Connecticut bill requires political indoctrination in climate alarmism
On May 28, the Connecticut House of Representatives passed a bill making it mandatory for public school science teachers to include "human-induced climate change" in their curricula.
It is indeed beneficial for our children to learn about the science of climate change and the controversy surrounding anthropogenic (human-induced) climate change. But there are serious problems with the bill that make it more likely to generate indoctrination than education.
Climate Science Is Still in Its Infancy
As a climate scientist myself, I completely reject the notion that climate science is "settled" or that we understand everything about the functionality of our climate system. Contrary to public perception, climate science is not settled.
In the past two decades alone, most global temperature predictions by climate scientists have failed. Why? Because climate scientists do not yet understand the drivers of changes in global temperatures.
In fact, our understanding of most scientific theories (with the exception of key physical laws) is in a constant state of evolution, as our scientists become more and more familiar with the world around us. With advancement in scientific technology, we constantly fine-tune our understanding of various phenomena and natural systems.
Climate science is not at all different. We still don't know what exactly caused the great changes in climate during the past 10,000 years. Forget 10,000 years — climate scientists have not concluded the reasons for the pronounced warming that occurred as recent as the past 2,000 years (the Roman Warm Period in the 1st century A.D. and the Medieval Warm Period in the 10th). It is ridiculous, therefore, to force teachers to teach that the "science is settled" on a subject still in its infancy.
Even if they do teach on the subject, what curriculum will they teach? A part of the answer to the question lies in the stipulations of the bill itself: the Next Generation Science Standards.
The Dubious "Next Generation Science Standards"
The bill stipulates that teaching on human-induced climate change must conform with the "Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)." But the NGSS are disproportionate and biased in their definition of modern climate change.
For example, the MS-ESS3-5 module is supposed to teach students about the broader topic of "humans and climate change." A closer look reveals that the curriculum concludes that humans are the major drivers of climate change.
But climate scientists in universities around the globe are deeply divided on the role of humans in climate change and various other metrics surrounding modern climate change. In fact, they are still coming to terms with the lack of warming in the past two decades despite a surge in the use of fossil fuels and the carbon dioxide emissions they generate.
The MS-ESS3-5 curriculum states, "Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth's mean surface temperature (global warming)."
During the majority of Earth's climate history, humans played no role in climate change. In the last 10,000 years — also known as the Holocene — global mean temperatures have changed drastically in both directions, with no contribution from humans. That makes it impossible to know for sure that recent warming is primarily human-induced.
Even the current warming (18th century to the present), also known as the Modern Warm Period (MWP), began well before the industrial era, a fact that rules out fossil fuels as the trigger at least for its first two hundred years. In academic circles, it is a well known fact that the MWP began when the Little Ice Age came to an end in the 17th century.
The MS-ESS3-5 also tells students that "current models predict that average global temperatures will continue to rise."
But in reality, the very same computer climate models have been found faulty in their predictions. Even climate scientists like Michael Mann — a champion of climate doomsday theory and a staunch alarmist — has acknowledged the inability of these models to predict future temperatures.
We could have some confidence in these models if their errors were small. But the majority have failed in every single year during the past 18 years, and by a large margin. The major reason lies in the models' assumption that carbon dioxide (CO2) is the major driver of temperature increase.
In reality, the exponential increase in CO2 during the past 19 years has failed not only to cause a significant warming, but also to maintain the level of warming that was prevalent during the previous three decades (1970–1998), leading scientists to term the last two decades a "global warming hiatus."
Mandatory teaching on human-induced climate change, especially according to the unscientific standards of the NGSS, will inevitably result in indoctrination of climate alarmism among the next generation. It is already making many schoolchildren around the globe paranoid about a climate system that in reality is actually doing well.
Schoolchildren have been misused by alarmists and even persuaded to go on school strikes to protest carbon dioxide emissions and those national leaders who don't do enough, whatever that might be, to curb them — which means, technically, every nation in the world.
The Connecticut bill is another well aimed measure to cause a doomsday panic among the next generation by persuading them to believe in exaggerated forecasts by faulty computer climate models.
Vijay Jayaraj (M.Sc., Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, England), research associate for developing countries for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, lives in Bangalore, India.