Author: Larry Sand
Date: September 24, 2019
The true believers in the education world, not climate change, are a major threat to children.
When I was seven years old, I had a nightmare about witches, and subsequently became convinced that I had an ugly old hag living in my closet. It wasn’t pleasant, but doing a thorough inspection of my entire bedroom, including employing a rigorous under-the-bed search with a flashlight, I got over my terror in a few days and went on with my life. Young Greta Thunberg had a similar, but ultimately very different experience.
After having been force-fed tons of gloom-and-doom, man-caused climate change dogma in school, the 11-year-old Swede fell into depression, and stopped talking and eating. Within two months, she lost “about 10 kilos of weight” and subsequently was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, OCD and selective mutism.
Greta is 16 now, and my heart goes out to her as she speaks like an authoritative automaton about greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuels, and climate justice. But more than anything, she has become a leading spokesperson for climate change hysteria and avatar of the latest international school walk-out last Friday. (In March, we experienced the “Youth Climate Strike,” which saw students all over the country ditching school and carrying signs proclaiming that any rise in global temperature is man-made, blaming meat-eaters, capitalism, adults, and Donald Trump for the looming apocalypse.)
Last Friday’s walkout was not much different from the one in March. Students played hooky from school, many with the blessing of their local school board, to protest “climate change.” In New York City, where Thunberg was the featured speaker, children were excused from school to protest. And thousands did. On the left coast, the San Diego school board unanimously approved a resolution supporting the walkouts, and encouraged “principals and other educators to work with student organizers.” And judging by Michael Hirsch, the board hit a bulls-eye. The sophomore at San Diego High School said, “If we don’t do something and we don’t do something soon, we’re all gonna die. And I don’t wanna die soon.”
Yup, that’s what the ed establishment is doing—needlessly scaring the crap out of our kids. As reported by climate change skeptic Russell Cook, Greta Thunberg admitted in a recent PBS interview that much of what she knew about climate change she learned in school. But of course her school never explained that climate change is anything but “settled science.” Her school didn’t teach her that before it was called climate change it was known as global warming, and before that, global cooling. Her school probably never taught her about other cases of apocalyptic prophecy like acid rain, the population bomb and notably, Chicken Little. Her school probably never taught her about the Salem witch trials, where mass hysteria took over a town in Massachusetts in 1692, and people were tragically imprisoned and hanged.
And needless to say, the teachers unions are down with the movement. The National Education Association has “The Greta Effect,” a fawning post, on its website. Thunberg is lauded for being responsible in part for inducing “flight shame,” which the union claims has been keeping Swedes out of airports. At the same time, the California Teachers Association insists that, “Science has shown conclusively that human activity is changing the global climate.”
How about this? Instead of fomenting mass delirium, schools could invite two scientists – a skeptic and a believer – to debate the issue. As a skeptic, climatologist Judith Curry – independent and apolitical – would be a good choice. She claims that “almost half of the warming observed in the twentieth century came about in the first half of the century, before carbon-dioxide emissions became large.” While she agrees that the sea level is rising, she adds that this has been happening since the 1860s.
But no, the education establishment would rather ram a leftist, Green New Deal scheme down their students’ throats. Fear is a great motivator to act. My mother was amazed at how quickly I took a ton of stuff out of my closet to convince myself that there was in fact no witch stirring her cauldron there. If only Greta, whom I harbor no ill-will toward, and her acolytes would do some real research. But they will have to do it on their own, because the schools have an iron-clad agenda. They insist that the witch really is in the closet, and this is simply child abuse.
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Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the general public with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues. The views presented here are strictly his own.