subsidised windfarms, solar farms, and other foolish indulgences, are being imposed by supine governments.  Supine in the face of the high-priests of the climate scare, and the countless opportunists who rally round them in search of political and financial advantage.

There are also tribes of followers of this new cult, almost all wealthy and intolerant of dissent.  For them the superstition science is settled.  Action must be taken.  We saw some of them marching through New York and other places last month.

YouTube

They all looked well-fed and prosperous beneficiaries of industrial societies, and obviously with time to spare.  Some of their leaders were there too, some fabulously wealthy.  A few of them can be seen on the left in a screenshot taken from a new video called 'Why Renewables Equal Death'.








The picture on the right is from the same video.  It shows the burning of dung, the renewable energy source that causes so much air pollution and waste of fertiliser in the developing world.









(3) A Modern Aztec Sacrifice: Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, who has lost his childhood


Earth Guardian
'A 14-year old Colorado boy with an Aztec name travels the world with his younger brother, 11, as a missionary for “global sustainability,” rapping, dancing and speaking for Earth Guardians, a group he directs. Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is not descended from Aztecs, the bloody tyranny that ruled central Mexico for several centuries until Cortes and his Native American allies overthrew them in 1521.   But Aztecs have somehow emerged in the sustainability movement as an ideal of eco-friendly civilization.  Never mind that the Aztecs were a predatory empire founded on constant warfare, genocide, human sacrifice, and cannibalism.'  

The above paragraph is taken from the start of a penetrating article by Rachelle Peterson called 'How Radicals Hijacked Environmentalism'.  She goes on to note:

'The new cult of Aztec sustainability was on display at the People’s Climate March of September 21st, where a contingent of  would-be Aztecs drummed and danced their way down Sixth Avenue with a float decorated with sculpted human skulls.'

'Sustainability', she further notes, is now  'a big tent that shelters social and political agendas along with environmental ones. Social justice, managed economies, fair trade, gender neutrality, and racial diversity are just a few of the other movements that find ideological homes under the banner of “sustainability.” Anti-colonialism is only the latest to join these ranks.'

She concludes with a caution:

'Perhaps the real “colonialism” that activists should eye is sustainability itself. The broader the sustainability movement becomes, the more aggressive it becomes in shoehorning parallel social movements into its mold. In that sense, the Aztec imagery is apt.  The Aztecs were one of the New World’s most successful imperial powers and succeeded in dominating all the native peoples of central Mexico for a time.  Strangely enough, however, they proved unsustainable.  Their other indigenous peoples of Mexico jumped at the chance presented by the arrival of a small contingent of well-armed Europeans to put an end to the Aztec empire.  Xiuhtezcatl might at some point take some time out from his advocacy work to study some history.'

Steve Goddard has more illustrations of Aztec practices, ancient and modern, here: 

'Threatening Children With Violent Death'



(4) 'Sustainable Development' = 'Suppressed Development'

The list of harms caused by self-styled 'environmentalists' or 'radicals' or would-be 'guardians'  is very large.  Here is a listing of what may only be part of it: 'The Legacy of the Environmental Movement'.  Here are the sub-headings at that location:
'Prolonged Psychological Fear Based on Unfounded/Distorted Claims'
'Needless Death of over 30 Million Innocent Young Children'
'Loss of a Dependable Electrical Infrastructure'
'Dependency on Foreign Oil and Higher Fuel Prices'
'Starvation'
'The Agents of Fear'
'Development of the "Precautionary Principle" into a Fear Distortion Tool'
'Taking of Property without Just Compensation (Private Lands)'
'Endangered Species Act'
'Tying National Security Up in Knots'
'Eliminating or Weakening Flood Prevention Systems (Dams, Levies)'
'Depriving Workers of Their Livelihood'
'The Law of Unintended Consequences'
'The Destruction of Credible Science by Promoting Junk Science'
'The Destruction of Scientist who disagree with the Environmental Agenda'
'Promoting a Small Utopian World for the Elite through a Population Control Agenda (Isn't this called Genocide?)'
'Sponsor of Terrorism in the Name of the Environment'
'School Indoctrination: Driving Fear into the Hearts of Our Children'

So much harm.  So much enthusiasm for harm.  Superstition can do that.  They call it 'Settled Science' in our time.  It leads to great sacrifice, and great waste. Not least of our children.

Note added 17 October 2014.  Will Happer, the distinguished physicist, drew attention to the Aztec analogy back in 2009: http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/physicist-compares-global-warming-craze-to-aztec-human-sacrifices

Note added 17 October 2014. Paul Driessen has more on the activities of the young boy with the Aztec name: http://capitolhilloutsider.com/mindless-green-indoctrination-of-children/
“We’re from the Earth Guardians group, and we’re working on fracking and how it’s going to affect our future and our health. So we wrote this song for all the gas companies that are putting their profits ahead of our future.”
'With that prelude, 12-year-old Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and his 9-year-old brother Itzcuauhtli launched into an anti-fracking rap song for Evergreen Middle School students whose teacher had invited them to travel 40 miles from their home in “the People’s Republic of Boulder,” Colorado. The song was well rehearsed, spirited, clever – and no doubt assisted by their mother, the founder and executive director of Earth Guardians, and maybe even by Boulder’s former  mayor, an EG advisor.  The boys have been inculcated in Aztec and Hard Green ideology from birth. '