He alone, who owns the youth, gains the Future
- Adolf Hitler, 1935
No regime in modern history exploited propaganda as diabolically and successfully as did the Third Reich, thanks, in large part, to its focus on those most vulnerable to their ideological manipulation -- children. And with more American adults seeing the cold truth behind warming misinformation, alarmists are stepping up efforts to brainwash our schoolchildren using a playbook that would have impressed Joseph Goebbels himself. Of course, green schooling was surreptitiously introduced years ago when teachers began espousing benign environmental distractions like "Earth Day." But trendy nontoxic slogans like "reduce, reuse, recycle" eventually opened the door to the destructive propaganda of teaching Al Gore's scientifically-challenged movie in science classes. Which soon facilitated a California Law mandating unbalanced Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theories be included in public school curricula. And that paved the way for today's second installment of a malignant little program cleverly crafted to indoctrinate our impressionable youth on a chillingly massive scale. It's called the "National Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions," and one need read no further than the "about" page on the planners' website to understand just who they are and what it is they intend to "teach" our children on a national level. For crying out loud, they lead with this hyperalarmist quote from "science's" leading and most disproven hyperalarmist, James Hansen:
"Continued growth of greenhouse gas emissions, for just another decade, practically eliminates the possibility of near-term return of atmospheric composition beneath the tipping level for catastrophic effects."
And they follow that already over-the-top declaration from a man recently declared an "embarrassment" by his former NASA supervisor with this from their own equally overactive imaginations:
"We stand at a unique moment in human history. The window for action on global warming is measured in months, not years. Decisions that we make-or fail to make-in 2009 will have profound impacts not only for our children and grandchildren, but for every human being that will ever inhabit the face of this earth from now until the end of time."
Until the end of time! Scary stuff -- but these guys are just getting warmed up.
Next, they urge fellow warmists to help "enlist" thousands of colleges, universities, high schools, middle schools and faith groups to host "educational events" in which over a million Americans might join "in solutions-driven" and "intergenerational" dialogue. Of course, a quick glance at the site's recommended teach-in "models" confirms that "dialogue" will be in short supply, as each and every curriculum involves force-feeding AGW to young minds as a fait accompli, while ignoring glaring growing evidence to the contrary. Indeed, the only "intergenerational" communication these ideologues intend is purely upstream in direction. As Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis pointed out last year:
"Global warming activists understand that children's opinions are easily swayed, and that the most effective way to proselytize adults is to indoctrinate their kids."
And sway they will, as it appears that schools from across the nation have heeded the false alarm, and plan to participate in today's trans-American propaganda session.
Step 1: Teach the Children That Carbon Emissions are Destructive and Unjust The focal point of the event is the airing of the National Teach-In webcast [video] -- a turgid amalgam of alarmist exaggerations, scare stories, unsubstantiated projections and outlandish conclusions, all dosed out with a spoonful of socialism disguised as kid-friendly sounding "fairness" and "justice." [Note: emphasis added throughout]
Program Co-Director Eban Goodstein opens with the spectacular and unauthenticated announcement that if you're under 30, then "over your lifetime the planet is going to heat up somewhere between 4 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit," then offers the vexed kids salvation in that "by the time you reach my age, you will bring an end to the fossil-fuel era." He then rattles off a flighty laundry list of ways their generation "will lay the foundation for a just and sustainable world." Read that redistribute wealth and technology on an international level.
PCAP advisor David Orr adds more liberal fantasy, claiming that proper energy and climate policy will somehow solve crime, foreign policy, poverty and yes -- fairness issues. And activist Dianne Dillon Ridgley also supplements the class struggle appeal, praising future good climate policy for "bringing equity and justice into the entire workings of this country."
Fairness? Equity? Justice? Surely, these are words more suited to chic anti-establishment "back-to-nature" 60's leftovers than modern climate experts.
But National Wildlife Federation Policy Coordinator Ragini Kapadia baits a different hook, attempting to tap youthful pride by crediting the young with driving historic social changes like civil rights, women's suffrage and ending the Viet Nam war. And for those children hip to the dazzling disconnect between those genuine issues and hyped AGW, her boss sits ready to exploit another kid-friendly issue -- animal welfare. NWF president Larry Schweiger makes the outrageous, and again -- unsubstantiated, claim that scientists "have told us that we're going to lose somewhere between thirty and even upwards of seventy percent of the total species of life on the planet" if we don't act quickly. Seventy percent? Which scientists? Have these people no shame?
Goodstein returns to tell young viewers -- with a straight face, mind you -- that for the past 30 years scientists have been "desperately searching for some other explanation than the blanketing effect of Carbon Dioxide to explain the rapid warming of the planet." But, asserts Goodstein:
"It's not solar variations, it's not natural cycles, and the simple carbon blanket story explains the data with frightening elegance. The IPCC has shown that to hold global warming to the low end, we must act in the next year or two."
Such a classic alarmist fusion of two Goebbels techniques: one asserting that successful propaganda "must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over," and the other exemplified by these words spoken during a speech intended to reinvigorate Nazi resolve after the devastating Battle of Stalingrad: "Danger faces us. We must act quickly and decisively, or it will be too late."
Notice how as recent cooling threatens warmists with their own philosophical Stalingrad, they sound increasingly similar to the Nazi Propaganda Minister? How ironic that it is they who've exploited Holocaust allegory in calling skeptics "deniers" and coal trains "boxcars headed to crematoria." For his grand finale, Goodstein adds a stunningly egocentric new twist to the old logical fallacy of appeal to authority by claiming that "while many Americans, including many political leaders, do not understand the profound risks posed by the nonlinear dynamics of the climate system, as educators, students, and informed citizens -- we do." I invite you to read those words again, this time aware that they were spoken by an Economics Professor. Sadly, the children will be exposed only to the professor's solipsistic it's true because I say so scientific method, and, short parental intervention, will learn nothing of the 650-plus and growing number of international scientists challenging AGW.
Step 2: Teach the Children They Can Solve The "Carbon Problem"
The MTV style High School model suggests organizers "plan a cool event," which includes airing Gore's eco-sci-fi flick and holding forums with hysterical titles like Meaning of Mass Extinction and The End of Suburbia?, and such activities as having a Climate Friendly Dance and holding a Car Bash. For those not green-savvy, the latter is when you "allow students to pay a few dollars to take a couple good whacks at a donated SUV or other inefficient vehicle." No methane fermentable feces. But it's the Kindergarten through 8th grade model these dread-o-philes have concocted that's the more disturbing. It augments its unilateral rhetoric with two dubiously conceived hands-on science projects, one which claims to model "the effect of CO2 and other ‘greenhouse gases' on the Earth's temperature." Young students are instructed to divide an empty aquarium into two equal parts and to create CO2 on one side using vinegar and baking soda. Light sources of equal brightness and distance are then shone into both sides, and their temperature is documented for ten minutes in sixty second intervals. The project instructions state that:
"CO2 is heavier than air, so will stay in the chamber if undisturbed. This demonstrates the effect of CO2 hanging in the atmosphere. The students should be able to show that the CO2 remained in the chamber, and at the end of the experiment, the temperature was higher in that compartment than the one only filled with air."
Given their confidence in the outcome, and the false impression it might leave on developing minds, I wondered whether the experiment actually provided valid evidence of any greenhouse effect driven by CO2 concentrations in Earth's atmosphere.
Smelling a big green rat, I posed the question to climate expert Dr. Roy Spencer, who was gracious enough to reply:
I discussed the experiment with a couple of other experts, and it seems to us the experiment is not well designed. The warming effect from the extra CO2 would be so small that other differences between the two sides of the aquarium in the experiment would probably dominate. For instance,
1. How do you make sure you have exactly the same light intensity going into both sides?
2. What about the chemical reaction on the side the CO2 is generated on? Does it generate heat, or absorb it?
3. What about the extra water vapor on the CO2 side? The chemical reaction that produces CO2 also produces water, which means there will be more water vapor on that side, and water vapor absorbs visible light and that might make it warmer.
All in all, the experiment gives the impression that the warming effect of CO2 is large, when it is really quite small. But probably 50% of the people who do the experiment will get the CO2 side warmer just by chance...like flipping a coin.
Any doubt that 50% will be spun as anything short of conclusive?
So then, wrongly convinced that they've just verified AGW, the children are asked to ponder sources of "human-induced creation or release of greenhouse gases." And in an effort to inflict maximum asinine "carbon footprint" shame on these poor kids, they're taught that "even though a thing may not require energy to work, the creation of the thing may have taken a lot of energy and contributed to global warming."
So virtually everything they and mommy and daddy do that requires energy is bad.
Stopping The Hansen-Jugend Blitz
Between 1936 and 1945, German boys 13 and older were forced to join a paramilitary group known as Hitler-Jugend (Hitler Youth), where they were indoctrinated early into the Nazi belief system, most notably eugenics and its cousin -- anti-Semitism. They, too, were taught that their parents were potentially ideologically dangerous. And they, too, were expected to proselytize their elders. Adolf Hitler was well aware that many adults saw right through Nazi propaganda, and his remedy was disturbingly similar to that of climate alarmists described by Marlo Lewis in the first section of this piece.
But Hitler Youth also acted as clandestine thought police, denouncing anyone criticizing party doctrine - often including their parents. And while books like James Russell's How to Turn Your Parents Green currently provoke children to only "nag, pester, bug, torment, and punish people who are merrily wrecking our world," what might the future hold for these Hansen Youth as green regulation and legislation spew from the deranged warmists in Congress and our new Administration? So how do we save our kids' minds from these eco-fascists? Sure, we retain some control over the green nonsense our kids are exposed to on TV and online. And should we choose to send them to a University or church that preaches this baloney, well, that's our decision. But the public schools are another matter. To me, teaching AGW dogma to my children is no different or less outrageous than training them in another man's religion. In fact, AGW has become such a pagan creed that a case might one day be made that such instruction violates the "Establishment Clause" of the First Amendment.
But until then, it's up to us to loudly discourage our school districts from such "teach-ins" and to remove any green mush that nonetheless finds itself between our kids' ears.
And to teach our children well.
Marc Sheppard is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and welcomes your comments.