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« The latest from Pat Swords | Main | Rapley at the Cabot »
Sunday
Mar172013

Education cuts

The Guardian is reporting that someone has decided that global warming propaganda might not be the thing for small children, in England at least.

Debate about climate change has been cut out of the national curriculum for children under 14, prompting claims of political interference in the syllabus by the government that has failed "our duty to future generations".

The latest draft guidelines for children in key stages 1 to 3 have no mention of climate change under geography teaching and a single reference to how carbon dioxide produced by humans impacts on the climate in the chemistry section. There is also no reference to sustainable development, only to the "efficacy of recycling", again as a chemistry subject.

Many activists are quoted as opposing the move - David King, John Ashton are the most familiar ones. The views of parents were apparently not of interest to the Guardian.

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Reader Comments (55)

Another sign of the government's attitude to the 'environmental Taliban'.

Mar 17, 2013 at 7:38 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Scares come, scares go.

How much mention is there of Acid Rain nowadays?

But few scares have cost us so much as AGW...

Mar 17, 2013 at 7:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

The paragraph just before is more concerning.

The move has caused alarm among climate campaigners and scientists who say teaching about climate change in schools has helped mobilise young people to be the most vociferous advocates of action by governments, business and society to tackle the issue.

I interpret this as a tacit admission of indoctrination.

Mar 17, 2013 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter

It will take at least a generation to shovel out this Augean stable, however.
Kids are subjected to greenie agit-prop at every turn.
And not just at school. The Beeb does everything possible to pump out the global warming religion, of course.
But took the great-grandson to The Deep in Hull this morning.
Loads of global warming nonsense. Turn off all standby lights and help the planet and all that baloney. (And don't forget this is supposed to be a 'science' based museum.)
Intriguingly, they also have an exhibit claiming that the world population is well over 16 Billion. (I should have noted the exact number, I suppose.)
I have my doubts about the UN's claimed 8 Billion.
Presumably The Deep counts feet when compiling their figures?

Mar 17, 2013 at 7:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Watch out!

That Gravy Train is derailed and whilst some might see it as still travelling in the "alarmist" direction - a train wreck seems to be the inevitable result.

It is just a matter of when.

Mar 17, 2013 at 7:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterDoug UK

What is the chemistry of recycling?

Mar 17, 2013 at 8:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

When i was at school they taught us dont do sex, dont smoke, dont do drugs, dont drink alcahol

Done all them.

Mar 17, 2013 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

"Sarah Lester, a policy researcher specialising in climate change education at the Grantham Institute of Climate Change at Imperial College, London"

Shame theres no comments section for that story

So how much is she getting paid then

Mar 17, 2013 at 8:16 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

"Education cuts" may take on a different meaning when all schools have "gone digital" and the iPads associated online material isn't available because there ain't no power

Mar 17, 2013 at 8:20 PM | Registered CommenterAndy Scrase

Doug, I wish I could be sure that there will be anything as obvious as a train wreck.

If the guilty scientists, politicians, journalists etc have their way it will gradually fade and morph into things like "sustainability" or some other eco-babble.
That's why I disagree that, given the choice, we should be magnanimous with the likes of Hansen, Mann, Gore and their cheerleaders. Their reputations should be trashed, their honours revoked, their finances ransacked for compensation, they should be fired and if possible end up in jail. Then make the ****ers face the families of people who died because they couldn't afford to heat themselves in winter.

This isn't to do with vengeance, it's to protect us all in future. Scientists, politicians, activists and journalists should all know the fate which befell these people and they should be literally petrified that it could happen to them if they are not scrupulously honest.

I'm afraid that none of this will happen and, in a few decades time, Mann in comfortable retirement will chuckle to a sympathetic/ignorant interviewer about how he might have been a hot-headed young man but it all worked out for the best anyway.
Meanwhile, yet another in a long line of charlatans is fiddling results to further his career, regardless of the consequences

Mar 17, 2013 at 8:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

It seems we go from one extreme to the other.
What is wrong with "teaching" both sides of the argument? I was a Geog teacher until a few years ago and "Global Warming" was part of the syllabus. We also received Al Gore's film and were told to show it to pupils. I refused unless I was allowed to show "The Great Global Warming Swindle" (have I got the title right?) as a counter argument. The topic used to stimulate great (often heated!!) discussion and debate and there were some fantastic projects produced. Not only that, but it stimulated pupils' interest in weather and climate (I had to do a lot of swotting up to keep up with some pupils - even those in year 9!) who suddenly became interested in all aspects of climate and weather - when a 14 year old suddenly starts asking about Jet streams and adiabatic lapse rates, and what the winter of 1963 was like you know they have found something interesting (although being asked if I remembered the frost fairs on the Thames didn't amuse me!!). Some pupils did an incredible amount of research in their own time.
The topic can lead to so many other different areas - ice ages etc and even continental drift (Sir, if chalk was formed under a semi-tropical climate, and coal was fromed under tropical conditions was the climate of Britain much hotter or was Britain nearer the the equator?).
Global Warming/Climate change/Climate disruption, call it what you will, is in the news all the time and we have a duty to educate pupils about "it" - after all, it's going to affect them in some way, in my view through energy policy rather than Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Disruption etc. (but, of course, as a teacher I should remain impartial!!)

Mar 17, 2013 at 8:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilW

I will be giving a one hour lecture tomorrow to about 200 first year biology degree students called
"Plants and Climate Change- A Bad Thing?"

My take is that it is not. Should raise a few eyebrows:-)

Mar 17, 2013 at 8:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

I am with Artwest - every word. Well said. The biggest scam in the history of the world should not go unreported and unpunished. Billions in funds, in every country has been wasted. Thousands of lives lost. Development has been trashed, environments destroyed. Why the f**k should any one of the fraudsters get away with it?

If the law doesn't do something, people might. I'm seeing angrier comments on blogs and in newspapers than ever before. It's growing. The people want things put right, but right now they are still only raising a murmur. I would say to anyone in authority, Do Not Ignore, and Do The Right Thing.

Mar 17, 2013 at 8:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterA.D. Everard

Interesting critics

Camilla Born (http://uk.linkedin.com/in/camillaborn)
Intern: Climate Diplomacy at E3G
International Outreach Officer at UK Youth Climate Coalition
Suddenly becomes an "International Expert" according the The Guardian

Sarah Lester - a policy researcher specialising in climate change education at the Grantham Institute of Climate Change at Imperial College, London.

John Ashton is a Member of the Green College Centre for Environmental Policy and Understanding. He also serves on the Advisory Boards of the Climate Institute, Washington DC, and of the UK Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

Mar 17, 2013 at 8:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

Mar 17, 2013 at 8:48 PM | PhilW
////////////////////////////////////////////////////

I agree that it is beneficial to 'teach' pupils both sides of the argument in an impartial manner.

As the years go by, it will become clearer which side of the debate is on a more solid footing. At that time, if future events show that cAGW was little more than alarmist nonsense then pupils should be 'taught' the lessons to be learnt from climategate and the cost that the cAGW nonsense has inflicted on developed nations. It is these pupils who will no doubt be most affected by the steps that governments took to mitigate cAGW and these pupils may wish to hold the politicians and propagandists to account seeking financial and possibly even criminal recourse against them. I consider it a lesson well worth learning and one that ought not be forgotten.

I am fairly sure that artwest (see Mar 17, 2013 at 8:40 PM | artwest) is correct when he observes " If the guilty scientists, politicians, journalists etc have their way it will gradually fade and morph into things like "sustainability" or some other eco-babble." and there is much danger in allowing them to evade their responsibilities in that manner.

Mar 17, 2013 at 9:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2291937/An-unashamedly-blingtastic-bash-What-happened-Bransons-son-wed-Harrys-girlfriends-sister.html

So just to get everyone even more annoyed .Sir Richards son Eco Mentalist and Climate Change campaigner had his wedding to lovely new socialite bribe featured in Hello Magazine.

So Sir Richard how much did all that Cost.How many trees did you have to plant to offset all theCO2 for all that Bling

Mar 17, 2013 at 9:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

richard verney

"I am fairly sure that artwest (see Mar 17, 2013 at 8:40 PM | artwest) is correct when he observes " If the guilty scientists, politicians, journalists etc have their way it will gradually fade and morph into things like "sustainability" or some other eco-babble." and there is much danger in allowing them to evade their responsibilities in that manner."

--------

I really can't see them as being exposed as charlatans and held up to universal derision. Too much has been dragged along (or found it convenient to go along) for that.

More likely they will be held as worthy priests of a purist religion whose honours should not be removed although the world has learned much and moved on.

The most unforgivable thing they've done is the corruption of what science is, but in an age where wonders such as a scientific calculator are available for the price of a few pints, but creating one is beyond the grasp of most buyers, we were set up for this.

As for teaching global warming crap in schools, it's probably easier than teaching trad science and doesn't have the H&S complications to deal with.

Mar 17, 2013 at 9:42 PM | Unregistered Commentercosmic

What sanctions can be applied to a Teacher or Educational Establishment, if it is subsequently proven that they've taught incorrect facts?

The fact that reputable scientists disagree over certain climate issues dictates that the precautionary-principle applies, and both sides of the argument must be taught.

Mar 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Would it be too radical to suggest that the UK education system should teach pupils how to think, not what to think?
A solid grounding in critical thought and objective science would eradicate the AGW scam within a generation.

Mar 17, 2013 at 9:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

I'm with artwest on this.

They can run to the west and surrender to Dellers or stay put and surrender to me. I promise to be humane - but they will have to live their time out with no electricity and no fire. Organic food they grow themselves. No medicine. No new clothes. No transport. Living the green dream.

Mar 17, 2013 at 10:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Under 14s are too young for the politics, the campaigning, and the scientific controversies around climate and CO2. More importantly, they are too young for the cruelty of having the destructive doom, gloom, and blame industrial progress cant of the eco-activists. This proposal has at least the promise of giving them a bit more protection from that. There will be an outcry from those who have long seen such youngsters as a soft touch for conversion into 'little political activists', and who were more than willing to help sacrifice their childhoods in order to have them put pressure on their parents.

Mar 17, 2013 at 10:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

In regard to teaching children about GW, (Climate Change (CC)) is and has been very alarming. Some parents I know are very concerned. The subject is indeed very interesting but is clearly lacking in adequate behavioral evidence. I know GW/CC spans a wide variety of scientific and engineering topics. Children who are interested in the topic may find themselves perhaps neglecting the subjects that they need to study in the first place. I suspect plenty will ignore it all and likely come up with the corporate answer on demand. An Inconvenient Truth was judged by a High Court in 2007 to be alarmist and partially in error. That's final because a judge deemed it so, apart from the corrections required. Following on we discover that evidence is not freely available for anybody to view (verify) nor those independent in the wider science domain. Would that be VI/Gov obstruction by any chance? Such data and information that we may now view parts of, is partial and spoiled by bad process practices to say the very least. Historic data that has been used to drive claims that an inferno is heading our way is very noticeable by its absence and/or weakness. Recent data arising from various measurement systems (instrumentation) appears to conflict, is corrupted (false/changed) or absent in the places it needs to exist (have existed). Seems to hinge on those Polar bears though! So on that basis we very suddenly need to construct anything that does not use fossil fuel and because japan lies in a zone of extreme crustal instability, nuclear plants need to be dramatically delayed/closed. Just ship wood pulp in....easy, but still a CO2 emitter. Meanwhile the far east is business as usual.

Important figures in the sciences who have disagreed in whole or part have been simply dumped or have resigned from the worlds learned societies. The BBC has seemingly led a charge to indoctrinate us almost as regularly as their manic news programmes and within other programmes - unexpectedly. Hardly an hour passes without the scare words related to forces that humans cannot possibly control. I cannot understand what mandate the BBC has for this activity and which is financed by the people of UK (under severe threat of course). No doubt the world is polluted, why add this kind of mind pollution (indoctrination)?

Just listen to the BBC often (if you can stand it). Don't need a teacher with them repeatedly blasting away. Lest you forget ?

Mar 17, 2013 at 11:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterColin E

Looking back over the decades I remember four types of blokes at school.
(a) Those who mixed with those of their own age
(b) those who fraternised with older chaps
(c) individuals whose preference was for younger groups
(d) the mixers who just got on with everyone
It was group c that I found to comprise of the oddest individuals but the oddest thing is that it's them that seem to be pushing their own agenda the most!

Mar 18, 2013 at 12:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

Scares come, scares go.

How much mention is there of Acid Rain nowadays?

But few scares have cost us so much as AGW...

Mar 17, 2013 at 7:40 PM | Dodgy Geezer

You now hear little about acid rain in Europe because every power staion which produced sulphur pollution in the 1970s now has scrubbers cleaning the exhaust gases.

Similarly you hear little about ozone since the Montreal Protocol curtailed CFC production.

Twice it has been demonstrated that rapid action to deal with an atmospheric pollution problem can minimise it.

Why are you so reluctant to do so a third time?

Mar 18, 2013 at 12:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

'Twice it has been demonstrated that rapid action to deal with an atmospheric pollution problem can minimise it.

Why are you so reluctant to do so a third time?'
Is it 'cos we don't all agree that CO2 is a POLLUTANT!

Mar 18, 2013 at 12:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

Jeesh EM. It keeps us from freezing to death, it keeps plant-life happy and feeds us!
How in Beelzebub's b***ocks is this a pollutant?

Mar 18, 2013 at 12:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

Sulphur is not a pollutant as a soil nutruient, but dump an excess of it onto forests and into lakes and you get the effects of acid rain.

CFCs were useful in context, but in the atmosphere caused ozone depletion.

CO2 is not a pollutant, but an excess of it is liable to lead to interesting times for our civilization.

The strategies used to limit the effects of excess sulphur and CFCs are also applicable to excess CO2; and the incentive to minimise damage to our civilization is the same.

Mar 18, 2013 at 1:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Children under 14 haven’t experienced any global warming.

Mar 18, 2013 at 1:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterDAS

EM, 'excess CO2 appears to be a classification of your own invention. I obviously require enlightenment about this.

Mar 18, 2013 at 1:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

Remember this?:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dOfBEm5DZU

Mar 18, 2013 at 1:54 AM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

This version is funnier:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZkPQU3UDBM0

Mar 18, 2013 at 2:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterSJF

SJF - Out of the mouths of babes! :-)

Mar 18, 2013 at 2:32 AM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Alexander K - agreed. EM informs us of "excess"# CO2. Presumably this "excess" is above a norm that he has knowledge of. In ppm EM, would you inform us of the norm to which any level of "excess" CO2 refers to?

# you can immediately pick someone who has a scientific background when they use "excess" as a quantifier.

Mar 18, 2013 at 3:01 AM | Registered CommenterGrantB

By all means, teach sustainability... correctly!

Show these youngsters where the power plants for your city are. Show them how many windmills will be needed to replace them. Show them where they get their coal. Show them the 4000 sq km of forest in North America that they will need to turn into wood chips and ship by bulk carrier across the Atlantic to avoid burning that nearby coal.

Show them the LNG import facility and show them a gas fracking or coal bed methane well -- to scale! Show them when gas flows one way, cash flows the opposite way.

Turn out the lights, computers, TVs when it is cloudy and calm. Turn off the heat and A/C. Have the science class build excercise bikes to power LED lights.

Yeah. Let them learn the hard lessons of sustainability at an early age. Don't Teach sustainability. Live It (at school).

Mar 18, 2013 at 3:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Rasey

http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/acid-oceans-and-acid-rain.aspx

We have been here before. In 1984, acid rain was the environmental scare of the day. As the science correspondent of The Economist, I wrote: `Forests are beginning to die at a catastrophic rate. One year ago, West Germany estimated that 8% of its trees were in trouble. Now 34% are...that forests are in trouble is now indisputable.' Experts told me all Germany's conifers would be gone by 1990 and the Federal Ministry of the Interior predicted all forests would be gone by 2002.
Bunk. Acid rain (though a real phenomenon) did not kill forests. It did not even damage them. Scientists eventually admitted that forests thrived in Germany, Scandinavia and North America during the 1980s and 1990s, despite acid rain. I was a gullible idiot not to question the conventional wisdom I was being fed by those with vested interests in alarm.

Mar 18, 2013 at 6:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterGrossePiere

"CO2 is not a pollutant, but an excess of it is liable to lead to interesting times for our civilization"

"Is liable"?????? The whole trillion dollar/pound bill has been run up on the basis of "is liable"?

Mar 18, 2013 at 7:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Entropic Man or Ectopic Man?

Mar 18, 2013 at 7:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterGummerMustGo

Indeed Charlie. "excess" of CO2, "is liable" to lead to "interesting" times.

EM has a degree of precision in his posts that lesser mortals can only dream about.

Mar 18, 2013 at 7:55 AM | Registered CommenterGrantB

Steve Jones

"Would it be too radical to suggest that the UK education system should teach pupils how to think, not what to think?
A solid grounding in critical thought and objective science would eradicate the AGW scam within a generation."

Succint and absolutely right. A pity that the other Steve Jones is not as intelligent as you.

Mar 18, 2013 at 8:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Fowle

So tell me, Entropic Man, what's the size of the "Ozone Hole" now, compared to 1980, oh and 1880, 1780......?

Mar 18, 2013 at 8:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

Entropic man: "CO2 is not a pollutant, but an excess of it is liable to lead to interesting times for our civilization."

Such as increasing prosperity as the biomass increases, meaning more and better food, using less agricultural land to grow it.
The planet badly needs more CO2 in the atmosphere. Happily levels are now increasing from a record low level: the last time CO2 levels were this low was 300 million years ago. About 4% of the increase is due to 'human emissions', the rest is probably due to longterm ocean outgassing from the effects of the MWP. The lag between warming and increasing CO2 is around 500 - 800 years.

Mar 18, 2013 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip Foster

Mike,

Thanks for the compliment. It is people like my namesake that worry me the most. He is a very clever man but seems able and willing to abandon all objectivity when it comes to AGW. He, and others like him, must know in their heart of hearts that AGW is, at the very least and I am being generous, a weak hypothesis.

SJ

Mar 18, 2013 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

Entropic Man
You really are something else!
You don't hear much about acid rain because that is yesterday's scare and anyway the Norwegians and the Germans eventually realised that they were being led by the nose by the greenies and that the putative damage was marginal if indeed it existed at all.
You don't hear much about the ozone hole because when the original fuss died down intelligent people realised that nobody in reality knew whether there had been a hole or not until the technology was available to find it (see Adam Gallon's post above) and then after a few more years discovered that it expanded and contracted pretty regularly in line with the seasons.

And you knew both those things, didn't you?

Just as you know that the CAGW scare is currently dying on its feet and for the same reason. It's built on the same misanthropic, unscientific eco-activism.

Mar 18, 2013 at 9:48 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

I for one am sick to death of these self-absorbed zealots waving their consciences around in everybody's face.

Do they really believe that skeptics have zero interest in their own children and the kind of world they will inhabit, as Comrade Smith implies? If so, they must believe there are two completely different species of humanity on the planet.

Mar 18, 2013 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

The fact that there are no certainties in science should be the corner stone of every science GCSE syllabus. Providing man's influence on climate is dealt with within this constraint, fine. Another corner stone that must be taught early in the science syllabus is the fundamental rule that every theory must be verified by empirical observation. Again this basic rule must apply to the teaching of man made climate change. But, unfortunately, we know that this will not happen.there will be the usual arm waving, when models and feedback are discussed. There will be cherry picking when global temperatures are discussed. The official, universal line must be kept. One can only hope that the divergence from true scientific teaching will not be too damaging.

Mar 18, 2013 at 10:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

'Joe Smith' is an environmental activist, senior lecturer in the environment at the OU. He claims to be a ''social scientist'' whatever that is. He would want children brainwashed into AGW thought.

The OU is not the learning agency it once was. They have stopped teaching geology on field trips and have resorted to interactive video. You cannot learn geology looking at video you MUST look at rocks in situ, handle them, look at and understand thin sections. Video does not teach geology.

Mar 18, 2013 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

Entropic man

Because CO2 isn't a pollutant

Mar 18, 2013 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

@ Colin E - An Inconvenient Truth was judged by a High Court in 2007 to be alarmist and partially in error.

Colin, I believe the judge also ruled that, where AIT is shown in schools the opposing argument must be raised too.

Also @ Colin E - I cannot understand what mandate the BBC has for this activity and which is financed by the people of UK (under severe threat of course).

Colin, I spent over three-and-a-half years trying to get answers from Mark Thompson (then Director General of the Beeb) asking why they show blatant bias towards CAGW. All I got was the party line.

I also had exchanges of correspondence with Sir David Attenborough at the same tiime. Guess what ... all I got was the party line!

Mar 18, 2013 at 11:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterYertizz

Entropic man. Who taught you the myth that power plants have had scrubbers fitted to remove Sulphur products? Absolute nonsense. Who taught you that CFCs had been shown to shrink the Ozone layer or that eliminating them had reestablished it? I can see how you guys pick up this tittle tattle amongst yourselves but you could at least check it out before stating it as fact.

Mar 18, 2013 at 11:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Mason

Some little kid gets his Climate Change Homework

Name 10 ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

1 Put the PS3 on Ebay

2 Put the Xbox on Ebay

3 Put the Nintendo WII Fit on Ebay

4 Put the Samsung Galaxy 4 tablet on Ebay

5 Put the Iphone 4 on Ebay

6 Put Panasonic 19 inch LCD flatscreen on Ebay

7 Put the 3rd Sky plus Box on Ebay dont need Sky Muti Room anymore

8 Switch of the Thermostatic Radiator Valves and just wear more clothes in winter and use your old cloths to wipe away the condensation

9 Tape up the Light switch and do your home work by Candle Lite

10 Get mum to use a smaller cap for measuring her washing Liquid

Is it me or does that sound like Fuel poverty

When i was growing up all we had was Subuteo and Hot Wheels .Go in a kids bedroom now like going in a branch of Dixons.

Mar 18, 2013 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

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