EDUCATION: by Bill MuehlenbergNews Weekly
Greens terrorising our children
, July 23, 2011
The Greens thrive on alarmist scenarios, hoping to terrorise people — even children — into giving up basic freedoms in the interests of supposedly saving planet earth. They have been doing this for decades now. Indeed, these Chicken Little activists have perfected the art of fear-mongering.
Today it is hyped-up alarmism over global warming. How quickly we forget, however, that a major campaign to convince us that global cooling was underway took place just a few short decades ago. Then there were nuclear winter panic campaigns, world starvation scenarios, and so on.
There are always scary gloom-and-doom scenarios being played out by Green activists who want to terrorise us into their agenda — an agenda which is usually about global governance (as Australian Greens leader Bob Brown reminded us again recently) and the diminution of human freedoms, if not of humans themselves.
I have written before about how many of these radical Green leaders want to cull humans, radically shut down economic growth and turn the West into a stone-age civilisation. Others have documented such social engineering gloom-and-doomism.
In 1984, Herbert London wrote a book entitled, Why Are They Lying To Our Children? In it he looked at how the classroom has become a battleground, as our children are being intimidated and threatened with a lot of Green agitprop.
He began his book in this way: “War, famine, environmental disasters, material shortages, and a declining quality of life — that’s what school children are being taught to expect in their futures. What these grim and mostly inaccurate forecasts are doing to their lives I don’t know for sure. But I do know this: Our children are absorbing excessively negative misinformation.”
It is not just all the gloom and doom that is harming our children. It is what they are not being told which is also so worrying.
London lists important facts left out of the school curriculum, “for example, that the wealthy nations play a constructive role in furthering world economics; that rapid economic growth has changed many non-Western nations from poor to middle-income status; that most resources are more accessible and less costly today than ever before; and that new forms of energy have been created. All these forms of progress are likely to proceed even more effectively in the future.”
In the more than 25 years since London penned those words, things have only got worse in terms of Green alarmism. They are just as anti-free market, anti-growth, anti-business and anti-freedom as ever, and they will latch onto any new scare-mongering pretext to push their agendas.
They really are anti-growth Luddites who want to take us back to a standard of living from which most of us have long ago gratefully escaped. And the developing nations, who want to catch up to the prosperous and free West, are also going to suffer from the Green panic-merchants.
But it is our children I especially fear for. Just as London reported on how our youngsters were being deliberately targeted back in the 1980s, it is the same today, if not worse. Consider a recent headline from a Sydney newspaper: “Australian kids are living in climate of fear”.
The article goes on to say: “Primary school children are being terrified by lessons claiming climate change will bring ‘death, injury and destruction’ to the world unless they take action.
“On the eve of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s carbon tax package announcement, psychologists and scientists said the lessons were alarmist, created unneeded anxiety among school children and endangered their mental health. Climate change as a ‘Doomsday scenario’ is being taught in classrooms across Australia.
“Resource material produced by the Gillard government for primary school teachers and students states climate change will cause ‘devastating disasters’. ‘As well as their terrible impact on people, animals and ecosystems they cause billions of dollars worth of damage to homes and other buildings,’ the material says. Australian National University’s Centre for the Public Awareness of Science director Dr Sue Stockl mayer said climate change had been portrayed as ‘Doomsday scenarios with no way out’.
“Dr Stocklmayer said she was not a climate-change sceptic but worried that ‘too much time was spent presenting scary scenarios, especially to young people. (Children) feel incredibly despondent and helpless in the face of all this negative information,’ she said. ‘To put all of this before our children … is one of the most appalling things we can do to (them). The public is suffering from enormous fatigue on negative information … rather than say polar bears are going to die, we have to look locally at addressing solutions.’
“Child psychologist Kimberley O’Brien also said the language of climate change should be ‘toned down’. ‘Kids are naturally interested in cyclones and volcanoes but (educators) should stick to the facts,’ she said. ‘They should be aware that kids do have nightmares’.” (Sydney Daily Telegraph, July 9, 2011).
Yes, indeed. Presenting our children with the facts — and all sides of these debates — is what our education system should be doing. But instead it is seeking to terrorise little Johnny and Sally into uncritically embracing the alarmist agendas of the radical Greens.
Education should not be about indoctrination and Green alarmist propaganda. No wonder so many concerned parents are pulling their children out of the public school system. Our youngsters should not be bullied and bludgeoned into accepting Green activism and alarmism.
They should be free to learn in an open and non-threatening environment. If not, then the mass exodus from public education is only likely to continue. And perhaps the sooner the better.
Bill Muehlenberg is a commentator on contemporary issues, and lectures on ethics and philosophy. His website CultureWatch is at: www.billmuehlenberg.com
Bruce McDougall and Jenny Dillon, “Australian kids are living in climate of fear”, Daily Telegraph (Sydney), July 9, 2011.