Six Reasons Why Climate Science Should Definitely Be On the School Curriculum
The head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Gina McCarthy has said in an interview that she believes "climate science" ought to be included in the school curriculum.
"Very much so," she says. "I think part of the challenge of explaining climate change is that it requires a level of science and a level of forward thinking and you've got to teach that to kids.
"People didn't have a sense of how dramatic climate change really is, and what it means for all of us. So that's been a challenge. But what's great about renewables is that when you put a solar panel on the roof of a school, you change the entire dynamic of education for the students. It's hands-on."
Some cynics may accuse the woman of talking gibberish.
In what way, exactly, does uglifying your school roof with a bunch of expensive and probably pointless solar panels comprise a "hands-on" experience which will "change the entire dynamic" of a child's education?
And are we really sure that schools are suffering from a shortage of teaching on climate change? Isn't the problem - from Britain to the US - exactly the opposite: that kids are being brainwashed by ignorant, politically motivated teachers into believing that there's a serious, man-made "global warming" problem, when in fact there's no evidence to support this increasingly discredited thesis?
Personally, though, I think Gina McCarthy is absolutely right. "Climate change", if taught correctly in schools, could open our children's minds to a huge range of interdisciplinary topics, including:
COUNTER-ESPIONAGE FIELDCRAFT. "You are former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson and are aware that, as a government employee, your emails might be subject to FOI requests. Ms Jackson chose a private email account under the name Richard Windsor to circumvent federal laws. Which name would you choose?"
BUSINESS STUDIES. "Current EPA administrator Gina McCarthy has described the Agency's regulatory assault on the US coal industry as 'an investment opportunity'. Show how this apparently nonsensical statement makes sense if you are left-wing billionaire with close ties to the Obama administration and are heavily "invested" in green tech, which is only viable if more efficient, cost-effective fossil fuel energy is driven out of existence by big government regulation."
COGNITIVE DISSONANCE. "In the last 50 years, the global polar bear population has increased from around 5,000 to around 25,000. Show, with reference to its recently declared "threatened" status under the Endangered Species Act, how a bear whose population has increased five-fold in half a century can be considered in any kind of danger. Bonus marks will be awarded for any mention of: Leo DiCaprio's Vanity Fair cover shot; An Inconvenient Truth; Greenpeace's Project Thin Ice."
CREATIVE ARITHMETIC. "In the last 500 years a total of sixty-one mammals and 129 birds are recorded as having gone extinct. Yet according to "experts" cited by organisations like WWF - eg Harvard biologist EO Wilson - as many as 27,000 species may be vanishing from our planet every year. Explain - by pressing lots of numbers and "x"s on your calculator - how these experts may have reached this figure."
RHETORIC. "There has been no measured global warming since 1997. Imagine you are a tenured climatologist whose next grant depends on global warming being a problem. What language might you use to explain to an increasingly sceptical world why a problem that hasn't been happening for 17 years is still in fact a major problem, worse than ever before in fact, and definitely worth pouring loads and loads of taxpayers' money into researching more deeply? Bonus points will be awarded for uses of the (unscientific) term "pause" and the "precautionary principle."
ETHICS. "You are the creator of one of the most heavily-mocked, multiply-discredited, risible graphs in the history of science: the Tennis Racket, so called for its distinctive shape and also because, on closer examination, it turns out to be a massive racket. Everyone outside your immediate circle of yes-men, co-conspirators and useful idiots thinks you are a total prat. Do you a) resign honorably to pursue a career more in keeping with your talents (road-sweeping; gum-chewing; but not at the same time obviously) b) insist to the bitter end that you are a victim of an anti-science conspiracy and that your "tennis racket" still works and employ an army of lawyers to sue any impertinent fools who have the temerity to suggest otherwise.