The National Academy of Sciences teaches climate advocacy, not science

The prestigious US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is off the rails when it comes to teaching kids about climate change. They have an exhaustive lesson plan for middle and high school kids that teaches a great deal of alarmist advocacy and very little science. NAS has clearly lost sight of its role as the trusted science advisor to the US Government. Al Gore could have written this lesson.

The lesson plan is called Climate Change Webquest. As the name “Webquest” suggests, it is basically a framework that ties together a lot of alarmist websites, which the students go to, to find answers for specific questions. (Some of these sites are not suitable for middle schoolers, but then neither is the framework.)

The structure of the framework gives away the game. The Webquest is supposed to be undertaken by a group of five students, each of which plays a specific role. Here are the roles:
1. Climate Scientist
2. Policy Analyst (!)
3. Economist
4. Energy Expert
5. Urban Planner

Clearly this is about policy, not science. In fact the scientist’s primary role is merely to say

13425083 – happy teenage middle school or highschool students in class.

that CO2 emissions are creating dangerous climate change. Then the other four players try to redesign society in order to solve this bogus problem. Their product is a “strategy portfolio,” including proposed new laws.

To top this fiasco off, the students are working for the United Nations. I am not making this up. Here is the specific charge to the children:

In this activity, you are being called upon by the United Nations to examine the causes and potential impacts of global warming and to develop policy recommendations for adoption by UN member nations.

In short they are being trained to be global green policy advocates. There is no science here to speak of. In fact the worksheet that gives the questions that the students are to be graded on specifically asks about just two things — CO2 versus temperature, and computer model predictions of the future. Presumably this is designed to keep them from wandering into real science while on their quest.

Given this policy charge it is not surprising that most of the links are to UN and US Federal websites. There are also links to some of the wacky State of California climate initiatives, which are presented as exemplars. Then too there are links to numerous advocacy groups, especially the radical Union of Concerned Scientists.

Among the book links we find these scaremongering specials:

1. “The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth” by Tim Flannery.

2. “Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America’s Energy Future” by Jeff Goodell.

3. And of course “An Inconvenient Truth” by Al Gore.

Unfortunately the many links to the alarmist Obama era EPA webpages all still work. Officially EPA says the pages are gone but they are still there, just one click further away than they used to be. Clicking on an EPA link in the NAS student instructions takes one to an EPA page which says that page is being updated. However that page includes a link to the “archived version” of the old page.

In conclusion, the US National Academy of Sciences has no business pushing junk like this to children. NAS is charted by Congress to provide objective advice to the Federal Government, not to brainwash kids. This so-called Webquest is one of the worst alarmist lesson plans that I have ever seen and there are a lot of contenders.

It is no wonder that people are losing faith in the scientific establishment. Climate change alarmism is ruining science.


About the Author: David Wojick, Ph.D.

David Wojick is a journalist and policy analyst. He holds a doctorate in epistemology, specializing in the field of Mathematical Logic and Conceptual Analysis.

  • David Albert

    How is this a part of the mission of the NAS or even the federal government? Mission creep is endemic to the swamp and the drainers need to find the right preventative measures to not only stop and prevent it but roll back as much as possible that which is already in place.

    • J T

      “Mission creep” is too kind a term for this.

  • MarcJ

    Tom Steyer, a billionaire environmental activist from
    California, wants to blast the issue of “Climate Change” to the front lines of
    American politics. His super PAC, NextGen Climate, spent about $100 million
    this election cycle to influence several Senate and governor’s races in which “climate
    change” could play a major role. Comrade Steyer thus joins a few other total
    cretins – Kerry, Gore, the United Nations socialist clique, and the Pope –
    riding that dead horse even as we enter the 21st consecutive year of
    GLOBAL COOLING. That is the reason the criminal creeps had to change the name
    of their scam “Global Warming” into the new hoax “Climate Change”, all the time
    “recalibrating” their instruments and “refining” their computer models – retroactively!

  • Wayne Snyder

    Follow the money. It always takes you to the true source and philosophy.

  • Siding WithConservatives

    Trump is in power because Christians got on their knees in 2016 and without that same reliance on the God of truth in the battle against the wicked hoard of climate change advocates, we will not defeat the evil deception of climate change. God is the God of truth and if you honor Him as such, He will act on your behalf. If you choose to ignore His truth and power, you will not win this fight. 2nd Chronicles 7:14

    Sound black and white?……well in their very essence, these battles really boil down to evil versus good. Thankfully God is able is to defend and give victory to the truthful and righteous.

  • You can either teach quantitative classical experimentally demonstrable physics or you can teach Gore/Hansen GHG junk ; you can’t teach both .

    • DavidAppell

      The Stefan-Boltzmann law is experimentally demonstrable.
      So is Planck’s law.
      So is the molecular spectrum of CO2, water vapor, CH4, N2O, etc.
      From there it’s a matter of putting all the pieces together and calculation.

      Verifying the results:

      “Radiative forcing – measured at Earth’s surface – corroborate the increasing greenhouse effect,” R. Philipona et al, Geo Res Letters, v31 L03202 (2004)

      “Observational determination of surface radiative forcing by CO2 from 2000 to 2010,” D. R. Feldman et al, Nature 519, 339–343 (19 March 2015)

      • BigWaveDave

        The Stefan-Boltzmann law is experimentally demonstrable.
        So is Planck’s law.
        So is the molecular spectrum of CO2, water vapor, CH4, N2O, etc.

        Agreed, but these have next to nothing to do with atmospheric, surface or ocean temperatures.

        From there it’s a matter of putting all the pieces together and calculation.

        What you and other colluding charlatans do is deplorable. There is no theory that explains how ghg radiative forcing from CO2 could possibly cause measurable temperature change.

        • DavidAppell

          Have you ever heard of the two-stream equations?

          • BigWaveDave

            Yes. What do they have to do with atmospheric, surface or ocean temperatures?

            Can you state a theory that explains how ghg radiative forcing from CO2 could possibly cause measurable temperature change?

  • James H. Rust

    This paper is found at

    “Our science programs should stimulate students to have an inquiring mind–the very opposite of the science-is-settled, “consensus science” mindset. Obama’s Common Core is a Trojan Horse mixing propaganda with science for our youth…. [Such] one-size-fits-all learning smacks of collectivism in place of individual initiative.”

    • Sandy Vought

      Our schools no longer teach children how to THINK FOR THEMSELVES….they just Regurgitate….frightening…

    • David Wojick

      James, your detailed analysis is on the money, with one minor exception. The NAS Framework led to the Next Generation Science Standards, which are not part of Common Core. I discuss the NGSS stuff briefly here :
      and at some length in two articles linked to therein.

      But Common Core sneaks pseudoscience into its English standard. Instead of reading literature, the English teacher gives the students short science texts to comprehend. There is an obvious opportunity for spreading climate alarmism here, especially given that few English teachers know the science.

  • Sandy Vought

    It is no wonder that children are loosing faith in their adults when they are fed this type of drivel and then regurgitate it to each other and finally receive an A+

  • RoscoeBonifitucci

    Yep. We now have a “Ministry of Truth”.
    Dear Lord – Help Trump Drain the Cesspool of Washington DC.
    Amen. And AMEN.