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,


Thursday, 28 March 2013

Rotten to the Core, Rotten for the Curriculum

Climate alarmism and groups like WWF seem to get a free pass into the classroom despite the rotten nature of their messages.

Some 'scientific' claims seem to get the same treatment despite the rotten nature of their foundations.

Pupils could do with some protection from them.

The proposal to exclude climate change and sustainability from explicit mention in curricula for under-14s in England is a step in that direction.

Readers in England - please consider commenting on this proposal.  This opportunity will only be open until 16th April: https://www.education.gov.uk/consultations/index.cfm?action=consultationDetails&consultationId=1881&external=no&

Friday, 22 March 2013

I abhor Earth Hour. Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century.

The hatred that eco-fanatics feel towards humanity is captured in their Earth Hour tomorrow, no matter what window-dressing about solidarity with the world's poor is spun about it by such as Ban Ki-moon.

The title is the first sentence from Ross McKitrick's fine essay from 2009 spelling out just what a rotten thing Earth Hour is.  Here it is in full (original here)

Earth Hour: A Dissent
Ross McKitrick
In 2009 I was asked by a journalist for my thoughtson the importance of Earth Hour. Here
is my response. 

I abhor Earth Hour. Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century. Every material social advance in the 20th century depended on the proliferation of inexpensive and reliable electricity. Giving women the freedom to work outside the home depended on the availability of electrical appliances that free up time from domestic chores. Getting children out of menial labour and into schools depended on the same thing, as well as the ability to provide safe indoor lighting for reading.

Development and provision of modern health care without electricity is absolutely impossible. The expansion of our food supply, and the promotion of hygiene and nutrition, depended on being able to irrigate fields, cook and refrigerate foods, and have a steady indoor supply of hot water. Many of the world's poor suffer brutal environmental conditions in their own homes because of the necessity of cooking over indoor fires that burn twigs and dung. This causes local deforestation and the proliferation of smoke- and parasite-related lung diseases. Anyone who wants to see local conditions improve in the third world should realize the importance of access to cheap electricity from fossil-fuel based power generating stations. After all, that's how the west developed.

The whole mentality around Earth Hour demonizes electricity. I cannot do that, instead I celebrate it and all that it has provided for humanity. Earth Hour celebrates ignorance, poverty and backwardness. By repudiating the greatest engine of liberation it becomes an hour devoted to anti-humanism. It encourages the sanctimonious gesture of turning off trivial appliances for a trivial amount of time, in deference to some ill-defined abstraction called “the Earth,” all the while hypocritically retaining the real benefits of continuous, reliable electricity. People who see virtue in doing without electricity should shut off their fridge, stove, microwave, computer, water heater, lights, TV and all other appliances for a month, not an hour. And pop down to the cardiac unit at the hospital and shut the power off there too.

I don't want to go back to nature. Travel to a zone hit by earthquakes, floods and hurricanes to see what it’s like to go back to nature. For humans, living in "nature" meant a short life span marked by violence, disease and ignorance. People who work for the end of poverty and relief from disease are fighting against nature. I hope they leave their lights on. Here in Ontario, through the use of pollution control technology and advanced engineering, our air quality has dramatically improved since the 1960s, despite the expansion of industry and the power supply. If, after all this, we are going to take the view that the remaining air emissions outweigh all the benefits of electricity,and that we ought to be shamed into sitting in darkness for an hour, like naughty children who have been caught doing something bad, then we are setting up unspoiled nature as an absolute, transcendent ideal that obliterates all other ethical and humane obligations. No thanks. I like visiting nature but I don't want to live there, and I refuse to accept the idea that civilization with all its tradeoffs is something to be ashamed of.

Ross McKitrick
Professor of Economics
University of Guelph

Energy Hour (the hour before Earth Hour) was devised as a counter-demonstration and is being promoted here by the ICSC:  It is by a group that takes a sceptical view of alarmism as well as a positive view of humanity, and is therefore more  admirable as well as more soundly-based in science and observation.

Whether you mark Energy Hour as a genuine expression of concern for those already without it or those at risk of losing reliable affordable energy supplies in the near future, you might also want to consider keeping all your lights on during Earth Hour in order to mark the huge benefits we have gained from progress with energy supplies over the past few hundred years, and as a tiny gesture of defiance to the arrogance of those who would deny that to most and damage it for all.  

Human Achievement Hour has been proposed by the CEI in the States as a replacement for Earth Hour itself.  That adds a little more cachet to merely leaving your lights on and going about your ordinary routine which is what I tend to do.

Note added 23 March 2013: Even the climate buffoons of The Guardian and The Huffington Post are beginning to include criticisms in their puff-pieces for the vapid, malevolent and destructive stupidity of 'Earth Hour'. Meanwhile, downunder, Jo Nova is promoting 'Power Hour' with some grandly provocative suggestions:

'Things you can do at 8.30 on Saturday:

  1. Turn on all the lights you can find (bonus points for incandescents from the stash.)
  2. Put on the party lights, the patio light, the pool light, the mozzie zappers, unpack those Christmas decorations. Get out your torches. Switch the movement detector spotlights to continuous operation. (Involve the kids — they love to help).
  3. Light your backyard with the landcruiser headlights! (Don’t flatten the battery, make sure you keep that engine running.)
  4. Don’t forget those bar radiators — revel in that infra red! (Light the kitchen with the ones in the oven and grill.)
  5. Eat Argentinian Lamb steak, Danish butter, Argentinian Cheese, Belgian Chocolate, and Californian Oranges.
  6. Drink German Beer and or French Champagne. Drink toasts to coal miners, oil rig workers, and power station staff.
 In the hundred thousand years since homo sapiens came to be, people have fled bondage, wars, small-pox, dysentery, died from minor scratches, starved to death, been ravaged by lions, stricken by cholera, and survived ninety thousand year stretches of abysmal ice age.  We lived in the darkness for 99,900 years, cowering in corners, listening to drips, waiting for the sun.
There is only one type of Freedom – and all else is servitude, slavery or tyranny.
It’s your chance to show your commitment to fighting the forces of darkness.'

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Corrupt Climate Curricula in Schools: a school teacher laments relaying greenie propaganda in the classroom.

A former teacher welcomes the proposed ‘downplaying’ of man-made global warming in school curricula in England, and  complains of having been ‘overburdened by the incessant green noise of our curriculum’.

I hesitated before proceeding with this post since it is based on an anonymous (but see below) comment on a newspaper site.  But the site provides a list of all comments published by this commenter.  They span some five years, and are thoughtful, temperate, and consistent with his claim to have been a teacher of geography.  His views on the teaching of this subject are in accord with my fears for it, and for others, and so I am going to reproduce his comment in full.  Here it is:

As a former teacher of geography I was overburdened towards the end by the incessant green noise of our curriculum. I would never argue that climate change should not be in included since it is an extremely interesting subject in its strictest form. However, the half truths that I was expected to teach to young minds by the underpinning of AGW to almost everything depressed me and most other older geographers. I'm afraid that the queen of subjects became a propaganda arm for greenies. I applaud Gove for downplaying AGW, but does he understand that the teaching of climate change itself is a bonus.

I hope that he and many other teachers and other experts in England will contribute their thoughts to the consultation being offered by the government on proposed changes to the curriculum for under-14s in England.  Links for doing this are provided on an earlier post.

Past posts here relating to the teaching of geography include these:

( the link immediately above includes this quotation from a Trefor Jones, who may well be ‘trefjon’:
During the latter years of my long career as a head of geography I became totally disillusioned with the nonsense that I was supposed to teach and examine. The students, staff members ( apart from the young and ambitious) privately shared the doubts, especially mathematics teachers who understood that you cannot predict a chaotic system. It came to a head when I ignored an opportunity to take a group of children to see "An Inconvenient Truth", and was promptly sent a copy of this eco-nonsense by courier directly to my classroom. Unfortunately, following a very nasty accident I have had to finish teaching. However, I do not miss the climate change elements of the course which had morphed over the past decade from geography to environmentally inaccurate propaganda. The Green lobby which has invaded so many of our national institutions are in my eyes nothing less than rather dangerous totalitarian fascists.’  - my emboldening)

Monday, 18 March 2013

Manipulators of Children as Political Tools for the Great CO2 Exaggeration Threat are Now 'Alarmed' Themselves

 Here's a revealing sentence in yesterday's good news piece in the Guardian about proposed guidelines which remove explicit mention of  'sustainability' and its stalking horse 'climate change':

'The move has caused alarm among climate campaigners and scientists who say teaching about climate change in schools has helped mobilise young people to be the most vociferous advocates of action by governments, business and society to tackle the issue.'

 Some of those who promoted alarm over CO2 were grossly irresponsible because they ignored the very frail scientific foundations for any such alarm.  Some were naive in treating 'climate scientists' pushing alarm as if they were to be trusted, and the same applies to those who felt the same about the IPCC.  Some were no doubt genuinely alarmed and distressed by taking the speculations seriously as if they were indeed 'settled science'.  But some were cynical and contemptuous of the well-being of the children they deliberately targetted with scare stories and calls to action - mostly by means of their pestering their parents (examples here, here, and here).  The ugly and utterly disgraceful video called 'No Pressure' by the zealots of the 10:10 organisation was a low point of this arrogant and aggressive approach.  

 Now, when some attempt is being made to protect children under 14 from such abuse by making the curriculum a little less suited to being a vehicle for it, 'alarm' (of all things!) is said to be affecting 'climate campaigners and scientists' according to the above report.  Not before time.  Those who have pushed alarm into schools or in other ways at the young have behaved abominably.  They ought to be dismayed by any indication of more responsible adults fighting back.  It may just be a sign that their game is up, that this shameful period in education, in politics, and in science is beginning to end.  Let us hope so.  And let us hope that more and more teachers and parents previously persuaded that 'there must be something in it', will see that whatever that was, it was never enough to justify scaring their children.

 Note added later on 18 March:  Here is a report today of some of these campaigners taking umbrage at being challenged: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/mar/18/climate-change-schools-backlash

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Good News About Climate in Schools: Under 14s in England May Get More Protection from Eco-Indoctrination

 A story in The Guardian on line today has this:

'The latest draft guidelines for children in key stages 1 to 3 have no mention of climate change under geography teaching and a single reference to how carbon dioxide produced by humans impacts on the climate in the chemistry section. There is also no reference to sustainable development, only to the "efficacy of recycling", again as a chemistry subject.'

The report is in The Guardian, and so of course comments from those keen to promote climate alarm are quoted below the above paragraph.  For such people, this is bad news.  But for others like me, and of course like all the children and their teachers, this is good news.   

Under-14s are too young for the physics and maths and the politics of this invented crisis, and for the cruelty of the gloom and doom and destructiveness which can so readily be delivered alongside.

And of course, while this is only a draft for discussion:

'The proposed changes, which are still under consultation by the Department for Education (DfE), were broadly welcomed by other groups, including the Geographical Association which represents more than 6,000 geography teachers, and the Royal Geographical Society.'

 the very fact that such enlightenment is being seriously entertained is a step in the right direction.  

[Hat-tip matthu ( Mar 17, 2013 at 7:07 PM) at Bishop Hill Unthreaded ]

Note added later on 17 March:  Links to the consultation site and to the relevant document are here:



[hat-tip Bishop-Hill, and a blog by Joe Smith linked to there]

Note added 19 March.  The original title of this post said 'England & Wales', but I see from the consultation document that only England is relevant here.  I was unable to use strikethrough to amend the title, and so I have reluctantly just deleted '& Wales'.
Note added 10 May.  What was all the fuss about?  According to Pauline Latham, a Conservative MP who writes on her blog 'I have been contacted about the inclusion of climate change in the curriculum. Unfortunately, Early Day Motion 1208 has now lapsed as the Parliamentary Session has ended. I would, however, like to take this opportunity to assure you that the Government is not and does not have any plans to remove climate change from the National Curriculum.
The new draft national curriculum will in fact give pupils a deeper understanding of all climate issues. Climate change is specifically mentioned in the science curriculum, and both climate and weather feature throughout the geography curriculum. Nowhere is this clearer than the science curriculum for 11- to 14-year-olds, which states that pupils should learn about the ‘production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the impact on climate’.
This is at least as extensive, and certainly more precise, than the current science curriculum for that age group, which says only that ‘human activity and natural processes can lead to changes in the environment’.'  http://www.paulinelatham.co.uk/content/climate-change-curriculum

For the Classroom Wall: Polar Bears are Doing OK

Polar bears are good for catching the attention of the young who are told the poor bears are all but dead in the water from the melting ice.  

Children are urged variously to do such things as: 

Help save them. Screw up your own life.  Turn your back on generations of hard-won effort and industrial progress.  Feel bad about just about everything,  Just look at what's happening to the polar bears. Turn off lights.  Hassle your parents.  Be afraid of global warming.  Blame humanity for it.

Example here: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2007/04/15/will-polar-bears-be-ok.html
'Sean Hussey and his twin sister, Erin, are only 9 years old, but they already know all about global warming. And they're worried, very worried. Teachers at their Hillsborough, Calif., school have shown them pictures of melting glaciers. Sean fears that polar bears will be left homeless. "I like polar bears a lot," he explains. Erin is also concerned about what she calls "the animal side" of climate change. "There are lots of animals that shouldn't die," she says. "The humans are the ones who are causing it." '

Meanwhile, the polar bears are doing OK.

What does that tell you about the scamsters of climate, class?  Pretty shoddy? Yup - that's about right.

For a sensible view, one based on reality and not the wishful fantasising of malevolent zealots, here are some observations by Matt Ridley.  Extract:

'In other words, the claim that polar bear populations are declining at all, let alone due to climate change, is a manufactured myth, designed for media consumption and with very little basis in fact. That it works all too well is demonstrated by an episode in 2011 involving Sir David Attenborough. In a television series the brilliant television presenter, unwisely diverging from neutral natural history, had asserted that the polar bear is already in trouble. When challenged by Lord Lawson that ‘the polar bear population has not been falling, but rising’, Sir David responded. He was quoted by The Daily Telegraph as saying ‘Most [polar bear populations] are in decline and just one is increasing – for a number of factors – one being they have stopped hunting…Lord Lawson is denying what the whole scientific community is accepting and working at and it is extraordinary thing for him to do’.
Much as I admire and like both men, I have to say that the evidence suggests that Lord Lawson’s account is closer to the truth. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature estimated in 1966 that there were 10,000 polar bears in the world; in 2006, the same source estimated that the population had risen to 20,000-25,000 bears. Had Sir David examined the text on the PBSG’s website he would have found that all but one of the eight sub-population declines he cited were in fact based on ‘beliefs’ or future projections. As demonstrated by another recent mistake in another television series, this time an exaggerated claim for temperature change in Africa, Sir David is not being well served by his BBC researchers these days.
Zac Unger documents in his recent book Never Look a Polar Bear in the Eye, how polar bear ‘decline’ is now a large and lucrative industry and in places like Churchill, Manitoba, organisations like Polar Bears International cynically use the imagined plight of the bears to raise money, and push propaganda at young people about changing their lifestyles and those of their parents.'

His writing was inspired by a study made by a polar bear expert Susan Crockford.  It is available for download here at the Global Warming Policy Foundation site.

Her study is entitled '10 Good Reasons Not To Worry About Polar Bears'

That would make a good title for a display on the classroom wall would it not?  The children would be pleased.  Why not help put their troubled minds at rest?

[Hat-tip/inspiration: Booker here:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/globalwarming/9934109/Attenborough-should-check-his-facts-on-polar-bears.html#disqus_thread ]

Note added later on 17 March:  The Heartland Institute in the States has produced an advertising-hoarding that could provide ideas for a wall display although it is perhaps too political for the classroom itself::

And another:  More on polar bears and with more links here:  http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2013/03/17/seeing-polar-bears/

Note added 25 Oct 2017.  More vindication of the position that polar bears are doing ok:   https://polarbearscience.com/2017/10/24/death-of-the-polar-bear-as-climate-change-icon-validates-mitch-taylors-skepticism/

Note added 26 Oct 2018.  Yet more vindication:
From the inestimable Kenneth Richard:
'Ten years ago, polar bears were classified as an endangered species due to model-based assumptions that said the recession of Arctic sea ice would hamper the bears’ seal-hunting capabilities and ultimately lead to starvation and extinction...

'The paleoclimate evidence, which shows that sea ice was thinner and less extensive than today for most of the last 10,000 years, also contradicts the assumptions about modern polar bear endangerment due to thinning ice.  One must ask: How did polar bears survive sea ice free summers in the ancient past if they existentially rely on thick sea ice to hunt prey today?
When the observations don’t agree with the models and assumptions, real scientists are supposed to reconsider their hypotheses.
Climate scientists, on the other hand, too often discard the data that conflict with their modeled assumptions and proceed to call those who question their models and assumptions names (i.e., “deniers”).
This begs the question: Why is climate science so much different than real science?
In the 3 new papers referenced below, extensive observational evidence suggests that polar bear populations are currently healthier than in the past, and their numbers have been stable or growing in recent decades.'

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Three ways to get at the young about 'climate change'

The determination by some to turn children into true believers in the Faith of Alarm over Climate and Much Else Besides is revealed in many ways.  Here are three: get the catechisms into school curricula, design school buildings and grounds to show how serious it is, and have museum exhibits which do much the same.

Each has been illustrated by recent blogposts.  I managed to get comments published on two of them..  The first is in response to an article which notes with some enthusiasm an initiative to promote climate alarm in the curricula of American schools.  The second is in response to a rather wide-eyed article in the New York Times about ‘eco-buildings’ used for schools, a prescription which can mean they become both more expensive and less useable, but then a little suffering on the part of the pupils can be informative, as one headmaster believed according to one of the examples in my comment.  I add the third example from an article in which the author is bemused by school pupils at his museum reporting that they’d had quite enough ‘climate change' in their education, thank you.  My comment, polite as it was, was not posted.  But  other critical ones were, and I show extracts from one by ‘TinyCO2’ and one by Barry Woods.

(title of an article by Katherine Bagley, InsideClimate News, Mar 4, 2013)

My comment
‘Given that the so-called major factor of human-linked CO2 emissions has continued to grow while global mean temperature has flatlined for some 16 years, why would any State rush to adopt a curriculum that seems to tell them the two are strongly linked?  Children now at school have not known 'global warming' in their lifetime.  Some will have teachers telling them snow is a thing of the past one year and yet the next few years see that snow appearing all around them.  Others will have been warned about hurricanes becoming fiercer and/or more frequent, and will be bemused when they study data showing otherwise.  Others still will wonder about the polar bears doing relatively well, and the sea level rises refusing to accelerate, or the Arctic sea ice extent being so variable that observers thought it might disappear in the 1920s.  The reality is that CO2 has not demonstrated any confirmed weather effects in recent decades, and those who tried to give it a grand role which it has never displayed in the past are struggling to save face.  Pushing their dogmas on to children is neither a moral nor a responsible way to do it.  Let the children learn that climate changes - always has and always will - and that we have been impressive at getting better at coping with the inevitable variations.  Let the children learn that human activity interacts with the climate system and has clear local effects on climate, and will surely influence global climate.  But teach them that it is a tough problem to ascertain those global effects because they are so small compared to those due to other sources of variation.  Let us not frighten children because some want to raise generations of 'little political activists' driven by fear and a lack of confidence in humanity.’

Note added 5/4/19:  On larger timescales, 'no causal link for CO2 during deglaciation':

(title of an article by Andrew C Revkin of the New York Times, Mar 6, 2013)

My comment

‘Here are three not-so-happy instances of teachers using school buildings and grounds to make their eco-points:
(1) Happy Head, Chilly Children, Troubled Teachers, Perplexed Parents, Riled Readers - an example of authoritarian eco-arrogance at work using a school’s central heating to make mysterious points: http://climatelessons.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/happy-head-chilled-children...
(2) Learning by Metaphor: foolish building, foolish technology, foolish teacher, foolish 'science' – in which an eco-classroom is too unpleasant to be useable: http://climatelessons.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/learning-by-metaphor-foolis...
(3) Climate Change Scaremongering threatens the physical as well as the mental wellbeing of children: wind turbines in school grounds now complement the scare stories in school rooms : http://climatelessons.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/climate-change-scaremongeri...

(title of an article by Adam Blankenbicker, Sci-Ed blog, Mar 4, 2013)

My comment consisted mainly of suggestions for a not-at-all-alarming exhibit on climate at his museum.  It was not published.  A couple of gently critical comments by TinyCo2 and by Barry Woods were however.

TinyCO2 says quite a few things, not all of which I would go along with.  Here are some with which I would:

‘Climate change is conveyed to the public in such a simplified form that it is little more than advertising. Catchy phrases, cartoons, celebrities, exaggerated facts, half truths, these are the ways that governments and media try to sell AGW to the public. The aim is not to explain climate science, it is to get a mandate to force people to cut CO2. There is no debate. You don’t get to use your knowledge of climate to have an opinion. More detailed knowledge doesn’t make the picture clearer, just the opposite. The more you know, the more questions arise. So the science never gets beyond the simple caricature but it appears everywhere. News stories, kids TV, films, interviews, comedy, you name it climate change creeps into the fabric of communication. Each message says CO2 bad, the World will end unless the bad men stop polluting.’

Barry Woods quotes from a psychotherapist, Ro Randall (extract):

‘Should we be working with children about climate change?Climate change community groups often want to work with children. ‘We must get into the schools,’ says someone and there is a nod of agreement. It’s worth thinking about the psychology behind this. Why is this idea so appealing? And why is it so damaging?’