## Tuesday, January 17, 2012 ... //

### U.S. classrooms beating unlimited alarmism

A few years ago, kids could only hear one thing about the climate at school: man-made climate change is making the apocalypse imminent, there is no God who could save us, and Al Gore is His prophet. ;-)

A typical lecture on climatology in the contemporary EU schools.

This description pretty much applies to much of Western Europe even today. However, it is thankfully no longer the case of the U.S.:

Climate change skepticism seeps into science classrooms (L.A. Times)
In the text above, an activist named Ms Neela Banerjee is crying that the "deniers" have succeeded in many states of the U.S. in their efforts to regulate the expansion of the global warming propaganda at schools. At some places, teachers are required to discuss the existence and/or arguments of climate skeptics.

At other places, any talk about a man-made climate catastrophe at schools was pretty much outlawed. At most places, teachers who dare to promote Al-Gore-like delusions about the climate and the mankind's role in it face opposition from the kids and their parents.

Needless to say, the author as well as Eugenie Scott of NCSE compare climate skepticism to creationism. It's just a cheap analogy and if you look at some actual climate skeptics such as your humble correspondent who are as enthusiastic supporters of Darwin's explanation of the origin of species (and its importance) as you can get, you easily erase any doubts about the fact that the attempts to correlate climate skepticism with creationism are complete bogus.

A decade ago, I attended a talk by Eugenie Scott (in Santa Cruz?) – about creationism, strategies of ID advocates to get it to schools, and so on. I agreed with everything she said: apologies to my dear creationist readers. However, when I look into the past, her attitude inevitably looks shallow. Even though she said many things that were true, her viewpoint has always been one of an activist or a "policy woman", not a scientist's viewpoint.

So she decided to adopt some scientific opinions that were transferred to her from others: NCSE tackles climate change denial (press release). Unfortunately, she is apparently doing the same thing with the climate debate. And that's too bad. In science, different questions generally have different answers. Saying that question X is "just like" another question Y – when these questions obviously have nothing to do with one another – is pure demagoguery.

At any rate, I hope that the parents in the U.S. realize that they have the right to protect their kids from brainwashing and pseudoscientific superstitions. This miseducation that peaked a few years ago has been bad for many reasons.

First of all, and this is the most important point for me, the statements that were being taught to kids were not scientifically valid when it came to their technical content. The human activity poses no threat for the climate and at least in the next 100 years, it won't. The untruth makes kids confused about important things and this confusion may later influence their decisions in the practical life.

Second of all, and it is equally important, this miseducation led the kids to totally flawed opinions about the essence of the scientific method in general. The curriculum ultimately boiled down to the opinions of Greenpeace tree huggers who always raise their hand when a bullshit proposal smells green. These people love to talk about "truth by consensus" and other methods that have absolutely no room in proper science even though they are probably essential for mindless activist organizations such Greenpeace.

Third of all, and many people rightfully worried about it, the education was creating a generation of frustrated kids with almost no hope, constant feelings of guilt, and this would arguably be bad for the future of America and the world even if there were something true about the alarmist propaganda – and there's nothing true about it. Many kids may be ready for a psychiatrist because of this doomsday miseducation.

So I hope that all the responsible Americans will continue to go after the neck of the climate alarmists at schools and those who harbor them. And as a guy in a country where climate change remained pretty much a non-topic, even at schools, I hope that the European Union will ultimately get rid of the totalitarian climate propaganda at schools, too.

And that's the memo.

#### snail feedback (1) :

Lubos:

Thanks for the post and bringing this to my attention. I hope this may be an opportunity for you to consider the following:

Consider the fact that Scott is wrong on her assertions regarding climate and the consensus, etc. Then take into account what Michael Crichton called the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect.

Eugenie Scott is correct that there are parallels between the two debates. She misunderstands the nature of the parallels, but the real parallels are in fact quite striking. Just off the top of my head: (i) an authoritative claim of "consensus" among all scientists, when science doesn't operate that way and there is serious question about the extent or breadth of the consensus in any event, (ii) labeling those who dare question the status quo with pejorative labels, (iii) claiming that all who question the status quo are "anti-science" and, therefore by definition, not worthy of consideration, (iv) official proclamations from organized science organizations that the science is "settled" and that there is no debate, (v) failure to properly define and quantify what is being discussed so that terms and definitions are slippery and can serve the particular consensus claim being made, (vi) reliance on models about things that are not currently observed but that allegedly occurred in the distant past or could occur in the distant future, (vii) an organized campaign behind the scenes to keep papers out of scientific journals, (viii) an organized campaign behind the scenes to sack journal editors who dare publish articles against the consensus . . .

We could come up with more parallels between the two debates -- they are indeed quite striking.

What we are seeing from Scott in this climate propaganda is not a departure from her usual approach. It is her usual approach.