sterlingbClimate alarmists have worked diligently, and persuasively, to undermine the teaching of sound science, the scientific method, and critical thinking in America’s primary, secondary, and college classrooms. Climate alarmists want to indoctrinate America’s youth, turning green robots loose on their parents and the world.

We at The Heartland Institute have fought, sometimes with success (West Virginia), at other times in vain (Texas), to keep textbook manufacturers, reacting to ginned-up protests, from scrubbing all traces of climate realism from their textbooks. We’ve implored them to continue acknowledging in texts intended for use in the nation’s classrooms that a lively debate concerning the causes and consequences of climate change still exists.

Openness to evidence and continual questioning are the cornerstones of scientific discovery — scholastic virtues climate alarmists cannot allow to exist.

This was brought to our attention once again by a post-election blog item at the Huffington Post, arguing alarmists must redouble their efforts to indoctrinate students. Efforts to fight climate change will fail, according to this analysis, unless schools turn out post-industrial, “green citizens.” According to the blog post, preventing climate change requires “greener economies, greener legislation, greener policies … [ultimately] we need greener societies. To succeed, fundamentally, we need green citizens.”

The article continues,

[creating green citizens] must start in the classrooms. Education is the red thread tying together the Paris Agreement maowith the other historic agreement of 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Education … is … the foundation on which to shape a sustainable future for all, and the planet. Sustainability calls for new ways of seeing the world, new ways of thinking, new ways of acting and behaving as global citizens. Only education can catalyze such deep change.

The writer complains “half the countries in the world still do not explicitly mention climate change or environmental sustainability in their [education curricula]” and calls on the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to take the lead in changing this. UNESCO should push political leaders to add educational components to the national commitments they make under the Paris climate agreement and to work with professional educators around the world to create a system where promoting sustainability – not the acquisition of knowledge, competence, or civic virtues – is the central goal of all educational endeavors.

I agree with the writer on one point. It all comes down to the education system. Will the education system embrace freedom, individuality, personal achievement, diversity of thought, intellectual curiosity, and exploration of different points of view, and thus continue to drive entrepreneurship and scientific discovery — which have raised living standards for people around the world, reducing poverty, privation, and death and improving human well-being?

nannyismOr will the education system instead be driven by a single overarching goal, sustainability, set by self-appointed intellectual elites who, in the height of hubris, believe they know best what goals are worth pursuing – believe they should decide for everyone, everywhere, what people ought to believe and how they ought to live?

If, as the Huffington Post writer demands, the educational system is “reoriented” toward pushing “true and lasting sustainability” as the overarching goal of education, I fear the gulags and Orwellian re-education camps can’t be far behind. Humankind, both present and future generations, would suffer under such an educational regime, bringing about a world where, in the words of the immortal Thomas Hobbes: “The life of man is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” — not because we have been thrown back into some anarchic state of nature, but because we will be enslaved to a misanthropic doctrine of stasis and ultimately death.

This Huffington Post article made it clearer to me now more than ever before: We must take back the education of our kids from government schools, driven by government-approved curricula, taught by government-approved educators. Educational choice is the cornerstone of continued human well-being.

NOTE:  This article was first published by The Heartland Institute as Climate Change Weekly #232;.  Sources: Huffington Post; Human Events; and National Association of Scholars


  • Duggan Flanakin

    Duggan Flanakin is the Director of Policy Research at the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow. A former Senior Fellow with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Mr. Flanakin authored definitive works on the creation of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and on environmental education in Texas. A brief history of his multifaceted career appears in his book, "Infinite Galaxies: Poems from the Dugout."