I believe the children are our future; teach them well and let them lead the way.

The opening of this 1977 song made famous initially by George Benson, then Natalie Cole, is well understood by the nation’s man-made climate change movement.

Children can be great spokespeople for a political cause – if they are “taught well.” Except our nation’s schoolchildren are not being taught well when it comes to environmental issues, and it’s worse than being taught one side of the climate debate. The alarmist side of the climate change issue is increasingly deemed to be the only side and it is being drilled into youngsters as dogmatic holy writ, never to be questioned.

Children are being taught in our schools that the earth’s climate is heading to a tipping point very soon; that it’s inexorably warming to alarming levels when it will be uninhabitable in many places, and that its present-day effects are all around us and omens for the future. The list goes on.

This one-sided ignorance on the state and direction of the earth’s climate was on display recently when a group of mostly elementary school children confronted U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein of California at her office. They urged the senator to support the proposed “Green New Deal.” They were convinced that we had only “twelve years to turn this around,” though I must credit one student who at least acknowledged that “some scientists” make that claim, meaning not all.

Even worse about this episode were the adults. One teacher kept rudely interrupting Sen. Feinstein and claimed, “The earth is dying – literally.”

Thousands upon thousands teachers like her are telling young children this frightening, erroneous and absurd message. Even Sen. Feinstein, herself a climate alarmist, got impatient and sounded more realistic about the subject, including the impracticality and timetable of the Green New Deal.

When only one side of a scientific debate is consistently presented, it’s no longer teaching. It’s brainwashing. It becomes propaganda.

Another salient example of propagandizing environmental issues is occurring in New York City, in the nation’s largest school system. CFACT reported that Mayor deBlasio began “Meatless Mondays” in the public schools.  Students eating less meat, the theory goes, would translate to fewer cows creating methane to warm the planet. Seriously. Children are being led to believe that an imbalanced diet will help the earth.

Much of this one-sided climate thinking is the responsibility of the federal government itself. As David Wojick, Ph.D. recently documented on CFACT, federal agencies are maintaining or funding several prominent educational websites that promote a one-sided view of climate change.

The propagandizing of children’s education for the sake of saving the planet and stopping global warming has been going on for decades. It’s not just the classrooms where children are being wrongly influenced. Cartoons are another avenue to inculcate children to believe the world’s climate is in imminent trouble, whether it’s Captain Planet and the Planeteers in the early 1990’s, co-created by environmental alarmist and billionaire Ted Turner, or using Sponge Bob Square Pants in the 2000’s, as Dr. Charles Batting described on CFACT.  (Memo to Ted Turner: nearly 30 years later, the earth remains.)

More and more of today’s elected officials are products of this one-sided environmental dogma, with the most visible example being 29-year old Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York City. Listening to her and so many others discuss the supposed pending environmental disaster, it’s obvious that it has never occurred to her, nor has she ever entertained the possibility, that there is another side to this subject matter.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez you could say is of the Captain Planet generation who are now teaching the next generation in school, acting on television and movies, pretending to be journalists, and advancing up the corporate ladder in the nation’s business world. In her example, more are serving in Congress, and now pushing harmful socialist policies dressed up as the Green New Deal for America’s future.

One of the criticisms of the federal government’s role in education in recent years was the imposition of federal learning standards and assessment requirements on local school districts. Educators and parents throughout the country successfully pushed back such mandates for being too focused on “teaching to the test,” and not allowing for creativity and teaching thinking skills.

The question, however, clearly remains: are we really teaching our children to think? Are we teaching them to ask questions, to challenge assumptions and investigate both sides of an issue? Do they know of the litany of decades-old climate predictions that have proven false?

There are two or more sides to nearly every policy issue, be it taxes (increase or decrease); health care (government control or free market incentives), or foreign policies (increase or diminish America’s global presence). Is this happening with one of the great issues of our day – man-made climate change?

It doesn’t appear so, judging by school curriculum and the broader popular culture. That’s a big problem especially since the children are our future.


  • CFACT Ed

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  • Peter Murphy

    Peter Murphy is Senior Fellow at CFACT. He has researched and advocated for a variety of policy issues, including education reform and fiscal policy, both in the non-profit sector and in government in the administration of former New York Governor George Pataki. He previously wrote and edited The Chalkboard weblog for the NY Charter Schools Association, and has been published in numerous media outlets, including The Hill, New York Post, Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal. Twitter: @PeterMurphy26 Website: https://www.petermurphylgs.com/