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Climate change in schools

Readers who have expressed concern over the use of green propaganda in schools will be interested in this, a report on the Climate Change Schools Project.

The students really benefitted from the experience and really seem more aware of the different issues connected to climate change. They often now come to school in the morning to ask if I have heard the news and telling me we really do need to do something- Last week it was the fact that 1 in 6 houses are going to be at risk of flooding in the later part of this century.’

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Reader Comments (48)

Who funds and runs the Climate Change Schools Project? Never heard of this insidious propaganda forum before?

Mar 26, 2010 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I think it's DCSF.

Mar 26, 2010 at 2:24 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Scotland's "Chief Science Advisor"' giving a recent lecture said she had been lecturing schoolchildren (her public lecture clearly being based on the same). I have reviewed her inanities & lies here

Government Science Advisors are not there to advise government but to tell the scientists, public & children that "the science" is whatever government wants it to be.

Mar 26, 2010 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil Craig

Reminds me of the Maths courses:

1950s: "If a builder buys 23 feet and 5 inches of lumber for £ 4/5/6d, how much did he pay for one inch?"

1990s: "If a builder buys 7.2 meters of lumber for £ 6,90, how much did he pay for one centimeter?"

2010: "If a builder buys 7.2 meters of lumber for £ 21.60, why did he deprive the squirrels of their home in the forest?"

Mar 26, 2010 at 2:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Frightening. Propaganda presented using the most alarmist images and claims, to children who soak it up like sponges. In the USA we have school boards, where one might protest such blatant brainwashing, as well as state education boards. How does one resist this in the UK?

Mar 26, 2010 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Adams

Don Pab,
I take it your browser doesn't support Mandarin for the wording of the question in 2015?


As for the homes flooding, how about clearing out the current encumbents of the planning depts, and putting a few civil engineers, geologist, or other people who have some understanding of flood plains and 100 year flood levels?

I look at the water on the drive of a new built house down the road as I go past. Built in a valley floor bog, and sunk into the ground to "minimise visual impact"...

Weren't they wittering on about water shortages and droughts until a year or two ago?

Mar 26, 2010 at 3:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterKeith in Ireland



Mar 26, 2010 at 3:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Comrade Stalin would be so proud of them.

Mar 26, 2010 at 3:24 PM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

This sounds so remincesent of the Cultural Revolution.

Mar 26, 2010 at 3:30 PM | Unregistered Commentersteve hayes

Lenin called people like this 'useful idiots'.

Mar 26, 2010 at 3:34 PM | Unregistered Commenterharold

The following is taken verbatim from my son's Year 8 Geography examination for 2010. Year 8 is 2nd year high school age 12 - 13.

Sam woke up to the sound of the electric radio alarm going off. The room was lovely and warm as the gas central heating had been on all night. In the kitchen the rest of the family were already stuck into the breakfast routine. The kettle was on, toast was popping out of the toaster and the fridge door opened and shut at regular intervals. Tea bags, empty milk cartons and cans were thrown in the bin.

After a quick check in the mirror it was straight into the family Jeep to be whisked off to school. The traffic was terrible outside the school gates. Sam's bag was heavy with all the books needed for that day including the 12 page geography essay that was going to win top marks!

Sam was looking forward to ICT that morning, as well as Technology where the class were making a table out of wood.

Read the story above and complete the following tasks:

(a) From the story above list four different ways in which peoples activities had a negative impact on the environment
(b) Expalin how Sam's day could have contributed to Global Warming

I get very angry to think that my son is being subjected to such indoctrination and drivel instead of being educated in mathematics, physics, biology and other important subjects.

Mar 26, 2010 at 3:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

Yes, ThinkingScienist --

But your child will know why the squirrels lost their home in the forest.

I also point to the movie Fahrenheit 451 This is the first few minutes, but says it all.

Mar 26, 2010 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

"....and some with worrying misconceptions about the world ending."

Memories of kids in the early 80s who had nightmares about nuclear war, I suppose the difference is, the nuclear war was a real possibility.

Mar 26, 2010 at 3:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterKeith in Ireland

Using propaganda on school children is sick.

Mar 26, 2010 at 4:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Nuclear weapons were (and still are) real. But we did not have organised campaigns to frighten children about them.

Mar 26, 2010 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

If you get to the children, you own the future.

My son is two and a half. My wife was a head teacher and will be returning to work in a year or so. Interesting times ahead.

Excellent book BTW. Just finished. What an eye-opener - and I thought I knew somewhat about the MBH vs MM farrago. It's been said many times before here, but you have done a great public service in trying to bring MMs efforts to a wider public. Thank you.

Mar 26, 2010 at 4:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterBig Bad Dom

RE: Mark Adams:

"How does one resist this in the UK?"

The answer is with great difficulty. When the governemnt education minister decided that Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth should be mandatory viewing in lessons for all UK school children one parent/governor Stewart Dimmock took them to court to challenge this. He didn't prevent it. Part of the ruling as reported by the BBC at was:

"In his final verdict, the judge said the film could be shown as long as updated guidelines were followed. These say teachers should point out controversial or disputed sections. Without the guidance, updated after the case was launched, the government would have been breaking the law, the judge said. The government has sent the film to all secondary schools in England, and the administrations in Wales and Scotland have done the same."

The guidance of course from the teachers, who presumably follow the guidance laid down by the government.

However he did get a ruling by the judge that the film contained nine scientific errors.

Mar 26, 2010 at 4:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

Harolld: "Lenin called people like this 'useful idiots'."

geronimo calls people like this "useless tosspots"!

Mar 26, 2010 at 4:21 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

We really have to put a stop to this before any hope of recovery is gone forever.
Once the current generation of schoolchildren get into positions of power, we have no chance of changing anything. They are beyond listening to the truth, corrupted by Brown's despicable government.
People used to scoff when "worldwide conspiracy" was suggested, but the more I see, the closer I get to believing it.
Politically, our only hope seems to be UKIP or BNP, neither of which is likely to win more than token support.
So, what can we do?

Mar 26, 2010 at 4:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterWee Willie

If you get to the children, you own the future.

Quite right Big Bad Dom.

Over the last 30 or so years, there has been a systematic "dumbing" of our children. When I went to school in New Jersey years ago, I was expected to not only know what countries were in Africa (at the time), but also be able to draw the borders of them on a blank map. I also had two years of Latin in high school as well.

Yesterday I was in a food store and the kid in line ahead of me got a Canadian dime somewhere and tried to spend it. The clerk refused it. The kid asked "Why?" "Because it's Canadian," the clerk explained. "Where's Canada?" the kid asked. He had never learned where it was, apparently. When I asked him where Mexico was, he answered "near LA, isn't it?"

I forgot to ask him why the squirrels lost their home in the forest, but I am sure he did know the "correct" answer.


Mar 26, 2010 at 4:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

"Give me the child until he is seven and I will show you the man" - Ignatius Loyola SJ

(To be fair, I owe my scepticism to my Jesuit Physics teacher.)

Mar 26, 2010 at 4:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

They’re brainwashing our children, well your children, I’ve already taught my kids independent thinking now I’m just sent to the naughty chair.

Mar 26, 2010 at 4:54 PM | Unregistered Commentermartyn

Just my 2p on the wider issues, from the perspective of a recent import to the UK.

I've been lucky enough to live in many different countries, several of which are even now officially communist, as in the morally superior EU, UK or US would define and denigrate such countries as being communist dictatorships, totally undemocratic, human rights violators etc.

So, I was kinda looking forward to coming back here after half a life "under" communism. But I was pretty shocked at the changes I perceive have radically taken hold since growing up in the UK. Shocked too, that those friends and family I'd left behind mostly didn't seem to notice or care.

Personally I find the pervasiveness of state propaganda and interference at every level of people's daily lives very depressing. The wider AGW message appears to me as just one super manifestation of this.

From endless govt "adverts" on commercial radio (I sometimes wonder if there are any businesses left who can actually get an ad slot on a commercial station, so exclusively does it seem to be occupied by the govt and its agents) , to eco behaviour correction lectures on the BBC, to Eco Schools.

In short, I find it more communist here than I ever did in any of those officially communist countries. Just without the honesty.

Here the pretence is to democracy and rationalism, built on the foundations of great science and liberty. The reality I find is the opposite. In China, for example, the pretence is to communism, the reality simply free-wheeling capitalism and a hunger to improve.

Of course there are no public elections of govt. in China, but there don't appear to be any genuine ones in the EU zone either, only the pretence. The Chinese people really win here, as no ordinary citizen wastes any of their time on this issue, as there is no pretence. Instead the average citizen is free to follow whatever legal endeavour they choose to make life better for themselves and their families.

Propaganda and Big Govt statism should have no place in schools, but we must all realise it's there, right at the foundation, and embedded throughout its very fabric.

The only answer I know is to heckle, in spite of the good Mrs. Hill's request not to. Reject the concept of Big and Ever Expanding Govt, encroaching on every aspect of our lives. Leave Our Kids Alone. And when you've done that, leave us alone too.

Only one of my home countries has it right imho. Hong Kong's slogan: Big Market, Small Govt. The other, the UK, has it completely and disappointingly wrong. Slogan: a future fair now with prizes for all in the new diverse green jobs inclusive economy.

Mar 26, 2010 at 5:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterDrew

Even if climate change was a real problem for the future it would be wrong to make children feel guilty or reponsible or afraid about it.

During WW2 adults went to great lengths to hide the realities of war from their children - and from other children.

In my own school days the only 'campaign' we were exposed to was road safety - a few lessons on crossing the road and riding your bike from the local police.

Mar 26, 2010 at 5:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Anybody who has listened to small children lecturing their parents on "healthy" lifestyles will know that there is a grave danger in our schooling that pupils are being indoctrinated into becoming obedient citizens, controlled by mediocre dieticians and environmental fundamentalists.

Mar 26, 2010 at 6:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam

UK listeners may just have heard the Now Show - if not well worth a listen to Mitch Benn around 18.52. Available as a podcast.

Mar 26, 2010 at 6:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Marxism has always flourished in the teaching profession, the NUT is an apt acronym but it should read, National Union of Marxist Teachers.
Communist ideas are now openly espoused in British classrooms, equality, multiculturalism, irreligious teaching, amorality, - all of these nebulous concepts are compounded by the lack of academic rigour and the general dumbing down of pupils to a situation where, everybody is a 'winner' and nobody fails.
In furtherance of these jaundiced ideals, belief and indoctrination of man-made catastrophic events suits the Marxist's agenda quite nicely, in that, man is bad and cannot be afforded personal responsibility because of his actions in poisoning the planet. Therefore only the omniscient and omnipotent state can be trusted to guide us, police us and 'look after' us.

The earlier the brainwashing can begin can only be to the good, Marxism is an insidious form of poison and in Britain, they have cleverly repackaged their brand but they are easily spotted in Humanities faculties (the birth place of climatology departments) in Universities and in local councils and trade unions and of course in the 'new' Labour party. They have never been far away, Brown and the EU commission or to give it it's proper moniker the EU politburo are Marxist through and through and their agenda is nearing reality.
That stalwart of the Stalinist terror, BERIA would have heartily approved of the direction that Britain is now careering down, be afraid be very afraid, our subsuming into the federalist Marxist super state is all but complete.

Mar 26, 2010 at 7:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan

Jonathan - Now Show - excellent! I think it was Jon Holmes though.

Mar 26, 2010 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterDR

Congratulations Drew, a fine post.

Mar 26, 2010 at 8:07 PM | Unregistered Commentermartyn

From Page 32: "As part of this we planned to embed the government's sustainability agenda"

Since when was it a school's job to "embed" government agendas?

Mar 26, 2010 at 9:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndy Scrase

Well said, Drew And Athelstan.

I'd better explain where I was coming from about the kids having nightmares of nuclear war.

The school I went to up to the early 80s had a strong pacifist ethos (which didn't stop forms 1-3 getting the crap kicked out of them and the higher forms doing the kicking, but that's another story...), so CND was allowed to recruit and preach freely. I can think of a couple of kids who were well and truly scared by that bunch of commies, to the point of having nightmares, and their general mental health being disturbed.

By the time I got to college, I could spot a Trotskyite at 50m, and the local technical college was full of them (I'm assuming that most are?), always arguing about which groups to execute first when the revolution came.

Such a kind, caring and peaceful utopia...

I have several friends from currently and formerly Communist countries. While entertaining a Chinese friend's mother, over on a visit, we got discussing the industry which used to operate in the former coal field areas of England.

She asked what economic activity occurs now, and I had to explain that since the early 1980s, virtually none. The third generation is now being born who have never known anyone go out to work.

Her reaction:
My God, this country is more communist than China!
and that from a card carrying CCP member.

My mainland Chinese friends generally agree that the young people in China now, usually don't actually know or care much about politics, and I can think of a handfull of pretty libertarian / small "c" conservative Brits who have emigrated to mainland China

Mar 26, 2010 at 9:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterKeith

Is the Now Show the breakthrough we've been waiting for? Or did the BBC not realise what they were going to say? Jon Holmes ridiculed the whole lot including the IPPC and Earth Hour (tomorrow). Listen Again available. My husband and I were cheering in the kitchen -and we'll have all the lights on tomorrow evening.

Mar 26, 2010 at 9:45 PM | Unregistered Commentermontysmum

The Now Show is available online here. Start listening at 19 minutes 20 seconds in.

Mar 26, 2010 at 10:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Not to make too much of a topical radio comedy show, but I do believe The Now Show extract linked to above is quite significant. A more 'right-on, settled liberal consensus' show it's hard to imagine. Loved the dig at the IPCC -

...obviously I haven't checked that rigorously, although that alone makes me at least as credible as the IPCC...

That may sound tame compared to the blogosphere but for a BBC show like this it's tantamount to blasphemy. Early days, but the tide may indeed be turning.

Another BBC publication, The Radio Times, covered the estimable Gene Hunt's (for non-UK readers - a fictional 1970's/80's politically incorrect detective) views on global warming. Great stuff:

Right, let's get one thing straight: there's no such thing as global warming. It is an invention of embittered minorities - unwashed hippies who can't get a job, Guardian readers and women. And if I see one more whining student sorting his rubbish out into different containers I'm going to ram a Paco Rabanne deodorant up his jacksie and set it alight.

Bunch of goody-two-shoes ruining our fun, turning off the lights at the drop of a hat. It's all hypocrisy anyway. I've heard DI Drake moaning on about Big Business ruining the planet, but her hairspray alone would take out a small corner of Brazil.

Personally, I always buy those bottles of blue glass that are hard to recycle.

Mar 26, 2010 at 11:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterDougieJ

Jonathon, DR, Montysmum- I happened to hear that show today as well, surprised me, too. This school's indoctrination thing- the most despicable malfaisance, but do those teachers or our children and grandchildren really buy it, or just pretend to. I think back to my schooldays. Only one teacher might have been that gullible- and he was mocked rotten as is was. Perhaps I was lucky. But I also saw the dreadful oppression in the soviet eastern bloc in the late 50's early 60's. Even there, away from the tanks, the secret police, informants, and the tight lipped sad faces, among trusted gatherings, around the camp fires in the forests, the guitars and rebellious patriotic songs rang out, children danced, life returned. They faked compliance, because they had to.

Mar 27, 2010 at 12:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

I am very naive, because I am hopeful.

I suspect that the current crop of children will grow up,
just like the generations before them,
and reject all the "wisdom" taught to them by their elders and betters or such like.

It just needs one small chink in the story
and they will seize on it
and the whole sand castle will come tumbling down.
Kids are very black and white in their thinking
One day carbon is black, dirty and disgusting,
The next, it is the giver of life.
Worry not.

What does worry me profoundly is that by the time they grow up,
government attempts to curb CO2 emissions
will damage the economies of western nations very severly.
Todays children will grow up,
hating us for not doing enough to stop the destruction of the wealth of nations.

But then, I'm not a scientist, so I don't underatand.

Mar 27, 2010 at 12:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterAusieDan

Oh dear, I should have said:

government FUTILE attempts to curb CO2 emissions

Mar 27, 2010 at 1:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterAusieDan

Drew: I left the UK in 1982 to live in France, and from there to the US. We get back relatively infrequently, but every time there is a big change (for the worse). The country I grew up in is long gone. England seems like a (not totally pleasant) foreign country to me now.

Mar 27, 2010 at 1:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterPJP

The Now Show until today has always been stridently pro-AGW, especially the ghastly bore Marcus Brigstocke (motto: "If I rant loudly enough and long enough it will be funny whatever I say").

This makes this latest piece even more of a breakthrough. As I've said before, we will really know that the alarmists have lost in the UK when they are a laughing stock on the likes of Mock the Week and Have I Got News For You. This is a real step in that direction.

Mar 27, 2010 at 1:51 AM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

I'm with those who find the prolonged outburst of Jon Holmes on the Now Show significant and hopeful. But, to my ear, even Brigstocke has tempered the one-sidedness of his satire. I especially liked it during Copenhagen when he said that George Monbiot went past on a bicycle powered by his own moral superiority - or something like that. That mockery of activist self-righteousness was I thought highly called-for, coming from someone who's given off more than a whiff of that himself in days of yore.

As far as Have I Got News For You is concerned, Ian Hislop (whom I admire in other ways) remains of course intellectually convinced by AGW, which has badly blunted the satire of Private Eye as well in this area. But the American comedian Reginald D. Hunter brilliantly satirised AGW science and those who follow it I thought in the 14 Dec episode of HIGNFY. Well worth a watch for the interaction with James May and Paul Merton and Hunter pricking Hislop's balloon - again the faux moral seriousness being the issue. And I have to say that I think Hunter's 'science' is about as good as Chapter 9 of WG1, on the attribution of warming to CO2, the dark heart of the whole AGW scam. Which is why I found this such a gift during Copenhagen - sharing the jollity with my son but neglecting to mention it elsewhere until now. So thanks to the Climate Change Schools Project (you're toast once the satirists turn against you by the way, as any decent teacher will confirm), the Now Show and artwest for reminding me!

Mar 27, 2010 at 2:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Private Eye criticises carbon trading this week - it's a start:

Mar 27, 2010 at 9:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterDR


I think you are being unfair to Marcus Brigstocke. He's been to the Arctic twice and got cold and seasick and seen icebergs and that, which must make him an expert on climate.

Mar 27, 2010 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

DR thanks, missed that, Richard Sandor's a key man of course. Good to see that the Eye at least has the gumption to spot the inconsistency about offshore tax optimisation and the increase in air miles (and thus CO2 emissions) it occasions and a theoretical love of the planet. It would be fascinating to know if someone like Sandor believes the IPCC claim of attribution of warming to GHGs or knows it's bollocks. Either way, only a major fit of conscience is going to stand in the way of the money making machine that is the Chicago Climate Exchange and its offshoots. Well, either that or a complete collapse in the market and public shaming of the insiders and opportunists behind them. In fact let's go for that option, it sounds a lot more fun.

Mar 27, 2010 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Teaching schoolchildren about their potential impact on the environment is not such a bad idea. You could call the whole curriculum 'Propaganda': they are over-assessed and drilled to memorize things ('facts') as a preparation for study, and for life. And they are exposed to some massive religious indoctrination, too. Does anyone on this thread worry about that?

Mar 27, 2010 at 4:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterReinerG

We need to adapt. Take a look at this article The Great Transition:

Mar 27, 2010 at 6:07 PM | Unregistered Commentersooli

I think I'm fortunate. My 7th grader just got finished with a unit on climate, and they are being taught that "climate change", both warming and Ice Ages, is a natural variation that may be caused by solar variations and changes in the Earth's orbit around the sun. They're also taught that "man-made global warming" is a hypothesis--not even a theory. The textbook makes it clear that we're in an interstadial and discusses the Climatic Optimum, the Roman Warm Period, the Medieval Warm Period (er, the "Medieval Climate Anomaly" in Mann-speak), and the Little Ice Age.

So all is not lost. They're still environmentally conscious about pollution as we all should be, but they're not brainwashing our kids with this AGW nonsense.

Don Pablo wrote:
"Over the last 30 or so years, there has been a systematic "dumbing" of our children. When I went to school in New Jersey years ago, I was expected to not only know what countries were in Africa (at the time), but also be able to draw the borders of them on a blank map."

My same child just had a map test on Africa. They had to label all of the countries, and had to be able to spell them correctly, too.

I think they should bring Latin back. I never had it in school, either. About the only exposure I had to Latin was in church.

Mar 28, 2010 at 12:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterKay

It is a form of child abuse and is happening here in Oz too. It is really up to parents to educate their children when they come home. Explain to the child who pays the teacher and what is required in return for the paycheck.
I spend time telling the 11 year old the truth - the younger one doesn't listen to them anyway.
Pity there are not a few more teachers with brains and intestinal fortitude.
Pity they have to be taught to distrust their teachers.

Mar 29, 2010 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterjulie

Not all kids fall for it. Remember Kristen? It looks like she even did a good job of teaching the adults :)

Mar 30, 2010 at 2:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlli

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