Why is there so much preoccupation with atmospheric CO2 concentrations and reducing anthropogenic CO2 emissions when it is well documented in the peer-reviewed scientific literature that the CO2 contribution to the overall greenhouse effect is so weak that it can be easily supplanted by small changes in clouds and water vapor, or natural climate-changing constituents?


Tuesday, 1 February 2011

To Holt for TEE: transnational energy education, or is it more of 'scare the kids, control the adults'?

The dark spectre of 'behaviour change' may be stalking the quiet streets of Holt today, as various climate-related activists from Norway, Sweden, and England run a 'teach the teacher' programme in this small English town:
"The teacher training event at Holt brings together the very best international energy education practice to ensure teachers are well equipped to engage their pupils in learning about climate change and energy efficiency.
Teachers will also learn more about how to connect young people with the broader community, business and university partners to develop skills and action. "

Does that last part mean 'pressuring their parents to toe the party line on climate'?  If so, let us pause for a virtual two minute silence for 'Philip and Tracy', symbolically slaughtered using explosives in the 10:10 movie for the crime of having parents who were insufficiently convinced by said party line. (see the movie here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSTLDel-G9k&feature=player_embedded ; see the strategy espoused via here: http://climatelessons.blogspot.com/2010/10/terrorise-children-control-adults.html )

Civil servant Jonathan Thompson, Environment Planning Team Leader from the Environment Agency, is reported as saying ‘We are proud to be supporting this event with it's focus on developing international understanding and sharing of knowledge and experiences. Climate change is an international issue we all need to address. Education is critical if we are going to act and adapt to climate change and make the significant changes in behaviour needed.’  (my emphasis added).

I hope we can find out more in due course as to what they are getting up to in Holt this week.  Perhaps they are genuinely concerned to help teachers teach wisely and well about climate.  Hope springs eternal.

This event has been flagged on Bishop Hill a couple of days ago, with a hat-tip to Dave W.  As is often the case, the Bishop's post has an interesting set of comments, not least on the culpability, vulnerability, and competence of local authorities such as the one supporting the Holt event.

Commenter 'Pharos' tracked down some relevant links:
http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/news/126979.aspx  and  http://www.answerproject.eu/
There may be many such events going on.  And why not, given the large funds available to support alarm about climate?  More background here: http://ec.europa.eu/clima/sites/campaign/index_en.htm

Many universities are in on this gravytrain, here is one outfit with the disarmingly honest acronym of SAUCE:
http://www.schools-at-university.eu/project/index.html :
"The European project “Schools at University for Climate & Energy (SAUCE)” offers a series of one-week on-campus education programmes for pupils ages 10-13 on the topics of energy efficient behaviour, renewable energies and climate change. The SAUCE programmes are held at all partner universities from 2009 until 2011."
(German, Dutch, Danish, and Latvian universities in this little earner, or should I say siphon for taxpayers money under the control of the EU)

Here is one constructed by a group based in the University of Sussex, tapping into UN funds:

Here is another, apparently a registered charity in England and Wales: http://www.se-ed.org.uk/index.html, with a contact address in London, c/o 'Global Action Plan'.  'Global Action Plan' seems to be into tapping UN cash: http://www.globalactionplan.org.uk/about-us .  Founded by green insider Trewin Restorick .  That in turn led me to DEFRA sites, and to a sinking feeling about just far into the political fabric the CO2 alarm virus has spread.  But that is another story.

Note added 21 Jan 2012Here is an example from the States of using the children to get to the parents, by a teacher called Visco who has, thank goodness, now retired: 'For Visco's class, that meant teaching his students that small changes could have a large impact on the planet. "I had lots of students who would come in and say, 'My parents hate you. I'm driving them nuts, making them recycle and turn heat down and change lightbulbs,'" he recalled.
In many cases, by teaching his students he was also teaching their parents, something that Yale's Leiserowitz has also found. "Do parents influence kids, or do kids influence parents? Evidence suggests that it works both ways."
"I definitely saw changes in my students, and I definitely saw parents that softened," said Visco


  1. Isn't it time these spurious science events started to get brought up at PTA meetings?

  2. The general idea of such interventions in education was explicitly encouraged by the previous government, and still is by the EU, and so it is not unreasonable to expect many schools and educational authorities to want to follow the guidance they may well have received. The argument from authority (e.g. the IPCC says so, DEFRA says so, almost all the MPs said so by voting for the climate bill, and so on). So what can a PTA do in the face of such an establishment? My feeling is that the best we can do is study the details of particular events and materials, and object to the most egregious elements. The general idea of such events is probably unstoppable for quite a while yet - given how widely and deeply fears about CO2 seem to have spread. But nonsenses, and manipulative techniques, such as those of 'An Inconvenient Truth' can still be pointed out. Indeed, a good question for any PTA is whether the letter and the spirit of the legal judgement on that video are being observed where the law applies (in England and Wales), and that may be relevant to these sorts of events if there are unreconstructed Goreists involved in them (useful link: http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/monckton/goreerrors.html)