Californians Turn a Cold Shoulder on Bill Requiring Climate-Change Education
By E. Calvin Beisner
A bill introduced in the California Assembly January 13 would require students to study the causes and effects of climate change in grades 1-6. It would also make the subject a requirement for high-school graduation.
When I read the news, I first thought, “What’s surprising? Climate alarmists have long since taken over California.”
But it looks like ordinary Californians aren’t going to be so easily led. Comments on the news story at CBS Sacramento were overwhelmingly negative.
Early on, someone calling himself simply “Time” wrote:
I guess it will then be my duty to teach them to unlearn or ignore what the climate religion is teaching, using actual facts and data, and pointing out the long list of alarmist predictions that have never come true. Fortunately my kids go to a public school that is in a district that is actually very good. We don’t have to put up with too many crazies. But the lunacy in California also allows me to teach my kids a very valuable lesson early in life: that the education system is not made up of all-knowing gods. Just because it’s taught doesn’t mean you have to believe it. Learn it for the test, pick the desired answer to get a grade, and move on.
Others wrote more briefly, but with similar sentiments. Indeed, of 77 comments (excluding my own and three responses to others’ comments) posted by 2 p.m. Central Time on January 16, 76 were unmistakably negative.
Many mocked. Some presented reasoned arguments. As I read repeatedly through them, I thought of seven categories into which they fell — and some could have gone into more than one.
Thirteen alleged that the bill’s goal was to substitute propaganda, brainwashing, or indoctrination for real education. Eight used it as an occasion to reflect on the proper role of education and the comparative importance of climate-change education with more basic subjects. Nineteen challenged the scientific case for dangerous man-made global warming.
One chalked up the idea to irresponsible government leaders. Five spoke of it as simply a hoax or scam. Thirteen more said it was a scam specifically driven by a political ideology — socialism, communism, fascism, or the Democratic Party. Fifteen simply mocked the idea. Three others — including the only one that seemed to support the bill — fit no category.
“DearLC” combined suspicions over brainwashing with concerns about educational priorities: “Another attempt at brain washing to achieve a desired result. Teaching of reading, writing and arithmetic is so old fashioned.”
“whostolemycog” echoed the thought:
Government mandated indoctrination has been going on since the at least the 80's…it gave us cultural relativism, political correctness, and then started in on promoting racial/cultural identity as being the most relevant part of any person. Promoting the fraud of climate change is hardly surprising. The goal of today’s left is to gain absolute power and then destroy their opposition. Their mentors are people like Josef Stalin, Mao, and Pol-Pot. Bernie’s folks are already promoting re-education camps for those engaging in wrong-think.
Ed Martin quoted Marshall Fritz, H.L. Mencken, Francisco Ferrer, and Benjamin Disraeli, all warning against the dangers state-run education poses to liberty.
Lawrence Hall turned the tables a bit, asking, “Did any of you vote in YOUR last school board elections, or do you just complain? YOU are the schools. Don’t blame others for your own passivity; self-government is not a spectator sport.”
The comments challenging the science referred to wide swings of climate throughout geologic history; difficulty proving cause and effect in such a climate system; neglected benefits of warming; lack of empirical proof of the theories underlying climate alarmist predictions; the negligible impact of reducing CO2 emissions; the fact that alarmists have falsified some of their evidences; and financial incentives driving some scientist advocates of climate alarm.
“Requiring them to teach about climate change might be a good thing, if only they would teach the truth,” wrote Robert Canine, tying scientific, political, and economic issues together. “That is, the fact that global warming ‘research’ is the biggest fraud in the history of science, and it’s nothing more than a politically-motivated attempt to seize wealth from the wealthier nations (mainly the U.S.) and send it to the rest of the world (while lining the pockets of the those doing the seizing).”
Oliver Clozoff asked, “Are they going to be allowed to teach that it’s a complete hoax perpetrated by liberals who just want an excuse to boss people around and take their stuff?”
Mockery often combined with blaming political ideology.
Teddy Novak wrote, “Leftists, whether they call themselves socialists, fascists, progressives, communists, Democrats, Greens, Antifa, Nazis, Black Lives Matter, or whatever, are a cancer.”
“Get ‘em while they’re young, and you’ll have the next batch of jackbooted greenies controlling what we do and say, voting for taxes to go to the carbon exchange where a few will get trillions in exchange for saving the Earth from carbon dioxide, a life gas,” wrote someone calling himself simply Mark.
Other mockery was simpler. “Climate Comedian” wrote, “It’s funny because all of these comments are critical of the policy… not one comment to support it. I wonder if something is happening out there beyond the hysteria. I guess we will find out in 12 years when all of this is supposed to come crashing down on us!”
“They also need to include the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. Everyone likes a good story,” wrote “Jay.”
And “matismf” said simply, “Putrid stench of tribe in action.”
So maybe there’s hope for California after all. Though climate alarmism seems to dominate the political class and entertainers, the rank and file aren’t marching lockstep.