19 March 2016. I recently tried without success to interest someone in reviewing schoolbooks on climate matters (see comment on Robert Christopher's discussion thread on Bishop Hill here). My basic argument was this: 'It seems to me that there will be many years of remedial, even pastoral, work to be done to help all those who are now in schools, as teachers or pupils, and those who have been through them over the last 20 years or so. The finding, or encouraging, of decent textbooks on climate would be surely be helpful for this.' It struck me that it would be handy to update links to children's books on climate change in case that would help anyone who is interested in doing some of this work. Here are a few:
In The Guardian: http:// www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2015/apr/20/which-books-deal-with-climate-change-for-younger-children
On the Good Reads site: http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/28424.Best_Children_s_Books_About_Climate_Change
Here's one by a CO2 Alarm victim: http://www.ghgonline.org/yourplanet.htm
From someone posting on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Childrens-Books-on-Climate-Change/lm/RQLTEXGRCU8XV
From another CO2 victim turned climate campaigner : http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/11/25/books-on-climate-change/
And here is a pathway to some textbooks that actually sound quite promising: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2015/12/textbooks_out_of_step_with_scientists_on_climate_change.html
And to some that don't: http://climatechangeeducation.org/science/books.html
02 June 2015. Books on science for children. Are there any good modern ones? Briggs suggests 'Good news is that the fundamentals of science have not changed much for the last 100 years, at least with respect to what kids should learn. That means books written before, say, the mid 1960s, still have content not polluted by ideology. '
2014. Part of the explanation for the remarkable spread of climate alarmism into schools may be due to the abundance of books taking the alarmist position as being beyond much doubt - an abundance perhaps also due in part to malevolent authors attracted by the idea of writing sensationalist material. I plan to compile lists of climate related books, or sections of books, on climate for children, and to supplement this with critical reviews of them whenever time or existing reviews are found.
(1) Hat-tip:'justmeint', who commented on a post here in June (29/6/11) and gave a link to a post by an Art Horn, an extract of which follows.
'I worked as an on air meteorologist for 25 years, mostly with NBC stations. Now I am self-employed. Recently I was presenting my program about how weather works to a middle school. During a break between groups I had a chance to look around the library where I was presenting my program. I thought it would be interesting and revealing to see what kind of books about energy and climate the library was providing to the students. It didn’t take long to find the answer.'
He goes on to conclude:
'The point is that this is another of an apparently endless series of books made for middle school students that condemns how we live and how we make energy. If this one school library is a microcosm of other school libraries around the country than these same messages are being pounded into the heads of our youth day after day, year after year with virtually no opinion from anyone other than environmentally driven eco-authors whose mission is to re-invent energy production with no idea of how to do it. By the time these students are old enough to question the assumptions and errors in these books it might be too late to reverse the direction the radical environmental movement has taken us.'
Here, thanks to another very helpful correspondent in an email today, is a start:
(2) Here is a list of climate books aimed at children:
(3) Here is another such list:
(4) The UK's Royal Meteorological Society does seem to have gone over to the dark, the alarmist side of the climate controversy, and the gushing and uncritical nature of these book reviews when climate alarmism is referred to is by itself evidence of that: http://www.metlink.org/weather-climate-resources-teenagers/book-reviews.html I'd be interested in publishing more objective views of these books here.
(5) Open Source books. The results of a search on a site for 'Open Education Resources' led to some 800 or more links, some of which are to online texts: http://www.oercommons.org/search?f.search=climate+change The search results can be stratified by specifying educational level, e.g. 'high school'
(6) Another list of books on climate being recommended for children. This time from a library in Wisconsin:
BOOKS AND/OR REVIEWS by Year of Publication
A partial review of '50 Simple Things' is included in the this article: 'In 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth, kids are told, “When your parents were kids, hardly anyone ever worried about saving the environment. . . . They developed some bad habits. They made as much garbage as they wanted; they wasted energy whenever they wanted; they used up the Earth’s treasures, just for fun.”
This treatment disparages parents; others suggest that parents are stupid. In a discussion of the ozone issue, children are told, “We don’t think adults would keep on making these [CFC] gases if they realized they were harming all life on Earth.”
Should the environment be a wedge between parents and children? And should children be taught that people carrying out productive activities are evil?'
#1995 United States
'A quick glance at the materials aimed at children and their educators reveals one very apparent trend: a call to activism. The bestseller 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do To Save the Earth, published by The EarthWorks Group, urges kids to write to their U.S. Senators, the President, and world leaders, or join an environmental group. Suggested groups include the Natural Resources Defense Council, famous for perpetuating hysteria over Alar-treated apples in the late 1980s, and Greenpeace, an organization that even its admirers say built its reputation on publicity stunts and playing “fast and loose” with scientific facts.
The textbook Your Health, published by Prentice-Hall, encourages children to “consider joining an environmental group.” Its suggestions for further contacts include Greenpeace, Zero Population Growth, Planned Parenthood, and Earth First! (a group that has solicited terminally ill people to undertake life-threatening eco-terrorist activities). And Kid Heroes of the Environment, another publication of The EarthWorks Group, praises children for conducting petition drives, organizing letter-writing campaigns to political leaders, and boycotting businesses.
The Alley Foundation, a “non-political, non-profit organization dedicated to the environmental education of our youth,” distributes a book called “Cry Out.” It tells the children, “Unless you take action NOW, the beautiful forests where you go hiking, the beaches where you swim in clean water, the clear morning when you take a breath of sweet-smelling air could all become things of the past.”
What’s so wrong about these calls to activism? Nothing, really, if children are taught solid facts about environmental science and if they understand the trade-offs involved in adopting alternative courses of action. Yet this hardly seems the case. Children are often taught by people lacking training in environmental subjects.
Consider that the United Nations Environment Programme markets its publication, “Environmental Education for Our Common Future,” to teachers “whatever subject they teach.” Or that school systems across the nation, often at the requirement of government mandates, are incorporating environmental education into traditional subjects such as mathematics, history, languages, and civics. Children are learning from teachers who can barely distinguish myth from fact in the environmental arena.'
#1995 USA. This article mentions reviewing nearly 100 school textbooks, and provides comments on some of them. 'A consistent pattern of one-sided presentations of environmental issues is shown by our review of nearly 100 sixth-through- tenth grade textbooks in the areas of science, health, geography, government, and history.' http://fee.org/freeman/detail/environmental-education-turning-kids-into-political-activists
#1996 United States 'Facts, Not Fear'
#1999 Canada 'Facts, Not Fear'
A very well constructed book aimed at helping parents and teachers deal with the narrowly-presented alarmist views on fashionable eco-topics, including climate change. The more technical chapters have been reviewed by subject matter experts listed in an appendix. Suggestions for things to discuss, and to do, with your children are given, along with well-presented counter-arguments. A major theme of the book is that while some school textbooks contain errors on eco-topics, their main problem is their failure to include information on studies which defuse the simple-minded alarmism so valued by zealots everywhere.
Chapter 1: http://oldfraser.lexi.net/publications/books/facts_not_fear/04_chapter1.html
Chapter 2: http://oldfraser.lexi.net/publications/books/facts_not_fear/05_chapter2.html
Chapter 3: http://oldfraser.lexi.net/publications/books/facts_not_fear/06_chapter3.html
#2006 United Nations 'Tore and the Town on Thin Ice'
'A new United Nations children’s book promotes fears of catastrophic manmade global warming – and is replete with exaggerations and inaccuracies, according to a U.S. Senate report.
The book, "Tore and the Town on Thin Ice,” is published by the United Nations Environment Programme and blames "rich countries” for creating a climate catastrophe.' A pdf of it is downloadable here: http://www.unep.org/PDF/TORE.pdf
There is also a scathing 2013 review of this book here: http://www.thefreepressonline.co.uk/news/1/378.htm
#2007 'How to Turn Your Parents Green', tangent books.
#2007 A Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming. From an Amazon.com review: "Amongst other errors, the graph in this book showing the link between global temperature and Co2, has the lines mislabelled. The correct graph (and you can find it using their own references in the back of the book) shows CO2 increases lagging temperature by some 600 years. As the lines in the graph in this book are wrongly labelled, it looks like temperature rises follow CO2 increases, and the text supports this point." (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Down-Earth-Guide-Global-Warming/dp/0439024943)
Tom Nelson quotes a few sentences from the book which his son brought home in 4th grade (USA):
As if helping bring the shoddy but slick 'An Inconvenient Truth' to the world was not bad enough, David produces book with an even more blatant con in it: the mislabelled chart. Chapter and verse on this here: http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/other/david_book.pdf
#2007 Macmillan Dictionary for Children, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. It is well-
First of all, the amount of heat escaping into space remains equal to the amount of heat arriving from the sun on average from year to year. The warming of air near the surface thanks to absorption of infra-red from the ground merely means that the average height at which the balancing radiative temperature of the earth is found is a little higher.than otherwise. Secondly, the glass keeps a greenhouse warm by reducing mixing with cooler air outside it. Greenhouse gases do no such thing in the atmosphere. If anything, they increase mixing by helping initiate, and in water's case sustain, convection cells which amongst other effects, increase mixing with the surrounding air.
#2008 United States. This book looks promising:
Deb & Seby's Real Deal on Global Warming
#2008 'Global Warming: The Threat of Earth's Changing Climate' by Laurence Pringle. Amazon review comment 'The purpose of this book is to scare children about global warming. On the back cover: "Global Warming Can Lead to Global Disaster" is not intended to do anything else. Author Pringle would have been equally accurate to write: "Global Cooling Can Lead to Global Disaster".
#2009 USA A short article in the WSJ comments on some eco-fiction for children:
'Contemporary children are so drenched with eco-propaganda that it's almost a waste of resources. Like acid rain, but more persistent and corrosive, it dribbles down on them all day long. They get it at school, where recycling now competes with tolerance as man's highest virtue. They get it in peppy "go green" messages online, on television and in magazines.
#2010 United States
This absurd remark in the sample page is not encouraging:
'Yet climate change is a phenomenon with which we humans have little experience, at least in historic times,'
I would reword that to 'climate change is a phenomenon with which we humans have a great deal of experience throughout our recorded history. Our geologists and others have found evidence of climate change throughout the history of the atmosphere itself.'
#2011 United States
Farm Bureau upset that science kit for students contains left-wing book with misinformation about modern farming
#2011 Australia 'The Earth In Peril' by Lesley MacFadzean.
relentless propaganda without a shred of evidence to support it'. It was issued to his 7 year old grandson from a school library in 2014.
See blog comment #16 at this post on Jo Nova: http://joannenova.com.au/2015/07/high-pressure-propaganda-greens-using-children-to-write-activist-letters-in-school/
#2011 United States Tom Nelson (http://tomnelson.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/few-notes-from-global-warming-hoax-book.html ) has spotted some troubling text:
A few notes from a global warming hoax book at our local elementary school library
It was a recommended book at his school library.
Page 17: It says "CO2 and Temperature. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. Milk and cookies. Macaroni and cheese. You get the picture."
Page 19: "If the polar ice caps could speak, they'd sound just like the Wicked Witch of the West".
Page 37: "In the year 2000, there were more natural disasters than in any other single year up to that time..."
Page 47: "We must all make sure there is never a place called Global Warming National Park".
Page 55: "...scientists are predicting that [polar bears] will be extinct within 100 years".
Page 99: "Become a Global Warming Activist"
#2011 UNEP: a selection of downloadable pamphlets for children:
'Ting and the Possible Futures (French)
#2011 'The Magic School Bus'
The Magic School Bus educational set and its distribution company were first brought to my attention by E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., Founder and National Spokesman of the Cornwall Alliance. His assessment of the Magic School Bus Climate Challenge book/video was that it was a combination of an unwarranted guilt trip and unsubstantiated fear mongering.'
Also here: http://digitaljournal.com/blog/12542
#2011 United States Books reviewed by Art Horn:
“Are we running out of energy?” by Christiane Dorion and published by Arcturus books.
“A Green World?” by Nicola Baird published by Franklin Watts, a division of Grolier publishing
“Natural Disasters” by Claire Watts and Trevor Day published by DK publishing
“Water For Life” by Valerie Bodden published by Creative Education.
None of them deserve a place in schools. See: http://justmeint.wordpress.com/2011/06/29/are-we-polluting-our-childrens-minds/
#2012 United States The Magic School Bus is still running along: http://www.purdueexponent.org/features/article_1dacf449-82e6-5c63-967e-ae572c8af66f.html
'Ms. Frizzle and her class took the audience in the Stewart Center’s Loeb Playhouse on a whirlwind educational field trip to explore the mysteries of global warming Sunday afternoon.
The show featured an all new adventure for “the Friz” and her class. After they discovered the textbook they had used to plan their play on global climate was outdated, the class boarded the Magic School Bus. They journeyed to the North Pole and the Equator – and even shrunk down to microscopic size in order to understand the cause and effect of global warming.
#2012 United States Here's an interesting theory: 'So maybe kids aren't really disconnected from nature as much as they really just want to read better books featuring the natural environment that aren't constantly trying to teach them a lesson about recycling or climate change.'
#2012 Australia 'Global Explorations'
Andrew Bolt reveals yet another shocking example of deeply offensive and highly inappropriate political propaganda masquerading as "science" in a New South Wales geography text for Year 8. The full text is reproduced here as I think it is important that is is made as widely available as possible.
How do you feel knowing that your children are being indoctrinated in this manner when they go to school?
#2012 Seen in an Abu Dhabi airport bookshop.
The cover alone condemns the book as junk.
#2012 'Our House is Round: A Kid’s Book About Why Protecting Our Earth Matters' by Yolanda Kondonassis and illustrated by Joan Brush
The author is not a biologist, a geologist, a meteorologist, or any other kind of scientist. She is a Grammy-nominated classical harpist. A harpist!
“Our Earth has gotten messy. What should we do?” she asks her young reader. What does she mean by “messy”? Her answer is that “cars, trucks, and factories make pollution, a kind of dirty gas or liquid that goes out into the air and into our rivers, lakes, and oceans.” This book is written for children age five to nine!
Imagine now what it must be like to be that age and be told that the air is polluted and the water is as well. This verges on child abuse.
“Pollution goes up into the sky and forms a blanket of gas that holds heat within Earth’s atmosphere. That makes our whole Earth warmer and leads to unclean air for breathing, melting polar ice caps, rising sea levels, and extreme weather patterns. Scientists call this warming of our Earth’s temperature CLIMATE CHANGE.”
It is a LIE. The Earth has been cooling for fifteen years.
Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It is a gas as vital to all life on Earth as oxygen is to the life of living creatures. Without it, not a single blade of grass or tree or the vegetation we call “crops” would not grow. Livestock and wildlife depend on that vegetation. If you are age five to nine, you likely are unaware of this.
This book and all the others that incorporate these lies are a form of psychological terror.
The same week I received “Our House is Round”, I also received “The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea” and “Earth-Friendly Buildings, Bridges, and More.” You could stack all the environmentally-themed children’s books I’ve seen and it would reach up several stories.
They are a corruption of geophysical and biological science. They have nothing to do with “saving the planet” and everything to do with distorting children’s understanding of the real world.
It does not matter that the Ms. Kondonassis thinks she is serving humanity. The great lie of communism is that it will create a collectivist utopia. In reality it has always depended on terror to maintain itself and it has failed wherever it has been tried. Environmentalism is its latest permutation.'
#2012 EU. A list of booklets aimed at children by the EU (!): http://europa.eu/teachers-corner/0_9/index_en.htm
#2012 UK 'How the World Works', a children's book published in 2010. Written by an ex-WWF employee so one would expect malice, scaremongering, loaded perspectives, and diatribes against humanity. It would seem they are all there.
A reviewer at Australian Climate Madness did not care for it at all:
'And as you can see from the images, it's all dressed up in cheerful, kid-friendly artwork, with plenty of pull tabs and pop-ups so the message is cleverly concealed. Apart from the global warming propaganda, almost every page admonishes the reader and humanity in general for the evil it has done to the planet.
Because it's a kids book, and the message must be straightforward, there's no room for subtlety or shades of grey - it's a blunt assessment that humanity is damaging the planet and we must change our ways, or else.
Gone are the days when children could grow up enjoying the wonders of the planet and the universe for their own sakes without being badgered or berated. Now even pop-up books designed for the very youngest in our society are packed with enviro-propaganda to make them feel guilty about the way in which humanity (and by inference the young readers of the book) have defiled Gaia. Tragic.'
#2013 Guiness Book of World Records 'Jiminy Cricket' on Bishop Hill has spotted a blatant piece of propagandising buried within this book, a book popular with youngsters. It contains a section on climate change which mentions no 'records' at all and is merely a piece of special pleading. It includes the hockey-stick plot and should be condemned for that alone. Commenter Brent Hargreaves notes
'Jiminy, they're infiltrating kids' comics as well as the Guinness Book. At Christmas I was saddened to find green propaganda even in my nephew's 2013 Dandy Annual.'
#2013 Germany. State-supported extremism aimed at 14 year-olds. Hat-tip No Tricks Zone
German Ministry for Education and Research, headed by
The book is targeted at children 14 years old and up'
Comment by P. Gosselin 'It probably would be funny were it not to be read and believed by Germany’s children. It’s a meisterwerk of propaganda, aimed at shaping the the minds of children.
This is not a cynical joke written solely by some fringe scientists – rather it was written in cooperation with the German federal government. The book is totally absent of any balance.'
#2013 UK 'Smart Science' (h/t David Smith)
#2014 UK School Textbook (2014 is year of receipt here). A correspondent, David Smith, has sent in this photocopy from a
#2014 The Magic School Bus is still being used, despite being largely fantastical and pernicious nonsense (see 2011 entries for it above). But here is some good news about it: it has been objected to by a parent.
'“My biggest problem is books like this are a caricature of reality and schools treat them as fact,” the mother, who requested anonymity, told EAGnews.