Unfortunately, some misuse science. Some of their intentions, are far from benevolent. They see science as a mechanism for political power and control. There is great danger from those who would use science for political control over us.

How do they do this? They instill, and then continuously magnify, fear. Fear is the most effective instrument of totalitarian control.

Chet Richards, physicist,


Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Who will help our schools push back on the Great CO2 Scare?

The offer to supply free to schools 300 copies of Ian Plimer's new book, 'How to get expelled from school', has been reiterated on Jo Nova's site.
Jo writes:
 'The Education Department and the CSIRO push their propaganda and scare our children with apocalyptic, unscientific scenarios.  They are even trying to target pre-schoolers. The ABC has accepted grants from the Climate Change Foundation to work the Climate Change message into ‘DirtGirl’, an ABC4Kids TV. Then there are demonstrations of bias like this from a school in Sydney.
They’re trying to train the next generation to “think” their way. We’d be mad to let them get away with it.
Thanks to the Gallileo Movement and donors, 300 FREE copies of Professor Ian Pilmer’s new book ‘How to get expelled from school’, are available to schools in Australia' 

They require an official order from the schools, and this may be a problem.  If the schools are required to follow the government line on climate scaremongering, then obtaining such a book through official channels is not going to appeal to any head in search of a quiet life, nor is the book likely to be deployed in his or her classrooms.  I think they might be more successful in giving the books to teachers, and others in the education system, in their personal capacities.  It may be that the overthrow of the scaremongers will begin in staffrooms rather than classrooms.

But the idea is a good one.  Some schools, some heads, may be both willing and able to take a more independent view, at least for some classes who have either gone past relevant exams requiring conformance to the climate neurosis, or who have no intention of taking them.   I think as well as books, kits could be provided for physics classes to do their own greenhouse experiments and learn for themselves that the term is a misnomer - thereby undermining one of the emotive catchphrases of the scaremongers (exploiting the widespread experience of hot and unpleasant conditions in real greenhouses). Experiments showing the relatively large energies involved in the phase transitions of water would also be relevant as part of studies into the immense importance of the water cycle in the climate system.  What else?  New books, pamphlets, posters, DVD, and computer games and exercises - all the sorts of kit, in other words, deployed thanks to state funding by those who wish to scare the young into obedience, can be used by those who wish to liberate the young from such oppression and encourage them to think clearly for themselves.  There is great scope for generating enthusiasm, from the grand cosmic scope of the theories of Svensmark and Shaviv, to the great convective systems of the tropics, and the evaporation of a raindrop.  Even CO2 will deserve a mention as a minor player in climate but a major one for plants and indeed ourselves.  No need to scare 'em at all.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

While climate alarmists wallow in the mud of their ugly subculture, a real climate scientist speaks out in London - Prof Lindzen, undermining crass climate curricula in schools the world over.

Stated briefly, I will simply try to clarify what the debate over climate change is really about. It most certainly is not about whether climate is changing: it always is. 

It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is. It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming: it should. 

The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes. 

The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. 

The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such. 

They are sometimes overtly dishonest.

Professor Richard Lindzen introducing a lecture (pdf) he gave in Westminster on 22nd February, 2012, in response to an invitation from the Campaign to Repeal the Climate Act.  Video via Climate Realists.

Josh was there and captured insights and visual reminders in his gifted way:

Lindzen even managed to penetrate the smug assurance of someone at that home of sanctimonious superficial climate alarmism, the Independent:

Is catastrophic global warming, like the Millennium Bug, a mistake?

The educational implications of this are clear.  Here is perhaps the most distinguished scientifc meteorologist of our age.  His message is not the one our schools have been told to put out.

He is a moral and intellectual giant compared to the likes of Al Gore whose shoddy DVD was issued by the last government to all schools in England and Wales, or the likes of Peter Gleick, a vainglorious alarmist now being hoist by his own petard, or, another alarmist en route to a personal fortune, Dave Miliband, a leading member of that government whose Climate Change Act brings such shame and loss to British society.

Lindzen's core message is not new.  This is not a sudden revelation.  Leading climate scientists were saying it loud and clear to politicians 20 years ago, as the following statement, signed by Lindzen and many others, makes clear:

'February 27, 1992
WASHINGTON, D.C. - As independent scientists, researching atmospheric and climate problems, we are concerned by the agenda for UNCED, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, being developed by environmental activist groups and certain political leaders. This so-called Earth Summit is scheduled to convene in Brazil in June 1992 and aims to impose a system of global environmental regulations, including onerous taxes on energy fuels, on the population of the United States and other industrialized nations.
Such policy initiatives derive from highly uncertain scientific theories. They are based on the unsupported assumption that catastrophic global warming follows from the burning of fossil fuels and requires immediate action. We do not agree.
A survey of U.S. atmospheric scientists, conducted in the summer of 1991, confirms that there is no consensus about the cause of the slight warming observed during the past century. A recently published research paper even suggests that sunspot variability, rather than a rise in greenhouse gases, is responsible for the global temperature increases and decreases recorded since about 1880.
Furthermore, the majority of scientific participants in the survey agreed that the theoretical climate models used to predict a future warming cannot be relied upon and are not validated by the existing climate record. Yet all predictions are based on such theoretical models.
Finally, agriculturalists generally agree that any increase in carbon dioxide levels from fossil fuel burning has beneficial effects on most crops and on world food supply.
We are disturbed that activists, anxious to stop energy and economic growth, are pushing ahead with drastic policies without taking notice of recent changes in the underlying science. We fear that the rush to impose global regulations will have catastrophic impacts on the world economy, on jobs, standards of living, and health care, with the most severe consequences falling upon developing countries and the poor.'

When it comes to cleaning the alarmist guff out of school curricula, one excuse that neither the politicians nor their tame educationalists who put those curricula together and forced them on to schools, will not have is 'we didn't know any better'.  They will also not have the excuse of 'only now has recent scientific knowledge suggested less cause for alarm'.  No, the real knowledge has never provided sufficient cause for alarm.  Never.  The alarm was and is based on speculation - hollow, flaky, insubstantial and promoted vigorously by grossly irresponsible people for a generation.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

The Great CO2 Scare - has it run out of steam, will the scaremongering soon be driven out of our schools?

Generally, education and climate change is a gloomy overlap, given the apparent dominance of ruthless scaremongering about CO2 in curricula, and the apparent abundance of zealots all too keen to recruit the young for their peculiar cause.  A recruitment process that seems to involve scaring them about their future, then rubbishing their heritage of discovery and invention, and finally crippling their spirit of adventure, displacing it with obedience to elites who will tell them what they are permitted to do: eating, working, inventing, travelling, thinking, and even procreating.  The old socialist dream, in other words, of Stalin and Hitler and Mao and Pol Pot, and many other more minor dictators who besmirched the 20th century with their hideous behaviour.

But here are some signs of revolt, or of setbacks for alarmists, or at least of dawning realisation that all is not well with this scheme, or with its so-called scientific 'underpinnings'.  In no particular order:

(1) WIthin a month of deciding to support warped science-teaching in schools about climate, the NCSE have 'released' their prize catch of a distinguished climate alarmist from their board of directors, one Peter Gleick, a man driven to malevolent distraction by his vivid fears of armageddon.

(2) Judith Curry, a climate scientist who is not afraid of debate, and who clearly values the integrity and repuation of science in general and her subject in particular, has just started a new thread about teaching climate in schools on her site, and within 24 hours or so it had attracted several hundred comments.

(3) The Australian Climate Madness site has in the last couple of days posted several pieces on climate materials aimed at children, and it is not at all pleased with them - here and here and here.  Looks like that site may continue to pursue this topic.

(4) Andrew Bolt, and several other commentators in the mass media in Australia, have been impugned in a school geography textbook.  He doesn't like that much, and I daresay the others won't either.  Hopefully they will, as Bolt has done, make their displeasure widely known.

(5) Andrew Montford is the author of an outstanding book about an interface between climate science and politics, the Hockey Stick Illusion, and a man very concerned and knowledgeable about the activities and effects of key players in the headlong rush underway to make CO2 and 'climate' a dominant factor in policy making.    He has just given a talk at one of the UK Met Office sites.  This organisation was chosen as a next career choice by a man who played a large part in transforming the World Wildlife Fund into a lobbying body obsessed, even demented by 'climate change'.  In some ways, so is the Met Office - to its great demerit since its level of competence in climate forecasting is laughable, yet it has played an important role in making climate alarm respectable, not least through the influence of its former director John Houghton, who saw climate change and man's impact on it in a religous light.   Anyway, the meeting took place, and the first reports of it sound favourable.

(6) The Independent newspaper, like some other leftwing mass media in the UK, notably the Guardian and the BBC, has been prominent in campaigning and preaching about the dreadful effect of man-induced CO2 releases into the atmosphere.  Their evironmental reporters have been like missionaries seized with fervour as they spread the good words about how salvation will come from reducing something called our 'carbon footprint'.  Aided and abetted by rising taxes, reduced standards of living, and greater power to their preferredinstrument of all progress - the government.  Well, and this is admittedly small beer, yesterday on their website a writer was allowed to publish a sympathetic report about a public lecture on climate by Richard Lindzen, another man who clearly loves science and the pursuit of truth.  The penny seemed to have dropped for this writer that maybe, just maybe, the Great Co2 Scare has been overblown.

(7) The Royal Society's craven dance macabre with government over climate alarmism has been lucidly captured by the above-mentioned Andrew Montford in a short pamphlet which tells how recent leadership there has thrown away the splendid and  precious spirit of objectivity and indepence captured so vividly in their original motto, Nullius in Verba (pdf).  A previous mini-revolt by a few dozen fellows over the society's stance on climate may well be replicated a fortiori if this fine pamphlet helps foment some more unrest.  This matters a lot for schools, since educational materials and their pushers on the climate front have been able to quote the society as an authoritative source in an area of science education that is awfully dependent on reference to authority since actual observations of the climate system show nothing at all unusual going on in what we see or experience.

(8) Another big source of authority for scaring the wits out of children, the IPCC has been exposed as a shoddy organisation by Donna Laframboise, and the next reports due from it are already being attacked in their draft form by knowledgeable commentators - see here or here.

(9) In fact, the speed with which alarmist hyperbole is being jumped upon and exposed in the blogosphere is in general very encouraging, with groups such as the GWPF and SPPI and NIPCC and CO2Science doing sterling service with high quality analyses aimed at policy makers.  See here, for example, for an evisceration of the BBC's record (pdf) on climate alarmism, and here.  Or visit WUWT for regular features challenging the establishment view - a website by the way which recently went past over 100 milllion visits, by itself a good sign.

(10) New books are coming out that could well be used, or inspire, teachers and pupils to take a more robust line when it comes to dealing with those who would use their pupils as pawns in political schemes.  One in particular, Don't Sell Your Coat, is very accessible, being bright, brief, and extremely well-written. It also comes from an an author on the left of the political spectrum, the end at which it would seem that most teachers find themselves to be.

(11) And here's something I've been listening to with great admiration while finishing off this post: Matt Ridley talking to a 'tipping-point' conference recently.  Since 'tipping-point' is one of the catch-phrases used to scare the gullible, it is likely that his audience was mostly of true believers in the climate faith, the apocalyptic one  (h/t Bishop Hill) .  Teachers, I know you are constrained by state-imposed curricula, but could you at least share this in your staffrooms?

(12) Perhaps we are going to see an end to junk like this video clip below, introduced by one Ben Santer, famous for editing draft IPCC reports to suit his, rather than other scientists' more rational, views, and for being tempted  to 'beat the crap' out of another scientist who had the temerity to be wiser and more knowledgeable than him.  The only possibly encouraging thiing about this video, apart from its dire quality, is that comments on it have been switched off at YouTube, possibly because they were too angry:

And the snows of Kilimanjaro?  Well, they got that wrong too - they are not steadily disappearing.  And airborne CO2 emits just as much as it absorbs of infra-red - neither it nor methane is a 'trap' keeping that radiation from escaping to space.  Once high enough up, they will actually help that escape of energy to take place.

The false image of the earth behaving like a glass house will be laughed at one day in classrooms, as will the idea of CO2 as a pollutant, while the youngsters learn a little of this crazy era of CO2-driven political madness say, c. 1980 to 2020, in which gullible politicians were led to believe they could control the very weather by raising taxes, and when little children were coached as activists to encourage such beliefs.  That end date may be on the optimistic side, but I think it is not out of the question.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Climate corruption causes caustic commentary in a school textbook displaying moral turpitude, rotten attitude, and downright 'stupitude'.

Andrew Bolt describes a school geography textbook as ‘sludge’.  For some reason, best known to the authors, and perhaps not unconnected with the widespread CO2 Alarm virus that is now endemic in left-wing circles in particular, they chose to denigrate him and some other commentators in a somewhat unimpressive coverage of climate politics in their book.  I think their approach, while it would not be unexpected in any conversation with agitated climate alarm believers, is wholly out of place in a school textbook.  It is due, I suspect, to a corruption of climate science that has been widely propagated by such as the IPCC.  I divide my concerns into three headings below, and follow that with some extracts from the offending passages in the book as provided by Australian Climate Madness.

Moral turpitude.  The loaded use of words like ‘denial’ and ‘denying’ is a hideous abuse not only of good people who happen to have views contrary to the establishment’s, but also and more importantly to the memory and the message of the Holocaust itself.  But further, to take the good intentions of such as the IPCC at face value is to make a profound error.  Good intentions seized upon with enthusiasm and faith in the wisdom of ideologically-driven elites in the 20th century led to horrendous tragedies.  In the climate area, the most dramatic of late has been in the imposition of bio-fuels  – not just adding to energy costs in the rich world, but bringing further, totally avoidable, misery and starvation to the poor one.  The longer-term harm will flow from the accretion of power and wealth by new ‘elites’ using CO2 fear-driven legislation and taxes, while the associated suppressed development, known as ‘sustainable development’, will impoverish most people in both rich and poor countries.

Rotten attitude. Aggressive, politically-loaded one-sided misrepresentation of those who are speaking out against the corruption of both science and politics does not reflect what I imagine most parents would want to see in a teacher, or in a textbook.  No pupil would realise, from this material, that very distingusihed, very experience scientists have taken issue with climate alarmism, as have many very well-informed, logical, coherent, and civil commentators.  The scarcity of admirable role models on the climate alarmist side is quite stark, and is not alluded to.  You can hardly look into any area of climate alarmism without finding matters of great concern, often revealing low levels of integrity in science, in politics, or in journalism.  Now a teacher of science or of geography might reasonably wish to protect his pupils from this rather confusing turmoil in order to teach them something of his or her subject matter.  Instead, in this textbook, we see propaganda – a one-sided denigration by innuendo of good citizens, freely and reasonably deploying their own minds and finding serious grounds for opposing the headlong rush to legislate and spread fear, ostensibly in the cause of CO2 reduction.
Downright 'stupitude':  The poor quality and global coverage of so much climate data is such that to describe the evidence for global warming as ‘overwhelming’ is not a very intelligent thing to say, especially when the context implies that by ‘global warming’ is meant something quite dramatic and scary.  There is indeed some evidence, most notably through estimates of that rather hard to define concept of global mean temperature.  This is not actually an observed temperature.  Many real observations of temperature show no particularly sustained trend in the 20th century for example, some show cooling, some show periods of warming and cooling, and some show warming.  Large areas of the earth’s surface have no surface weather stations in their vicinity.  The satellite data available for the past 30 years or so, show no clear warming signals.  Even the widely accepted global mean temperatures only show a modest overall rise in the 20th century, and furthermore show no evidence of a rise in the 21st.  The case against acute, or even any strong alarm about rising CO2 levels is actually a very strong one, and so far it has been well-supported by Mother Nature herself.  So many alarmist predictions capable of being put to the test by contemporary data have failed that test that it is rather stupid to pretend that the arguments are over, and we face disaster if the Jeremiahs are ignored.  The scientists who are promote acute alarm about rising levels of CO2 are actually very few – perhaps a few dozen or so in my estimation, with their impact amplified by the leadership of scientific institutions and others.  The numbers who promote appeals for a more calm, considered discussion of the science are far greater, probably in the hundreds or even thousands if some petitions are to be taken at face value.  Finally, picking on such as Andrew Bolt, a highly articulate, well-informed man with a very sharp wit (not to mention newspaper columns a radio slot, a tv show, and a great many enthusiastic followers) is both inappropriate for a school textbook, and a little, shall we say, ill-advised.  I suspect he knows far more about the climate debate that the authors of this sorry book.

Some extracts from the book, with comments.

 Extract 1: 'Despite overwhelming scientific evidence that the planet is warming, there are still people who deny that is a result of human activity. The most vocal of these deniers are conservative political think tanks and the right-wing radio 'shock jocks'.'
 This is a straw man, there to allow the authors to vent theirs spleen at what they no doubt sees as 'the enemy'.  After a brief CYA sentence including 'there is a range of views', they develop the above theme.  Yet what is the reality?
The planet has not been warming for the past 15 years or so by the usual measure of estimated global mean temperatures.  When it was warming in the late 20th century. it was at a similar rate and magnitude to the warming of the early 20th century - a rise not attributed by anyone to CO2.  Furthermore, many distinguished scientists and other sceptics are perfectly willing to entertain the possibility of a human contribution to warming via CO2.  They do not dispute that, they merely observe that the expected and the observed effect are both rather small, and not of much, if any, concern.  For a recent illustration of such an approach, I would direct my readers to item 1 and item 2 in the Wall Street Journal.

Extract 2 Shaping the nature of the public debate about the issue is an important focus for those groups opposed to any program designed to reduce CO2 emissions.  In February 2007, The Guardian (UK) reported that a conservative American think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, was offering scientists and economists US$10,000 each to ‘undermine a major climate change report’ from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’

$10,000 dollars will sound like a life-changing amount to a schoolchild, and being paid to ‘undermine’ something does sound very dubious indeed.  Yet let us look at some facts:
1.     The AEI request was for ‘essays that "thoughtfully explore the limitations of climate model outputs’.  The sender of the request noted ‘Right now, the whole debate is polarised," he said. "One group says that anyone with any doubts whatsoever are deniers and the other group is saying that anyone who wants to take action is alarmist. We don't think that approach has a lot of utility for intelligent policy.’  Doesn’t sound too sinister to me.
2.     $10,000 dollars does not actually buy you a lot of specialist consultancy.  Maybe 1 or 2 days of a leading expert’s time, maybe 10 to 20 days of a relative newcomer’s. A decent amount of money to be sure, and I’d guess it is a sum not out of line with what even The Guardian newspaper will pay for a piece by a distinguished commentator.  I suspect they might well pay $10,000 for a few thousand words by a specialist commissioned to write for them.  [see footnote (1)]

That Guardian article by the way, came complete with this picture of a polar bear.  Such bears might well become symbols of the shallow opportunism of some climate alarmists since many bear populations have been growing despite being held up to us, and to children in particular, as already being harmed by the awful warming underway.

Extract 3. ‘Many large fossil fuel-based industries have also tried to discredit the work of scientists.  Exxon Mobil, the giant American Oil Company, has, for example, spent millions supporting conservative (right-wing) organizations that cast doubt on the science on which the warnings about a warming climate have been based.
Some people really have it in for Big Oil in general, and Exxon in particular.  Yet these companies are noticeable by their low profile on the sceptic side of the debate, and their prominence on the warming side with their campaigns, investments, and support for the global warming worldview that ‘something must be done’.  The recent theft and publication of Heartland Institute documents is informative here I think.  This is an example of what the authors refer to as a ‘conservative think tank’. First of all for the insight into the ethics of climate alarmed scientist-activists and their supporters in the mass media, but also for the remarkable absence of millions in funding by Big Oil or other fossil-fuel based industries (how much of modern industry, or indeed living, is not fossil-fuel based, by the way?).  For more insight into the far larger sums flowing into the climate alarm industry, see this post by Jo Nova.

Extract 4:  'In Australia, journalists such as the Herald Sun's Andrew Bolt, the Sydney Morning Herald's Miranda Devine, the Telegraph's Piers Akerman and the radio 'shock jocks' Alan Jones and Ray Hadley dismiss the science underpinning warnings about global warming.'  
This, remember, is in a school textbook on geography aimed at 13 and 14 year olds.   I am not familiar with the output of all on that list, only some of Bolt's work and a little of Alan Jones'.  If it is typical of this lumped together group, then a more accurate focus would be 'scientific speculations underpinning warnings about global warming'.  And a more accurate term than 'dismiss' might be 'examine' or even 'draw attention to criticisms of'.  'Dismiss' does imply an attempt to ignore or downplay, but both Bolt and Jones seem to go out of their way to draw attention to them (thank goodness).   For example, on 17th March, 2011, Bolt wrote this:

'Once again, Julia Gillard tells an untruth in her speech last night on her carbon dioxide tax:
Ms Gillard said human-induced climate change was real and opinion polls could not change that. ‘’I ask, who would I rather have on my side?’’ she said. ‘’Alan Jones, Piers Akerman and Andrew Bolt?
‘’Or the CSIRO, the Australian Academy of Science, the Bureau of Meteorology, NASA, the US National Atmospheric Administration, and every reputable climate scientist in the world?’’
Here are just some of the climate scientists who’d object to Gillard including them in her list of supporters:'

[there follows an annotated list of some of the most distinguished scientists who do not take Ms Gillard's alarmist view of the climate system - no dismissal of science there, I'd say]

Or you might prefer to listen to Andrew Bolt interviewing a hapless EU apparatchik called Jill Duggan, who was in Australia to promote the EU's carbon policy without having a clue about what it might achieve.

Or watch him on TV.

In all three cases, he seems to me to be taking climate science very seriously indeed.  He is far from dismissing it. The TV slot also includes an interview with Prof Lindzen who is a known believer in anthropogenic global warming.  He just doesn't think it amounts to much. 

Extract 5 ‘Fortunately, a new generation of world leaders is taking global warming seriously.  In the United States of America, President Barack Obama is working to reduce America’s reliance on fossil fuels and is providing leadership in international efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.’
This is so misleading.  President Obama may be noted for some things, but providing such leadership is demonstrably not one of them.  And why the ‘fortunately’ when so much harm is coming from political decisions driven by alarmist posturing?

In Bolt's own words, in reaction to this book:

This is not education, but propaganda. It is pure melodrama, short on facts and long on fancy.
Few “deniers” - an offensive term meant to evoke Holocaust denial - dispute that man’s emissions have a tendency to warm the planet. That is not where the main debate is at.
The dispute is about the extent of any warming, the danger of it, the likelihood of it being overwhelmed by natural influences, the true sensitivity of the climate to our gases, and the cost-benefit of trying to “stop” the warming we’ve seen - which actually halted 15 years ago.
These “deniers” include many reputable scientists, including some of the world’s leading climate scientists. To suggest they’ve been bribed to say what they do is a vile smear. If money does corrupt debate, it should be noted that the vast bulk of money goes to the alarmists.
As for those leaders who “fortunately” take “global warming seriously”, Obama is not doing anything seriously about it and Rudd was dumped after backing off his own plans.
There’s much more to say about this sludge. What is depressing is that it is taught as fact in our schools. 

Note.  My rough draft of this post went to 15 pages.  I have cut out most of the material, and many of the references to save some time and spare the reader from ramblings (found lots of good stuff though).  I plan to come back and add links to add back up to some points made above, as well as correct the typos that must be there.

Footnote (1) added 25 Feb 2012. A supporter of the UK's absurd Climate Change Act gets c. $30.000 a day for consulting, and an average of $25,000 for each of 8 speeches last year.  

 Socialist greenies - you've to hand it to them - they know how to look after themselves! 

More here: http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2012/02/this-is-wrong.html

Will this get into the next (heaven forbid) edition of this textbook?

Monday, 20 February 2012

EU funds climate-coaching to get pupils on one side of a political debate - but their MPs may not like it

Anyone wonder where all the climate activists have gone?  Why they are so silent and withdrawn when it comes to public debate?  Well, some of them are busy in our schools, following Chairman Mao's tips on getting the young engaged as activists for the cause.  For example, in the City of Norwich, home of the University of East Anglia, famous for its emails, data management practices, climate studies, and carbon consultancies, the EU is funding visits and workshops to help get the pupils thinkng the right thoughts about energy and climate.

In the Norwich Advertiser on 13 Feb

Monday, February 13, 2012         
10:19 AM
The ‘children will learn how to campaign on climate issues’.  At least in part by the promotion of expensive and unreliable energy sources, subsidised by rich and poor alike in their electricity bills and taxes.  This is a very political issue, and there seems little doubt as to which side this EU-funded, UEA supported, campaign will be taking.

This will interest, and possibly horrify, the author of the following words with regard to climate education in schools:

‘I think most parents would be horrified to learn of an organisation that is attempting to influence their children’s education to promote its own agenda.’

These are attributed by the ScienceMedia Centre in New Zealand (as reported on here at Bishop Hill),  to a Bob Ward who works for a wealthy financier called Jeremy Grantham.  Bob handles the PR for one of Jeremy’s organisations.  This is one of two organisations set up by Jeremy in order to influence public affairs in the UK, including education.  Jeremy has quite strong views about climate, and his agenda on it is quite clear on his site.

Holt Hall, mentioned in the clipping, has featured in a previous post on this blog: http://climatelessons.blogspot.com/2011/02/to-holt-for-tee-transnational-energy.html

Meanwhile in the same English city, on the same day, in a different newspaper, the Evening News, we read that Norfolk MPs are not too happy with the windfarm subsidies. Since these subsidies are crucial for the windfarms, this is going to bring them into head-on conflict with any pupils from that Norwich Sixth Form who were convinced by the EU/UEA team, and even now may be preparing their first 'campaign on climate issues'.
Now these MPs were raising issues with other adults, and not coaching school pupils to be activists for their side of this public debate. I wonder if those MPs might be able to get Bob Ward's assistance to make their points, given his dismay about organisations seeking school children to promote an opposing agenda.

I wonder also if those MPs might also get warning notices issued to all schools within 100 miles of such initiatives (and Norfolk seems particualry blighted in this respect) –  in order to warn them to be on their guard about possible political indoctrination of their pupils.  They might call it Norfolk’s Law, and it could be used for the neighbourhoods of all universities where the pursuit of knowledge amongst adults has been appreciably displaced by the pursuit of influence over children.
'The young people are the most active and vital force in society. They are the most eager to learn and the least conservative in their thinking. This is especially so in the era of socialism. We hope that the local Party organizations in various places will help and work with the Youth League organizations and go into the question of bringing into full play the energy of our youth in particular. The Party organizations should not treat them in the same way as everybody else and ignore their special characteristics. Of course, the young people should learn from the old and other adults, and should strive as much as possible to engage in all sorts of useful activities with their agreement.'
Ro said
'There is a real risk of raising levels of anxiety amongst children that will not only cause distress in the immediate term but will in the long term lead to those children turning against the environmental causes we hoped they might espouse.’
But the deeper question is – why are adults so keen to focus on children? Why concentrate on the weakest, least influential members of society and ask them to act?''

More on 'socialist geography' and on raising activists in schools here:  http://climatelessons.blogspot.com/2011/02/classroom-climate-conditioning-at-work.html

(hat-tip for the cuttings: Dave W.)

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Innoculation against the CO2-Scare Virus in Schools: try humour if you can

One of the leading promoters of panic about airborne CO2 in Australia is a chap called Tim Flannery.  He makes a pretty good living out it, and has over the years provided dire warnings of, amongst other things, severe drought and dramatic rises in sea level.  He spent part of his takings from climate panic consultancy on a waterfront villa, and was well-regarded by Julia Gillard the Australian Prime Minister.  The floods and swollen reservoirs of recent years down-under may well have tested that regard, however.  She is the redhead on the left, Flannery sits on the right in the telling depiction shown below (hat-tip Jo Nova).  Bob Carter who gets a mention in this cartoon by Spooner in the Melbourne Age newspaper, is a distinguished voice of scientific reason and rationality in that same land, and the author of an excellent book on climate matters called 'Climate: The Counter Consensus'.

The Age, Melbourne

Now Flannery is clearly, from his writings, a nervous and excitable type, easily scared and yet fluent enough when he takes his turn at scaring others, e.g.

2008: 'Throughout 2008 it’s felt as if our future has been crystallising before our eyes. Food shortages, escalating oil prices, a melting Arctic ice cap and other climatic changes seem to make the news every week. All are potentially serious threats, and any one could be the harbinger of profound change for our global civilisation. Scientific studies confirm that our planet is warming at a rate consistent with the worst case scenario developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2001, meaning that we must make substantial inroads on our emissions in the next 20 years if we hope to avoid irreversible damage to Earth’s climate system.'  For concentrated silliness, this paragraph would take some beating.

Andrew Bolt has been exposing  Flannery's odious flim-flam for years, as in this piece in the Herald Sun newspaper, and this one giving the transcript of a radio interview. An entire book has been published Fisking Flannery's unhinged book called 'Weather Makers', within which it found:.

  • 23 misinterpretations, 
  • 28 contradictory statements,
  • 31 untraceable or suspect sources, 
  • 45 failures to reflect uncertainty, 
  • 66 over-simplifications or factual errors, 
  • 78 exaggerations and over a hundred unsupported dogmatic statements, many of them quite outlandish. 

So, here we have a nervous and silly man, driven by his vivid imagination to spread doom and gloom.  He has also been a very influential man, at least in Australia.  The combination of his silliness and his influence is surely an embarassing blot on the record of Julia Gillard's government and its predecessor.  As Australians wake up to the foolishness of the recently introduced Carbon Tax, more and more of them will start asking why, and some of the pointing-fingers will surely turn to Flannery.

I look forward to the day when more and more citizens wake up to the foolishness, and cruelty, of scaring children about CO2, and start asking why.  After that, they should be asking what can we do to help our children.  We can tell them the stories came mostly from some foolish men who had had an awful fright and instead of dealing with it like responsible adults and checking it out, they rushed around shouting Panic! Doom! Act Now!  Change those lightbulbs!  How silly they were!  They should have known better. 

    Wednesday, 15 February 2012

    Hey Teachers! Heads, we win, Tails, you lose - climate propagandists cover their backs

    On the one hand, here is our advisory note  in which we tell you: 'climate change was a complicated topic many found "daunting and confusing" and could be controversial, leading to many different opinions.'

    On the other hand, here are our teaching materials which tell you: 'a single conclusion, that carbon dioxide was virtually solely responsible for driving climate change and presented a range of "apocalyptic scenarios".'.

    The text italicised in quotes is based on the reported words of a Senator in South Australia - hat-tip Greenie Watch.  Here are more details of the position taken by this senator, Cory Bernardi, in a hearing with the CSIRO:
    "Yet the information that is produced and distributed to schoolchildren appears only to present a single opinion about what is driving climate change," he said.
    "How can you explain that given that the explanatory note for teachers says it leads to many different opinions?"

    And the answer from the propagandists' friends, the CSIRO?  Not exactly impressive:
    'The CSIRO's deputy chief executive for operations Mike Whelan said he had not personally seen the material, but envisaged that the program would be consistent with comments made to teachers.  He told the senate committee the program had only become his responsibility three weeks ago, but he would examine the material.'

    I wonder if they are beginning, at long last, to realise that the alarm about CO2 is overblown, based on a flimsy theory of how the climate system works, and all but devoid of observational evidence to support its predictions. 

    As Mother Nature continues to refute the alarmist conjectures one by by one, the propagandists do of course change the spin.  They abandoned 'Global Warming' when it become clear that it wasn't much.  They backed away a bit from 'Climate Change' when it became clear than the climate was displaying business as usual.  Then they had a feeble shot at 'Climate Disruption', but those pesky hurricanes and floods and icecaps and polar bears just refused to play along and do their part.  Now, as evidenced by a briefing paper for the UK Parliament (h/t Bishop Hill), they are going for 'Hidden Threat' as in 'natural forms of climate variability are likely to be the main influence on the UK's climate over the next few decades'.

    What?  Whatever happened to that hockey stick plot, the dizzying rise in temperatures underway, the children who won't know what snow is, the desperate urgency of a Prince Charles or Gordon Brown with their X months left to save the world so better change those lightbulbs quick?  Better scientists than the propagandists choose to quote, had said from the start of the scare that the effect of CO2 would be hard to detect against the variations due to other factors.  They were classed, offensively, as 'deniers'.  Now their wisdom is getting some indirect recognition - the flattery of imitation, but lacking the justice and the courtesy of a climb down by those who did not hesitate to try to scare us, and our children, to further their own ends.

    The scientific side of the scaremongering has always had large uncertainties, often glossed over or ignored by such as the IPCC and others who feared that sharing them would inhibit political actions.  They were right, I guess.  Now we are burdened with the monstrous idiocy of the Climate Change Act, and the monstrous cruelty of teaching materials designed to scare children out of their wits.

    Ah, but no worries.  We did tell the teachers 'climate change was a complicated topic many found "daunting and confusing" and could be controversial, leading to many different opinions.'  And we did tell the politicians 'natural forms of climate variability are likely to be the main influence on the UK's climate over the next few decades'.  We just, kind of , you know, left it a bit late.

    Exhibit 1 (2011)

    Exhibit 2 (2009)


    Note added 16 Feb 2012 The Australian Climate Madness site has a relevant posting from 14 Feb about government-funded climate propaganda on a TV network : http://www.australianclimatemadness.com/2012/02/governments-climate-indoctrination-exposed-again/

    Monday, 13 February 2012

    Three New Books for the Climate Classroom - and maybe even for the Staffroom if you dare

    (1)  The Delinquent Teenager, by Donna Laframboise
    (2) How to Get Expelled from School, by Ian Plimer
    (3) Don't Sell Your Coat, by Harold Ambler

          (1) The Delinquent Teenager 
    An investigative journalist digging behind the fancy PR and slick politics of the climate alarm industry is a very rare beast indeed.  In the UK, environment and science correspondents have proliferated in print and broadcast media, but they have proliferated, and behave, in the way that missionaries might have done in an era of religious excitement and evangelism, one coupled with generous funding for their work and for the faith which sustains them.  In other words, they do not ‘investigate’ so much as ‘pontificate’, and they do not, and in some cases, dare not since it is against their bosses’ explicit guidance, venture out of line.  Donna Laframboise is not one of them.  She is free and fearless.  Her faith is in the power of daylight, of examination of the facts, of publicising the bigger picture and the details overlooked by others in their haste to be part of the crowd and push the new doom-laden religion which has scientists and computer programmers as the high priests, the IPCC as writer and keeper of the gospels, and such as the Royal Society as one of many Bishoprics in search of power not enjoyed by ecclesiasticals since the Middle Ages.

    Her focus in this book is on the IPCC – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  She is not primarily concerned with the science.  She is concerned with mismatches between what the leaders of the IPCC say, what they do, and what they have failed to do in terms of taking valid opinions and expertise into account.  The organisation presents itself as worthy of trust, but it is not worthy of trust.  It presents itself as an aggregator and reviewer of all relevant science, but it is not – it is a purveyor of a narrow view, a suppressor of debate, and a means by which dissenting voices are ignored.  It tells us it is policy-neutral, to which one can only comment ‘aye, right’ – a double positive which in Scotland conveys a very negative view of the veracity of some assertion.

    Why does this matter for schools?  It matters because some materials aimed at children justify their stance by reference to the IPCC.  Consensus.  The UN.  Leading scientists.  Deep research.  Good data.  Great integrity.  Aye, right.  This book is a very useful expose of corruption, conniving, hypocrisy, and deceit.  'But we want to save the planet! So give us a break!'  I don’t think they deserve one, and if you read this book, you won’t either, and in particular, any materials which include the phrase ‘the IPCC says’ will be held by you on the end of tongs while you check them out yourself using more independent sources.  I have helped buy a couple of hundred copies of this book in pdf to email to all the MPs, MSPs, and MEPs in Scotland.
    A muscular piece of writing from a professor clearly exasperated by the antics and influence of climate alarmists in education and in the media.  I think it perhaps too intense, too sustained and unrelenting to be a hit with most school pupils.  But Plimer has done the heavy lifting here, and provides structure, focus and core content for perhaps as many as 30 to 40 shorter, more heavily illustrated school-level books at various levels.  I hope teachers with a writing bent will pick up from here, and write those lighter books.  They will be needed as part of the long clearing-up operation we face in our schools long after the political foolishness and superficial science of climate alarm has been well and truly consigned to the proverbial dustbin of history.  New books will be required.  In the meantime, and this meantime may last a year or a decade, pupils and parents have to cope as best they can with modern dogma about climate change.  Plimer clearly has his sights on the ‘activist teacher’, and often guides the reader to questions that might expose their real agendas, which are not the education of the young so much as the recruitment of them for ‘the cause’.  I have bought two copies, thanks to a relative carrying them over from Australia – the shipping cost for even a single book being a bit off-putting for me.  This is one for the sympathetic teacher, a reference work for class projects, and a succinct overview of many topics for the keenest of pupils in senior classes.  However, I hope that a great many more books will flow from it, or be inspired by it.  And in that 'meantime', climate realists everywhere could find this book a handy reference.  It is also now available as a pdf, and one group in Australia bought 300 copies to make available to schools there free of charge. [edit 28 Feb - I was wrong about there being a pdf version]
    Note added 07 May 2012.
    The Australian government has issued a rejoinder to Plimer's book.  As Delingpole has observed, you get most flak when you are over the target.  This looks like an attempted barrage; pdf available here: http://www.climatechange.gov.au/climate-change/understanding-climate-change/response-to-prof-plimer.aspx  Commentary on it here: http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/05/07/dept-of-climate-change-rebuts-plimers-book-for-sceptic-kids/

    As I’ve explained already, I was predisposed by birth
    and upbringing to concede the high moral ground to
    Al Gore and anybody else who told me that they were
    fighting on behalf of Mother Earth.
    I was wrong.’
    This is a beautiful book in many ways.  First of all, in terms of attracting the attention of whoever may pick it up, it is beautifully laid out, typeset, and illustrated.  You might well buy the Kindle version, but I’ll bet you’ll soon come to wish you had something more tangible for the coffee table.  Second, it is extremely well written.  Friendly, fluent, flowing prose, and although dealing with very contentious issues, civil and coherent throughout.  Third, it provides candid glimpses into the life and the intellectual and political development of boy, youth, and grown man, one who is alive to the world of nature and to the world of ideas, and who thought on both deeply enough to shake off the left-wing (= ‘liberal’ in US-speak) conditioning all around him about climate change, and to think through his own thoughts and seek out data himself.  All of this is edifying, and very helpful and informative.  He does not ignore charts and numbers, but he slips them in so that your number-phobe won’t mind much if at all.  Overall, the book is mostly text, with some superb black and white pictures.  I am going to buy a good few copies to send to my friends and family, hoping this will help them see me and my similar views in a better light.  I tell them I am not the one with radical, controversial views ill-supported by theory and observations – that’s the other ‘side’.  I think this book could ensure that they’ll not sell their coats.  And maybe more of them will keep their hats on when the topic of climate comes up!

    Sunday, 12 February 2012

    Testing the Sagacity of the Royal Society: more grist for pupil projects on climate variation

    In November last year, a couple of multi-year projects were suggested: monitoring reports of sea level changes, and reports about the Greenland and Antarctic icecaps.  To add extra interest, these reports and regularly updated charts on the classroom wall, would be considered against the heartfelt, but now tempered, claims of the Royal Society in each of these areas.  These would mostly be relevant to geography classes, although science teachers could also make use of them to help motivative their pupils by linking to topical issues.  Now we have the possibility of extending the appeal to include classes in modern studies, wherever political wheeling and dealing and the interface with science is on the curriculum.

    Source: NoFrakkingConsensus
      A new report by Andrew Montford called Nullius in Verba describes how a series of presidents of the Royal Society used their positions to promote a speculative theory of impending climate doom.  This theory is so poorly supported, and often contradicted, by observations of the climate system that it is forced to lean heavily on the more readily manipulated virtual world of computer models to gain some credence - at least among the gullible or among those who see advantage in taking the theory as incontrovertible fact.

    Another fine resource for both teacher and pupil interested in the Royal Society has just been posted on Bishop Hill.  The Royal Society is often quoted, along with the IPCC, as an authoritative body we should trust.  Donna Laframboise's book has revealed the IPCC as being far from trustworthy, Andrew Montford's pamphlet has revealed the Royal Society in the hands of irresponsible politically-motivated alarmists, and now we have the words of a Fellow of that Society courteously demolishing any residual respect a naive observer might have clinged to out of deference to such a body.  Here is a small extract, put in italics and partly emboldened by me for display here:

    'Although I am not a climate scientist, I am sufficiently conversant with the climate science literature to be able to assess the issues accurately. My conclusion is that the case for catastrophic warming induced by man-made CO2 emissions is extremely weak ...

    The case for catastrophic warming rests solely on the sign and magnitude of the feedbacks. As has been often said, “Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence”. The potential of catastrophic AGW is an extraordinary claim, but is without compelling supporting evidence. Because of the way that the AGW issue has been politicized together with the behavior of certain climate scientists, the reputation of science and the institutions that support it have suffered. Further, were catastrophic AGW to join the dreary parade of alarms that have punctuated the recent history of affluent societies, the consequences to science and the Society could be severe. It may take a long time before reputations are restored. It is, therefore, imperative for the Society to stay away from politics and advocacy of AGW or any other science based issue, no matter how beguiling the prospect may seem...'

    See the post at Bishop Hill for the rest.  This is a very useful introductory overview of many of the reasons why intemperate alarm over the climate is out of order. Links are provided to back up the letter-writer's concerns.

    Friday, 10 February 2012

    First you scare ‘em, then you snare ‘em – how the UEA treats 13 and 14 year olds

    That epicentre of scarequakes on climate and carbon dioxide, the University of East Anglia (UEA) has been lowering its sights recently to target more than 60 early teenagers in their neighbourhood. (hat-tip: Dave W).  Power Engineering carries the story, as does the print edition of the Norwich Evening News on 9th February (see below).  The impression it gives me is that they want them to be receptive to renewables as a source of energy, and at the same time get them involved in a scary scenario about a planetary emergency to get them on side.

    Why would a university stoop to such a thing?  Let us first look at it:

    First, you get the youngsters to imagine that fossil fuels have disappeared, that this is really scary, and that they must come up with ideas to save the world.  You pay an outside consultancy to do this, since it is one of their suite of activities for the young, and they no doubt have it down to a fine art.  Now by itself, I can imagine really good teachers, with the right type of pupils, engaging their attention in such a way (with no need of course to pay others to do so).  It is easy to imagine this could lead to lots of ideas and useful discussions.  But what about the rest of it?

    Second, you bring in people with a vested interest in renewable energy (in this case AquaterraSeajacks and a tiny start-up called Wind Elements Ltd) and/or carbon reduction schemes and devices (in this case, Lotus Cars and  the University of East Anglia – the UEA, home of the Low Carbon Innovation Centre , commented on here in 2010, and of course of CRU, perhaps most widely known as the source of the Climategate materials ).  You arrange for the pupils to speed-date their way amongst them.

    Third, you alert the press to what you are up to, perhaps invite them to be there.
     Fourth, you invite a children’s hero to attend, in this case a local footballer, perhaps in order to increase the possibility of a positive response from the press, and maybe even encourage more pupils to attend.

    Now how does it look?  Can you imagine this happening in the old Soviet Union (‘First, imagine the capitalists have closed down all their businesses in some yet-to-be-liberated land, and you have to save the people there from starvation.  Second, let me introduce Commissar Crulcicski who wishes to tell the class about the new 5 year plan, and the glorious ideals of the Party.  You will each have to talk with him.  You need pay no attention to the comrade reporter from Pravda sitting at the back, but the famous footballer Stakhanovily Matthewski is here to distract deal with any technical questions that may arise.  Let us begin.’)

    There’s more.  The no doubt well-intentioned facilitators of the simulation game (Camouflaged Learning) describe it as follows:
    As the day begins, the students are informed that the Earth’s remaining reserves of fossil fuels have finally been exhausted and, as a result, the fabric of what we consider normal life has immediately started to crumble. No more light, no more heat, no more iPods. No more anything, in fact, meaning something needs to be done- and soon- before the world falls into total chaos.’

    The UEA representative at the event is reported as hyping this up just a bit:

    ‘The students must solve the most catastrophic, significant and terrifying crisis imaginable – a world without power’, she said, ‘…It is essential that they act fast because, unless they’re successful, life as we know it could come to an end.’

    If I were of a cynical disposition, I’d call this event ‘Camouflaged Selling – of renewables by the companies, and of alarmism by the university’.  Perish the thought.  Who would do such a thing with such young people?

    Poor pupils of Norwich.  A similar wheeze was followed by energy giant, EDF, last year at a high school in Norwich when they invited a famous athlete to attend a sustainability day of their devising.  To their credit though, it seems they might have skipped the bit where you first scare the kids:

    “Days like these are something that pupils will remember for the rest of their lives and it is great that EDF Energy can combine this with a way of getting people together to fight climate change.”
    It is hoped that the school’s sustainable efforts will inspire others in the local community to follow in its footsteps and think about what they can do differently in their lives to be greener.
    Clive Steed, sustainability manager for EDF Energy said: “We can only tackle climate change effectively by taking action together. As a leading energy company, EDF Energy has an ethical responsibility and the expertise to inspire people to reduce their carbon footprint, which is why we kicked off Green Britain Day.’
    More on EDF’s marketing-through-kids efforts here: http://www.jointhepod.org/

    Wednesday, 8 February 2012

    Education Scotland's Boilerplate Blethers vs Christopher Monckton's Astute Arithmetic

    First, the boilerplate blethers on the Education Scotland site:

    Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the global community in the 21st century. Scientists believe that the world is heating up rapidly and that this will cause changes to our weather and climate.

    Scotland is taking a lead on tackling climate change with the Climate Change (Scotland) Act which commits Scotland to the world’s most ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets. Our country has responded positively to the challenge and is seeking to be a world leader in harnessing renewable technology - creating jobs, helping the economy and demonstrating leadership on the international stage.

    However, if we are to meet the targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 then it will require everyone to play their part. This section explains some of the ways that individuals and schools can engage children and young people in hands-on activities to tackle climate change to help them develop new skills and support their development as responsible global citizens.

    The above three paragraphs are contemptible contentious in just about every sentence, but I resist the urge to Fisk them here, in favour of merely placing them in close proximity to three from Viscount Monckton

    When I visited the House of Lords’ minister, Lord Marland, at the Climate Change Department a couple of years ago, I asked him and the Department’s chief number-cruncher, Professor David Mackay (neither a climate scientist nor an economist, of course) to show me the Department’s calculations detailing just how much “global warming” that might otherwise occur this century would be prevented by the $30 billion per year that the Department was committed to spend between 2011 and 2050 – $1.2 trillion in all.

    There was a horrified silence. The birds stopped singing. The Minister adjusted his tie. The Permanent Secretary looked at his watch. Professor Mackay looked as though he wished the plush sofa into which he was disappearing would swallow him up entirely.

    Eventually, in a very small voice, the Professor said, “Er, ah, mphm, that is, oof, arghh, we’ve never done any such calculation.” The biggest tax increase in human history had been based not upon a mature scientific assessment followed by a careful economic appraisal, but solely upon blind faith. I said as much. “Well,” said the Professor, “maybe we’ll get around to doing the calculations next October.”

    Now this Department of Energy and Climate Clowns Change (DECC) is leading the charge for the UK as a whole toto meet the targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050’. Let me give the valiant viscount a further three paragraphs to assess the impact on global warming if DECC succeeds completely in its mission:

    The UK accounts for 1.5% of global business-as-usual CO2 emissions. At an officially-estimated cost of $1.2 trillion by 2050, or $834 billion after inter-temporal discounting at the minimum market rate of 5%, the Climate Change Act aims to eradicate 80% of these emissions. So just 1.2% of global emissions would be abated even if the policy were to succeed in full.

    Business-as-usual CO2 concentration, as the average of all six IPCC emission scenarios, would be 514 ppmv in 2050. A full and successful reduction of UK emissions by 80% over that period would reduce that concentration to – wait for it – 512.5 ppmv. This dizzying reduction of 1.5 ppmv over 40 years would have the effect of abating 0.008 K of the 1.05 K of warming that the IPCC would otherwise have expected to see by 2050.

    The UK policy’s mitigation cost-effectiveness – the cost of abating just 1 Kelvin of warming if every nation pursued the UK’s policy with the same cost-ineffectiveness – works out at $108 trillion per Kelvin abated.

    So, I hope that conscientious and conforming schoolteachers everywhere, urged to do their bit by such as Education Scotland, will take a little time to explain to their pupils just what kind of difference their sacrifices of time and energy are expected to make using the projections of the IPCC with regard to CO2 and its impact on global warming.  Then I hope their pupils will regard them with the contempt they deserve for their conformance to fatuous climate-alarm-driven policies.  They might even start doubting such statements such asthe world is heating up rapidly’ and ‘climate change is one of the biggest challenges’.  Let us hope so. But let us also hope that their teachers get there ahead of them.

    Monday, 6 February 2012

    CO2 Causes Contempt for Childhood - a climate well-worthy of our alarm

    When children less than 6 years old are seen as 'instruments' 'for the achievement of a sustainable society' and that 'we' must make them  'understand deeply, and even shock them out of their unawareness', then something is seriously amiss; somebody somewhere is up to something we should resist.  The quotes are from a UNESCO report recently reported on by Donna Laframboise.

    Targeting toddlers under the smokescreen of ‘sustainable development’ has more than just a hint of the peculiar impulses which grip some campaigners convinced that CO2 is a threat to life on earth, and most especially to humans and to polar bears.  Their negativity and exploitation of fear can lead to the absurd as well as to the totalitarian.  Their answer is invariably more state control of what we do and what we think, and where we live, and how we live, and what we might try to do.  Some kind of global rulebook, devised and enforced by an elite is what they want.  Nothing new there – countless religious and political mvoements have sought exactly that for thousands of years.  What is new is the appeal to climate science rather than to one or more deities, or the pseudo-science of Marxism.  Sometimes the outputs of computer programs are brought down as if from on high to be treated as part of the new gospel, interpreted by experts who do not care to have their authority challenged.  There is also nothing new in the targeting of the young, where the big idea is presumably to get at them before they have much chance of resistance.

    The report is about a UNESCO conference held in 2007.  The conference-culture it represents is almost caricatured by this extract from the report:
    This report originates from the international workshop, ‘The Role of Early Childhood Education for a Sustainable Society’, jointly organized in Göteborg, Sweden, by Göteborg University, Chalmers University of Technology and the City of Göteborg, from 2 to 4 May 2007. It was attended by thirty-fi ve participants from sixteen different countries (see ‘List of Participants’). The workshop was a follow-up to the international conference on education for sustainable development, ‘Learning to Change Our World’, held in May 2004, in Göteborg. It was one of four preparatory workshops leading to another international conference on education for sustainable development, to be organized in 2008 or 2009, in the same city. The aim of the four workshops is to discuss promoters and barriers related to learning for sustainability, and to propose recommendations for the upcoming international conference.'

    The delegates were described as not really knowing what 'sustainable development' was (and who can blame them!):

     A common question raised in the beginning was ‘What is sustainable development?’ Most of the participants were not familiar with the concept,’

    Which makes me think one motivation for this conference was to spread the gospel to them, the innocent delegates, rather than as a meeting place for like-minded people to discuss their work and ideas.  This is reinforced by most of the papers presented - they really are mostly about motherhood and apple pie, about how good it would be if more children could get out in the open-air, enjoy nature, and be kind to one another.  But in amongst this worthy stuff, there are contentious materials that raise the hackles of the sensitive reader, such as this gem:

    Al Gore’s (2006), An Inconvenient Truth, the Stern (2006) review into the economics of climate change, and the report of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (2007), have heightened awareness of how humans are over-stretching the Earth’s life-support systems.’ (page 19) 

    Each of the three sources given have been widely discredited as reliable guides.  The 'heightened awareness' of which she speaks is best decoded as 'irresponsible, ill-informed alarmism'.

    Laframboise has spotted several other phrases to raise the hackles of the concerned citizen:

    • educating for sustainability should begin very early in life. (p. 12)
    • Young children can be encouraged to question over-consumption. (p. 13)
    • young children have capacities to be active agents of change now (p. 20, italics in original)
    • Through their learning and social activism, the children were able to highlight their concerns… (p. 22)
    • even very young children…can be proactive participants…as initiators, provocateurs, researchers and environmental activists. (p. 22)
    • learning begins at birth…and even before. (p. 54)
    • We must find some effective methods of teaching sustainable development that can make children understand deeply, and even shock them out of their unawareness. (p. 85)

    'Anthropogenic Global Warming', all but spent.  
    'Sustainable Development', let's try that one again.
    Now that the climatology, politics, and economics of climate alarmism have been so widely exposed as having no more than 350ppm of integrity and truth, many more people are challenging the associated doctrines.  So much so that one of the arch-plotters faciltating this particular wave of scaremongering, the UN and its various agencies, have decided to downplay 'climate change' at the next Earth Summit, to be held in Rio de Janeiro this June.  What is the focus to take its place?  Why, none other than 'sustainable development'.  Same old attendees, same old luxuries, same old resolutions, same old intention of controlling the world, not least through the crippling of industrial economies, and the keeping of the developing ones underdeveloped (e.g. by massive transfers of funds to their rulers), while at the same time furthering the aggrandisement of certain elites required to supervise it all.

    Here are my takes on what 'sustainable development' might really mean:

    sustainable = suppressed, inhibited,backward-looking, most likely centrally-planned and imposed by force

    sustainable development = suppressed development, centrally-planned by those who know what is best for us and holding out all the promise of past attempts at central-planning on grand scales

    Fred Singer has published a brief history of 'sustainable development', which goes back to the 1960s, and in that piece he provides this quote from a Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars:

    ' Sustainability sounds like a call for recycling and clean drinking water.   But its proponents are much more ambitious. For them, a sustainable society is one that replaces the market economy with top-down regulation. They present students a frightening story in which the earth is on the brink of disaster and immediate action is needed. This is a tactic aimed at silencing critics, shutting down debate, and mobilizing students who never get the opportunity to hear opposing views.'

    We now know that 'students' has a very wide scope.  It includes toddlers at nursery schools!  The UN has a declaration on the rights of the child.  Presumably it does not include the right to be protected from interfering busybodies and debate suppressors on the international conference gravy train.  Melanie Phillips saw the danger just as soon as she saw the first Climategate emails back in 2009: '...what we are dealing with here is the totalitarian personality. One thing is now absolutely clear for all to see about the anthropogenic global warming scam: science this is not.'

    Note added 9 Feb 2012'“Every early-years teacher in the state and the independent sector has told me how much they wish the Government wouldn’t treat childhood as a race,” says Sue Palmer, author of Toxic Childhood and a signatory to the letter.
    “Schools have become sausage factories as it is, and putting little children into the grinder earlier and earlier doesn’t make it any better.”'
    Quote from an article on state interference at the pre-school level: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/9066921/Knickers-to-the-nappy-curriculum.html

    Note added 12 Oct 2017:  Some good news: the USA has given notice of quitting UNESCO in 2018.  Not before time!  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/10/12/u-s-withdraws-from-unesco-the-u-n-s-cultural-organization-citing-anti-israel-bias/?utm_term=.d79a39b9fdb2