If you plan to visit a public-school classroom for the first time in a decade or two, don't expect to see George Washington looking down at you from above the blackboard. He's likely long gone along with the Declaration of Independence and the Ten Commandments. Instead you will find more "participatory" wall art dominated by two themes: saving the Earth and global warming.
The former is typically a "Stop Pollution" poster showing a black cloud being emitted from the smokestack of some uncaring capitalist or a graphic showing little Johnny happily sorting the family trash into recycling containers. Regarding global warming, a favorite theme of pictures of our warming future is the submerging of the Statue of Liberty, with water closing in on a sad Miss Liberty's armpits.
Are pictures of a submerged Earth hanging in prime classroom locations because little Johnny and little Susie suddenly get urges to express themselves about climate catastrophe instead of writing essays entitled "My Vacation" or "Jumper, My Pet Frog"? One suspects not. No doubt mass showings of Gore's chiller An Inconvenient Truth are often the primary cause for much of this juvenile concern. In his film, so blatantly false that even the British parliament criticized Gore for nine glaring errors, the former vice president predicts a rise in sea level of 18 to 20 feet by the year 2100, moderated only by a few minor, easily overlooked and massively understated qualifications, such as "if Greenland broke up and slipped into the sea or if half of Greenland and half of Antarctica melted or broke up and slipped into the sea." Few students bother with the "if" part of the statement, and Gore certainly doesn't calm their fears by telling them that overall the ice in both Greenland and Antarctica is thickening more widely than it is melting.
Assuredly, some students are also being shown televised interviews with NASA's James Hansen. Hansen, whose latest prediction for sea-level rise by the year 2100 is 82 feet, nearly a foot a year, has given a reported 1,400 interviews on the subject of global warming.
Sea-level rise has been shown in surveys to be a fearful concern to youngsters, but should it be? Evidence by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN's captive group that is driving the global-warming movement and is certainly not a source of conservative estimates, shows that sea-level rise from human-caused global warming, even if it were true, would be far from dramatic. Several predictions as to rise in sea level by 2100 are illustrated in the table on page 29. Four of these are from the IPCC.
At the same time that the IPCC has been lowering its ludicrous figures under pressure from the scientific community, Gore and Hansen continue their wild catastrophic estimations and continue to bask in the spotlight of a global-warming-committed media. So why are our children being bombarded with scare stories in schools? Is it because psychologists have discovered that it is good for children's character to be constantly fearful of worldwide apocalypse? No, it is because the schools are being bombarded with scare stories by media, private interests, and the nation's largest teaching organization: the National Education Association. The teachers are just passing on "fact."
Enter Stage Left — the NEA
While not all public-school students have been subjected to Gore's discredited opus, with few exceptions they have had teachers who are members of a local teachers' union that is affiliated with the National Education Association. And the NEA has global warming as an agenda item that teachers are expected to promote.
By Googling "National Education Association," you will obtain a search box for the NEA website. Entering "global warming" in this box currently brings up more than 80 results. Below is a representative sample of Google's "ticklers" for the search results of the NEA website:
• "Students will brainstorm ideas of how to respond to global warming.... Students will post their ideas on the Global Warming 101 forum...."
• "To bring young people to the front lines of global warming, to send back dispatches so that students can be eyewitnesses to the changes happening now...."
• "America has the choice of two paths in the global economy — the first path ... a buildup of global-warming gases and a decline in biological diversity...."
Remember, most of these teachers know nothing about atmospheric science — or any other kind of science for that matter. But they follow the internationalist party line of their organization toward achieving the end of "climate change": more government control of all businesses and manufacturing entities; higher taxes to pay for the carbon controls; and distribution of wealth from nations where wealth is created though a market economy to poorer nations (usually dictatorships where our earned wealth is used to prop up oppressive and anti-American regimes).
What Is a Parent to Do?
This can be stopped and even reversed, but first the lies, subterfuge, and distortions must be corrected. The father-to-the-lie upon which anthropomorphic (human-caused) global warming is built is not at all scientific. It is same strategy attributed to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels: repeat a lie often enough, and it becomes fact in the mind of the masses. Global-warming alarmists eschew debate on the matter, as they come out appearing absolutely irrational. So their mantra for nearly 20 years has been, "The debate is over!"
Now is the time to reignite the debate, but how? One action might be to read up on the subject and lecture your child's class at the permission of his teacher. While the global alarmists believe the debate to be over, Amazon.com readers apparently do not. At this writing its website shows the top three sellers on the subject as being: Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years by S. Fred Singer and Dennis Avery; Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians, and Misguided Policies That Hurt the Poor by Roy Spencer; and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming (and Environmentalism) by Christopher Horner. The latter book is advertised on the inside back cover. All three books are skeptical of our predicted doom. You might start reading these three in preparation for your speaking career, then develop a graphical presentation, and, at last, truck it all down to little Johnny's school.
On the other hand, you might want to take a DVD to play in the classroom. Unless the teacher is a confirmed global-warming alarmist, there is a reasonable chance he/she would welcome you — possibly to give the other side of the argument, more likely to take a day off the stump. But which DVD to choose? Of the dozens of DVDs available to present the evidence that refutes the Inconvenient Truth's lies, let me be unequivocal: I'm not sure.
But there is one DVD I keep coming back to for a number of reasons, entitled Apocalypse? NO! It is narrated by Lord Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount of Brenchley, an English gentleman who is the spitting image of the late William F. Buckley.
He speaks well to his audience, not attempting to impress with his understated scientific knowledge, but at a level that draws them along. He attacks the IPCC, the propaganda arm of the global-warming religion, for its duplicity and its intentional demonstrable "errors." He rips the IPCC for changing its position on climate change as it became more and more immersed in promoting the position of the environmental activists, and had less to do with any semblance of science. The IPCC's words are shown to be their own worst enemy. Adding to this, the Viscount chalkboards simple mathematical errors he personally found that were "overlooked" by the reputed 2,500 scientists and dozens of governments that supposedly back the IPCC's claims — errors that just happen to favor the alarmist position.
His graphics showing the error in Gore's material and the close relationship between solar activity and global temperatures are easy to understand (with a few exceptions), and he addresses the tragedy that the environmentalists are inflicting on the poorest and most wretched souls on the planet — all in the name of the phony global-warming argument.
A major consideration was the length of the DVD. In this case there is a 35-minute version and a full 86-minute version that included some interesting feedback from Monckton's students. It is the shorter version that appealed to me because a normal middle school or high school has 50-minute class times. In 35 minutes the point is well made, there are a few minutes for discussion, and the "sorry, we don't have the time for an hour presentation" excuse is negated.
Apocalypse? NO! is available from the Science & Public Policy Institute, www.scienceandpublicpolicy.org, in Washington for $19.95.
The Great Global Warming Swindle
Were it not for the fact that The Great Global Warming Swindle DVD runs just barely over an hour, it would have been a difficult choice between this and Apocalypse? NO! It was also produced in England (where the heavy hand of carbon footprinting and carbon reduction is well on its way) and has that crisp dialogue and action you find in professional productions. It probably has the best and most professional graphics of all the available DVDs. One very interesting quote in it from Greenpeace co-founder and ex-member Patrick Moore should give students perhaps their first real inkling of what the enviro-movement is all about:
The shift to climate being a major focal point came about for two very distinct reasons. The first reason was because by the mid-80s the majority of people now agreed with all the reasonable things we in the environmental movement were saying they should do. Now when a majority of the people agree with you, it's pretty hard to remain confrontational with them. And so the only way to remain anti-establishment was to adopt ever more extreme positions. When I left Greenpeace it was in the midst of a campaign to ban chlorine worldwide. I said, "You guys, this is an element on the periodic table, you know. I don't know if that's within our jurisdiction to ban a whole element."
The other reason that environmental extremism emerged was because World Communism failed, the wall came down, and a lot of peaceniks and political activists moved into the environmental movement, bringing their neo-Marxism with them. And learned to use "Green" language in a very clever way to cloak agendas that actually have more to do with anti-capitalism ... than anything to do with ecology and science.
These "new environmentalists" referred to by Moore are Gore's cadres in government, academia, and the media. Find a left-wing outfit of any stripe and their position on global warming is totally predictable. In fact, one could say that the global-warming issue is the "litmus test" of fealty to the cause of global socialist governance.
The Great Global Warming Swindle is produced by WAG TV, Channel 4 in England. (For ordering information, see the ad on the inside back cover.)
Global Warming or Global Governance
If you want a DVD that presents the whole picture, including the machinations of American politicians led by Albert Gore, then Global Warming or Global Governance is the quintessential source. The featured scientists, the political commentary, graphics, clarity of presentation — this DVD has it all. Global Warming or Global Governance is, however, made to impart information to adults who already have a basic knowledge of the problem, and it lacks the entertainment qualities of the charming Viscount Monckton or the "upbeatness" of Channel 4's exposé. Were it a case of imparting information to adults rather than to school children, it would be my choice.
Global Warming or Global Governance is available from Internet booksellers such as Amazon.com from $14.95. Run time: 81 minutes.
Such Bedeviling Choices
Then there are others that lost by less than a nose. Ranking all of the DVDs and relegating the following DVDs as also-rans proved difficult. Providence has spared your correspondent from being a judge at the Miss America contest, but ranking the excellent documentaries on global-warming skepticism must be of similar difficulty. The tendency is to rank each one first, until you see the next, after which a third moves up to the top spot.
Carbon Dioxide and the "Climate Crisis" -- Reality or Illusion was written by a father and son team of Ph.D.s, Sherwood and Craig Idso. This is anything but a "home movie"; it has excellent graphics and is broken into convenient segments (e.g., Earth's Climate History, Ice Sheet Disintegration) that make it useful as a research tool. Most of the data on sea-level rise presented earlier in our aforementioned table was from their segment on Sea Level Trends. (To order this 53-minute DVD, see the inside back cover.)
An Inconvenient Truth ... or Convenient Fiction? is a thoughtful and well-documented rebuttal of Gore's horror-fiction movie, that was produced and narrated by Dr. Steven Hayward of the Pacific Research Institute. "The problem with Gore and other alarmists is that they distort the science, grossly exaggerate the risk, argue that anyone who disagrees with them is corrupt, and suggest that solutions are easy and cheap. And that's an all too convenient fiction." This is probably the best DVD to show the relative "forcings," i.e., the factors that could and do affect our climate. It is clear from these that carbon dioxide is not the culprit. Available from the Pacific Research Institute's online bookstore at http://liberty.pacificresearch.org for $14.95. 47 minutes.
The evidence against anthropogenic global warming is so overwhelming that the alarmists are forced to maintain their "the debate is over" mantra or be hooted off the stage. The problem therefore is not scientific. The international left seems to have all the cards in this lethal game save one: the truth — about global warming and about the forces that are promoting the push toward international control of our economy and our liberties. All of these DVDs have crucial information to help spread the truth.