Opinion

Educating Kids to Debate Alarming Climate Claims

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Posted: Jul 06, 2019 12:01 AM
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Educating Kids to Debate Alarming Climate Claims

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

It’s time to challenge the steady diet of bias, false information and alarmism on climate change that students are fed in and outside of their classrooms. Science and public policy analyst Dr. David Wojick has launched an important new project to do exactly that. 

From kindergarten onward, our young people are repeatedly told that they, our wildlife and our planet face unprecedented cataclysms from manmade climate change, resulting from our fossil fuel use. The science is settled, they are constantly hoodwinked, and little or no discussion is allowed in classrooms. 

They thus hear virtually nothing about the growing gap between computer model predictions and satellite temperature measurements; questions about data manipulation by scientists advocating the dangerous manmade climate change narrative; the hundreds of scientists who do not agree with the supposed “consensus” on manmade climate chaos; or the absence of any real-world evidence to support claims of carbon dioxide-driven coral bleaching, species extinctions, or the seemingly endless litany of ever more absurd assertions that fossil fuel emissions are making sharks right-handed, arctic plants too tall, pigs skinnier and salmon unable to detect danger, to cite just a few crazy examples.

Students are rarely told that the United States enjoyed a record 12-year absence of category 3-5 hurricanes making landfall between 2005 and 2017, or that 1944-1950 was the worst period in history for monster hurricanes hitting Florida. They’re not told the U.S. had 40% fewer “violent” (F4-5) tornadoes per year in 1986 to 2018 than in 1954 to 1985 – or that America did not have a single violent tornado in 2018, for the first time in history. Instead, they are misinformed that storms are becoming more frequent and intense. 

They are rarely even told about the Little Ice Age, Roman and medieval warm periods, prolonged droughts throughout history, or the critical roles of fluctuating solar energy, periodic oscillations in Pacific and Atlantic temperatures and currents, and other major natural forces that have driven climate changes throughout Earth and human history. 

It’s therefore hardly surprising that we are now seeing children marching in the streets and calling for “climate action” and “climate justice.” Worse, their teachers do not only excuse their truancy. They encourage it, giving course credit for these actions, or even saying student activism on climate and fossil fuels is more important than their reading, mathematics, history and other course work. 

It’s ridiculous. But it’s real, ongoing – and often paid directly by our tax dollars or by tax-exempt foundations and activist groups whose views dominate and permeate our education and media systems. 

In addition to what students are learning in their classrooms, they also receive “guidance” and “information” from “educational” websites that promote climate alarmism. Incredibly, many have been federally funded for years, and some are still funded by Trump Administration federal agencies! 

For example, the “Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network” (CLEAN, as in “clean energy”) operates the CLEAN website, which is funded jointly by NOAA, NSF and DOE: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Energy. 

It supposedly advances “climate literacy” – which is really code for the false belief that humans are causing dangerous climate change. CLEAN says it has over 600 free, ready to use resources suitable for use in secondary and higher education classrooms. It also boasts that it is the core of the “Teaching Climate” part of the Climate.gov website. This is Federal Government bias targeting children. 

One of the key principles of CLEAN’s version of climate literacy is explained thus: “A great challenge of the 21st century will be to prepare communities to adapt to climate change while reducing human impacts on the climate system (known as mitigation).” CLEAN also says “Because the primary cause of recent global climate change is human, the solutions are also within the human domain.” In other words, we can now control Earth’s perpetually fickle climate, by adjusting its carbon dioxide thermostat control knob. In our dreams. 

All of CLEAN’s biased teaching materials are based on this false premise. The reality is that dangerous human influence on climate is completely unproven and the subject of intense scientific debate. That only the scary side is being presented as settled science is a severe and intolerable lack of balance. 

Dr. Wojick recently launched a crowd-funding project to provide alternative educational materials. His materials reflect the profound and well-documented debate that actually flourishes worldwide about nonsensical climate alarmism, the real (natural) causes of climate changes and weather events, the ways increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are helping plants to grow better and faster, and the actual causes of the sometimes crazy phenomena and creatures we encounter on this planet of ours. 

The Climate Change Debate Education project or CCDE is still small. But it is growing steadily – and its GoFundMe effort is playing a critical role. 

At this point, Dr. Wojick’s CCDE project provides two primary kinds of educational materials. One is skeptical videos by leading scientists. As of now there are 193 videos, by eminent scientists like William Happer, Patrick Michaels, Fred Singer, Roy Spencer and Richard Lindzen. Wojick says his goal is to list 1000 skeptical scientific videos, clearly proving that the scientific debate is real. 

Dr. Wojick and his project are also developing what he calls “gate breakers.” These are one-page, nontechnical summaries that explain a particular issue in the scientific debate about climate change. They are designed to be used to confront, challenge or question “gatekeeping” alarmists – such as teachers, speakers or politicians – who refuse to admit the scientific debate even exists.

Thus far, there are three gate breakers on the website, addressing hurricanes, the Little Ice Age and the sun’s role in global warming and climate change. But many more are on their way. 

One interesting feature is that each gate breaker has a version that includes a Google Scholar search for more of the massive scientific literature on its topic. Dr. Wojick says the point of these searches is not that students can read all this technical stuff, but that they can see the debate truly exists. In each case, there are thousands of scientific journal articles that challenge the groupthink and borderline hysteria that dominates classroom and media discussions of climate issues.

The Climate Change Debate Education project is an ambitious and important undertaking. 

It deserves the support of anyone who believes in the scientific method, integrity in scientific research – and having open, robust debates on dangerous manmade climate change claims that are being used to justify a rapid and complete switch from fossil fuels that provide over 80% of America’s and the world’s energy ... regardless of the tremendously harmful impacts that switch would have on our economy, jobs, living standards, health, productivity, housing, transportation and personal freedoms. 

Companies that could and should support this vital educational program are too intimidated by the Antifa mobs arm of the $2-trillion-a-year Climate Industrial Complex to do so. That means citizens need to step forward. The future of American and global science, energy and prosperity hang in the balance. 

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of many articles on the environment.