An Inconvenient Youth – Updated

Posted by Dee Norris

Teach children the path to follow, and even when they are old, they will not stray from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

Childhood indoctrination.  It’s a dirty word.  Hitler did it.  Stalin did it.  It can never happen here in the free world, now can it?  Of course not.

In the past few days, I have had a couple of disturbing conversations about AGW with the younger generation, including my own daughter.  Particularly striking is the one I had with the 12-year old daughter of a friend.

(Warning: The following transcript may incite anger in libertarians and parents).

Dee:  So, do you believe in Global Warming?

Melissa: Oh, yes!

Dee:  Oh?  Do you think that people are responsible?

Melissa:  Uh huh.  They put all that junk in the air and it has to be causing the world to get warmer.

Dee: Is that so?  That junk is called carbon dioxide and of all the carbon dioxide that is going into the air, how much of it do you think that people are adding?

Melissa: I dunno… Maybe 75 percent?

Dee: 75%?  What if I told you it was less than 5% and the rest was all natural?

Melissa:  Well how about all the polar bears that are drowning?  The ice cap is melting.

Dee: Ummmm… How many polar bears have drowned?

Melissa: I dunno, but they’re going extinct.

Dee:  Oh, really?  Polar bear population had doubled in the last few of decades.

Melissa: You are making me mad.

Dee: Why is that?

Melissa: Cause you are.

Dee: OK, so where did you learn that the polar bears are dying?

Melissa: A movie they showed at the school.

Well, gentle readers, I knew to which movie she was referring:  Al Gore’s Oscar winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth.  In fact, I was there that day when the school’s earth science class sponsored a public showing and did my best to correct some of the more glaring errors made by Mr. Gore, but it seems that I failed in my task.

To this day, the indoctrination continues to warp the opinions of children too young to understand the science or politics behind AGW and who only care about the cute, cuddly polar bears having to swim 50 or more miles between melting ice flows just to stay alive.

Our Friend, the Polar Bear

Recently, the American Institute for Public Service, a national foundation that honors community service, recognized Cool the Earth for the efforts to educate the youth of the San Francisco Bay Area about the dangers of Global Warming.  The founder of Cool the Earth, Carleen Cullen had this to say:

“What I love about working with young people is their absolute optimism,” said Cullen. “You tell them, ‘Hey, we’ve got this little problem over here with our friend, the polar bear, and with humans as well,’ and they’re not overwhelmed by it; they’re not skeptical or cynical. They just ask, ‘What can I do to fix it?’ “

Read the entire article at the SF Chronicle here: Carleen Cullen fights global warming or see it for yourself at  Cool the Earth.

P.S. I haven’t given up hope for Melissa – she is a bright kid.  I am planning on making a special middle school-level presentation to help her understand both sides of the debate so she can make up her own mind.  Who knows, perhaps I can shame the school into letting a skeptic have equal time.

Update: I spoke with Melissa tonight (Sept 10) and she is quite excited that an essay about her is so popular that Google ranked it in the top 10 out of 1.2 million hits for ‘Inconvenient Youth’.  This seems to have spurred her into digging into the facts behind AGW to see the truth for herself.

On the other hand, in that same search, I found a video posted just this week which was also entitled “An Inconvenient Youth” and is of an 8-year old boy with a message for politicians to stop global warming.  I am very sure he didn’t just come up with this on his own.  Judge for yourself:

An Inconvenient Youth from Colin McCullough on Vimeo.

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158 thoughts on “An Inconvenient Youth – Updated

  1. “I haven’t given up hope for Melissa – she is a bright kid. I planning on making a special middle school-level presentation to help her understand both sides of the debate so she can make up her own mind.”

    This would be great. If you do that presentation, what are the chances that you’ll make it available (at a price) for some of your admirers to use?

  2. This is more frightening than funny; I can see where this manipulation is going and it won’t be pretty. Unfortunately, most schools are almost totally incapable of teaching science or anything else worthwhile.

  3. I saw a survey showing a group of children to be more worried about global warming than cancer or auto accidents. I can deal with a misinformed public, but I hate to see the kids given yet another grave concern to worry about

  4. “Till at last the child’s mind is these suggestions, and the sum of the suggestions is the child’s mind. And not the child’s mind only. The adult’s mind too-all his life long. The mind that judges and desire and decides-made up of these suggestions. But all these suggestions are our suggestions… Suggestions from the State.”

    – Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

  5. What about telling our not skeptical or cynical kids that war is worst, the military-industrial complex is worst than any natural or human caused weather change… what about that Miss Cullen? I’m sure you don’t have kids Miss Cullen.

  6. Why would you be lying to a child and saying that only 5% of atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic, when the true proportion is 40%?

    REPLY: Warren, when submitting a comment, please use a valid email address. – Anthony

    Reply:
    I refer you to Even Doubling Or Tripling the Amount of CO2 will have Little Impact on Temps for additional information that should answer your question. If you still disagree, please share your sources for all to discuss. – Dee Norris

  7. (Warning: The following transcript may incite anger in libertarians and parents).

    Nah – British kayakers who fail miserably at reaching their supposed goal in a publicity stunt and then get invited to speak to a US Congressional Committee make this libertarian’s blood boil.

    Public schools employ teachers with degrees received from state schools and have never had the opportunity to see what’s outside of the box. Propaganda, spin, and gov’t services are all they know.

    The major exception was my art teacher who was a freelance artist. He got us discount cards at the local art supply store, taught us about looking for work, subcontracting out the grunt work others can do, and basically made us ready to pursue such a career.

  8. http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=767538

    Anthony:

    Good article about environmental education in Alberta in the National Post last week. This is in the Canadian “Redneck” outpost (sarcasm there for all you Albertans – Love the province). Imagine what its like here in the Enviro Wacko capital of Canada, the BC Lower Mainland.

    Be prepared to duck and never turn your back. Good luck.

  9. This message is for Warren who used an invalid e mail address you waterhead wake up.We need to be more concerned with the strain that our liberal goverment will put on us with all of these carbon footprint and carbon credit crap.The earth is cooling and it not because we have changed light bulbs or bought overpriced hybrid cars,which by the way cause more polution to produce.It’s caused by the sun spots,or lack there of, and its also a natural cycle.Last winter there were many record snowfall reports as well as below normal temps in many places in the U.S. but the media did’t report hardly any of it .If it were’t for this site and ice age now site we would not have known about this.

  10. During the 80’s Nuclear Freeze movement, the media told us children were more worried about nuclear war than anything else. Of course, they didn’t live with the fallout shelters and “What to do in case of nuclear attack” movies in the 50’s. (I still don’t know if “Reefer Madness’ was done as a joke.)

    Marx said to control a country, you have to control the press and the schools. Folks of a particular political leaning have been tying that ever since.

    Me, I more worried about pop quizzes, homework and getting a date.

  11. Pingback: Convenient Indoctrination of Our Youth | Skeptics Global Warming

  12. Unfortunately this article just makes “why” we sceptics are going to lose this war against governmental control abundantly clear.

    Theres us representing logic, science, truth and freedom (about 5% of the pop.)
    Theres them representing emotion, community, socialism and fear (10%) and
    thens there is the rest – children the whole bunch (85% sheep)- do the maths !

    In a democracy the majority decides what the truth is, no matter how absurd.

  13. Warren,

    CO2 comprises 3.5% of atmospheric gasses, the ‘human contribution’ to that represents about 4.6% of that, making the human contribution to the atmosphere in total .0012%, or thereabouts.

    Where did you get the idea that the human contribution is 40%? Are you talking about the annual CO2 increase?

  14. I have had the opportunity to speak to literally hundreds of classrooms through the past 20 years. I usually get asked questions about global warming during my talks and from my experience kids are quite skeptical about that they are being told, especially in grades 4 and up where they are old enough to think for themselves.

    Granted I’ve been doing this in various cities in the midwest, but I have always been impressed with the questioning and the responses I get in my weather presentations through the years. So although I get quite disheartened by the propaganda and lack of sound scientific training on this subject, kids are not always the sponges they are made out to be.

    But having said that, I feel lucky that “An Inconvenient Truth” has been shown very little in my area as I have two elementary kids myself.

  15. What about telling our not skeptical or cynical kids that war is worst, the military-industrial complex is worst than any natural or human caused weather change… what about that Miss Cullen? I’m sure you don’t have kids Miss Cullen.

    Or [Insert Piratical Grin] one might tell them about how the military industrial complex (and preventative war) has so totally saved the world from fascism and communism and has protected and fostered democracy (and genuine liberalism) all over the world and that it has been even better for the earth than the beneficial mild warming which has occurred thus far . . .

    We might also throw in how much the peace movement did to benefit Rwanda and Darfur.

    (But who would listen to a poor old liberal like me?) #B^1

  16. Very interesting link by Mike Hodges above. A sample from the article:

    “You’re tiptoeing on eggshells simply approaching the topic,” says Mr. Macintosh. “If there are seven scientists globally who disagree with the 20,000 scientists who’ve achieved a consensus through the IPCC … you feel obliged to give equal weight to those seven scientists. That’s not really providing an accurate picture of the general weight of scientific opinion.”

    I’d like to see a vetted list of those “20,000 scientists.” That, of course, will never happen. But even if it were true, there are now over 31,000 vetted scientists who have already co-signed this petition — far outnumbering Mr. Macintosh’s [probably fake] number of 20,000, which he claims constitutes a ‘consensus’ on the AGW/climate catastrophe hypothesis.

    Astonishingly, Macintosh questions whether there are even 7 scientists in the entire world who question the AGW/global warming “consensus.”

    Kudos to the National Post for exposing Macintosh’s mendacious global warming propaganda. If the Pogies feel the need to resort to wild-eyed lies like Macintosh’s, they’re getting desperate.

  17. Retired Engineer,

    ‘Reefer Madness’ was not done as a joke. It was part of the lobbying effort by the Cotton Industry to get Hemp outlawed. Hemp is a far superior material to cotton for a range of uses and the Cotton industry did not want the competition.

  18. terry46 (10:28:47) :
    The earth is cooling […] It’s caused by the sun spots,or lack there of […]
    Much as I hate to keep saying it, but ascribing climate change to simply the Sun, is a too convenient ‘truth’. Some of the other threads here have extensive discussions of this ‘myth’. The evidence for solar control is weak and we should not replace one unsubstantiated dogma by another one. My 10-year old granddaughter is telling me that she has heard that the sunspots are ‘terrible for giving us all that cold weather’ [never mind she has that backwards]. I see one indoctrination replaced by another one.

  19. CO2 comprises 3.5% of atmospheric gasses, the ‘human contribution’ to that represents about 4.6% of that

    CO2 is actually .0385% (1/25 of 1%) of atmospheric gasses.

    Spencer estimates it to be c. 3.5% of greenhouse effect (though AGW advocates say it’s more).

    Accumulated human additions have caused (most of) a 33% increase in this minute amount since 1950. But so what? Without positive feedback even doubling or tripling of CO2 will have almost no measurable effect.

  20. The engineer (10:35:02) :
    In a democracy the majority decides what the truth is, no matter how absurd.
    Napoleon put it this way: “truth is a bunch of lies, agreed upon”.

  21. I think only Santa clause gets a pass when children grow up to be adults who discover they have been lied to.

    Stalin and Hitler are good examples….not many following those ideologies today.

    I am really not worried about this.

  22. Mr. Watts, if you think the following comment is inappropriate then feel free to not post it or to rebut it with an inline comment, but I simply feel this has to be said.

    Time and time again, when a commenter lets slip the label “denialist” when discussing the various points of view related to climate change, he or she is immediately corrected, and the offending phrase snipped under the premise that it is an unfair label which unduly associates their skepticism to outrageous forms of denialism, such as Holocaust denial. Whenever I comment here, I fully respect this rule of discourse and never use the word “denialist” when debating with people; I’ve even come to agree with the rule such that I will only rarely use the phrase in other public forums as well.

    With that said, the introduction to this article upsets me. “Hitler did it. Stalin did it.” This article egregiously invokes Godwin’s Law from the very beginning. I’m sorry, but I’m patently offended that my belief of teaching good, strong science to children is being conflated with the totalitarianism of the Nazis and Stalinist Russia. It boggles my mind how you can tolerate this language in this instance, but take a zero-tolerance policy when I or others use the word “denialist.” If anything, this article is worse since it matter-of-factly equates a practice/belief with Hitler rather than having to go through connotations of a word.

    —-

    Regardless, the article stems from a hypocritical, flawed premise. It’s ironic that the author proposes to counter her child’s “indoctrination” by indoctrinating her with a skeptical viewpoint. The bottom line (gosh, I need to quit using that cliche phrase!) is that although you can boil down the root points of climate change and teach them to a child, the science is much too sophisticated for even a high school level student. It takes complex mathematical and physical reasoning abilities to be able to come to grips with the caveats of climate change – abilities which are rarely cultivated before exposure to college level coursework.

    While I can understand and appreciate the notion that it is a disservice to a young student to distill in them an absolute notion of the infallibility of AGW theory, it is an equal disservice to counter that notion by distilling in them an absolute notion of the errors of the theory. Unfortunately, at the level of a teenager’s education, there is no middle ground – that middle ground of balanced, fair skepticism can’t be settled upon until much, much study has been spent on the topic.

    REPLY: You might want to read this article. The penetration of skeptical ideas in the classroom is essentially nil.

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=767538

    Be offended if you must, but the exclusion of other views in the classroom is a valid issue. It would be one thing if Dee did name calling, but she was referring to a process rooted in history, not making a label like “denialist”. If she had called teachers “Stalinists” for example, I would have snipped it.

    The problem we have here is that climate change is now politicized. It is no longer “good, strong science”, but science that has a political issue attached to it that is impossible to separate.

    Locally, even though I was a local TV meteorologist and school trustee, and was regularly invited to speak to classes about weather, since I made my skeptical views known, I’m no longer invite to speak. In fact a number of teachers now write me to tell me that I’m doing “damage”. One who had promised to have me in for debate has now reneged.

    Of course you can buck that trend and prove that you aren’t party to such educational rejection of ideas in your own teaching environment by inviting someone to give a talk at Cornell. – Anthony

  23. Bill Marsh: I knew about the cotton vs hemp war, but “Reefer” was so funny even 50+ years ago that I had trouble watching it without falling on the floor.

    It seems that most regulation, restriction and taxation is done for the ‘children’, (or the ‘poor’, ‘elderly’ or even cuddly polar bears) Who could be against that?

  24. evanjones,

    I work for the government, so I’m not overly concerned about misplacement of a decimal point. In government work, what’s a factor of ten among friends. :)

    Thanks for pointing out my error. I had second thoughts right about the time I hit ‘submit’ “is that % right? Hmm, oh well, too late now.” Not the first time I look like an idiot, certainly not the last.

  25. Truth’s a very sharp tool
    but dull it just a wit
    and by it you’ll be bit.
    Justice is a must,
    too bad you let it rust.
    The American way
    has gone astray.

    Signed: Superman

    P.S.
    I moved to China.

    P.P.S.
    I left the Hulk in charge.

  26. “Stalin and Hitler are good examples….not many following those ideologies today.

    I am really not worried about this”

    Yes, but there are many statists who learnt a thing or two from those 2 monsters; they may be appalled at Hitler and Stalin’s politics and morality, but agree with many of thier propaganda techniques. After all, Enviormentalism, Animal Rights, and Vegatarianism were all part of the Nazis political plank. Wasn’t it Goebbels who said, “When you lie, lie big.”?

    It’s too bad the US followed the Prussian Model concerning education. Many of our educational problems can be traced back to that model. Climate Science is a misnomer. It is now in the realm of “opinion” and not science. Like economics, Climate Science makes all sorts of claims it cannot support; and economists are now either “conservative” and “liberal” practioners. I remember in HIgh School Keynes was considered the great liberal economist. When I asked if his theories actually worked as advertised, the teacher said I was missing the point. I imagine a student today would be given the same answer if he asked about Mann’s Hockey Stick.

  27. @Counters:

    Perhaps you hurried through the essay, but you seem to have missed a couple of points that I made.

    “…the indoctrination continues to warp the opinions of children too young to understand the science or politics behind AGW and who only care about the cute, cuddly polar bears having to swim 50 or more miles between melting ice flows just to stay alive.”

    I am glad to see you agree with me about teaching good science. This would not be a problem, if it was sound science they are being taught, but in many cases, the emotions of the children are being manipulated without teaching all the science or even presenting any facts. Just emotional arguments to shape their opinions. That is the indoctrination. No matter the cause, it is inappropriate. Surely you agree that this sort of ‘teaching’ is wrong?

    “I planning on making a special middle school-level presentation to help her understand both sides of the debate so she can make up her own mind. “

    I think that speaks for itself. I believe in teaching the science and letting the people decide for themselves. Always have, always will.

  28. Note that the kids of my generation were raised in the absolute belief that we would be out of all essential resources well before the year 2000.

    Well, okay, a good portion of the population STILL thinks we are going to run out of resources by the year 2000 . . .

    But at least it became obvious to enough of my generation not to drive the engine of progress off the left edge of the table. And resource numbers are much harder for a layman to track than a single global temperature average.

    With GW, it’s even easier than with resources: the temps go down and minds change.

    I think we can let the numbers do the talking. Before too long, if I am not mistaken, the little dears will have plain old forgotten they ever subscribed to GW nonsense.

    And if the skeptics are wrong. the numbers will tell us that, too–provided always that the satellite and Argo buoys numbers are kept honest.

  29. Here’s the deal: kids are being indoctrinated like crazy in schools, true. But kids become disillusioned with their programming when they become teens and early adults. Environmentalism is going to reap a hurricane of contempt for its current excesses. Al Gore himself will be lucky to find any historians who paint him in a good light.

  30. Anthony,

    I had my 11 year come home with a pack of AGW nonsense. I was able to tell her about the other views, however, I toyed with the idea of making a presentation at her school but did not have the time to pull together a set of slides suitable for a 10-12 year old audience. If you have such a presentation would you consider posting it on your website for others to use?

    REPLY: Not at the moment, but maybe I should make one. – A

  31. “You’re making me mad.”

    That says it all. It’s emotional not factual. Anthony, you’re going to have a tough time telling them there’s no Santa Claus (ie, a cause they can believe in). Wear armor and keep your good humor.

    Also keep it simple and watch out for the parents who want to ban you from the school.

  32. If they are using AIT as a teaching tool for science, they are not “teaching” science. Where’s the balance? Oh, I forgot, “balance is bias” according to Mr. Gore.

    In the 70’s we were forced to read, and encouraged to believe, the Population Bomb. We were doomed by an increasing population. 2 million humans was supposed to be the maximum carrying capacity of the planet. Erlich was wrong, but still got press for being a prophet for years. Gore and his desciples are wrong now, but I fear they will continue to hold sway for many years to come. You have to give them credit, they grabbed the agenda and have controlled it ever since. They are not about to let go.

  33. Leif Svalgaard: “…My 10-year old granddaughter is telling me that she has heard that the sunspots are ‘terrible for giving us all that cold weather’ [never mind she has that backwards]…”

    You mean cold weather causes sunspots?? Wow!! ;)

  34. Jeff Alberts (11:50:19) :
    Leif Svalgaard: “…My 10-year old granddaughter is telling me that she has heard that the sunspots are ‘terrible for giving us all that cold weather’ [never mind she has that backwards]…”

    You mean cold weather causes sunspots?? Wow!! ;)

    I don’t think that is what she meant. Read it again, carefully this time.

  35. Great post Dee! Indoctrination is the operative word. The Wiki definition says it all:

    Indoctrination is the process of inculcating ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or a professional methodology. It is often distinguished from education by the fact that the indoctrinated person is expected not to question or critically examine the doctrine they have learned. As such it is used pejoratively. Instruction in the basic principles of science, in particular, can not properly be called indoctrination, in the sense that the fundamental principals of science call for critical self-evaluation and skeptical scrutiny of one’s own ideas.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indoctrination

  36. @Warren (10:13:27) :
    “Why would you be lying to a child and saying that only 5% of atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic, when the true proportion is 40%?”

    Warren,
    1st of all, CO2 makes up less than 1/10th of 1% of the atmosphere.
    http://celebrating200years.noaa.gov/datasets/mauna/welcome.html

    2nd, humans emit 2% to 3% of the CO2 each year into the atmosphere. Here, read the following in quotes (the link follows):
    “CO2 is an efficient greenhouse gas. Increases in the concentration of atmospheric CO2 may adversely alter the global climate. Although a good deal is known about the impact of human activity on the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, several questions remain unanswered. Our ability to answer those questions may very well provide a more complete understanding of the impact that human activity currently has and will have on the global climate. Natural sources of CO2 emit approximately 300 Gigatons of CO2 each year. Human activities are responsible for about 6 Gigatons, or a mere 2% of that total.”
    http://oco.jpl.nasa.gov/science/

    Of this tiny 2% total, the US is responsible for 25% of it which means the rest of the world is 75% responsible for global warming IF it turns out that man-made CO2 is causing the warming.

    Now, if you have a source that shows 40% of the CO2 currently in the atmosphere is from humans (I think they can tell by the difference in isotopes from fossil CO2 vs natural CO2), please post it. I’ve been searching for a while for a source that shows the proportion of man made CO2 in the atmosphere vs natural CO2. My guess is that it’s still around 2% because I think nature absorbs both man made and natural CO2 as if it were all the same.

    Mark

  37. My greatest worry with this type of indoctrination is not the false information about CO2 and global warming, it’s the promotion of external responsibility.

    Ideally kids would be taught their part in protecting the environment, not assume that all the planet’s pollution ills are Big Oil’s fault. There are loads of things they should be doing before worrying about polar bears or mountain glaciers.

    No littering.

    Protect local wildlife, even support it.

    Stop wasting food.

    Reduce consumerism.

    Think twice before getting pets that will spend their days alone or worse be abandoned as they stop being cute. Or a cat that will decimate anything but the local rodent population.

    Growing their own food.

    Walking or cycling rather than riding in cars.

    Etc.

    All these would make them better, healthier individuals, whereas global warming education will just make them depressed and apathetic.

    We are seeing an unpleasant trend. Whether it’s the African farmer, short of water because the forest has been cut down; the desert islander who has extracted too much ground water; or the home owner watching his property fall into a sea which has been eroding that shore for hundreds if not thousands of years; they all blame CO2, oil and specifically the US.

  38. Last year, my son was shown “Inconvenient Truth” at school with no alternate opinion offered. When he came home, I typed “inconvenient truth debunked” in the browser window and let him explore as long as he liked. I am proud to say that he has learned to have a healthy amount of skepticism regarding anything presented at school.

  39. I think only Santa clause gets a pass when children grow up to be adults who discover they have been lied to.

    “And they lie to you! Me and my brother stayed up all night waiting for Santa Claus . . .

    “We were gonna get his whole bag of toys, make it look like an accident.”

  40. At my school things go a bit different. If you believe the whole global warming thing, people either feel sorry for you or laugh at you. I guess I’m lucky.

  41. Watch it now evanjones

    Lets not confuse something based in reality like Santa Claus with the whole cloth fantasy of Al Gore and An Inconvenient Truth.

    I for one believe in Santa Claus, I just don’t think he is involved with all the presents and reindeer and stuff.

    :) St Nick is a historical figure, as opposed to Al Gore who is a hysterical figure?

  42. Not the first time I look like an idiot, certainly not the last.

    Oh, you didn’t. Not by my lights, anyway.

    I fully understand it was just one of those slips that you see and then can’t go back and edit. But I thought I would post a correction in any case.

    One of the interesting side points: AGW advocates place CO2 greenhouse effect as high as 20% or even 30%. That seems much in conflict with what else I have read.

    I assume the higher estimates include positive feedback loops in the mix. This would seem to invalidate the high estimates, seeing as how the Aqua Satellite has–so far–decisively shot down the positive feedback equation.

    But that is an assumption. I’m not sure how they get to 20-to-30% from under 5%.

  43. Love the polar bear photo. Maybe you could find one of a bear munching on a cute fluffy white baby fur seal.

    Leif Svalgaard (10:47:46) :
    terry46 (10:28:47) :
    The earth is cooling […] It’s caused by the sun spots,or lack there of […]

    Much as I hate to keep saying it, but ascribing climate change to simply the Sun, is a too convenient ‘truth’. Some of the other threads here have extensive discussions of this ‘myth’. The evidence for solar control is weak and we should not replace one unsubstantiated dogma by another one. My 10-year old granddaughter is telling me that she has heard that the sunspots are ‘terrible for giving us all that cold weather’ [never mind she has that backwards]. I see one indoctrination replaced by another one.

    I don’t think anyone is ascribing alleged climate change simply to the sun, but darn near every degree of temperature here on earth comes from there. We’ve had good total solar irradiance numbers for maybe the dozen years SOHO/Virgo has been up, but for the centuries and millennia covered by the global warming debate, we have absolutely no proxies for TSI with the precision we need to see if the sun is a/the culprit.

    This last half of the solar cycle, Virgo has shown a 2 w/m^2 drop, good I’d guess for maybe a third of a degree temperature drop, but for the MWP or LIA or any of the Big ice ages, who can say that the sun’s burner wasn’t set to a different level? The Catania observatory folks are positing the sun as a variable star, and proxies we do have show 40 and 100 thousand year ice age cycles. Could something 1.4 million km in diameter have 100k year cycles? I’d guess yes.

    The sun provides the heat. Our greenhouse atmosphere just lets us hang on to it and damps out the oscillations. If the sun changes, sooner or later the earth will have to change. Our fiddling with the CO2 numbers is just ignoring the elephant in the room.

  44. I”m not sure where I find the “good” science in “An Inconvenient Truth”. I think beyond the obvious attempt at indoctrination, is that SAT statistics are morbidly bad. Why are we wasting taxpayer funds and student contact time on this unproven theory (AGW/ACC) and not spending time on the basics that we are already proven to be failing at?

    THAT makes my blood boil!

  45. I’ve been searching for a while for a source that shows the proportion of man made CO2 in the atmosphere vs natural CO2. My guess is that it’s still around 2% because I think nature absorbs both man made and natural CO2 as if it were all the same.

    Well, I hate to poke a hole in skeptic theory, but one thing I (roughly) agree with the AGW crowd on is the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere that is man-made (over a third).

    Yes, at the same time you’re right about the small % of CO2 mankind emits in one year.

    Here’s how it works (the stats are a couple of years old):

    Amounts in Bil. Metric Tons Carbon (BMTC)

    Total Sinks:
    Atmosphere: 750 BMTC
    Vegetation/Soil: 2000 BMTC
    Ocean: 38,000 BMTC

    Input to Atmosphere/Output from Atmosphere:

    Ocean: To Atm.: 88, From Atm.: 90
    Difference: -2 BMTC

    Vegetation/Soil (Natural): To Atm.:119, From Atm.: 120
    Difference: -1 BMTC

    Vegetation/Soil (Man): To Atm.:1.7, From Atm.: 1.9,
    Difference: -0.2 BMTC

    Industry: To Atm.: 6.3, From Atm.: 0, Difference: +6.3 BMTC

    Total: To Atm.: 215, From Atm.: 211.9,
    Difference: +3.1 BMTC

    That’s a little under half a percent of CO2 increase per year (3.1 BMTC) to the total atmospheric sink (750 BMTC) each year.

    It’s as if there is water coming into a bathtub and going out at the same rate. There’s no change in water level. but if you turn up the water even a little bit, the water level goes up slowly and accumulates over time.

    Now, CO2 does not persist forever, so eventually outflow will increase to match inflow (assuming inflow remains steady) and homeostasis will be achieved.

    But CO2 levels are up 4% (from 1/30% to 1/26%) over the last decade on account of a slow, steady, mostly accumulating increase of a little under half a percent per year.

    If positive feedback loops applied, the AGW crowd would be right. But it appears that feedback is negative, not positive, so the increase in CO2 simply doesn’t matter and, arguably, even is a Good Thing).

  46. “…a set of slides suitable for a 10-12 year old audience.”

    As far as I can see, what’s called for is nothing less than a sea change in the way we teach science in public schools. There’s hardly a curriculum left, and the stopgap programs (at least those I’ve seen as a parent) are killing off interest with dispatch.

    When my daughter was a p.s. fourth grader, she was subjected to a unit called “Learning about Electricity”. The group project had no other instruction than the class reading of a textbook on how to participate in group work in an egalitarian fashion. The rest was strictly hands-on.

    Students were given a 9-v battery, some wire and alligator clips, a flashlight bulb, a plywood board and a lever switch. Then they were encouraged to enjoy The Freedom of Discovery. This experience lasted, as I recall, six weeks.

    When they were done, they were to demonstrate that they could complete a circuit and turn on the light.

    The insipid, p-c book and the unit itself were county-wide for that grade, in the largest county in the metro area, so this wasn’t an anomaly, though the teacher, who drank coffee and graded papers while her students contended for their right to an education, may have been exceptional.

    In any case, I wondered what is happening in the rest of the public school system that can salvage minds being treated with this kind of contempt.

    It also occurs to me that there is one precious resource we seldom mention when we explain the need for sceptical inquiry. Though the squandering of money is most often cited, I really think that the time lost to propaganda, social indoctrination, non-directed group work, the latest fad in science… poses a far greater risk to youngsters. Bloggers above, including Evan, are right. Ultimately the dears will grow out of their indoctrination, given enough time. But look at what they’ve lost!

    Are private schools any better?

  47. “We were gonna get his whole bag of toys, make it look like an accident.” evanjones

    evan,
    You are a wit if there ever was one.

  48. Mike McMillan (13:37:05) :
    This last half of the solar cycle, Virgo has shown a 2 w/m^2 drop, good I’d guess for maybe a third of a degree temperature drop
    The only TSI instrument with reliable calibration is LASP’s TIM instrument on SORCE. It shows a 1 W/m2 drop:

    good for a 0.15 degree drop.

    but for the MWP or LIA or any of the Big ice ages, who can say that the sun’s burner wasn’t set to a different level?
    But who can say that it was? unless you WANT it to be so in order to explain the LIA etc.

    proxies we do have show 40 and 100 thousand year ice age cycles. Could something 1.4 million km in diameter have 100k year cycles? I’d guess yes.
    These cycles have absolutely nothing to do with the Sun, but results from changes in the Earth’s orbit and tilt.

    There is no firm evidence for climate change caused by changes of the Sun’s output on a time scale of less than several hundred million years.

  49. Back when i was young, I could go to the school library and look up recipes for high explosives. Now I wouldn’t dare even try. But using them to harm someone was unthinkable because I knew that life is not meaningless and because I had a very healthy fear of hell! The truth is a mind is a DANGEROUS thing to educate unless strong morals are taught too. The government schools can only teach watered down morals because they have to please everyone. My guess is they water down the science too to protect us from morally clueless graduates.

  50. Are private schools any better?

    Somewhat. Not a heck of a lot. At least most of them require three actual Rs. I have yet to hear that the abomination of “Everyday Math” has infiltrated private schools.

    I did see the bio curriculum of the NYC charter schools and at least the text was (pretty much) on the money.

    Most are pretty bad on the pc stuff, though.

    When I was teaching “Resource Room” (which translates roughly to “Waste o’ Time” – except when -I- was teachin’ it!) the main problem was reading (and everything else, but never mind that).

    I kept telling them, “Sound it out, sound it out!” It was a new and wonderful concept to them: They had been subject to the horror of “whole word” their whole lives. (If I had my ‘druthers, I’d have made a giant house of cards out of all those dang flash cards. And set it on fire.)

    You are a wit if there ever was one.

    I can’t take credit for that one (hence the quotes). But whoever came up with it was a wit indeed.

  51. “I can’t take credit for that one (hence the quotes). But whoever came up with it was a wit indeed.” evanjones

    Well it takes a wit to know a wit. Since I sometimes recognize your’s, I hereby claim half-wit status.

  52. Same here, in good ol’ Germany.

    Kids are indoctrinated by teachers.

    By teachers who don’t even know the very basics of science.
    Had an argument with two teachers about nine years ago.
    They both did run second classes basic school. The time of lessons wasn’t
    fully parallel, often one class did run about a week ahead. Nevertheless they
    did same tests on same days. Was simply too convenient, especially for the creatress
    of the tests, her class results mostly looked better than the other class.
    They assumed a gaussian distrubution over both classes, and gave their
    notes accordingly.

    I asked them: “Did you ever try that statistics in a production environment?”

    “Assume, you have parts producing machines, two of them. One produces above
    standard quality. The other slightly below standard quality. For quality assurance
    you use the results of both together. Summarily, they are above standard. All is fine”

    “One day the machine with the better quality broke. Now you are hanging with a machine producing below standard quality for the time, until the better machine is fixed. How long do you think, your customers will live with that?”

    “Especially, you are in a competitive business, and your margin is so small, that you can’t afford to pay the service for the broken machine on 7d/24h notice. You may have to wait a week or two. Your business will broke very soon.”

    The response: Blank sheeply eyes

    I further told them, they will need six parallel classes at least to use statistics that way. I even offered, to provide an instruction by a professor for statistics.
    More sheeply eyes.

    KlausB

    p.s. They did stop that nonsense after short.

  53. Does anyone know if there is a “sceptics” PPT presentation out there designed for middle school?

    I would be interested in giving a persentation at some of our local schools.

  54. Leif Svalgaard,

    I’m a little confused then. If it’s not CO2 and it’s not the Sun, what has caused the warming of the past few decades? And more importantly, in a long-term view, what has caused the warmer weather of the past couple of centuries as the Earth has recovered from the LIA? And what caused the LIA itself?

    Do we really know as little about climate change as it appears we do if the assertions about the strength of CO2 and the Sun in the role of climate change are correct? And do we have any idea where it’s coming from at least? I mean, my point is that if we say it is warming and cooling oceans, or a warming and cooling atmosphere – exactly what is causing those? It just seems strange that our records reflect changes, and we can sense change in the wind, so to speak, yet we seem not to know the causes?

    It’s a strange feeling.

  55. Warren wrote:

    Why would you be lying to a child and saying that only 5% of atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic, when the true proportion is 40%?

    To be approximate humanity has purportedly added 100 ppm CO2 to the atmosphere, which as a proportion of current levels is 25% or in addition to preindustrial levels 35%.

  56. You’re right. It does incite anger in Libertarians. Hopefully it incites anger in most other people too.

  57. Leif:

    The matter of indoctrination is of paramount concern especially in this post-Enlightenment era. It’s one thing for faddish beliefs to get general public circulation, it’s far worse for it to be inculcated in schools.

  58. In the end, who did more – and suffered more:

    Giordano Bruno OR James “Jim” Hansen?

    Galieo Galiei OR Mann (don’t even know his pre-name, and don’t bother about it)?

  59. Bobby Lane (15:40:01) :
    I’m a little confused then. If it’s not CO2 and it’s not the Sun, what has caused the warming of the past few decades? And more importantly, in a long-term view, what has caused the warmer weather of the past couple of centuries as the Earth has recovered from the LIA? And what caused the LIA itself?

    You are touching upon one of the real problems here. And that is that ‘ideology’ or beliefs have made people take leave of their senses. If you fervently believe in AGW [that it is CO2 released by Man], then you do not want to hear any claims about the Sun and will go so far as to deny even the existence of the LIA. If you loathe the AGW idea [and there hardly seems to be any middle ground], then you cling to the notion that it MUST be the Sun. In both cases, no arguments either way will sway you and the whole debate is therefore silly.

    The oceans store a very large amount of heat [300 times as much as the atmosphere or some large number like that], accumulated over hundreds of years. Internal oscillations of the oceans can possibly explain lots of the changes we see. This is just one possibility. But, neither of the two camps will really go along with that because it leaves too much wiggle room. You see, if it is 100% AGW and 0% Sun, or 0% AGW and 100%Sun, then the situation is clear, no discussion needed, as the science is settled, but if it is X% AGW, Y% Sun, and Z% something else [and maybe W% and U% of still something else [e.g. volcanoes], then the science is not settled and there can be debate as to the values of X, Y, Z, W, …, and that neither camp wants.

    It just seems strange that our records reflect changes, and we can sense change in the wind, so to speak, yet we seem not to know the causes?
    A similar situation arose 100 years ago, when geomagnetic disturbances had been carefully recorded for 150 years and aurora and sunspots for hundreds of years, and yet the cause that connects them was not known. We now know that cause, as we’ll know, in due time, what causes climate change [provided we can off the politics and do some science instead].

  60. Hey everyone, I think you’re looking at this all wrong.

    Having raised three kids, I can tell you right away how to deal with this when the kids come home full of AGW:

    “Then why don’t you turn the damn lights off!”

    “Why don’t you ride your bike to the mall?”

    “Do you know how many pounds of CO2 that Supersized No. 5 produced?”

    “I can’t take you out to practice your driving…burns too much gasoline.”

    “Why don’t you hang those clothes on the line rather than use the dryer?”

    (That last one works even on the teachers.)

    Remember jiu jitsu…use your opponents weight to throw them.

  61. I sent this e-mail to our local school Superintendents today

    Subject: Climate change studies at your school

    Dear School Superintendent:

    Ellen and I no longer have children in school, but we continue to monitor student programs. We strongly believe that future generations must have a strong science and math background. These are essential component for maintaining our economic vitality and leadership in the global economy. Plus, a well educated electorate is an essential element for maintaining our political freedoms.

    I am concerned that children in American are being subject to environmental indoctrination. Schools across the country are showing students  Al Gore’s Oscar winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth without presenting alternate points of view, or pointing out the scientific errors in the movie. This movie does a disservice to good science.

    I would like to know if An Inconvenient Truth is being shown in your schools? Are scientific errors in the film being discussed in class? Are alternative points of views being presented, such as the Great Global Warming Swindle Documentary or Apocalypse? No! Why Global Warming is not a Global Crisis.

    If An Inconvenient Truth is being used in your schools please explain how it is being used.

    Thank you for your time.

    Russ Steele

  62. You see, if it is 100% AGW and 0% Sun, or 0% AGW and 100%Sun, then the situation is clear, no discussion needed, as the science is settled, but if it is X% AGW, Y% Sun, and Z% something else [and maybe W% and U% of still something else [e.g. volcanoes], then the science is not settled and there can be debate as to the values of X, Y, Z, W, …, and that neither camp wants.

    Leif, I think the “anti” AGW camp, if you want to call it that, would be perfectly satisfied to let the science play out and see what unfolds. I know I sure would. The problem is that the “pro” AGW camp insists that we do “something” now. Unfortunately, the somethings they want to do prove to be very expensive, and some of them may be foolish. Therefore the “anti” camp is forced into an extreme response to counter this foolishness. If there were no political repercussions, and the discussion was merely scientific, then no big deal either way. When Al Gore wants to tell me how much Gasoline I can have, and how much electricity I get, then that’s a problem.

  63. Leif,

    Damnit! there you go making some simple things more complex so the rest of us need to think! Stoppit! We want things simple and easily understood, like in 20 seconds of a news program. We’re busy and don’t have the time to think or study or whatever!

    Serously Thanks for your input, it does cause questions, and thought. I think with the Sun’s current activity, if it continues for a while, will give us some clues.

    To an engineer, the interesting think about popular belief is that it often meets with an accident. Collapses, wrecks, and just plain idiocy result. Good engineers look at history for answers, and even sometimes find them.

    Mike

  64. While I do not necessarily agree that Global Warming is not a real thing, I do agree with you that today’s youth need to be educated about both sides of the debate. I agree even more that todays science classes are one sided and don’t teach a thing except what to do to “fix” the climate problems.

  65. Truth is always a casuality when people claim to know the truth that other people don’t. Truth is generally not accepted until the fact, so basically everyone is wrong, except those who are open to the idea that soemthing might be happening, regardless of cause. Those who say global warming is caused entirely by human activities are wrong; they need to be open-mined enough to recognize other factors, and recognize that they could be wrong. Those who say there is no such thing as global warming do a disservice by not being open-minded enough to find out if it is at least possible. All do a disservice to humanity by not worrying about what the future holds if the world climate changes from what we are used to.

  66. Pofarmer (18:16:43) :

    Leif, I think the “anti” AGW camp, if you want to call it that, would be perfectly satisfied to let the science play out and see what unfolds. I know I sure would. The problem is that the “pro” AGW camp insists that we do “something” now. Unfortunately, the somethings they want to do prove to be very expensive, and some of them may be foolish. Therefore the “anti” camp is forced into an extreme response to counter this foolishness.

    The anti camp (personally I like being called a skeptic) can afford to relax and let the past conditions return, we know we survived them. The pro camp sees a coming tipping point Real Soon Now, and no one’s done much of anything yet, at least the Kyoto signatories are all emitting more CO2 (or fuel) than before as far as I know. So they are beginning to panic and getting more and more strident in their attempts (their need) to keep climate change front and center in the public’s eye.

    I imagine they’re getting really annoyed that the US presidential campaigns have pretty much ignored the topic. That might change if people try to attack Palin on it, but I doubt that’s a good strategy. Given the rate at which the US Congress moves, I suspect that by the time anything is ready to commit a huge amount of money to the congress critters will hear loud and clear its a boondoggle people don’t want.

  67. One thing I don’t see mentioned much in discussions on CO2 and temperature, although it may be relevant here, is that the effect of CO2 on temperature falls as the amount of CO2 rises. In other words, the effect is logorithmic.

    In a 1971 paper for Science (Vol 173, July 9), Stephen Schneider (yes, that Stephen Schneider) and S.I. Rasool wrote: “As more CO2 is added to the atmosphere, the rate of temperature increase is proportionally less and less, and the increase eventually levels off.”

    The context here was that Schneider and Rasool were evaluating, in the 1970s when the planet was cooling, whether adding more CO2 would warm things up. Can’t happen, they said. CO2 doesn’t have that kind of warming power.

    Have the laws of physics changed since 1971?

    And yet, I rarely see this argument brought forward. Have the laws of physics changed since 1971?

  68. OTOH – after indoctrinating all the kids with the skewed illusions of the adult world, it will all come undone as the kids mature, rebel, and discover on their own that they’ve been fed a pile of hokum. And with the coming cooling period, it won’t take much.

  69. That polar bear picture is great, with the blood-stained ice. It states a stark reality which I fear many adults don’t want to face.

    People prefer that which is cute and cuddly, and frown at creatures eating other creatures.

    Do you remember the outcry about hunting baby seals back in the 1970’s? The fur from baby seals made the best coats, and rich women wore the coats to the opera and gained status, up and until the picture of a cute baby seal was put beside a picture of blood-stained ice, by the media. Abruptly rich ladies left the comfortable seal-skin coats in the closet.

    (In the same way, the movie “Bambi” resulted in a sharp decline in the number of hunting licenses.)

    All you need to do is show a picture of a cute baby seal, placed next to the picture of a polar bear chowing down on baby seal on blood-stained ice, and you will see the popularity of polar bears suffer a precipitous plummet.

    People have a kindness within, and yearn for the day when “the lion will lie down with the lamb.” They want everything to be cute and cuddly. Unfortunately we live on earth, not in heaven, and down here we need to eat.

    I personally raise rabbits, chickens, goats and pigs. They are only cute and cuddly when they are small; when they grow up they lust and fight and behave in highly nonspiritual ways, but despite their obnoxious behavior I feed them and do my best to give them a good life. Then, after I have done all these kind things, I kill them in a swift and “humane” manner. I have fed them, and now it is their turn to feed me.

    I also run a day-care center, and the children I care for tend to be New-Age and soft-hearted, and the very idea of killing and eating the creatures we care for is an anathema to them, at first. They state we should become vegetarians.

    So I take them to the broccoli. I point out the pretty, white cabbage butterfly. Should we kill the pretty butterfly? The children shake their heads, “No.” Then I point to a nearly leafless broccoli plant, (my garden is organic,) covered with green worms. I state these caterpillars are the pretty butterfly’s babies. Should we kill the pretty butterfly’s babies? Or should we be vegetarians with nothing to eat?

    The next logical step would be to get parents to sign permission slips, and teach the children about fasting. I wouldn’t do it, because children don’t need their growth stunted, but there are times I feel Americans need to learn more about what hunger is like. Where are else on earth are the poor people so fat? Only in America are the people depending on charity (welfare) waddling.

    Why are our poor waddling? It is because we are a good, kind, and soft- hearted people. We don’t want Bambi to suffer; don’t want baby seals to suffer; don’t want polar bears to suffer; don’t want poor children to suffer; and don’t want earth to suffer any soot or CO2 or other nasty, yucky things.

    In essence, we want to be couch potatoes, able to lounge forever with never a pang.

    For this reason I am glad your article mentioned politically incorrect things like Stalin and Hitler. It brings dreamers down to earth with a thump. It reminds them we are not in heaven yet, and in truth we are a people who, according to some, were so naughty we were thrown out of the Garden of Eden. Therefore, as much as we may insist, “we’ve got to find our way back to the Garden,” we are not back there yet. We are here. And here is a place where you must squash innocent bugs, even if you are a vegetarian, and must chop the head off an innocent chicken, if you like the taste of fried wings.

    You’d be amazed how many kids come to my farm and have no idea the bacon in a bacon-double-cheeseburger comes from a cute Wilbur, like the Wilbur in “Charlotte’s Web.” They don’t know milk can’t happen without a humping male beast, or that it comes squirting from teats. They don’t know an egg comes from a chicken’s backside. They don’t know lettuce and tomatoes and cucumbers come from dirty dirt, and sprout up better if that dirt is enriched with reeking manure from a beast’s backside. Yet…..every single one knows about Global Warming.

    In other words we are raising a generation of environmentalists who know nothing about their environment.

    Isn’t this an amazing turn of affairs? Especially when you consider that in my grandfather’s boyhood most Americans were either farmers, or had relatives who were.

    Thomas Jefferson worried about what would happen to us when our society ceased to be agrarian. Looks like we are going to find out.

    Reply – If you look closely at the picture, you will notice that Our Friend, the Polar Bear is standing over his dinner.

    I had hoped to find an online copy of the classic Far Side in which a pair of polar bears are standing over an igloo whose top had been removed and a pair of boots were showing. One bear is remarking to the other, “I love these treats, hard and crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.”

    On a more serious note, to unarmed or technologically disadvantaged humans, polar bears, wolves, lions, tigers and even komodo dragons are not our friends. They are predators who will happily dine on human flesh if given the opportunity. It is only technology that allows us to recreate these dangerous predators as cuddly and cute (well, maybe this is not true for komodo dragons). Nature, red in tooth and claw. – Dee Norris

  70. @evanjones (13:54:16)

    All I want is a breakdown of the CO2. How much currently in the atmosphere is from man, how much from nature. I’m sure they can tell the difference between man-made and natural CO2 by the differences in isotopes. So why can’t I find a site that measures both types of CO2?

  71. Monday Night Football, sorry for not reading every post and perhaps being repetative.

    That there are organized endevours to manipulate our youth are nothing new, wow, even approaching a centrury. And what better way to monopolize the rhetoric than require a public school system and dictate the cirricula. If you can control the Education debate and the journals, the just manufacture peer review and union participation. Only then can an ideology can begin to make inroads. I studied public education for a few years before I got hooked on climate science. If you think this climate business can get shady, education forces, imho, are dark ops.

    The logic of so many of these social issues always seem so scientific and logical. Show a 30 year trend where CO2 and Temp both increase. Announce the tipping point, and prepare ‘The Graph’. Match the slopes of the two lines, and make a portrait graph, portrait because you get the steepest rise for a given run on a sheet of paper.

    That these issues are, eerily, being turned into a popular vote, that Gore showing up with 300 million for Madison Ave. to manufacture a consensus opinion out of an ignorance of science speaks volumes about our educational system.

    I’m just gettin warmed up….

    Did Gore stand up and debate his science in the courtroom? No? Enough said about his stature.

    This debate is becoming tedious. Let’s go to court! Can we?

  72. I still haven’t gotten over the ‘much ado about nothin’ Y2K scare in the late 90s! I personally call it the biggest lie of any century! Maybe the Moon landing was another greatest lie, too, just as George Bush’s ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ (WMD) pre-emptive justification for the Iraq debacle was!

    However, when it comes to global warming environmental destruction, we have only ourselves (the human race) to blame. So blame game aside, what can we do about it? I could start walking instead of driving or live without airconditioning (where I come from in Southeast Asia) or whatever sacrifice it takes. The point is it is all up to us individually and collectively to decide.

  73. polar bears aren’t going extinct in the medium to short term so all that proves is that your argument is weak and you think that you are smarter than a child, which most people aren’t. As far as your claim that 5% of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced annually comes from people, the claim is absurd. Perhaps this figure works if you are referring solely to human respiration, but when you figure in the industries, agriculture, energy production, deforestation and livestock production that are all by humans for humans, plus consider not only the CO2 released, but the negative impacts which prevent it being broken down, then your claim is patently absurd.
    Imposing it on a child is completely irresponsible. Bragging about it should be embarrassing.
    People of certain age surfing the blogosphere prepared to believe anything they read are certainly deserving of anything they swallow, but at least give kids a break, huh?
    facts 1: you + bible 0

    Reply – Your closing comment left me puzzled. I am not sure if you meant to imply that I am a believer in one or another of the many versions of the Christianity and that some how if I am a Christian, that would negate the very validity of my statements.

    I think your primary objection to my discussion with the youth was that you inferred that I somehow browbeat her with my superior knowledge and experience. In fact, you can see that once she retreated into emotionalism, I chose to respect her opinion and change the topic to how she formed her opinion. My dismay was not over what she thought, but how the information that shaped her opinion on what she considers a very important topic was imparted to her. AIT is loaded with errors and miss-statements. The UK courts stopped AITfrom being shown in schools due it’s misrepresentations. Yet our children are using it and its secondary and tertiary re-tellings to form their opinions.

    Because I take the time to research the various distortions in the media, I am was that polar bear population has grown five-fold since the 1950s, but here was this poor girl who was worrying about their immediate extinction due to the misinformation in AIT and the profusion of media coverage. These kids are not ‘surfing the blogoshpere’ but are getting this messages from mainstream (and therefore assumed to be trustworthy) sources. Outside organizations are targeting elementary school children to get them involved in saving the polar bear from man-made global warming. I find this to be very wrong.

    On your other point about CO2 percentages, the annual CO2 contribution by humans due to their activities is about 5%. This has been frequently discussed on this blog and in fact, many comments on this essay have supported that claim. If you have sources supporting your position, please share them for discussion. – Dee Norris

  74. I have a Powerpoint presentation on global warming science at http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming – at the lower left on the page. I presented this at a Mensa meeting here in Seattle earlier this year. My daughters (13 and 17 years old) were there for the presentation.

    I intend to update and simplify the presentation soon and make more presentations of it at local venues.

  75. Anthony: “If she had called teachers “Stalinists” for example, I would have snipped it.”

    Then you need to start snipping. The article begins: “Childhood indoctrination. It’s a dirty word. Hitler did it. Stalin did it.”

    The writer then provides the reader with an anecdote. Anecdotes are intended to illustrate a point. In this case, what point? The writer supplies the answer: “…the indoctrination continues to warp the opinions of children…” In other words, teachers are indoctrinating children, just like Hitler and Stalin.

    So yes, the writer has not only called teachers Stalinists, but also Hitlerites. That’s the point of the article.

    Reply – Odd, but I don’t remember even mentioning teachers at all in the essay. Perhaps you are reading too much into my words or picking up themes from subsequent comments?

    My two examples were the impressions of a 12 year old from a public showing of AIT by the earth science class (the students suggested showing it based on Gore’s call to action, BTW) and the actions of an organization whose founder watched AIT. I thought I had tread very lightly by excluding extreme examples of indoctrination such as the call for children to be Climate Cops by a company in the UK as previously discussed on this blog.

    As an aside, I find the really the interesting part about essays is they act like a kind of a Rorschach test: It is not so much what one sees in the static inkblot, but the why and how one sees it. – Dee Norris

  76. Brendan H (01:19:48) :
    In other words, teachers are indoctrinating children, just like Hitler and Stalin.
    So yes, the writer has not only called teachers Stalinists, but also Hitlerites. That’s the point of the article.

    No, this is ignoring the little word ‘like’. What the writer clearly implied was that Hitler and Stalin [and I may add, the Church] showed us how effective indoctrination of children is. This all has to do about the method, but nothing to do with the content, of the teachings.

  77. A tale from the UK.

    My elder daughter (now 13) was shown Al Gore’s ego-trip film last year at her school as part of her science classes without any of the guidance ordered by Mr Justice Burton regarding the scientific errors in the film (see BBC News report for reference).

    Being incredibly sceptical of education policy in this country (UK) my ex-wife and I have taught her and her sister to thinkfor themselves. When she told me that she had seen the film I showed her a copy of the Channel 4 documentary “The Great Global Warming Swindle”.

    She asked to borrow the DVD so she could take it into school and have it shown as a balance to An Inconvenient Truth. When she asked her teacher whether she could show the documentary she was told that no only could she not show the film but that she should not undermince the teachers, the school or the curriculum by showing the film and that if she were to do so in school hours she would be given detention.

    Call me old-fashioned if you will, but that sounds like indoctrination.

    Just thought you might like to know that it happens in the UK too.

  78. ‘There is no firm evidence for climate change caused by changes of the Sun’s output on a time scale of less than several hundred million years.’

    Leif….I am working on a compilation of such evidence – and will send you a link once it is in a suitable form – there are dozens of papers, which I would have thought you would be familiar with – so maybe you just don’t regard the evidence as ‘firm’ – from a 22 year solar cycle effect on sea surface temperatures (which in my view is unlikely to be TSI alone and probably includes a cloud effect as proposed by Svensmark) – and then to cycles of longer periodicity but irregular, such as the LIA and MWP, Holocene optimum etc – which coincide with the beryllium-10 data as a proxy of solar activity –

    I would call the evidence ‘strong’ for a solar contribution, though the mechanisms are not clear – there could be a number: UV heating and the polar vortex (Shindell at NASA), Cosmic ray modulation and ionisation (Svensmark and the European Space Agency research now underway); direct electrical current and voltage effects (Tinsley at Dallas) and they ALL may play a role; ADDED to that is the supposed ‘internal’ variability of the oceans and their heat store – but the more I look at the oceanography, the less convinced I am of its internal nature – maybe for the very low frequency of 1500 year cycles.

    I totally agree that we need to steer clear of either-/or thinking – many factors are involved, and I am putting a 20% maximum for the carbon dioxide effect (though I think it likely to be nearer 10%), with the other 80% shared between solar field effects, TSI and ocean oscillations.

  79. Rene (11:38:03) :

    ‘Here’s the deal: kids are being indoctrinated like crazy in schools, true. But kids become disillusioned with their programming when they become teens and early adults. Environmentalism is going to reap a hurricane of contempt for its current excesses. Al Gore himself will be lucky to find any historians who paint him in a good light.’

    I hope you’re right. I think the film “An Inconvenient Truth” is totally inappropriate for grammar school children (<age 13) even if it’s true. Grammar school children, generally, do not yet have the pre-requisites for this kind of presentation. One has to have at least a rudimentary grasp of chemistry, physics, astronomy, and climate science.
    I agree with the theory of evolution (not necessarily Darwin’s), but to attempt to teach that to a first-grader would be indoctrination, not teaching.

  80. Paul: “And yet, I rarely see this argument brought forward. Have the laws of physics changed since 1971?”

    We talk about it all the time here. It’s been mentioned many many times. I guess people take it as read. Just search on “logarithmic” and see what you come up with.

  81. polar bears aren’t going extinct in the medium to short term so all that proves is that your argument is weak and you think that you are smarter than a child, which most people aren’t. As far as your claim that 5% of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced annually comes from people, the claim is absurd. Perhaps this figure works if you are referring solely to human respiration, but when you figure in the industries, agriculture, energy production, deforestation and livestock production that are all by humans for humans, plus consider not only the CO2 released, but the negative impacts which prevent it being broken down, then your claim is patently absurd.

    They aren’t going extinct at all. Prove otherwise.

    Sorry, but your claim is absurd. Show us your “facts”. Let’s see a vetted source for your CO2 figures.

  82. I can tell you now what the upcoming generation of public school children will believe about the future: Because mankind is polluting the air with CO2, then that will be the cause of our hot summers, and cold winters. When people stop polluting CO2, then there will be no more bad weater, cold winters, or hot summers. No hurricanes, nor tornadoes, no droughts, no flooding.

    Just ask one of them after they’ve received their indoctrination.

  83. Peter Taylor (05:24:37) :
    there are dozens of papers, which I would have thought you would be familiar with – so maybe you just don’t regard the evidence as ‘firm’

    There are hundreds [if not thousands] of such papers, and I estimate that over the 40+ years of my study of this subject [I have even contributed some of those papers myself] I have carefully read about 200 of them. I have found all of them [including my own] wanting in one way or another, either they were simply just poor [this subject does seem to lend itself to such papers], or they were solid enough, but with time the correlations claimed went away [e.g. my own papers on the ‘Vorticity Area Index and Sector Boundaries’ – Brian Tinsley still believes in the effect], or they were too speculative [involving untenable mechanisms], or the statistical significance was too marginal [I recall a case where a researcher had correlated some parameters with over a hundred other ones and proudly announced that she had found 2 correlations that were significant at the 95% level – one would have expected 5 just by chance], etc, etc.
    Contrary to what it may seem, I actually want there to be a connection, but with scientific honesty, at least this researcher will have to admit that none pass muster [so far]. Now, if you lower the bar enough, you will undoubtedly find some that do, so the main difference in views may simply be how low you want to set the bar.

  84. Awww, that poor kid!
    “You are making me mad.”

    Well, a little anger never hurt anyone. Being angry is actually a really good prompt for learning.

    Anyway, hopefully Melissa will learn. Hopefully we all will.

  85. Leif,

    I appreciate your honesty there. That is very true. I think most people here would fall into the ‘varied cause’ camp if they were able to stop and think about it. But the Sun is a big issue now too. That the AGW camp denies it is the Sun, I think, only accelerates the cries of ‘foul’ from the anti-AGW crowd and perhaps drives more of a sense that something is being hidden for political reasons. Even if the facts do support the AGW crowd in that case, that the Sun takes far too long to cause what really amounts to minor changes, the level of hostility between the factions is such that the truth is seen as a lie. Huh. Very tricky that.

    Okay, so it’s not the Sun so much as the Oceans. I did not know that the oceans retained that kind of heat volume. That’s really astounding, but at the same time I guess it makes sense. So you would say that oceanic oscillations are most probably the main driver (bigger percentage) of the ups and downs of our climate? I have some basic understanding of their function myself, but not really enough to know how it all works. Obviously each ocean is different yet they are also connected, so that makes it pretty complicated. Do you have any colleagues you can bring on board that would give us a more scientific understanding of those?

    So are we concerned about sunspots for their magnetic value, so to speak? Is the magnetic influence of the sun more ‘present’ for us than its thermal influence? More quickly to be felt on a short time scale? I realize a super-active Sun can cause magnetic storms that could do a lot of real damage (such as to electricity generation and to electronics) as has been demonstrated in the past when one could see the Northern Lights in Jamaica at one time. But then why should we be concerned about no sunspots other than that it is an interesting anomaly (and minor related facts such as bees can’t seem to find their way home without it). And why does it seem that low sunspot production appear to correlate (I realize this does not prove causation) so well with lower temperatures here on Earth? Is the thermal significance of those minima (e.g. Dalton and Maunder) a pop science legend too?

    I think you confirm the thrust of my posting though. We really don’t know enough at this point to make such firm assessments, and thus to make political policy based on those assessments. It just seems that we do, and one side can be goaded into thinking we must because the other side pretends so well that it does in order to achieve its political aims. That and there seems to be a good bit of pop science legends about climate. I do agree on the politics. This would be a mainstream non-issue without the politics and a much better environment (no pun intended) for science to get on with the hard task of honest research.

    Thanks for your participation here. It is much appreciated.

  86. Belief in AGW is fun, for both kids and so-called adults. No need to worry about boring little things like facts, or science, or of questioning and thinking for oneself. It’s a ready-made belief system, perfect for indoctrinating kids and gullible, simple-minded adults. We’re training kids to be robots, and not think for themselves, which doesn’t bode well for the future.

  87. I see several comments on indoctrination and I found the most agreeable one by Leif I think. I want to set out my own opinion for consideration, though it coincides greatly with what Leif said.

    The article is not about indoctrination. Indoctrination is neutral. Even the usage of it in encouraging one morality over another, such as happens with religious education, is not a bad thing necessarily. But in this case obviously the proponents of AGW are not waiting until the science is settled to teach kids. They are teaching kids their POV and excluding others purposefully in order to co-opt them into their movement before they are able to grow up and honestly evaluate the various positions on the subject. It is much like conscripting an army. Think of what Hitler Youth would have been doing once the kids had grown up to become adults. THAT co-opting is much like Hilter and Stalin, and THAT I think is Dee’s point.

    Hitler and Stalin are examples not of teachers but of political leaders. It is the politically connected that are influencing schools and teachers to show such nonsense as AIT. There are of course people with good intentions who want to take care of the planet and have been duped by misinformation into misleading actions, such as appears to be the case in the SFC linked story. But mostly it is about politics. It also says a lot about our educational system when free thinking is limited in this way. Our children are being ‘vaccinated’ against skepticism, the very skepticism that many of us here share on this blog because we did not grow up such things as AIT being shown in class. Young children are highly impressionable as the Proverb says, and that is true whether you believe the rest of the Good Book or not.

    About Melissa’s anger. It is not an anger of outrage based on the direct perception of a lie. It is an anger based upon the confusion of authorities that a young child’s mind cannot handle. In that sense, it is a lot like the Matrix (the movie). What would you do if one day you ‘woke up’ to the fact that much of what you believed and built your world-view upon was not real but only seemed that way? My point exactly. Children do not understand the concept of varied perceptions and opinions. Children have an innate need to be told what is right and wrong until they are grown up enough to evaluate it for themselves and make their own decisions. If you were trying to get somewhere and two ‘authorities’ on the area told you to go in opposite directions to get there, I suspect you’d get pretty mad about it too. How would you know which was true?

    Well, Melissa and kids like her are trying to understand the way the world works in regards to climate and their role in it. With Dee one is being told two diametrically opposing things. That is hard to deal with for any kid. But kids also do not know how to express that confusion either much as a baby does not know how to express itself when it is wet or hungry unlike when it grows older. The foundations of a world-view have to have absolutes before subjective opinions can be added or else it descends into incomprehensibility and insanity. The problem Dee highlights in the article is that the absolutes regarding climate and the human role in it being taught here are presented not just as settled science but also as moral norms that everyone agrees upon when that is not the case at all as is clearly illustrated by the existence of this blog and many others like it. That is the real danger. We have a generation being brought up to believe that the habits of their parents are bad in absolute terms instead of in relative terms. Absolutes are the foundations for law and for judging what is and is not a crime. And that, ladies and gentleman, is the end-game.

  88. Caleb, thanks for the sobering, realistic post. I’m reminded of a quote from a sci-fi writer (can’t remember who):

    Nothing born with a need is innocent.

  89. “…we’ll know, in due time, what causes climate change [provided we can off the politics and do some science instead].”

    Leif,

    Is there a general science text or series you like for youngsters – say, for the average fifth – seventh grader (10 to 12-year-old)?

    Perhaps you would give an example of the “science” kids should be getting which might lead them to better understand this subject (later)?

    I’m picking on these grades because I noticed some gaps in my own child’s science ed, and because Dee started this thread with an emphasis on “youth”. And I do think that’s where the battle for more balanced thinkers will be won.

    BTW: The quality of my daughter’s p.s. science teachers and education has, markedly improved since she got to 10th grade.

  90. Pingback: Other voices on climate change » Dee Norris: Indoctrinating kids on global warming

  91. All I want is a breakdown of the CO2. How much currently in the atmosphere is from man, how much from nature. I’m sure they can tell the difference between man-made and natural CO2 by the differences in isotopes. So why can’t I find a site that measures both types of CO2?

    From what I can dope out, about a third is manmade. It has accumulated slowly, esp. over the last seventy years. (This presumes the overall measurement is near-correct.)

    CO2 has a long persistence (though estimates vary sharply) so it stays up there for a while. It weighs a bit more than “normal air”, so eventually it sinks out.

    I think it’s possible to tell the difference between manmade and natural CO2 via isotope measurement.

    But, as I’ve said before, a 33% increase of a thirtieth of 1% is still spit in the ocean. As Cyrano Jones once said (will say?), “Twice nothing is still nothing.”

  92. BTW, in case anyone here doesn’t know, Leif is a BIG NAME solar scientist. He’s a true authority. He may be right or he may be wrong, but he’s a very heavy hitter. (He’s also far more fairminded than most.)

    I’m a little confused then. If it’s not CO2 and it’s not the Sun, what has caused the warming of the past few decades?

    As for the last few decades, all one has to do is look at the “big 6” multidecadal oceanic-atmospheric cycles. These were not discovered by science until 1998 or so (10 years after CO2 AGW theory had become holy writ).

    Starting in 1977 and ending in 2001, one by one, all six flipped from cool phase to warm phase. Now, one (the PDO) has gone back to cool phase (note the huge global drop over the last year) and two others are wavering.

    That explains why temps rose, why they leveled off, and why they have dropped. I can’t say if it’s causal, but it correlated pretty darn well so far as I can see.

    I don’t know how much those cycles are affected by smaller variation of solar activity. But the “big 6” do seem to be the proximate drivers of temperatures.

    Yes, by definition, the sun must be the ultimate driver. But how much solar variation [sic] affects it is a very much different question (and one that Leif is addressing).

    I can’t speak for the LIA. I’m still on the sunspot bandwagon–for now (yes, I know Leif questions the correlation).

  93. Bobby Lane (08:37:27) :
    Obviously each ocean is different yet they are also connected, so that makes it pretty complicated. Do you have any colleagues you can bring on board that would give us a more scientific understanding of those?
    Oceans were a choice simply because that is where the sun’s energy is mostly stored. Without the oceans, the Sun’s energy would quickly be lost [think cold desert nights]. But oceans are not really my field so I have no immediate colleagues to persuade.

    So are we concerned about sunspots for their magnetic value, so to speak?
    The magnetic field is what makes the Sun ‘interesting’. The direct effect of solar magnetic fields cannot be felt at Earth [they are too weak and the distance to the Sun too great], but there are very many phenomena [you mentioned some] that owe their existence and variability to the magnetic field. Although some of those may locally be highly energetic [melting a power transformer], these are transient and local and their global effect is very small [a hundredth of a Watt/m2 or so], so the energy involved is minuscule compared to that of the ordinary solar irradiance, and therein lies the problem: solar effects on weather and climate are small and barely [if at all] detectable, If they were clear and overwhelming [as claimed in another post in this blog https://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/09/04/even-doubling-or-tripling-the-amount-of-co2-will-have-little-impact-on-temps/ ] we would not be having this debate.

    Anyway, I’m not here on my soap box about solar effects. The present post is about indoctrination and my concern was about replacing one flimsy argument with another and presenting that to children as scary ‘fact’.

  94. Bear facts:

    Perhaps this site is not so optimistic as you. Bears are in fact in danger.
    Read this article please: http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/bear-facts/

    Reply – Polar Bear International seems to be principally concerned with stopping the harvesting of polar bears. Climate change rates only a minor mention in their FAQ.

    The whole ‘polar bear is endangered due to man-made global warming’ argument rests on a few debatable assumptions: 1) The world will continue to warm, 2) Past and any future warming is a result of human activities and 3) the resultant loss of ice is actually a threat to the polar. There are too many undecided ifs for me to even consider applying the precautionary principle here. – Dee Norris

  95. evanjones (09:57:03) :
    Thanks for the kind words, although I on principle object to being an ‘authority’.

    As for the last few decades, all one has to do is look at the “big 6″ multidecadal oceanic-atmospheric cycles.
    My problem with this is that ‘the number of degrees of freedom’ [5] is too low to be compelling, since they are ‘after the fact’. Now, there is nothing wrong in speculating [and I have often done that myself on even flimsier grounds]. That is how new ideas are formed for consideration and testing. But it should be recognized as that: ‘speculation’, maybe even ‘tantalizing speculation’, ‘fun’, ‘interesting’, ‘thought provoking’, etc, all those good things, as long as one remembers that there are also things like WAGs, even SWAGs [Scientific Wild A** Guesses], flight of fancy, delusions [scientists are very good at deluding themselves], etc.

  96. Living in on the left coast, I am surrounded by devout believers of AGW who range from quietly guilty to abjectly terrified. Somehow, the crusade has not invaded the public schools in my neck of the woods however. I’ve found that the best way to deal with youthful anxiety concerning the imminent end of the world is to talk to your kids and show them the other side of the debate. When I did my own research on the subject, starting about 4 years ago…I was amazed that the theory had ever taken hold much less persisted. Al Gore must therefore be commended. He’s managed to unite a HUGE number of lay people and a fair number of scientists behind a theory that has no basis in observational reality – an impressive feat even if (as I do) you find it highly irresponsible. In my opinion, the AGW nightmare will surely go down in history as one of the worst manipulations of science in the last hundred years. Ultimately, kids learn from their parents, and the more you make learning fun and exciting, the more they crave it. Now, when my children cross paths with one of the AGW faithful, they take it with a grain of salt and politely disagree. I do wait with excuse note in hand the day they want to show ‘inconvenient truth’ to MY kids however.

  97. Pingback: Alex Jones’ Prison Planet.com An Inconvenient Youth

  98. Being from a family of teachers, I can tell you that this is all tied to the same agenda. Teachers unions, like all unions have battled viciously against standards and productivity. Paramount to that battle has been the “always-there-when-you-need-an-excuse” democratic party. And despite still being one of the best in the world, our education has fallen victim to a consistent “dumbing down” as a result of these forces.

    The ugly blowback of course, is the Democratic Party, convinced that they have created a sufficiently idiotic educational system, looking for a payback from teachers and unions in the form of socialist indoctrination being introduced into the curriculum as legitimate science.

    So in a country where we’re still not sure if we want to teach evolution over creation, we are regularly teaching Global Warming (read Global Warming Politics) as legitimate finished science with no counterpoint.

    Congratulations America. Your schools are now Cult meeting places where your children are indoctrinated into politically correct social rhetoric, and Earth Love. Al Gore is your David Koresh, and the big finish that all cults eventually move towards, will be the total collapse of our economy. And it won’t be anywhere near as cute as your 10 year old talking about polar bears.

    Anyone old enough to be a parent has lived long enough to know that the alleged altruism of the Environmental Movement flies in the face of what governments are really up to. It’s infuriating to see grown adults so incapable of thinking with their own minds. Maybe the dumbing down of our schools is already becomng a liability. Maybe the spite games of politics have blinded people with fear, anger and loathing. But in any case, accepting lies as truth to stick it to the next guy, or allowing children to be indoctrinated into the principles of bad people trying to do bad things is a dispicible way to live. Saving the world by using your children as pawns in a political agenda. Hilarious…

    Oh the disgraceful lies we are willing to tell ourselves to hide from the realities of who we are!

  99. I should add that there is an upside.

    When the lies are exposed and this sham all comes crumbling down, our children will be so disillusioned with government that perhaps, finally, the business as usual system we’ve been victimized by for some time now will finally get some real reforming.

    But those are high hopes with half of America intent on teaching their kids to be dumb gullible shits…

  100. Leif Svalgaard (17:21:57) :
    You see, if it is 100% AGW and 0% Sun, or 0% AGW and 100%Sun, then the situation is clear, no discussion needed, as the science is settled, but if it is X% AGW, Y% Sun, and Z% something else [and maybe W% and U% of still something else [e.g. volcanoes], then the science is not settled and there can be debate as to the values of X, Y, Z, W, …, and that neither camp wants.

    I think the biggest issue is measuring “climate” to come up with some “climate change” number. Mr. Watts’s project surveying ground stations exposes the first chink in the armor. We can’t trust the temperature numbers in the US at all. If you take the error in all of the measurements into account, I have to wonder if the “global temperature” anomalies are even scientifically significant.

    Certainly local climates change–noted as far back as Plato. But for global climate change, we are trusting temperature proxies to be as accurate as modern instruments. More accurate data over a longer period of time is going to expose much of the hysteria for what it is.

    Also, someone posted a link to calculations showing what impact could be attributed to CO2 changes in the atmosphere, but I can’t find it now. The numbers showed that even a large increase would not produce a multi-degree change. Can anyone point me to that site?

  101. Hey there-
    I tend to fall on the side of the argument that agrees with Melissa, and feel that Global Warming is much more a man-made issue than some may want to believe.

    HOWEVER, with that being said,

    I appreciate anyone- whether I agree or disagree with them personally- who does their best to educate people- kids and adults alike- by telling both sides of the story.

    I hope you successful in making your presentation idea a reality.

    More important than where we, as adults and parents, stand on the issues, is our ability to raise our kids to be independent thinkers. Personally, I’d rather my own daughters tell me all day long that they disagrees with every single one of my views, as long as they aren’t coming to these conclusions by being sheep, merely regurgitating rhetoric they’ve heard from others. I want them to be an independent thinkers, and I want them to be educated young women…

    It isn’t something that will happen if she’s being spoon-fed.

    Thank you for your role in presenting the “other side” of the spectrum, and I hope you are able to open the minds of many…

    Regardless of their final opinion on the issue.

    Reply –
    Welcome Chaze! Hang out here long enough and you may find yourself becoming a skeptic!

    I think you hit the nail on the head. We owe our older children a balanced presentation on the issues and we should not involve the very youngest who lack the ability to grasp the larger concepts involved. Let the little kiddies be just kids and enjoy themselves. Isn’t that what childhood is supposed to be about? – Dee Norris

  102. John B (13:39:38) :
    I think the biggest issue is measuring “climate” to come up with some “climate change” number. Mr. Watts’s project surveying ground stations exposes the first chink in the armor. We can’t trust the temperature numbers in the US at all. If you take the error in all of the measurements into account, I have to wonder if the “global temperature” anomalies are even scientifically significant.
    And our solar ‘indices’ [sunspot number, TSI-reconstructions, etc] are not calibrated correctly going back in time, so you have a double problem: correlating ‘garbage’ with ‘garbage’. Well, maybe not ‘garbage’, but certainly uncertain data with large errors.

  103. Raise the children-

    Leave your campsite better than you found it.

    If you kill it, clean and eat it.

    Watch your fire, douse it before you leave the site.

  104. “Dee: 75%? What if I told you it was less than 5% and the rest was all natural?”

    Well, then you would be misrepresenting reality. Way to go you non Stalin, non Hitler type person!

  105. We do emit less than 5%. But that 5% does cause an accumulation over the years. So perhaps around a third of atmospheric CO2 is a result of man.

    But so what? A 1/30% to 1/25% increase in the absence of positive feedback loops isn’t even going to show up among the statistical snow.

  106. Teachers unions, like all unions have battled viciously against standards and productivity.

    When I was teaching I was “invited” to join the NEA. They said my family needed protection. I told them that was wonderful because I didn’t have any family.

    Then they told me my job needed protection. I told them that was wonderful because my employers loved me and when they wanted to show off a teacher who “knows his stuff”, they took him directly to my classroom.

    (I thought they were going to take me into an empty classroom and work me over.)

    Well, I was wrong. I DID need protection. From them.

    What I should have done was smile and request that they give me the number of the AFT. Hired myself a bigger gorilla. But I was young and naive–I thought quality, hard work (I designed vocabulary exercises they used for years afterwards), and universal popularity (among colleagues, supervisors, and students) was enough.

    Result: Six months later I was back at my old private sector job (with a hefty raise), wondering what hit me . . .

  107. chaze77: Amen to that. Welcome aboard. Falsifiability is key to any scientific proposition. You talk like liberals used to in the old days. Breath of fresh air. Stick around!

  108. I am surprised at how many times I have been accused of misrepresenting the human CO2 contribution even though the figures and explanations have been cited several times in this very thread.

    Perhaps surprised is not the correct word. More like saddened. It shows that the indoctrination of which I wrote extends beyond just children.

    I suspect some of the accusers don’t have any specific value in mind when they challenge the fact that human CO2 contribution is less than 5%. It would seem that their only concept is that the human contribution has to be a LOT of CO2 because how would it otherwise make the planet warmer and less than 5% is certainly not a lot. So, like Melissa, they get mad to protect themselves from the cognitive dissonance created when the correct values intersect the fuzzy notions which have become their absolutes.

    @Evan: The ~5% does not ‘add up over time’ as the 95% also continues to accumulate over time as well. The net result is that while the mass of the anthropogenic CO2 increases, so does the mass of the natural CO2 while the ratio remains the same at 5 to 95 (or 1 to 19). Actually, it is bit more complex as the annual anthropogenic contribution varies as does the effectiveness of the discovered and undiscovered carbon sinks (which sequester about 50% of that 5%) and would require a more detailed explanation (perhaps a future post).

    For anyone interested, here is the IPCC’s own chart for the carbon cycle. If you have your calculator handy, you too can use their figures to determine that annual human contribution is less than 5%!

  109. “I am surprised at how many times I have been accused of misrepresenting the human CO2 contribution even though the figures and explanations have been cited several times in this very thread.”

    For each year, the ratio of human to natural CO2 is, in fact 1 to 19. However, what you fail to understand is that before the anthropogenic perturbation of the atmosphere, CO2 levels were relatively constant–in other words there was an equilibrium. Adding CO2 to the atmosphere does add up each year (minus what is taken up by the oceans).

    The entire rise in atmospheric CO2–a rise of about 30%–is attributable to the burning of fossil fuels. This is confirmed by many independent lines of evidence, including isotope ratios, the decline of oxygen in the atmosphere and the fact that the CO2 cannot come from geologic (too slow) or oceanic (currently increasing in carbon) sources.

    I suggest consulting the literature before accusing people of cognitive dissonance. The fact that humans have contributed 30% of atmospheric CO2 is undisputed in the scientific community.

    Reply – The IPCC doesn’t agree that “The entire rise in atmospheric CO2–a rise of about 30%–is attributable to the burning of fossil fuels” and nor do I. Please share your sources so that your position can be discussed. – Dee Norris

    REPLY: And I’ll add that Boris’ statement “what you fail to understand is that before the anthropogenic perturbation of the atmosphere, CO2 levels were relatively constant–in other words there was an equilibrium.’ is not true. – Anthony

    Ice core data says otherwise. CO2 in equlibrium? Not seen: http://www.chemistryland.com/CHM107/GlobalWarming/iceCoreCO2deepest.jpg

    Source data: ftp://cdiac.ornl.gov/pub/trends/co2/vostok.icecore.co2

  110. You need to get your priority’s right, first stop childrens heads being filled up with religion, which is harmful, then start worrying about their misconceptions about AGW, which isn’t.

    Regards

    Andy

    Reply: Religion bashing is also discouraged. We wish to avoid the heated discussion of religious believes at this site ~ charles the moderator.

  111. Dee: The IPCC data is a couple of years behind. The DoE has the updated numbers.

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/ggccebro/chapter1.html

    (I’ve posted often on the carbon cycle.)

    Man adds a little under half a percent per year to the atmospheric sink. (The rest of anthropogenic CO2 winds up in the ocean or soils.) If man were not adding that extra little bit (under 5%) per year, the atmospheric sink (now up to 760 BMTC) would not be gaining CO2.

    As much as I hate to be seen to be agreeing (in essence) with the dreaded Boris . . . #B^1

    What the Rev posts is true. But that’s an up-and-down 100 ppm cycle that ebbs and flows with each ice age (ocean temps affect CO2 solubility). Nonetheless, man does seem to have added a fair chunk over recent years all by his lonesome.

    But I repeat that I do NOT consider CO2 to be a threat. So far, if anything, the CO2 bump has been a benefit (and has increased planetary biomass considerably).

  112. Andy:

    I am a longtime atheist who got a good dose of religion as a kid. So far as I can see, exposure to religion did me great and lasting good and improved my life and my morals in every way. As an unbeliever, I owe a very great debt to religion.

    However, I do NOT credit any benefit whatever to the false environmentalism I was also subjected to as a kid. All it did was poison my mind, fill me with misdirected fear, rage, and sanctimony, and erode my morals. Fortunately, I “got better”. Can’t say the same for some of my contemporaries.

    I’m just speaking for myself; YMMV.

    (Religion is like the i in the equation. It doesn’t have to be real to have an extraordinarily beneficial effect and to open the way to far greater goodness, kindness, knowledge, and understanding.)

    Reply: Evan please, don’t get into religious discussions or entice others to do so ~ charles the moderator

  113. Dee: “My two examples were the impressions of a 12 year old from a public showing of AIT by the earth science class (the students suggested showing it based on Gore’s call to action, BTW) and the actions of an organization whose founder watched AIT.”

    If you are arguing that children are sponges, I agree. I haven’t watched AIT so I can’t make any comment about its suitability for children, but I think you are drawing a very long bow if you are arguing that exposing children to AGW is akin to Stalinist indoctrination. To believe that, you would have to believe that you live in a totalitarian society.

    Reply – My first suggestion is that you watch AIT so that we all are on the same ground. I believe that children are being indoctrinated into believe in AGW based on emotional arguments, not sound science and I put forward two examples (now updated to three). That being said, this is like a Rorschach Test – one person sees butterfly and another sees two bats tugging. Neither is right, neither is wrong. – Dee Norris

    More Reply – Your comparison to living in an existing totalitarian society kicked my hind-brain into gear (for which I thank you) and I got the vague notion that the Hitler Youth preceded the rise to power of Hilter. A quick fact check confirmed this impression.

    The Hitler Youth was founded in 1922, only one year after Hitler took control of the NAZI party and founded the Sturmabteilung (aka the SA or stormtroopers). It was created to prepare boys 14 or older for future enrollment in the SA and indoctrinated them in the NAZI rhetoric that Jews and other degenerates were a threat to the Fatherland. It taught them that they were the future ‘Aryan supermen’ needed by the German nation. This was a year before Hitler attempted the Beer Hall Putsch (1923) and was imprisoned at Landsberg am Lech where he (and Rudoph Hess) wrote the first draft of Mein Kampf. In 1930, the German Youth for boys from 10 to 14 was created as a subdivison of the Hitler Youth. Three years later, the Reichstag (1933) burned and Hitler was able to seize total power in Germany. By December 1936, Hitler Youth membership (which now stood at 5 million boys) was made mandatory for all boys. And I think we should all know how it ends from there. (Source: Wikipedia Hitler Youth)

    From the example of Hitler and NAZI Germany, it would seem that childhood indoctrination precedes the rise of the totalitarian state. So perhaps you are correct and my hind-brain was indeed equating the rise of Hitler with the practice of seemingly innocent indoctrination of children to emotionally believe that AGW, Big Oil and skeptics pose a threat to our homeland.

    I think I have now scared myself. ‘Nuff said – Dee Norris

  114. Leif: “What the writer clearly implied was that Hitler and Stalin [and I may add, the Church] showed us how effective indoctrination of children is.”

    An argument is a series of connected steps leading to a conclusion. Keeping that in mind, let’s look at the article again. Here are the first two paras:

    “Childhood indoctrination. It’s a dirty word. Hitler did it. Stalin did it. It can never happen here in the free world, now can it? Of course not.

    “In the past few days, I have had a couple of disturbing conversations about AGW with the younger generation…”

    Note the connected steps in the argument: childhood indoctrination-Hitler-Stalin-the free world-AGW-younger generation. The argument that is being made is that the childhood indoctrination practised by Hitler and Stalin is being replicated in today’s “free world” under the guise of teaching AGW.

  115. The other day I was riding in a car with my niece and nephew who decided to play with the new propane tanks in the car (camping). I didn’t like this, so my quick response was “Careful, that’s a greenhouse gas. You don’t want to let it out.” They immediately put the cans down. And I laughed my ass off.

  116. Brendan H (04:09:20) :
    An argument is a series of connected steps leading to a conclusion.
    Only if the connection is such that each following step depends logically on the previous steps. Just that the steps follow each other does not make them into an argument [it’s called a pile].

    Note the connected steps in the argument: childhood indoctrination-Hitler-Stalin-the free world-AGW-younger generation. The argument that is being made is that the childhood indoctrination practised by Hitler and Stalin is being replicated in today’s “free world” under the guise of teaching AGW.
    The steps are not connected at all. All the article said was that Hitler & Stalin showed us how effective childhood indoctrination is. H & S were not the first, of course. The Jesuits have always said “give me a child and I’ll give you the man”. The Church [Jesuits, Sunday School, Madrassas, what have you] practice the very same thing, without one being able to conclude that religion or Jihad is taught under the guise of AGW. Neither is Nazism or Communism.

  117. The other day I was riding in a car with my niece and nephew who decided to play with the new propane tanks in the car (camping). I didn’t like this, so my quick response was “Careful, that’s a greenhouse gas. You don’t want to let it out.” They immediately put the cans down. And I laughed my ass off. That is funny. I’ll bet that mad them mad, though. Careful, aaron, payback can be a b***ch.

  118. [snip]

    While I deal with anonymity and occaional gaffes, I don’t allow people to switch identities on postings. For example, the Taminite known as “Lee” has now had no less than five different identities that he has tried to post under, and I don’t allow his posts anymore.

    Either stick with one identity i.e. “statepoet” or don’t post please. Thank you for your consideration. – Anthony

  119. The real truth is- the earth has never been and never will be a stable environment. It is an absolutely violent planet.
    Our orbit changes, the crust we live on is really a raft floating on an ocean of lava.
    We cannot change the Earth as much as we think we can. Cows and termites give off far more CO2 than our industrial activity ever will.

    That being said- this does not mean we should not be good stewards of our home.

    We have such an enormous tendancy to appy knee jerk solutions to problems that are out of our control- thereby creating a string of unintended consequences that require additional undoing. But hey- a good capitalist can create a fortune off of this new GW industry.

    I don’t beleive that Al Gore invented the internet- I do however beleive he invented the Global Warming Industry. He has raked in millions. Yet he things throwing money at the problem will make it go away- at least make you think it will help. Perhaps he should look in the mirror

  120. “The IPCC doesn’t agree that “The entire rise in atmospheric CO2–a rise of about 30%–is attributable to the burning of fossil fuels” and nor do I. Please share your sources so that your position can be discussed.”

    The IPCC does say that human activity is responsible for the increase in CO2. Look at FAQ 2.1, figure 1 on page 135 of AR4.

    http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Print_Ch02.pdf

    “FAQ 2.1, Figure 1. Atmospheric concentrations of important long-lived greenhouse gases over the last 2,000 years. Increases since about 1750 are attributed to
    human activities in the industrial era.”

    CO2 is shown in red.

    Further, on the same page:

    “Human activities result in emissions of four principal greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and the halocarbons (a group of gases containing fluorine, chlorine and bromine). These gases accumulate in the atmosphere, causing concentrations to increase with time. Significant increases in all of these gases have occurred in the industrial era (see Figure 1). All of these increases are attributable to human activities.

    As I said, the fact that humans are responsible for the increase in atmospheric CO2 is supported by many independent lines of evidence and is undisputed in the scientific community.

  121. Sorry, jeez. I held off, but eventually succumbed to temptation. No, wait. There I go again . . .

    I hate to agree with Boris, but I think he is right. But it would be better to explain how the CO2 accumulation happens during the exchange mechanism (as I did above) rather than simply resorting to the IPCC and leaving it at that.

    Of course I don’t agree with B. about the effects of said accumulation.

    It’s also true that hardly anyone seems to mention the nitrous, and it’s the #3 GH gas after H20 and C02, but they skip right to methane. Is there a “carbon bias” going on here?

    Water is anywhere from 70% to 95% of the GH effect. My prejudices cause me to lean toward the higher number. I suspect that the lower number lumps positive feedback into the CO2 number (and I am a positive feedback flat-out denier).

    EXCLUDING WATER VAPOR, C02 is c. 75% of the GH effect and N2O around 19%.

  122. Leif; “Only if the connection is such that each following step depends logically on the previous steps. Just that the steps follow each other does not make them into an argument [it’s called a pile].”

    So this article is just a “pile”? A blog post will not usually consist of a set of syllogisms, but nevertheless some sort of argument is often being made, as is the case here. Otherwise, there is no point to the article. The writer is attempting to connect the actions of Hitler and Stalin with those of supporters of AGW.

    “All the article said was that Hitler & Stalin showed us how effective childhood indoctrination is.”

    No. All it says is they practised it. Nothing about its effectiveness.
    The irony of the anecdote presented in this article is that rather than appealing to a reliable source, the writer attempts her own form of counter-indoctrination, but only exacerbates the situation by providing a child with a half-truth about the human contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere.

  123. @Boris, Evan and Anon

    There are several ways to arrive at the anthropogenic CO2 load in the atmosphere. One is to assume that at some point, there was a dynamic equilibrium between natural CO2 emissions and natural sinks, then assume that any increase in CO2 concentration after that date is attributed to humanity.

    The second involves adding up historic estimates of anthropogenic sources and subtracting anthropogenic and natural sinks to compute a total anthropogenic CO2 load.

    Third involves analyzing the ration of C radio-isotopes to determine the ratio of natural C in the atmosphere to the anthropogenic C.

    All three methods are their proponents as well as detractors. All are have assumptions that can be falsifiable as sound science uncovers additional information and all three appear logically sound on the surface

    Of course, many of the various adherents to one of these approaches have picked their favorite method to support their desired outcomes & belief structures and then have rationalized why their choice it the best and the others are invalid.

    In a nod to Leif and his oft-repeated mantra, this is also true of the various adherents to one solar forcing theory or another and I respect his desire to stay agnostic to the results despite his desire to see a particular outcome.

  124. “All three methods are their proponents as well as detractors.”

    Maybe. But all three methods also come to the same conclusion, which is why the evidence for human contribution of CO2 is so strong.

    Reply – All three methods conclude that humans have contributed to the total atmospheric CO2 load, but they differ in the amount of the contribution.

    Anyhow, the real debate is not over the contribution but if the contribution has any meaningful effect. All the studies show that CO2 effect on temperature decreases log rhythmically as concentration increases and that at this point any increases in CO2 concentration, natural or otherwise, have only a small impact of global temperature.

    I refer you to Even doubling or tripling the amount of CO2′ will have ‘little impact’ on temps if you wish to further discuss this topic. – Dee Norris

  125. @Brendan:

    The purpose of my essay was to get people to think. And judging from the reaction and comments here as well as the fact that it hit the number two spot on top posts here at WordPress (BTW, the number one spot is always occupied by the WordPress announcement of the moment) , I am please with it.

    However, you are projecting an awful lot into my two-minute conversation with Melissa when you state that I provided “a child with a half-truth about the human contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere.” What I was doing was challenging her received notions about CO2 (that a lot ‘maybe 75%’ of the atmospheric CO2 concentration is anthropogenic). She clearly didn’t want to continue to discuss CO2 after that and switched the conversation to Polar Bears where I again challenged her received notions at which point her language clearly indicated that she wanted me to stop challenging her convictions.

    Now, had I forced her to listen to me pedantically drone on and on about how wrong she was or about the necessity of taking action to prevent a cooling world, you might have a point.

    The antiquity of the practice of childhood indoctrination was established by the quote from Proverbs. Hitler and Stalin were then linked to draw attention to the danger of childhood indoctrination. It was left open to the reader to decide if AGW childhood indoctrination is comparable to to the above examples. If the reader believes in the goodness of the Jewish, Christian or Islamic faiths, then the quote from Proverbs says supports that the childhood indoctrination is permissible under the right circumstances. Certainly in the hindsight of the 21st century majority, under Hitler or Stalin, the practice of childhood indoctrination is now considered a bad thing.

    Once again you are projecting when you claim to understand my reasons for writing as I did. It was not until after you triggered the long forgotten fact about the creation of the Hitler Youth that remembered that Hitler began his youth indoctrination programs before the creation of the NAZI state and I realized the parallels to the rise of AGW indoctrination and the grab for control of the population through carbon restrictions. Certainly the parents of the 5 million boys in the Hitler Youth prior to the mandatory membership didn’t consider the indoctrination a bad thing.

    Before I am accused of seeing the next Hitler lurking in some Earth First cell, let me say this: There are a lot of wannabes, people who think they know what is right for everyone else on the planet. Do we as a society take the risk that if some extreme green demagogue begins a rise to power that he (or she) will find a ready-made pool of indoctrinated eco-warriors and climate cops ready to give life and limb to defend Gaia from unbelievers who are destroying her?

  126. The researchers returned to the vicinity a few days later after a fierce storm and found four dead bears floating in the water.

    Boris, I believe all three methods also assume that man made CO2 is equally likely to be exchanged with sinks.

  127. Brendan H (01:30:56) :
    “Only if the connection is such that each following step depends logically on the previous steps. Just that the steps follow each other does not make them into an argument [it’s called a pile].”

    So this article is just a “pile”?

    No, but your contribution seems to be as your ‘conclusion’ does not follow from the ‘connections’ you cite.

  128. Dee,

    Unfortunately your link discussing climate sensitivity to doubled CO2 is equally wrong. (Example: WV does not contribute 95% of the greenhouse effect. This number is never mentioned in the scientific literature and has been thrown around only on internet sites.) Once again, stick with the peer reviewed literature and you can learn a thing or two.

    Reply – My recommendation of the other discussion was not to prove anything to you, but to suggest a more fitting thread for the continuation of this discussion. Since you seem to have run out of arguments based on facts and are are now resorting to personal jabs, I forced to say adieu. Best of luck to you in all your endeavors and all that. – Dee Norris

  129. Pingback: Ravalli County News » Blog Archive » AGW Indoctrination (Well, Lies Actually)

  130. Dee: “What I was doing was challenging her received notions about CO2 (that a lot ‘maybe 75%’ of the atmospheric CO2 concentration is anthropogenic).”

    No problem with challenging childish errors. It can lead to fruitful conversations. But you attempted to correct the child with a view that is at variance with mainstream climate science. So who’s indoctrinating who?

    My reaction in similar circumstances is to encourage the child to consult the relevant authority in whatever subject. Effectively, in the case of science, that means consulting the mainstream scientific view, and the mainstream view today is that man-made climate change is happening.

    “…childhood indoctrination is permissible under the right circumstances.”

    We’re on the same page there, but of course people will strongly differ in their interpretation of “the right circumstances”.

    “There are a lot of wannabes, people who think they know what is right for everyone else on the planet.”

    Yes. Two of them are currently vying for the world’s top job. Other people write op-eds to move the masses.

    “Do we as a society take the risk that if some extreme green demagogue begins a rise to power that he (or she) will find a ready-made pool of indoctrinated eco-warriors…”

    I think you’re being alarmist and not a little paranoid. But if you’re concerned about pools of indoctrinated kids, you need to include Sunday School and the Boy Scouts, which have masses of youth imbibing adult doctrines.

  131. Brendan:

    5% annual anthropogenic CO2 contribution is supported in mainstream science. Furthermore, had I the opportunity, I would have more fully explained the big picture from all points of view but she closed down the discussion. Are you suggesting that I should have forced her to listen?

    At the risk of repeating myself, you are seeing two bats tugging at each other when the inkblot is really just a butterfly. Citing a fact is not indoctrination.

    Had I coupled the fact with a warning that reducing anthropogenic CO2 would cause a global cooling cycle which would eventually cause the return of the glaciers and a real ice age, you would be justified in your accusations.

    It is not the pool of indoctrinated kids I worry about, it is the pool adult rainbow warriors who were indoctrinated as children that worries me. They join Greenpeace, Earth First, Animal Liberation Front, etc…

    First it is vandalism, then it is kristallnacht. True Believers are always a danger waiting for a leader.

  132. Dee: “Citing a fact is not indoctrination.”

    You know what they say about statistics, Dee. The relevant point about AGW is the year-on-year accumulation of man-made CO2 in the atmosphere. Since only about half of man-made emissions are reabsorbed, the total value of man-made CO2 in the atmosphere has accumulated to the point where it is now around 30 per cent of the total.

    That is why scientists are concerned. The annual contribution is an important fact, but only within the wider context of the total amount accumulated. In that sense, choosing to highlight only the 5 per cent figure is a misleading cherry-pick.

    “They join Greenpeace, Earth First, Animal Liberation Front, etc…
    First it is vandalism, then it is kristallnacht. True Believers are always a danger waiting for a leader.”

    Kristillnacht was state-sponsored terrorism which occurred within a nationalist framework. To justify a link between the Kingsnorth vandalism and kristallnacht you would need to show that the British government thinks it has something to gain from instigating a nationwide orgy of violence against its energy industries.

  133. Brenden:

    As I pointed out, she didn’t allow me to continue to present other CO2 related facts. Being that you continue to press me on this, I conclude that you believe I should have forced them upon her. As I disagree with that sort of behavior with children (I would call it indoctrination), I think this part of the conversation has run its course.

    Greenpeace has done worse actions than Kingsnorth and here in the US, EarthFirst and The Animal Liberation Front have destroyed 100s of thousands of dollars in private property making the Kingsnorth Six look like boys shooting spit balls in Sunday School.

    Do you mean to tell me you believe if these sorts of groups came into power, their criminal behavior would suddenly stop? In a way it would stop, of course. It would become legalized behavior. Exactly as I implied with the reference from vandalism to kristallnacht.

  134. Dee: “As I pointed out, she didn’t allow me to continue…I think this part of the conversation has run its course.”

    Looks like you and Melissa have something in common.

    “Do you mean to tell me you believe if these sorts of groups came into power, their criminal behavior would suddenly stop?”

    I can’t say, but government office-holders are sworn to uphold the law. I don’t condone law-breaking in the pursuit of ‘higher’ ends, especially if it is violent, but this stunt appears to be of the milder sort. (The play on ‘Gordon’ is amusing for those who know their Thomas the Tank Engine.)

    And one of the iconic events of the founding of your system of government was a major act of vandalism.

  135. Pingback: Inconvenient Truth: Responsibility is the Point « Ebrooks2000’s Weblog

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