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Diggers wanted

There has been some interest expressed in the idea of doing some more digging into the extent of green propaganda in schools. If anyone wants to get involved please could they drop me a line.

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let me know how I can help.

Apr 9, 2010 at 11:15 AM | Unregistered Commenterbrodie

Re climate:
Misleading children is bad.
Deliberately misleading children is very bad.
Deliberately frightening children is unforgivable.

I too am interested in investigating this further.

Apr 9, 2010 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

If I can be of any help then let me know. The thought of the nations children being frightened and brainwashed makes my blood boil. I have 3 school age children but I can give them the counter argument to anything told to them at school, unfortunately alot of parents do not realise that there is another side to the story.

Apr 9, 2010 at 12:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterAunty freeze

Haven't been over here for ages but by coincidence just found this...

Environment - Calculations everyone can do

Apr 9, 2010 at 12:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterSheila

I have been interested in this since climategate broke and you mentioned somewhere that new textbooks were being published with climate info that had already been discredited. I have 1 kid in Middle School and 2 kids in Elementary. I have often meant to check my Middle Schoolers curriculum.

The 8th grade class here in NH started the year going to Mt. Cardigan. They hike and camp for 3 days while building teamwork and learning geo-science, math, etc as well as journaling their experience within the Walden theme.

New Hampshire is mostly a moderate state, but with some influence from our good neighbors Vermont and Massachusetts, there are bound to be some hockey sticks in the science room.

Let me know if you study cares about US schools. If so, count me in.

Apr 9, 2010 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin

Not direct evidence but the lecture Scotland's Chief Science Advisor gave was clearly drawn from lectures she had ben giving in schools.

In which case they are regularly being told that global warming will increase day length & other total lies.

Apr 9, 2010 at 12:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil Craig

I've kids and grand kids in schools, how may I be of assistance?

Apr 9, 2010 at 1:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord BeaverBrook

A parent ( US) wrote a letter to the school board and asked him/her if i could use it to do the same in Canada. I added to the letter so it would fit with what i wanted to write to the British Colombia school board.
I admit that I am not a climatologist on the issue of global warming. However; I support the principle that young people should be educated, not propagandized -- and I know something about what that means.

One of the most important differences between education and propaganda is how they deal with great controversies.

In education, students are taught about the controversies. In propaganda, they are shielded from them.

In education, students are taught both sides of the important debates. In propaganda, they are taught only one.

In education, students are taught both the strengths and the weaknesses of the officially favored theory. In propaganda, they are taught only its strengths.

In short, education is the training of minds, while propaganda is the training of prejudices. In a democracy, the public schools should not propagandize, but educate.

As we find in the science section of these guidelines, students must learn to "analyze, review, and critique scientific explanations, including hypotheses and theories, as to their strengths and weaknesses using scientific evidence and information.

The issue is that although students should be taught about both sides of a scientific theoretical controversy, your assignment, based on the description in your permission request, appears to only present one side and are shielded from the weaknesses. contained in. BC Science 10.

How can a student write a critique about assertions made on global warming without having anything to compare and contrast the assertions to? Your permission/assignment sheet gave no indication as to how, if any, the views to counter Anthropogenic Global Warming would be taught.

In addition, it is not clear what alternate assignment is available to the student/teachers should they choose to Learn from a climatologist instead from a television show hosted by a journalist with no science degrees.

If the "theory" of global warming is to be taught in your classroom, I urge that the topic should be taught like the other sciences and like other controversial theories -- with honesty about both . When classroom activities and/or textbooks are biased, you(the school board)) are the check and balance.
Statements are made in Science 10 that are assertions that mix cause and effect: "climate change is affecting our planet right now. Ice is disappearing earlier in the spring, trees are budding earlier, and extreme weather events are causing more outbreaks of disease than 20 years ago." They are not only inaccurate but also dishonest.

I urge The school board to require that the scientific data to both sides of this controversy be taught and that not one side be suppressed.

To do so would be not only be good training in science, but good education in citizenship.

W Robichaud

Williams lake BC

Apr 9, 2010 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered Commenterwilbert robichaud

I've got three children and I find it really difficult when they come home from school with projects based on arrant nonsense. We've had:

1. A list of things that the year 4 child should be nagging us about - mainly about our spending habits.
2. There's green week with 'green pledges'
3. Design a green poster to put around the school.
4. In year two there's 'draw diagrams explaining the greenhouse effect' - the 6 year old's drawing turned out with an uncanny resemblence in subtlety and complexity to the models at UEA .

Do I tell them not to believe their teachers - that would be wrong, I want them to respect their teachers. I think adults need to present a united front.

But I can't let them believe, and fret about, the down right lies.

I wish teachers would keep to the 3R's and solid subjects.

My solution, by the way, is to say to myself - 'OK what would I say if the teacher had said something about religion, something that I don't believe in'. So I say to my children, 'Respect others' opinions on the matter - but there is no evidence.'

Apr 9, 2010 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterCaroline

I think you should restrict your complaints about AGW, not environmental studies as such. It's one thing to be concerned about the environment, based on true scientific enquiries and another to believe the anthropogenic causes for global warming.

I think most people visiting this blog all share a concern for real science and that includes environmental issues such as over exploitation of natural resources.

Don't throw the babes out with the bathwater.

Apr 9, 2010 at 2:16 PM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

Count me in, Bish.

This is not just an issue for parents or for our own children. I don't want any propaganda forced onto anyone's children.

One of many problems is the depressing effect on children's outlook and mental health of all this gloom.

Apr 9, 2010 at 2:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes


Not sure if I agree. There is a big problem with displacement. If the children have a lesson on recycling then it's an hour when they're not learning algebra or french or chemistry.

Algebra, french, and chemistry are much harder for parents to cover at home. Recycling is easy to cover at home for parents that want it - and its pretty easy to figure out for yourself without lessons.

Apr 9, 2010 at 2:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

My flag says

keep propaganda out of schools

I don't want to argue the merits or demerits or "fair trade" or "rainforests" or individual issues.
If they learn that the price of cocoa is "$X" then that's a fact. If they learn the price of cocoa is "unfair" then that's an opinion. Maybe they could learn about castles instead. Or poetry.

I just want the schools to avoid these "right-on" topics like they seem able to avoid party politics in lessons.

I want children to learn how to think - not what to think.

Apr 9, 2010 at 2:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Jack Hughes

I'm with you - politics and religion (in all its forms) shouldn't be in schools.

If there is any time left over after good old solid subjects - teach them philosophy.

Apr 9, 2010 at 2:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterCaroline

I want children to learn how to think - not what to think.

Sorry Jack, "How to Think" is a subversive subject and must be rooted out at all costs -- just ask any "liberal".

Tried the ice in the bucket experiment, except I did not use my microwave -- I value it too much for cooking for myself. What I did is put a large washing basin on the counter, put in water and a 5 pound block of ice and carefully marked the water level. Two hours later I found the ice all melted and the water level lower. Then one of my cats jumped up and started to lap up the water.

Have you considered the possibility that the polar bears would drink the water? What if they pee into the ocean? :)

(Actually, I repeated the experiment in a room where I could lock the cats out of and sure enough, you were right. )

In any case, the whole "the sea will rise XX cm in the next decade/year/century/whatever" argument is obviously not based on "Fundamental Physics".

Apr 9, 2010 at 2:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

A word of caution: If this grows into a campaign (and I hope it does) it will be important to stress who is reclaiming the scientific approach and who is being doctrinaire. Otherwise expect the usual cries of '2,500 scientists' and 'Flat Earthers'.

Meanwhile, here is an experiment children might like to try: make yourself an old fashioned grease spot photometer and see which is brighter - an incandescent bulb or a compact fluorescent with the same rating. Uncle Dreadnought would love to know the answer. (Get Mummy or Daddy to wire up the lampholders for you.)

Apr 9, 2010 at 2:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

My seven year-old son is in Primary Two here in Scotland. He spent a big chunk of the last term learning about 'The rights of a child'.

He's too young for this kind of stuff. To me, it's state propaganda.

And yes, I do tell him that sometimes his teachers get stuff wrong. He's smart enough to process that and make sense of it.

Apr 9, 2010 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaulH from Scotland

Confused -- I agree with you, but Jack does make some good points. I guess my feeling is that we should teach environmentalism in school, but not as a dogma. Jack, of course, will ask where is the line, and I don't know.

Frankly, the older I get, the fewer answers I "know", but I think I am starting to understand the questions, which are not at all what the appear to be. Right now I am still trying to get my hands around M theory, and have come to the conclusion that the Speed of Light is 300,000 km/sec is a worthless concept since it has all sorts of other speeds, right on down to a few cm per sec or perhaps dead flat stopped in one IBM experiment. And, indeed, if it did not have a variable speed, then my eye glasses wouldn't work. And while it has never been clocked faster than 300,000 km/sec in our three spatial dimensional world, just how fast would it be in a 11 dimensional world? And then there is the whole nasty question of gravity. It is the biggest enigma of all.

In short, I am saying that even a hard core science such as Physics is full of dogma, based on opinion not reality. We are taught to believe Einstein was right with E=MC2, but I am not sure what C means.

Apr 9, 2010 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

I would agree Jack, but, and at the risk of a flame war here, educating children with the facts may be insufficient. For example. 'Polar bears are dying out because of CO2' (propaganda), can only be counted with the fact that the population growth of polar bears has never been stronger (fact).

The price of corn flour on the world market has risen dramatically(fact), so one sixth of the worlds population went hungry in 2009 (fact)

Why,? perhaps its because a quarter of US corn is converted to biodiesel to save the polar bears, so people in developing countries go hungry.

Why a fact is true is just as important sometimes.

Apr 9, 2010 at 3:09 PM | Unregistered Commenterconfused


Be careful with those compact florescent lamps, they contain a drop of liquid mercury which is very toxic. Why they are considered "green" is completely beyond me.

Apr 9, 2010 at 3:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Why a fact is true is just as important sometimes.

What is truth? It is really all a matter of opinion, to be questioned time and again. That is what we should be teaching our children. Of course, that is "Question Authority," which the politicians would never permit.

Apr 9, 2010 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Question Authority at all times!

But at some point you have to make a decision about how to act on that 'fact'. If people aren't taught about overexploitation of resources for example and the consequences of acting that way e.g overfishing, they wont act in a rational manner.

Oh and we all know that 'Truth is beauty' :-)

Apr 9, 2010 at 3:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

I want to help with this.

Apr 9, 2010 at 3:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn R T

"Do I tell them not to believe their teachers - that would be wrong, I want them to respect their teachers. I think adults need to present a united front."

Caroline - why would it be "wrong"? You don't have to tell your children "not to believe their teachers" but you could tell your children you very much disagree with what their teachers are saying on this subject and explain with words - appropriate to the child's age - why you disagree. You could do all of this with a glad heart and a smile. If your child asks why teachers are saying these things, you could simply say that only the teacher can answer that.

I wonder why you think it so important to "present a united front" to your children? Would it cause more psychological stress for a child to learn that adults do not always agree on things (but that's 'OK' because they STILL provide a caring, reliable space), OR to walk around with an unchallenged assertion that armageddon is just around the corner (and one day feel their parents let them down by colluding in the terrorising that spoilt their childhood)?

If parents think about what the possible outcome might be of exposing their children to a difference of opinion, it can only be positive. Children may chatter in the playground and pass on the secret-news that teacher is possibly talking crap on this issue. Eventually the teacher will be forced to acknowledge that there really is no "united front to present" and introduce a broader and more objective view of the issue... or risk losing the confidence of the class.

Politicised, indoctrinating 'teachers' are at present relying on your unwilling collusion for their success. It is up to you to break the chain for the sake of your children.

Apr 9, 2010 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter S

confused - you may already know this but I think the US biofuel programme is mainly for ethanol production and there are many informed commentators who realise it has significant shortcomings as a green energy initiative. Despite this there is no sign of a reappraisal - critics put this down to the notion it is actually a vote winning bribe to (some of) the farming constituency. Check out the for lots of info. - for example:

Apr 9, 2010 at 3:37 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Peter S

I'm old fashioned. I think parents should back teachers up.

What I'm saying is that when it comes to this issue I can't back them up. So I need to put any 'environmental' issues in the same category as religion. Children need to show respect, but they can disagree. Children (like most of us adults) need a simple message.

Just by the by, I also feel strongly that 5 year olds shouldn't be worrying about their 'diet'. We get a load of nonsense about that as well from the school (not that the message in this case is nonsense - but it shouldn't be aimed at little kids). I had a little girl over for tea the other day and she wouldn't have popcorn because it had salt on it. We are ruining their childhoods in all sorts of ways!

Apr 9, 2010 at 4:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterCaroline

Talking of school - let's try and answer the question in the exam - not the question we want to answer :-)

Bish asks us to do some

digging into the extent of green propaganda in schools.

So I guess we just need some idea of what is green and what is propaganda.

Here's my go:

green: climate change, global warming, endangered species, over-fishing, pollution, recycling, peak oil, peak anything else, polar bears, rainforests, bangladesh, sea-levels, hurricane katrina

propaganda: discussing topics in a one-sided way, an emotional way, passing opinion as fact, undue priority to a topic, sometimes even raising a topic instead of another non-controversial topic

Rainforests are a good example: they are a fetish subject for enviros. The children could study castles instead. Or local forests in real life. Bark rubbings, leaf collections, birds nests.

Apr 9, 2010 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

@Caroline - I share your concerns about the overwhelming barrage of nag-nag-nag at school and on TV - CBBC is guilty as charged. And right-on stuff like drugs.

But lets deal with one bit at a time.

Apr 9, 2010 at 4:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

I'm not good at finding things out, but I have a question.

Is the environmental sensitivity (or whatever) of the school on the Ofsted ticky box list?

Apr 9, 2010 at 4:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterCaroline;jsessionid=bWxAhtDHwRH_?asset_id=31626001

This link shows the OFSTED ticky box thingy, aka guidance. It includes "An Inconvenient Truth" and Calculate your Carbon Footprint and a map of all the places in the world affected by climate change (!).

Apr 9, 2010 at 4:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Thanks Messenger.

Never have I seen the word 'sustainability' used so relentlessly and so meaninglessly.

Apr 9, 2010 at 5:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterCaroline

Is the environmental sensitivity (or whatever) of the school on the Ofsted ticky box list?

No. The example above, I believe, is just a misunderstanding of the following section of school evaluation forms (SEFs):

4e How well do learners prepare for their future economic well-being?
- how well learners develop skills and personal qualities that will enable them to achieve future economic well-being

This, obviously, can be interpreted in many ways and largely is judged on pupils developing skills and knowledge to further their education or to use in the workplace. I does not, necessarily, need to have anything to do with being 'green'.

I expect some headteachers and Ofsted inspectors would argue that being 'green' is a requirement for a pupil's future well being, but I have yet to experience this.

Apr 9, 2010 at 5:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterAaliamzen

At my son's daycare they had coloring books with crying, sad faced planet earths with thermometers in their mouths and a caption saying something like "The earth is sick" or "The earth has a fever". It starts early.

We're taking him to a new daycare in a couple of months...

Apr 9, 2010 at 5:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterHmmm

A good place to start in the UK is teachernet

Lots of links there.

Apr 9, 2010 at 6:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

I consider that I'm lucky to be old enough so that I had a normal education and so did my children. I remember infant and junior school being the 3Rs and things like nature walks where we just studied nature without worrying about whether we were harming it. Wonderful times! We were very much shielded from external and worrying events like the cold war.

Apr 9, 2010 at 6:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

too many to list

Apr 9, 2010 at 6:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

We have just approved finance for South Africa to build power stations which will eventually emit three and a half times the total of the UK's total annual emissions. Maybe we should tell the children that. EU referendum blog.

Apr 9, 2010 at 6:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Whale

Peter Whale

If the CO2 scare proves to be a false premise, as we suspect, it doesn't matter. "We" didn't vote for it anyway, as the government hasn't got the courage of its convictions and abstained.

Apr 9, 2010 at 8:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

6:00:"Even elementary schoolteachers and writers of children's books terrify our children with the idea of impending climate doom. Children should not be force-fed propaganda masquerading as science."
Snippet from the (excellent) EPW testimony by Dr. William Happer

Apr 9, 2010 at 8:50 PM | Unregistered Commenterharold

I have collected some material and have a strong motive to support you in this.

Apr 9, 2010 at 9:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

I have a peripheral connection with education as an industrial panel member at a university, and I have a teaching qualification for post-compulsory education. My two young boys, at junior and middle school are in the throws of the state system now and my eldest is a member of the school eco-club. It was with much interest that I read Messenger’s article, and I feel compelled to share an experience that I think is pertinent:
Last summer I had a three-page letter from the school (which I have unfortunately either lost or mislaid) informing me of an event they would like my child to attend in relation to the school eco-club. This event was being hosted at the Royal Horticultural Society, under the auspices of International Climate Challenge. The event, in London was on a Thursday, (July 2nd last year) and free to members of the eco-club. The costs of the train fares were all subsidised by the sponsors, and presumably the taxpayer as well, as the Headmaster sanctioned time off during normal school hours to attend. However, the most astonishing aspect was what was on the day’s agenda… A keynote speech from none other than arch-Malthusian, patron of the Optimum Population Trust - Jonathan Porritt, and if memory serves me correctly, Caroline Lucas MEP.
Furthermore, there were two release forms that required parental consent to have two separate production companies take photographs and videos of the children for publicity specifically for the Copenhagen Climate Summit.

My son was upset that we would not let him go, he protested that it was important because he might be on television.

He was 10 years old last summer. I was outraged. I managed to garner the 1996 Education act clauses (used apparently by the Dimmock case) to assess whether this blatant politicisation and attempt to proselytise children at primary age was not actually illegal. From the document, I certainly interpreted it as such, but in the end I never pursued it or wrote the Headmaster to complain.

I would be more than glad to help dig. If you would like to get in touch, please feel free. I do share the concern expressed by Messenger in his excellent article and that of many bloggers here, and so maybe this is the right time to become active in protest, if I can be of any help at all.

Apr 9, 2010 at 9:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterjustinert

Propaganda taight at school these days is not limited to GREEN. A dose of GENOCIDE is taught in Australia built on a fabrication of Aboriginal history. Political correctness has permitted propagandists of all colours to pass of their opinion pieces as fact and the poor unfortunates at school have to wade through a mire of bullshit to get to the truth. Three champions have stood up to the flood of propaganda in Australia. Andrew Bolt, Ian Plimer and Keith Windschuttle are starting to turn the tide.

Apr 9, 2010 at 9:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterTreeman

the second link is a pdf file for teaching resources for key stage 3.

Apr 9, 2010 at 10:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterAunty freeze

This is a student resource site for ks3 and gcse.

Apr 9, 2010 at 10:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterAunty freeze

When cash-strapped schools and stressed-out teachers get given free, or low-cost, resources that aid their budget, provide time-savings for lesson planning, tick the official boxes and leave a feel good taste that you've done your bit to support a worthy cause, is it any wonder that the education providers have taken the path of least resistance?
Teaching is, I believe, a vocation for the majority who practise it! While some may have doubts about the solidity of CAGW certainties, it must be of some comfort to know that the "facts" you present to your young charges are backed up and financed to the hilt by The Establishment!
The "I was only obeying orders" defence, three score and five years ago, was ruled out.
Now, it is par for the course.
How sad!

Apr 9, 2010 at 11:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterroyfomr

The GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) Program is a worldwide hands-on, primary and secondary school-based science and education program.

Sounds fine in principle until you see who are partners in this - UCAR, NASA, NSF and the US Dept. of State. The program is primarily funded by NASA and NSF. This link gives details of sponsoring, funding and collaborating organisations.

For slant/bias see this post and check Hansen's comment at the end.

Here is the link to see which schools in the UK have joined GLOBE.

On that page you can click to a world map and further click on a country to see which schools have joined.

Apr 10, 2010 at 3:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterE O'Connor

Have done a number of posters here on the green religion and education if it is of any assistance;

Preschool indoctrination;

University greenbashing;

Apr 10, 2010 at 7:51 AM | Unregistered Commentertwawki

All resources, schemes of work and lessons plans relating to green issues are purely optional and would be used at the discretion of the teacher.

So, again, the issue is more that people have been given the wrong information and then feel they are doing the right thing by using said resources (and there are lots of them out there - schools are bombarded with them.)

Also regarding the '3Rs', in modern teaching, skills (such as reading and writing) are often taught in a contemporary context (such as 'climate change') but the pupils are only assessed on the skills being developed eg spelling and sentence structure. So, altough there is a fair amount of hand wringing about the content of the modern curriculum, the focus is still very much on the '3Rs' as far as I can tell.

Apr 10, 2010 at 8:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterAaliamzen

Here is the link to see which schools in the UK have joined GLOBE.
| E O'Connor

I had a look at that link and my boy's secondary school is on there but not my daughter's primary.

Apr 10, 2010 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterAunty freeze

I teach and might like to help anonymously(!) its worse than you think...

Apr 12, 2010 at 8:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterInkerman

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