' “Things are, in fact, more complicated than we thought.” If you’re a climate scientist, remember this well. It is your “get-out” clause.'

Blog comment by 'Anything is possible': http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/10/02/advances-in-understanding-of-the-greenland-ice-sheets-meltwater-channels/


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Parents check on your children, Governments check on your schools – brainwashing the young with climate scares needs to be resisted before even more harm is done to them.

CLIMATE CONTROL: Brainwashing in Schools is the title of a report published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF).  

It was a huge privilege for me to work on this report with Andrew Montford, whose writings on climate matters I have long admired.  The GWPF in general, and Benny Peiser in particular, proved to be good to work with as well, as they provided critical reviews of our drafts over the past few months and generally encouraged our efforts.  I think of my blog here as mostly howling at the Moon, with some potentially worthwhile archiving of relevant information in the various reference pages I keep here.  But Andrew and Benny want a lot more than that.  Howling is not nearly good enough for them.  They want direct engagement with the mostly hostile or slumbering establishments of government, of scientific institutions, of all levels of education, of the mass media and political classes, and with the general public as well.  Without their drive, this report would not have appeared.  It was their idea, and I was pleased to help pursue it and help get it done.  I hope it will be widely read, and reacted to, and that much good may come of it.


Here is the text of the press release issued by the GWPF:

'London, 8 April: A new report published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation is calling for Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, to institute an official inquiry into the way environmentalism and in particular climate change are being taught in schools.
In the report, authors Andrew Montford and John Shade describe how environmentalism has come to permeate school curricula across the UK, featuring in an astonishing variety of subjects, from geography to religious education to modern languages. Passing examinations will now usually involve the ability to recite green mantras rather than understanding the subtle questions of science and economics involved.
The authors review in detail the climate change teaching materials currently used in British schools, with disturbing results. There is ample evidence of unscientific statements, manipulated graphs, and activist materials used in class and even found in textbooks.
The report also describes how activist teachers try to make children become the footsoldiers of the green movement, encouraging them to harass their schoolmates and pester their parents to bring about “behaviour change”.
The use of fear of climate change to alter children’s behaviour is also highlighted. This is undoubtedly having harmful consequences on children’s development and surveys indicate that fear of the future is widespread. The report quotes one child as saying:
“I worry about [global warming] because I don’t want to die.”
Author Andrew Montford says: “The brainwashing of our children for political ends is shameful. Those responsible for education in the UK need to take action and take it quickly” '

This blog is about to go through the 10,000 page visits a month mark.  Not much compared to the big-hitters, but a progress nevertheless that I am pleased with.  But of course it matters little unless further actions arise from it.  If you, gentle reader, find this report worthwhile and important, please consider passing it on to every school in your area, to every teacher you may know, to parent-teacher groups, to educational authorities, and so on.  The effective life of such a pamphlet is probably quite short, a few weeks or months at best perhaps, so the more use you can make of it, the better.  You can download the free pdf here.  You might get printed copies from the GWPF (I don’t yet know what the price of them would be).


Post Script
James Delingpole has just written about the report here: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/04/08/Schoolchildren-terrorized-and-brainwashed-by-green-propaganda-says-damning-survey
Andrew had written about it earlier, and has attracted many favourable and informative comments: http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2014/4/8/climate-control.html

Added 13 April 2014
The journalist Christopher Book has referred to our report in a hard-hitting article today in the Sunday Telegraph.  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/10761597/No-A-level-for-climate-change-denier.html (the online version is accompanied with a picture with this caption: 'Schoolchildren are taught a one-sided Greenpeace-type view of the global warming scare'.  Unfortunately the photograph, a different one, in the print edition has this caption: 'Propaganda: the education system has been hijacked by global-warming believers'.  That is very seriously misleading.  For example, I think there is reasonably convincing evidence of some global warming in the 20thC, and should therefore be described as a 'global warming believer'.)
He includes reference to the Education Secretary's earlier response to the report, covered here: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/04/08/Teachers-Acting-Illegally-Over-Climate-Change

Added 27 May 2014
A newly published study into the responses of young people in China to an online survey (response rate c. 19%), points to some impact of a government programme to modify indoctrination in Chinese schools (nowhere does the study refer to previous levels of indoctrination efforts) which was introduced in a staggered way thereby encouraging the authors in their pursuit of evidence of an effect.  In a nutshell, they found that the indoctrination had an identifiable effect in most areas, but not on one of the stated government objectives concerning the environment.  See: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/05/the-power-and-limits-of-indoctrination.php  (hat-tip Instapundit).  The report is available here: http://www.nber.org/papers/w20112  The authors conclude that 'Our ļ¬ndings
suggest that alongside other mechanisms of social and political control, political elites, indeed, can
shape students’ attitudes by choosing the content of the education system.'

8 comments:

  1. May I be the first to congratulate you on this very important booklet. I am sure a lot of hard work and research went into writing it. Thanks to you and Andrew Montford and the GWPF we now have a record of what has been happening in our education system. My fear is that despite this, it will continue, with the tacit approval of those in charge of our schools. Perhaps this booklet will start a much needed debate and provide the evidence to bring about change.

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    1. Thanks Derek, I hope so too. One of the things I would like to see happening is groups of parents forming clubs to study the issues and help protect their own children from propaganda in their schools.

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  2. Charlie Furniss9 April 2014 13:05

    Hi John

    This is a great piece on work, not only well thought-out but also important. I have five year old twins who will be facing this kind of stuff sooner or later.

    I had a couple of thoughts:

    1) Coverage of this story and skeptical views more generally are quite limited. I wonder whether a discussion on Mumsnet might help? Or at least getting in touch with the editors? I'm not a member and am not quite sure how it works, but it is certainly a powerful media outlet.

    2) Have you or anyone else thought about developing some kind of guidance for schools/teachers to help them present a more balanced view in future? From my perspective, I would like to talk to the school about how they cover these matters. Being able to have some well presented material to show them would not only help in that discussion, but it would also provide (already overworked) teachers with the resources they need to provide more informed, fact-based lessons to the kids.

    Keep up the good work

    Charlie

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    1. Many thanks for your comment and kind words. I am away from desk at the moment but when I get back I'll respond to your points.

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    2. Charlie,
      I'll look into the Mumsnet site next week - thanks for the tip.
      Re your second point, I have often though about doing that, but I have not found the time to do much so far. There are suggestions for 'Ten Minute Trainers' here and there on this blog, and a few relevant posts, for example these:
      http://climatelessons.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/calming-climate-curriculum.html

      http://climatelessons.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/wiping-floor-with-albert-gore-sensible.html

      http://climatelessons.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/climate-education-in-high-schools-what.html

      I have started a Page on books, but it is not at all comprehensive, and is there msotly to draw attention to bad ones: http://climatelessons.blogspot.co.uk/p/climate-books-aimed-at-children-or.html .

      (2) The authors of ‘Facts, Not Fear’ reviewed dozens of ‘environmental books for children’ (see their Appendix B for a list of titles and publishers). They provide a much shorter list of recommended books ‘for a well-stocked environmental library’ (Appendix C). They suggest they are suitable for a junior high school or high school, but they seem far too advanced for that. They were mostly published in the 1990s – none being later than 1997.
      http://climatelessons.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/facts-not-fear-helping-parents-drive.html

      Finally, here is one very recent, and one longer-standing initiative to produce good materials for children: http://climate4kids.blogspot.com.au/
      http://www.globalwarmingclassroom.info/news.htm

      As I said, I'd like to do more in this area, but I am not yet ready to devote the time required.

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  3. Wow thanks for continuing the political activist campaign against science.
    Are you so naive as to think GWPF is anything other than a political organisation whose sole purpose is to undermine scientific advice of politics?

    Environmental issues are not party political and they have nothing to do with ideology.
    The science is clear and it is the job of all political parties to implement solutions to carbon emission reduction that fit in with their ideology.

    What is wrong is for political organisations like GWPF trying to impose an economic and political ideology on schools that prevents them from teaching about the care of the environment around us.

    There is a conflict between economic activity and protecting the environment. The issue is that we have a finite planet and Lawsons economics ignores that. Which puts us all in peril.
    It's time for economists and political activists to grow up.

    I live in Great Britain and I do not like the way GWPF and the Daily Mail is turning this nation into a American ideological satelite. With all the misinformation and extremist campaigning (lies) that entails.

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    1. Hi Anonymous, Thanks for your comments. I hope to get back with some reactions to them, but it won't be for a couple of days at least.

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    2. Your perspective is almost a mirror image of mine! I think the 'political activist campaign against science' of which you write is exemplified by eco-campaigners mis-using the subject and giving it a bad name. As for the GWPF, I think it has a clear purpose in increasing scientific advice in politics. I think environmental matters are very much a political and a party political thing. I see nothing in the works or intentions of the GWPF that even hints at them wanting to impose an ideology on schools or prevent teaching about care of the environment. As for your 'conflict between economic activity and protecting the environment', I note that it is in the countries with the greatest economic activity that the cleanest air, the cleanest water, the safest food, and the most protected countryside can be found. Re the finite planet bit, human ingenuity has in the past and can in the future find no end of ways to make use of resources, and we would be in peril if that were to be suppressed.
      Your final two sentences are harder to interpret. The dominant ideology in the States has been drifting to the left for some time, with socialist notions increasingly promoted by the Democratic Party, the mass media, and much of academia. I suspect the GWPF and the Daily Mail are not likely to want to see that happening here. And, I must say, I regard neither of them as sources of 'misinformation'.

      We do not seem to have much common ground.

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