The best part about all of this is that in the time since President Trump's election the voices of climate alarm have reached entirely new levels of hysteria. It's just that it seems that they aren't scaring anybody any more.

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.’

(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:
(2) Learning by Metaphor: foolish building, foolish technology, foolish teacher, foolish 'science' – in which an eco-classroom is too unpleasant to be useable:
(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 :

(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?’