'Finally, it is essential that intellectual integrity be restored to the scientific profession. Too much money has been devoted to funding global warming scientists, who have depended for their livelihood on a high level of public and political anxiety about global warming, and have hence tended to suppress the evidence against the popular hysteria. .... Enlightenment standards of scientific integrity have been subverted by government cash and media hysteria. For the sake of all our futures this must never be allowed to happen again.'
Martin Hutchinson, http://www.tbwns.com/2015/07/20/the-bears-lair-global-warming-hysteria-one-huge-ghastly-mistake/

Monday, 9 April 2012

The Environmental Terrorizing of Children

Reproduced here with permission of the author, an article recently published at Canada Free Press by Alan Caruba:

The Environmental Terrorizing of Children

'In many ways, the worst aspect of environmentalism is why Greens not only feel free to terrorize children with doomsday scenarios, but feel compelled to do so.

I have been reviewing books for some fifty years and with the publication of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” in 1962 and books such as Paul Ehrlich’s “Population Bomb” have been offering scenarios intended to move people and governments to take action that, in retrospect, were based on bad “science” and absurd doomsday predictions.

If you were fooled by global warming, they are counting on you to be fooled again by “sustainability”, their reworking of Marx’s communism in the form of a grandiose scheme to control all of the Earth’s bounty. In June the United Nations will hold a Rio+20 conference that will declare that governments exist to ensure “sustainable well-being and happiness.” The Declaration of Independence offers the opportunity to pursue happiness. It does not guarantee it, nor does it suggest that it is government’s job to provide it.

A key element of the Green’s endless indoctrination schemes has been to reach children, the most vulnerable among us and for this reason our schools have been turned into Green prisons where their version of the Earth is pumped into the minds of children here and around the world.

Their primary teaching tool is fear. Fear that the oceans will rise and wipe out entire cities. Fear that the rainforests are disappearing. Fear that entire species are being destroyed by the hand of man. Fear that the use of any kind of fuel, coal, natural gas, and oil is despoiling the planet.

I have reviewed books for some fifty years at this point and I could not put a number on the books for children that hammer home these and other terrifying themes. One crossed my desk the other day, “Our House is Round: A Kid’s Book About Why Protecting Our Earth Matters” by Yolanda Kondonassis and illustrated by Joan Brush. It has been called “the perfect children’s introduction to environmental issues” by Fred Krupp, the president of the Environmental Defense Fund.

The author is not a biologist, a geologist, a meteorologist, or any other kind of scientist. She is a Grammy-nominated classical harpist. A harpist!

Our Earth has gotten messy. What should we do?” she asks her young reader. What does she mean by “messy”? Her answer is that “cars, trucks, and factories make pollution, a kind of dirty gas or liquid that goes out into the air and into our rivers, lakes, and oceans.” This book is written for children age five to nine!

Imagine now what it must be like to be that age and be told that the air is polluted and the water is as well. This verges on child abuse.

Pollution goes up into the sky and forms a blanket of gas that holds heat within Earth’s atmosphere. That makes our whole Earth warmer and leads to unclean air for breathing, melting polar ice caps, rising sea levels, and extreme weather patterns. Scientists call this warming of our Earth’s temperature CLIMATE CHANGE.”

It is a LIE. The Earth has been cooling for fifteen years.

Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It is a gas as vital to all life on Earth as oxygen is to the life of living creatures. Without it, not a single blade of grass or tree or the vegetation we call “crops” would not grow. Livestock and wildlife depend on that vegetation. If you are age five to nine, you likely are unaware of this.
This book and all the others that incorporate these lies are a form of psychological terror.

The same week I received “Our House is Round”, I also received “The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea” and “Earth-Friendly Buildings, Bridges, and More.” You could stack all the environmentally-themed children’s books I’ve seen and it would reach up several stories.

They are a corruption of geophysical and biological science. They have nothing to do with “saving the planet” and everything to do with distorting children’s understanding of the real world.

It does not matter that the Ms. Kondonassis thinks she is serving humanity. The great lie of communism is that it will create a collectivist utopia. In reality it has always depended on terror to maintain itself and it has failed wherever it has been tried. Environmentalism is its latest permutation.

It is the same reason that communism derides religion for its emphasis on life and morality.

It is the same reason Americans are being subjected to government imposed limitations on energy and transportation, and coerced social change, altering and secularizing our society.

I have devoted my life to freedom of the press, freedom to publish, freedom to speak out, and to urge participation in the life of the greatest nation on Earth, but some books like “Our House Is Round” are the worst kind of mental pollution.

Environmentalism, like all tyrannies, begins by indoctrinating children.'

Editor’s Note: In 1974 Alan Caruba was a founding member of the National Book Critics Circle.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Environmental scaremongering targeting children is not new.  In 1984, Herbert London published 'Why Are They Lying to Our Children?' about the same issue.  The foreword by Herman Kahn begins as follows:

'War, famine, environmental disasters, material shortages, and a declining quality of life - that's what schoolchildren are being taught to expect in their futures.  What these grim and mostly inaccurate forecasts are doing to their lives I don't know for sure.  ut I do know this.  Our children are absorbing excessively negative misinformation.'

Well, some children born in 1984 are now teaching in classrooms themselves. I dread to think how many of them will welcome books such as those mentioned by Alan Caruba in his hard-hitting article.  It is little wonder that the mass media, for example, have been so supine in the face of environmentalist excesses - it is quite possible that many there actually believe them, and are not merely looking for sales through sensationalism.  Many politicians, locked in an almost closed mutual feedback system with the media, are in the same boat.  What chance have the teachers got to rebel against the misinformation, and what chance have the children got to survive with their minds and spirits unharmed?

Harpist Decides The Children Must be Told: and so another scary climate book for kiddies hits the streets

All sorts of people have been taken up with the great adventure of saving the planet from our CO2.  The idea of a climate crisis has been remarkably productive, providing a stimulating vehicle for politicians intent on more power, insurers intent on more premiums, journalists intent on more readers, scientists intent on more grants, consultants intent on more clients, NGOs intent on more funds and movie-makers intent on more tickets.  And then all sorts of others have found joining-in irresistible, including, presumably, the woman who wrote the book on the left, 'Our House is Round', which is to be re-released on Amazon in the UK later this year.

The book has been read, partly reviewed, and roundly condemned by Alan Caruba:
 
'The author is not a biologist, a geologist, a meteorologist, or any other kind of scientist. She is a Grammy-nominated classical harpist. A harpist!

“Our Earth has gotten messy. What should we do?” she asks her young reader. What does she mean by “messy”? Her answer is that “cars, trucks, and factories make pollution, a kind of dirty gas or liquid that goes out into the air and into our rivers, lakes, and oceans.” This book is written for children age five to nine! 

Imagine now what it must be like to be that age and be told that the air is polluted and the water is as well. This verges on child abuse.

“Pollution goes up into the sky and forms a blanket of gas that holds heat within Earth’s atmosphere. That makes our whole Earth warmer and leads to unclean air for breathing, melting polar ice caps, rising sea levels, and extreme weather patterns. Scientists call this warming of our Earth’s temperature CLIMATE CHANGE.”

It is a LIE. The Earth has been cooling for fifteen years.

Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It is a gas as vital to all life on Earth as oxygen is to the life of living creatures. Without it, not a single blade of grass or tree or the vegetation we call “crops” would not grow. Livestock and wildlife depend on that vegetation. If you are age five to nine, you likely are unaware of this.

This book and all the others that incorporate these lies are a form of psychological terror.'
(hat-tip: Greenie Watch)

The book was published in 2010, and the site promoting it includes an interview with the author, Yolanda Kondonassis, from which I have taken this extract:

'Q: This book is more plain-spoken than most kid’s books about what causes environmental problems. Was that a conscious decsion?
YK: Very conscious. I have a huge amount of respect for the intelligence and capacity of kids. I learned long ago that it’s almost always a mistake to talk down to children. They are refreshingly lacking in agendas so their minds are open in the most productive and observant way. They are also shockingly honest. If something doesn’t make sense, they will usually ask all the right questions and shine a spotlight on the blind spots of adults in about two seconds flat. I love that. Perhaps we should have a kids’ delegation Congress.
Q: In your book, you don’t avoid or tip-toe around the issue of climate change. Tell us about your convictions.
YK: It’s a pretty simple cause and effect equation. The problems facing our earth aren’t simple, but recognizing that we do indeed have problems should be pretty clear. I am big on metaphors so to use another one, I have found that at the beginning of a child’s cold or flu, there is always the temptation for parents to say “it’s allergies,” “he’s overtired,” “she had a long day,” “he’s overheated,” etc. For working parents, a sick child requires scheduling overhaul, missed obligations, and family upheaval. No one wants to admit when these disruptions are imminent. But most moms also know that glassy look in their kids’ eyes that says we’re headed into the sick zone for a few days. Our earth definitely has that glassy-eyed look and we need to admit it so we can get on with solutions. The goal should not be to slow the damage, but to reverse the trends'

Now it is arguable that the earth is far from having that 'glassy-eyed look', but is actually in vigorous good health.  It is not the sickly, vulnerable child that so many alarmed people seemed to suppose, but rather a grizzled, remarkably robust ancient.  As for air quality and water quality,  these have been improving this past century hand-in-hand with industrial progress, and it is the continuation of that progress which holds out greatest hope for further improvements.  The glib 'environmentalism' of such as Kondonassis seems to skip over all that.  Let me finish with a quote from a book which I hope she will read one day if she has not already done so, 'The Rational Optimist' by Matt Ridley:

'The four horsemean of the human apocalypse, which cause the most premature and avoidable deaths in poor countries, are and will be for many years the same: hunger, dirty water, indoor smoke, and malaria, which kill respectively about seven, three, three and two people per minute.  If you want to do your fellow human beings good, spend your effort on combating those so that people can prosper, ready to meet climate challenges as they arrive.  Economists estimate that a dollar spent on mitigating climate change brings ninety cents of benefits compared with $20 benefits per dollar spent on healthcare and $16 per dollar spent on hunger.'

I suspect Ms Kondonassis may not possess this wider perspective.  She, like many other decent well-intentioned people, has probably been scared by the talk of a climate crisis.  And she, like a good many others, has decided to share that scare with children.  Here is how her book presents industrial progress to the very young:


  Negative or what?  And of course, the air and water pollution issues we face are primarily to do with inputs that no-one associates with 'climate change', such as carbon monoxide and sewage, and which have been dramatically reduced in industrialised countries.  Kondonassis' list - whole Earth warmer ... unclean air for breathing, melting polar ice caps, rising sea levels, and extreme weather patterns - is readily Fisked: the slow warming of the past 150 years or so seems independent of CO2 and has recently slowed down despite CO2 levels rising faster than ever, air quality has been improving at least in the developed world, Antarctica - the major icecap is not melting, the slow rate of sea-level rise has become even slower in modern times, and even the IPCC has stopped using extreme weather as a poster-childPerhaps if and when she realises these things, she will stop promoting the facile propaganda of climate alarmism.  If that should allow her more time for playing the harp, the world will become a little better as a result.