Climate activists seem intent on preaching anthropogenic global warming to students at many levels, from childhood through higher education. Public school students sometimes learn about climate change in class, according to the Independent Women’s Forum. Some students have watched Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” documentary multiple times at the behest of their teachers.
And some “green” colleges and universities have an “environmental literacy requirement” for each of their students.
At the high school level, the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) claims to have reached over 400,000 students at 850 schools through their free high school assemblies, as of this writing.
The ACE curriculum appears to focus not on science but environmental advocacy, on promoting social behaviors rather than academic inquiry.
Case in point: ACE’s “Assembly Trailer,” posted on their web page.
In the video the ACE presenter talks about spending dollars at climate-friendly businesses and encourages students to become “climate heroes” crusading against global warming.
“I mean, we didn’t start it [global warming], you don’t want it, but we all got to band together to stop it,” he says in the video (emphasis added).
The video compares climate change activism with the youth input into the civil rights movement, women’s suffrage, rock and roll, and hip-hop.
“Connect students to a global movement that will change the world,” narrates the video via text.
“This too can be you, but we’ve got to go from just hundreds of kids to about tens of thousands of climate heroes fast,” says the presenter, immediately following.
“Between the time you were born and now, you guys have lived through the ten hottest years [in] recorded history,” he claims.
The National Climatic Data Center, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, states on its website that “Lastly, seven of the eight warmest years on record have occurred since 2001 and the 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1995.”
However, Princeton University physics professor Dr. William Happer voiced an opposing view in his May 20 testimony before the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. “The current warming period began about 1800 at the end of the little ice age, long before there was appreciable burning of fossil fuel,” states Dr. Happer’s official testimony (pdf). “There have been similar and even larger warmings several times in the 10,000 years since the end of the last ice age.”
“These earlier warmings clearly had nothing to do with the combustion of fossil fuels,” he argues.
Dr. Happer argued that he was “very surprised” when he saw the famous hockey stick graph. “Both the little ice age and the medieval warm period were gone, and the newly revised temperature of the world since the year 1000 had suddenly become absolutely flat until the last hundred years when it shot up like the blade on a hockey stick,” he said.
“Plants, and our own primate ancestors evolved when the levels of atmospheric CO2 were at least 1000 ppm, a level that we will probably not reach by burning fossil fuels, and far above our current level of about 380 ppm,” contended Dr. Happer, who said he was Director of Energy Research at the Department of Energy during the Clinton Administration.
The ACE promotional video also explores the alleged destructive effects of cows on global temperatures. “Who knows about those farting cows?” asks the presenter. “…Every time a cow farts and burps, which is all the time, it lets out a super greenhouse gas called methane, which is 26 times as powerful as CO2 at trapping heat.”
A recent study indicated that cattle grazing patterns may actually reduce the emission of another “greenhouse gas,” nitrous oxide.
“Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a clear, colorless gas, with a slightly sweet odor,” states the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website. “Due to its long atmospheric lifetime (approximately 120 years) and heat trapping effects—about 310 times more powerful than carbon dioxide on a per molecule basis—N2O is an important greenhouse gas.”
“In the past environmentalists, from Lord Stern to Sir Paul McCartney, have urged people to stop eating meat because the methane produced by cattle causes global warming,” reported Louise Gray for the UK Telegraph on April 8. “Authors of the paper, published in Nature, say the research does not mean that producing livestock to eat is good for the environment in all countries,” reported Gray.
“However in certain circumstances, it can be better for global warming to let animals graze on grassland.”
“Estimated nitrous oxide emissions from temperate grasslands in places like Inner Mongolia as well as vast swatches of the United States, Canada, Russia and China account for up a third of the total amount of the greenhouse gas produced every year,” reported Gray.
The referenced study did not analyze methane emissions from livestock.
Perhaps students should learn about opposing points of view on the climate change issue before they are encouraged to adopt the politically correct lifestyles advocated by their teachers.
Bethany Stotts is a staff writer at Accuracy in Academia.