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 (!)
4. Energy Expert
5. Urban Planner
Clearly this is about policy, not science. In fact the scientist’s primary role is merely to say
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.