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« The opinions of experts | Main | More from Markram »
Tuesday
Apr152014

Climate Control in the Scottish Express

The Climate Control report was covered in the Scottish Sunday Express last weekend, and I have now got my hands on a copy of the article.

Although there are a few nuances that are not quite right, and they have misunderstood the relationship between GWPF and the greenhouse effect, it's excellent stuff overall.

A LEADING climate sceptic has called for an urgent government inquiry into the way pupils are brainwashed over climate change. Andrew Montford co-wrote a critical report on environmentalism in education for the think tank Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) saying the alarmist approach adopted at schools is affecting “almost every area of curriculum”. He called for the Scottish Government to take “urgent notice” of what goes on in classrooms and carry out a probe into the “disturbing way” incorrect information is force fed to pupils. The document highlights “how eco-activism appears to have captured schools’ curricula” in the UK. It suggests there are “serious errors, misleading claims and bias through inadequate treatment of climate issues in teaching materials” with the slant “on scares and on raising fears” and urges parents to question the way sustainability and climate change are taught.

Mr Montford, a St Andrews graduate and challenger of what he calls the “global warming consensus”, said even those who do believe in it should be alarmed by their findings. He added: “We found that climate issues are taught in a variety of subjects from religious education to French, in economics, science, geography – it is astonishing just how prevalent it is. “But it is not based on scientific fact and often what is being taught is outright wrong. It is not just the sceptics who should be concerned. People need to realise what is going on. We are talking about unscientific scaremongering here. “The English seem to be getting a bit better in recognising this but Scotland is still very bad. Both [coauthor] John Shade and I are based in Scotland which is why it features so heavily in the report.” Some of the examples highlighted include a project from a Scottish primary school on the children’s understanding of global warming. A picture from the school’s website suggests pupils have been left confused about the role of the ozone layer saying it is created by the burning of fossilised fuels and is the reason for the earth’s rising temperatures.

According to Mr Montford it is a glaring example of how teachers are failing to explain the complex  phenomena to their pupils. “I don’t really point particularly to teachers as being the problem here because  they have a curriculum they are required to teach but some do have the green agenda,” he said. “What we  find is that global warming is being taught as a definite disaster that is impending and that just isn’t right. “We need to have a proper inquiry into what’s been taught in schools and how. Education Secretary Michael Russell should action this urgently but so far the Scottish Government seem to have taken no notice.”

Last night the GWPF, which does not believe global warming is manmade, said Westminster has already expressed concerns about the apparent lack of balance south of the Border and warned teachers they could  be breaking the law. Director Dr Benny Peiser added: “We commissioned the report because so many  parents and pupils expressed concerns that marks had been deducted for scientifically correct answers which were not politically accepted. “It is not a full review of what is going on but the worrying snapshot it does offer should be enough to prompt an independent inquiry.” But a spokesman for the Scottish Government said it was unlikely to intervene as lesson balance was a matter for teachers and councils.

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Reader Comments (32)

Well done. The tide is turning. A few years ago this would never have seen the light of day.

Apr 15, 2014 at 9:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

I hope they correct their incorrect description of the GWPF's view of AGW. As it stands, that one clause is likely to put off many readers.

Apr 15, 2014 at 10:01 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

".....so many parents and pupils expressed concerns that marks had been deducted for scientifically correct answers which were not politically accepted".

It's almost to the point where I expect the Thought Police to just point and squeal at the normal humans the way Donald Sutherland did same in Invasion Of The Body Snatchers.

Apr 15, 2014 at 10:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterharkin

Well done Andrew. Next weekend's letters page should make interesting reading.

Apr 15, 2014 at 10:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Very well done Andrew.

Apr 15, 2014 at 10:15 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Congratulation, a good write up. But no link made about the activities of the WWF in schools which I find a bit creepy.

From WWF "Our work with schools"

"What you are imagining is a sustainable school: a place committed to reducing its impact on the planet here and now; a place which prepares young people to act as drivers for sustainability in the future; a place with a vision of how people and nature can live in harmony, on a thriving, green planet.

This is the vision behind WWF’s schools programme – a programme which strives to reach out towards the 10.3 million highly influential young people who enter our schools five days a week, 40 weeks of the year."

Link here http://www.wwf.org.uk/what_we_do/working_with_schools/our_work_with_schools/

Apr 15, 2014 at 10:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterFay Tuncay

A surprisingly positive writeup, for the MSM (OK, the Scottish chapter of, but it might spread).
Congratulations.

Apr 15, 2014 at 11:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve C

Well done Bish,

I saw an example of this pernicious corruption/invasion of the education system on the BBC Canada network this week on the programme "George Clarkes Small Spaces".

A school, and I'm sorry I did not catch the name, in the UK had commissioned a project to convert two transportation containers into a "sustainability science classroom". The deputy head who was in charge of the project talked constantly about his "eco-warriors" who had come up with the design and contents of the completed space. It made my stomach turn to watch the young children parroting what appeared to be an indoctrination they had been subjected to, the interesting part was that there was little to no "passion" on their faces when asked to explain what the facility did and in fact they had to led by the nose to make the requisite comments for the camera.

Apr 15, 2014 at 11:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Singleton

Blimey. Sometimes I allow myself a small cheer.

Apr 15, 2014 at 11:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

The last sentence is reassuring though:

"But a spokesman for the Scottish Government said it was unlikely to intervene as lesson balance was a matter for teachers and councils."

From www.sustainable-environment.org.uk

"In fact, two thirds of the 2500 action items of Agenda 21 relate to local councils. Each local authority has had to draw up its own Local Agenda 21 (LA21) strategy following discussion with its citizens about what they think is important for the area."

I guess that when you have a Top-Down approach at the same time as a Bottom-Up approach then your only problem will be when these approaches tend towards the centre? Oh, Lew' I can just see myself being pointed at now, (re. the harkin comment above).

Apr 16, 2014 at 12:38 AM | Unregistered Commenterunknownknowns

Well, well,

"A leading climate sceptic..."
!!
That sounds like progress. Almost as if it is now actually considered legitimate to disagree and be sceptical about global warming.

Apr 16, 2014 at 12:39 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Andrew,
Keep up the good work. It is a slow hard grind and so many of our institutions of learning are in the hands of " progressives".
Here in Australia we have " cross- curricula priorities" including the teaching in all subjects for term after term of " sustainability". This includes heavy doses of global warming correctness. I suspect that Al Gore's movie is well received. A spokesman for our CSIRO reportedly said ( with less than glowing praise ) that there was " a lot of good science" in that film. Without the " health warning " that Justice Burton required be distributed in the UK with the film, it no doubt continues to misinform both students and their teachers.

Apr 16, 2014 at 12:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterHerbert

Good stuff, Bish!

Apr 16, 2014 at 4:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander Kendall

When I was taught in school that all known oil reserves would be completely exhausted by the year 2000, the take home lesson many years later was to be sceptical of energy related claims until satisfactory evidence was produced.

Apr 16, 2014 at 5:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterWill Nitschke

Australia is now on a similar path.
Officials have proposed three strands for a cross curriculum, being topics that should be selected to provide working examples for all study topics taught at schools.
The topics are Aboriginal history, sustainability in the environment (or more broadly) and Australia's engagement in Asia.
One can subjective some exciting alternatives, like past inventions that have changed the course of mankindl or the development and spread of world languages and tribes. And many more that have not been blatantly captured by spcial interest activist groups.
Thank you Andrew, for the publicity and concern you express.

Apr 16, 2014 at 6:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

Excellent stuff, Bish - as others have already mentioned, the fact that this got published at all is a good sign.

A future goal will be to educate the public that a climate sceptic is not necessarily someone who "does not believe global warming is manmade". Give it time, though.

Apr 16, 2014 at 7:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

The leftist in Norway argued many years ago that it was morally wrong to indoctrinate young defenseless children with Christian values and belief at school. They argued that Christianity could only be introduced to children when they had matured to think for them self and be critical.
What is strange is that the leftist now do the same with indoctrinating young defenseless children with political radical based environmentalism and CAGW in schools?
?

Apr 16, 2014 at 8:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterJon

Given that AGW is now the main religion of the 21st Century, the 'Conscience Clause' in the Education Act 1980 (Scotland) is somewhat ironic:

9. Every public school [F41, every grant-aided school and every self-governing school] shall be open to pupils of all denominations, and any pupil may be withdrawn by his parents from any instruction in religious subjects and from any religious observance in any such school; and no pupil shall in any such school be placed at any disadvantage with respect to the secular instruction given therein by reason of the denomination to which such pupil or his parents belong, or by reason of his being withdrawn from any instruction in religious subjects. "

Apr 16, 2014 at 8:06 AM | Registered Commenterlapogus

Good one, lapogus, now all the scots have to do is demonstrate that CAGW is a religion and all the skeptics can pull their kids out of school!

Apr 16, 2014 at 8:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterBoyFromTottenham

Lapogus: Re parents withdrawing children from religious subjects. IIRC a year or two ago a man won an industrial tribunal case based on 'religious' grounds, those being that he was a believer in AGW and Green philosophies and that his employer was forcing him to go against these. He won his case.

(Just found the link - in the Guardian, of course: Here )

Update: For those who don't follow the link, the judge came up with five tests of whether a belief was a religion or not:

"In his written judgment, Mr Justice Burton outlined five tests to determine whether a philosophical belief could come under employment regulations on religious discrimination

• The belief must be genuinely held.

• It must be a belief and not an opinion or view based on the present state of information available.

• It must be a belief as to a weighty and substantial aspect of human life.

• It must attain a certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance.

• It must be worthy of respect in a democratic society, not incompatible with human dignity and not conflict with the fundamental rights of others.

Humanism was given as an example meeting the criteria, while belief in a political party or the supreme nature of Jedi knights, from the Star Wars movies, were offered as ones that do not.

Apr 16, 2014 at 9:48 AM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

It is a pity that Scottish (and English, Welsh and Northern Irish) schools don't teach their students about the infamous Club of Rome report on the Limits to Growth report published in 1972. Its warnings of impending doom because of exhaustion of natural resources and the growth of population and pollution were all justified by impressive computer models. Fortunately for us all the main predictions all turned out to be wrong.

Once bitten, twice shy.

Apr 16, 2014 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Roy:

I learned to program in DYNAMO (the language of their model that made writing simultaneous D.E.s quite easy) and I was on a small team looking at the model on behalf of the Rothschild Think Tank. We looked at their claims on certain key resources and concluded that they were alarmist. I always enjoyed the de-bunk published by Prof Wilfred Beckerman a little later - particularly when he pointed out that if transport growth trends had been maintained from the 18the century, England would be under 6 ft of horse manure.

Apr 16, 2014 at 10:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

Great to see this! Inch by inch, and all that. I think it is a very good article indeed, and the journalist Paula Murray did a good job there, although she, quite understandably in this polarised area, failed to pick up on the GWPF's neutrality on the science of global warming. Mind you, these days, neutrality on this topic is surely enough to enrage the already often somewhat apoplectic climate alarm zealots who wish us to take their word for it that all is done and dusted (or 'settled' if you like).

I went to their website to confirm my understanding of the GWPF position, which is that they take no specific position on the relative importance of possible causes of global warming, other than to assert that the science is not yet settled in that area. For example, these quotes are taken from their website :

(1) The Global Warming Policy Foundation is unique. We are an all-party and non-party think tank and a registered educational charity which, while open-minded on the contested science of global warming, is deeply concerned about the costs and other implications of many of the policies currently being advocated.
We are in no sense ‘anti-environmental’. There is a wide range of important environmental issues, which call for an equally wide range of policy responses. Our concern is solely with the possible effects of any future global warming and the policy responses that may evoke.
(2)We have developed a distinct set of principles that set us apart from most other stakeholders in the climate debates:
The GWPF does not have an official or shared view about the science of global warming – although we are of course aware that this issue is not yet settled.
On climate science, our members and supporters cover a broad range of different views, from the IPCC position through agnosticism to outright scepticism.
Our main focus is to analyse global warming policies and their economic and other implications. Our aim is to provide the most robust and reliable economic analysis and advice.
We regard observational evidence and understanding the present as more important and more reliable than computer modelling or predicting the distant future.

Here are some recent informed commentaries which add credence to their stance on the science. The first is from another newspaper article, published 2 days ago and by Lennart Bengtsson, who was until 1990 Director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg:

More CO2 in the atmosphere leads undoubtedly to a warming of the earth surface. However, the extent and speed of this warming are still uncertain, because we cannot yet separate well enough the greenhouse effect from other climate influences. Although the radiative forcing by greenhouse gases (including methane, nitrogen oxides and fluorocarbons) has increased by 2.5 watts per square meter since the mid-19th century, observations show only a moderate warming of 0.8 degrees Celsius. Thus, the warming is significantly smaller than predicted by most climate models. In addition, the warming in the last century was not uniform. Phases of manifest warming were followed by periods with no warming at all or even cooling.
The complex and only partially understood relationship between greenhouse gases and global warming leads to a political dilemma. We do not know when to expect a warming of 2 degrees Celsius. The IPCC assumes that the earth will warm up by 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius in response to a doubling of CO2 concentration. These high values of climate sensitivity, however, are not supported by observations. In other words: global warming has not been a serious problem so far if we rely on observations. It is only a problem when we refer to climate simulations by computer models.
There is no alternative to such computer simulations if one wants to predict future developments. However, since there is no way to validate them, the forecasts are more a matter of faith than a fact. The IPCC has published its expert opinion a few months ago and presented it in the form of probabilities. As long as the results cannot be supported by validated models they produce a false impression of reliability.

This was reported on at the by the GWPF and originally published, in German, on 14th April in the 'Neue Zürcher Zeitung'

The second is from WUWT yesterday, in a post from Larry Hamlin, retired Southern California Edison vice president of power production and former state energy construction czar, and is about some of the limitations of the big climate models:


(1)As addressed in the WGI Technical Summary report all climate model scenarios have significant scientific analysis limitations which are defined as: “The scenarios should be considered plausible and illustrative, and do not have probabilities attached to them.” Thus there are no defined standards of accuracy associated with the climate model outputs and further these computer temperature outputs are to be considered to be simply “plausible and illustrative”.
(2)The WGI report demonstrates and documents that the RCP climate model scenarios have significant analytical limitations with no defined standards of accuracy, outcomes that are considered to be simply “plausible and illustrative” and that these scenarios exaggerate and overstate higher global temperatures as a function of atmospheric CO2 levels even to periods as close as the year 2035 let alone the year 2100.
Yet the WGII and WGIII climate risk assessment reports conceal these significant analytical and performance shortcomings of the climate model scenarios and instead base the projected future CO2 driven global temperature levels upon the computer output from these flawed and failed climate models.

(3)Thus the climate alarmist findings from the UN IPCC WGII and WGIII climate risk assessments are based upon computer temperature outputs which have no defined standards of accuracy, are merely considered to be “plausible and illustrative” and are known to exaggerate and overstate higher global temperatures as a function of atmospheric CO2 level. Furthermore these findings are cloaked in illusive “level of confidence” and “assessed likelihood” qualifiers that attempt to hide the conjecture underlying these results.
The UN IPCC AR5 report process is in fact a process founded upon conjecture but presented and disguised as certainty.

Apr 16, 2014 at 11:25 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Thank you for that prompt/link, Fay Tuncay (Apr 15, 2014 at 10:46 PM). We do note the goings-on of the WWF in the main report:

Worcestershire County Council has been a pioneer in the area and has a fulltime
team of sustainable development education staff. It has worked alongside WWF activists and used WWF course materials to train its teachers.

And in our conclusions:

Kow-towing to organisations such as the WWF is not the way forward. Such organisations deserve to be challenged. The sorry, error-strewn history of environmental alarmism makes that quite clear. But is that made clear in our schools? We suspect not.

We encourage parents, as well as the government, to find out more about what is happening in their schools, and we hope the report will add some strength to their various elbows in getting prepared to do just that.

Apr 16, 2014 at 12:18 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

@Harry Passfield: It's pretty obvious to me that CAGW is a religion, it has many or all of the characteristics, but that judge's final paragraph of requirements is an interesting one: "It must be...not conflict with the fundamental rights of others."

Based on that, CAGW would definitely qualify as a religion, but I doubt whether Islam would; I imagine beheading someone probably does conflict with their fundamental rights.

Apr 16, 2014 at 1:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Duffin

I can understand the judge being sniffy about Jedis.
Many people claim to be Jedi on their census form - when they are clearly Sith.

Apr 16, 2014 at 1:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

Oh, that kind of class climate change bias.
Nice one.
For a moment, I thought it was social class, not school class.
As in, weathier and better-educated people are less inclined to believe in CAGW.

Apr 16, 2014 at 1:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterKeith Macdonald

Bishop interesting your report is getting traction at the same time as several School Boards in Birmingham believed to have been infiltrated by Islamic Extremist are being investigated by anti terror police.

Apr 16, 2014 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Michael Hart,

"Well, well,

"A leading climate sceptic..."
!!
That sounds like progress. Almost as if it is now actually considered legitimate to disagree and be sceptical about global warming."


I disagree, I thought that "climate sceptic" was a derogatory (and meaningless) term ?

Apr 16, 2014 at 6:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterQV

Blood moon was a sign from GOD and now a 'HUGE EVENT' will strike mankind, warns church

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/470810/The-Bible-is-coming-TRUE-Rare-blood-moon-eclipse-fulfills-ancient-prophecy-claims-church

Rev Michael Mann apparently.

Apr 16, 2014 at 9:36 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Cheers John Shade re: WWF reference.

In the 1940s what did our grandfathers die for?

Also let's not forget to mention Kurt Waldheim, became UN secretary general in 1972 and started the UNEP. Waldheim hid his Nazi war crimes exposed late in his career. Looking at where we are now, the Nazi Green cult wasn't crushed in 1945, but was embraced by the elite in the UN.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/14/world/europe/14iht-waldheim.3.6141106.html?_r=0

Apr 16, 2014 at 11:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterFay Tuncay

More on the Nazi Green cult.

http://alturl.com/xxmqe


"We recognize that separating humanity from nature, from the whole of life, leads to humankind’s own destruction and to the death of nations. Only through a re-integration of humanity into the whole of nature can our people be made stronger. That is the fundamental point of the biological tasks of our age. Humankind alone is no longer the focus of thought, but rather life as a whole . . . This striving toward connectedness with the totality of life, with nature itself, a nature into which we are born, this is the deepest meaning and the true essence of National Socialist thought."

Ernst Lehmann, Biologischer Wille. Wege und Ziele biologischer Arbeit im neuen Reich, München, 1934

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecofascism

Apr 16, 2014 at 11:29 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

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