Brave New Schools - Chapter 5
Saving the Earth
by Berit Kjos
"I pledge allegiance to the Earth and all its sacred parts,
Its water, land and living things and all its human hearts." (Earth Pledge, Global Education Associates )
"In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.... All these dangers are caused by human intervention... The real enemy, then, is humanity itself."
Club of Rome(An elitist think tank of global and financial policy makers working behind the scenes with the UN)
"By fostering a deep sense of connection to others and to the earth in all its dimensions, holistic education encourages a sense of responsibility to self to others and to the planet." (Global Alliance for Transforming Education)
"The latest twist in the global warming saga is the revision in data at NASA's Goddard Institute... indicating that the warmest year on record for the U.S. was not 1998, but rather 1934.... The new data undermine another frightful talking point from environmentalists, which is that six of the 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 1990. Wrong. NASA now says six of the 10 warmest years were in the 1930s and 1940s, and that was before the bulk of industrial CO2 emissions were released into the atmosphere." [Not So Hot]
To fulfill state requirements for environmental education, California students - like others across the country - participate in weekend or week-long nature camps.
"We were supposed to learn about science, but it's political too," explained eleven-year old Laura after her off-campus experience. "They told us how terrible it would be if there was any oil drilling off the coast."
The spiritual part was worse. "The counselor led us through the forest," the fifth-grader continued. "He told us to stop to absorb the moment and hug the trees.
'You are the tree,' he told us. 'You are one with all natural things.' He was treating everything as sacred and calling trees 'mother and father trees.' He was really teaching us pantheism."
Laura asked him if he believed in God.
"God is in all things," he told her.
Each student had to collect natural objects "of beauty or curiosity" such as tree bark, shells, or acorns. "Then we had a ceremony, but they didn't call it that. We had to take all our natural objects to a sacred place and put them in a circle. The counselor lit a candle and quoted an Indian saying, 'We're part of the earth and the chain of life. We're of the earth...' Then we sang a Christian song with the names of natural objects replacing the name of Jesus."
"This is an offering to nature," explained the counselor.
Intensely uncomfortable in the pagan setting, Laura asked to be taken home. The counselor called her "a baby" and refused to help. "You'll have to walk," he told her. As far as Laura knew, no telephone was available.
Later, she expressed her surprise that more children didn't recognize the deceptions. "When they told us Indian myths, I was the only kid in the class that didn't say, 'Oh, I believe that'." It hurt when her classmates refused to support her either at the camp or in discussions afterwards, but she wasn't discouraged. "I lost some of my friends," she said. "I know we'll face persecution for being Christians, but knowing God is much better!"
Laura's experience is multiplied across the country. Earth Day 1990 flung school doors open to a rising tide of pseudo-science and environmental activism. In the weeks surrounding April 22 (Lenin's birthday), children from coast to coast celebrate nature, give thanks to Mother Earth and chant prayers to the Great Spirit. Using computers that supposedly "simulate the real world," students recreate environmental disasters and "solve" global problems. Many go home to scold their parents for destroying their planet. It's time--they are told--for the world's children to unite, fight, grow in consciousness, and save the planet.
Many children play a game called "Mother Earth, May I?" The book, Earth Child, which gained nationwide fame through controversy, explains how. A student who plays the part of Mother Earth calls out the names of other students one by one. Each child must tell Mother Earth something he or she will to do (plant trees, pick up litter, etc.) to make her happy. If pleased, Mother Earth rewards the player by granting one or more steps toward herself. The player who first reaches Mother Earth wins.
Genuine concern for the environment is good and needful. But when environmental education substitutes pseudo-science for factual evidence, it leaves children vulnerable to all kinds of social myths and false solutions. When it makes political activism a requirement for saving the earth, it turns children into puppets serving the global agenda.
With today's emphasis on whole education, thematic learning and integrated curriculum, it's difficult to know where environmental education begins and other studies (math, reading, social studies...) end. Drawing inspiration from pantheism and monism, two cornerstones of the new paradigm, educators insist that all things must fit together into a perfect whole. No longer can the spiritual be separated from the physical, math from art, science from politics, etc. Integration is a must! In the spiritual domain, any of the world's earth-centered religions can be used to model this all-pervading oneness.
Sometimes teachers tell me that none of these beliefs have infiltrated their schools. I often ask, "Are you using the Houghton-Mifflin Social studies texts?"
"Why, yes," they answer. "Do you see anything wrong with them?"
I do. Look with me at one of our nation's most popular elementary school social studies texts. The primary author is Gary Nash, the same UCLA professor who helped write the proposal for U.S. history standards. His history books are read by children in every state. See what they teach our children about the earth and its people.
Myth, magic and environmental education
"Long ago, no rain had fallen on the land for many days. Grass died and animals starved. There was nothing to eat."
Designed to touch the hearts of third-graders from coast to coast, these sad words introduce a lesson titled "The Medicine Wheel" in Houghton-Mifflin's From Sea to Shining Sea. What follows is a seductive, uncritical introduction to paganism. The text makes no attempt to differentiate between truth and fiction or reality and fantasy. Instead, the questions and assignments that follow the myth reinforce the impression that the same kind of beliefs and rituals that supposedly brought rain long ago could save plants and animals today. Look at the end of the story.
....a Cheyenne man and woman... pushed aside a rock that hid a cave. Inside, they saw an amazing room.... In the center stood a tree trunk with a nest of the magical Thunderbird at its top. Then they heard the deep voice of the spirit Roaring Thunder. Roaring Thunder told the man and woman how to perform a dance. The dance would bring life back to the grasses of the earth and would bring herds of buffalo back to the people."
The text identifies the story as a myth but redefines this crucial word to fit the new-paradigm perspective: "A myth is a story that explains something in nature." So does science. Does that mean that myth is the same as science? The text doesn't differentiate.
To encourage critical thinking--a major objective of educators involved in "restructuring" education--the teachers' guide gives the following instruction: "Have students identify Roaring Thunder as one of the powers of nature. Ask what kind of weather usually comes with thunder..." Notice again how myth mingles with science--a process sure to blur the fading line between fact and fantasy.
After the story, Review Question 1 asks, "Why was the Medicine Dance important to the Cheyenne?" The teachers' guide gives the correct answer: "The Cheyenne held a Medicine Dance when they needed help from the powers of nature. They celebrated the Medicine Dance to make sure the cycle of nature would continue?" Did the cycles continue because of the occult ritual? The biased selection of facts leaves that impression.
The text never explains that a Medicine Dance is irrelevant to the natural rain-making process. Nor does it warn students about the devastating consequences of trusting occult forces and inviting "help" from demonic spirits. When Review Question 2 asks, "How are Cheyenne ideas about nature like Kwakiutl [Indians] ideas about nature?" the text's answer fits: "Both Cheyenne and the Kwakiutl respected nature." The contrasting view that European invaders do not respect nature threads through the entire series of Houghton-Mifflin texts.
Do you see how...
Children are manipulated into changing their view of nature?
Science has been redefined to the include an holistic or spiritual dimension?
Educators use misleading labels like critical thinking to conceal their strategy?
The real meaning of "critical thinking"
Most parents and teachers still believe that critical thinking refers to factual, logical thinking. They have been misled. School fliers explain that it means teaching students "to think for themselves". It actually means the opposite; it's a psychological strategy for dismantling old beliefs and values and instilling new ones by limiting factual knowledge while encouraging myths, imagination, and group synthesis. Since it trades the traditional broad knowledge base for selected information that supports the new ideology, most students can easily be manipulated toward the preplanned outcomes.
The fifth grade Houghton Mifflin social studies text called America Will Be defines critical thinking as "reasonable, reflective thinking that is focused on deciding what to believe or what to do." It includes a series of lessons that idealize Native American beliefs and lifestyles, then asks students the following "Critical Thinking" question: "The Creeks [Native Americans in the Southeast] and the Europeans had different ideas about how the land should be used. Compare the Creek's ideas with those of the Europeans. Which ideas do you think are better? Explain your opinion." The Teacher's Edition shows the correct opinion, which is the pre-determined outcome:
Creeks believed land belonged to everyone and couldn't be individually owned. They believed in a respectful use of the land so it would continue to provide food and forest resources. Europeans believed that land was a commodity to be bought and sold and owned by individuals for their own benefit. They cleared forests to make room for farms to make a profit. Students who agree with Creek ideas might cite reasons such as this - clearing forests caused valuable topsoil to be blown away and a loss of trees that produce the oxygen people need.
Since students reading these misleading suggestions usually receive negative information about European settlers and idealistic images of Native American lifestyles, they are hardly equipped to resist the convincing conclusion. Committed to doomsday environmental scenarios that fuel the demand for a global government and earth-centered religions, educators hide the fact that Native Americans often burned forests to expand their corn fields and that "forest growth in America exceeds harvest by a wide margin."
In fact, "U.S. timberlands...contain 28% more standing timber volume than they did in 1952." Forests Today and Forever reports that "70% of the forests standing in 1600 are till standing today--or some 737 million acres of forests" and "over one-third of the total forest land is either protected against harvest by law or slow-growing woodland unsuitable for logging."
Before you argue that these facts don't diminish the disturbing sight of clear-cut logging along scenic roads, let me assure you that I agree. When driving through the Pacific Northwest, nothing bothers me more than the ugly clear-cut remnants of once lush forests. I have to remind myself that by next year there will, at least, be young green trees growing in those scarred hills. Other abuses (depleting ocean life through over-fishing, soil erosion through unwise farming practices, the destruction of rainforests, all kinds of pollution...) are just as genuine. But most real problems are local, not global.
Local problems, however, seldom capture the imagination of the world community. They simply don't stir enough emotions to inspire global action. "We must make rescue of the environment the central organizing principle for civilization," said Vice president Al Gore. But what nation would yield their sovereignty to rescue the earth if the main problems were half a planet a way?
Rousing the nations to action and orchestrating a unified call for planetary management requires global disasters--the kind of scary scenarios Al Gore described at the 1992 United Nations conference in Rio de Janeiro. "...an enormous hole is opening in the ozone layer," he said, "[and] huge quantities of carbon dioxide, methane and chlorofluorocarbons are trapping heat in the atmosphere and raising global temperatures."
"But isn't that true?" you might ask.
No, it's not. Later, you will see why. Many of our nation's most distinguished scientists are finally speaking up to counter the astounding public acceptance of the pseudo-scientific pronouncements and concerning the dire state of the planet. Censored by the liberal media, the voices of respected scientists such as Bruce Ames, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Director of the National Institue of Environmetnal Health Sciences Center at the Universty of California at Berkeley, are finally being heard. You can study their charts, data, and conclusions in a book aptly titled The True State of the Planet: Ten of the World's Premier Environmental Researchers in a Major chlallenge to the Environmental Movement.
To understand the global politics behind the environmental movement and the curricula it feeds to our schools, take a look at the social ambitions that drive it. Its agenda was formed during the sixties, when four overlapping anti-establishment groups joined to form the Green Party in Germany: radical feminists, Marxists (the new Left), peace-niks (the anti-war movement), and hippies seeking spiritual enlightenment. Militant U.S. "Greens" formed a similar agenda: radical population control, a global welfare system (eliminating capitalism), planetary governance (including national disarmament), and earth-centered spirituality.
This blend of four counter-culture philosophies helps explain why earth-centered spirituality and Marxist economics pervade environmental teaching. Consider the sobering fact that William Reilly, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, has stated that private ownership of land is a "quaint anachronism." According to former Washington governor Dr. Dixie Lee Ray, he sought the "repeal of the Fifth Amendment to make it easier for government to seize private land."
American Indian spirituality, as you have seen, provides the perfect model for both spiritual oneness and for willingness to give up private ownership of land. It's no wonder that Al Gore, in his book, Earth in the Balance, presents Native American spirituality and various Mother Earth religions as models for healing our "dysfunctional civilization" and restoring "our feeling of connectedness to the rest of nature." Nor is it surprising that Gore wants to "organize a worldwide education program to promote a more complete understanding of the crisis." But if he has his way, the "solutions" will prove unbelievably costly--both in money and personal freedom. Look at some of the incredible deceptions:
Eco-myths and pseudo-science
On a spring day in 1994, Bob Garfield was reading his nine-year-old daughter's writing assignment. Below the title, "What Bugs Me," Allison had written her list. He read the first three items:
"Prejudiced people." That was no surprise.
"People who kill." Of course. Hatred for homicide would be a fairly predictable sentiment among third-graders.
"Lumberjacks." This item startled him. "What lumberjack does my Fairfax County... grade-schooler know? And what could this person possibly have done to her to merit this high-raking grudge? How can burly-but-jolly roughnecks with faded flannel shirts... be fundamentally more annoying than (8) Show-offs?"
I wish I could write the father's full response published in the Washington Post. Instead, let me share the best of his sobering thoughts. It could be happening in your school.
"It suddenly occurred to me why she should harbor this raging animus. Lumberjacks cut down trees. And in school, young children are being taught--or at least are coming home with the idea--that cutting down trees is the moral equivalent of genocide.... And, now that I've regained a proper measure of fatherly solemnity, that bugs me.
"You know Allie, I continued, 'cutting down trees isn't necessarily bad.'
"At this point, I am gratified to report, she stopped looking at me as if I had cruelly belittled her for the sheer delight of seeing her suffer. Now she looked at me as if I had lost my mind. Her class had spent the last two months fretting about the rain forest. They had celebrated biodiversity, learned to treasure our irreplaceable natural resources and been invited to contemplate dire scenarios of eco-Armageddon. They had been steeped, in other words, in crisis. She was therefore in no mood to be reassured...
Do you see what is happening? The new world view is based on a political ideology, not facts. It is taught by manipulating a child's feeling, not by feeding their rational mind. You can debate an issue through facts and logic, but you can't easily change a person's feelings. When a discussion moves beyond facts and logic, there is no common ground for rational communication.
I'm not telling you to stop guarding and conserving God's resources. As stewards of creation, we don't have license to waste or abuse any part of nature. We should minimize use, reuse as much as possible, plant trees, and do all we can to show our gratefulness for the wonders God has created. Just be aware of the facts, so that your family can make wise decisions--and counter some of the myths and assumptions taught as truth in our nation's schools:
The Ozone Hole
Do you remember Agenda 21 -- the action plan for the 1992 United Nations environmental conference in Rio de Janeiro? Today children around the world can catch the U.N. vision through a picture book titled, Rescue Mission Planet Earth: a children's edition of Agenda 21. Not only is it written for children; it is also written by children--"in association with the United Nations." One of its well-tutored authors, 14-year old Rekha Menon from India, blames the "First World" for introducing destructive luxuries like refrigerators: "fluorocarbons from the fridge make ozone holes we cannot bridge..."
The surrounding text is more specific: "The Ozone layer is an essential protective filter in the upper atmosphere that surround the Earth. As long as human life has existed, it has protected us from the harmful ultraviolet rays coming from the Sun. When these rays get through the atmosphere they damage crops, destroy living cells and cause skin cancer. During the last 20 years, ozone levels above Antarctica have decreased by nearly 40% each springtime. It's all caused mainly by our use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC).... The consequences are catastrophic: about 100,000 people die each year from skin cancer.... ALL CFC-use must be stopped immediately!" (Emphasis in the original)
What are the FACTS? Actually the ozone "hole" is not a hole at all. It is a seasonal thinning discovered around 1975 by Dr. Gordon Dobson. Each spring, after the long sunless southern winter, the ozone layer thins over the Antarctica. Conversely, it always expands after the southern summer when ultraviolet radiation once again creates ozone. (The media didn't tell you that the "hole" closes each year, did it?) The annual thinning varies from year to year. In fact, less ozone was measured in 1985 than in 1990 though more freon was used. Why? Scientific data indicate a strong consistent correlation between ozone depletion and major volcanic explosions and other natural factors.
The huge cost of the ozone hoax will affect nations around the world. "Eight hundred million refrigerators and freezers will have to be replaced worldwide as non-corrosive CFC's will be replace by highly expensive and corrosive chemicals like HCFC," explains Dr. Edward Krug, who has degrees in environmental and soil sciences and is listed in Who's Who in Science and Engineering. "[This ban will] severely undermine efforts to feed millions in the Third World."
Dr. Frederick Seitz, past President of the National Academy of Sciences, former Chairman of the Defense Science Board, and recipient of the National Medal of Science shares those concerns. In 1994, he wrote,
"That natural factors may be involved in the variations in the ozone layer is clearly understood by most atmospheric scientists. Unfortunately, this fact was omitted, presumably intentionally, from the summary which accompanied the master report issued by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC].... It was prepared by a special group of participants who apparently had a personal interest in recommending tighter environmental controls.... Moreover, the speed with which the Montreal Protocols are being put into effect is entirely unjustified in view of the enormous price society will pay in cost, convenience, and health....
"To summarize, there is reason, based on sound scientific work, to express doubt that we are in immediate danger from either global warming or depletion of the ozone layer as envisaged by some extreme activists in the environmental movement."
"Ever walked into a greenhouse?" ask the authors of Rescue Mission Planet. "It's steamy, humid and it doesn't let up. That's how our world could be in a few decades in the grip of the 'greenhouse effect.' Gases produced when fossil fuels are burned keep the Sun's heat in and don't let it escape back into space. That's good up to a point; it gets to be a problem if we keep too much in. We fry! The main greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide...."
What are the facts? MIT climatologists Reginald Newell, Jane Hsiung and Wu Zhongxiang tell us that "There appears to be little or no global warming over the past century." The popular belief in global warming is based on computer models that fail to consider a variety of annual and cyclical factors that effect climate: clouds, the eleven-year sunspot cycle, the gravitational pull of the moon, volcanic activity, El Ninos, the sun's magnetic field, storm tracks, etc. These and other factors interact with each other to create the patterns and cycles of change and turbulence.
Ignoring most of those natural factors, NASA scientist James Hansen told the U.S. Congress during the scorching summer of 1988 that he was "99% confident" the current heat wave demonstrated the greenhouse effect. A 1989 Forbes article full of facts that refute the myth of global warming (find it at your local library) describes the media response--and its blinding effect on public opinion.
Even though the vast majority of the climatological community was outraged by Hansen's unproven assertions, Environmental advocate Stephen Schneider notes in Global Warming, "Journalists loved it. Environmentalist were ecstatic." ...By the end of 1988, with Hansen and Schneider's enthusiastic support, global warming was deeply embedded in the public consciousness.
In spite of the world's fear of carbon dioxide, science shows that a rise in CO2, the major "greenhouse gas", would help food production. In a CFACT report on the Greenhouse Effect, Dr. Sherwood B. Idso, President of the Institute for Biospheric Research, explains that "a simple doubling of the air's CO2 concentration, increases the productivity of essentially all plants by about one-third, while decreasing the amount of water they lose through evaporation by an equal amount. These effects essentially double the water use efficiencies of all plants, making them more productive and drought resistant." (Notice, all green plants, not just trees, use CO2 for photosynthesis.)
The editors of The Economist seems to agree. "Environmentalists are dismayed," they wrote in an April 1995 issue. "Their efforts to scare the world over global warming seems not to have worked.... Some areas of the world would benefit from a warmer climate."
So why are government and media scientists so insistent that our world will roast? Many care more about funding and their political agenda than about genuine science and the enormous costs involved. "There's a selective use of facts," said S. Fred Singer, atmospheric and space physicist at the University of Virginia. "Nobody tells an untruth, but nobody tells the whole truth either. It all depends on the ideological outlook... A lot of scientists promote the greenhouse effect because of increased funding." Stanford Professor Steven Schneider's admission adds more insight:
"On the one hand, as scientists, we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but -- which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people, we'd like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change.
"To do that, we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public's imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts we might have... Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest."
Melting ice caps will raise sea level. Our Troubled Skies, one of the texts in "Our Only Earth Series, A Curriculum for Global Problem Solving" tells students that,
"Scientists predict that various forms of air pollution may cause global temperatures to rise, the oceans to expand and flood coastal lowlands, interrupting natural food chains, and cause widespread skin cancer among humans."
Since such a global catastrophe is sure to evoke strong feelings, it is taught often and with variety. In Rescue Mission Planet Earth, JosÚ Luis Bayer from Chile tells the world's children that the "use of fossil fuel (coal, oil, gas) results in acid rain and the greenhouse effect: hurricanes, floods and the rising of the sea level.... The sea level is rising at ten times its natural speed. This can result in whole countries disappearing!"
What are the facts? For a moment, let's pretend global warming is a reality and the earth warms by 1-3 degrees. Would the oceans rise and flood the land?
The reason given for this frightening scenario is a major meltdown of the polar ice caps. But the temperature around the Antarctica usually hovers around 50 degrees Celsius below freezing. A 5 degree reduction would still leave the ice intact at a chilly -45 degrees. No melt-down!
What about the Arctic icebergs to the north. Wouldn't all those icy peaks melt into the ocean and add to the volume of water? A simple family experiment would disprove that myth. Put some ice cubes in a glass of water. Mark the water level. Let the ice melt. Check the water level. Did it change? Of course not. Since ice expands when it freezes, it contracts when it melts. The ice only fills the space it originally replaced. Melting icebergs has no effect on the ocean level.
Rising temperatures could also lower the ocean level and widen seashores. Think about it: Warm air causes evaporation--and, in turn, brings rain, fills reservoirs, helps farmers, and shrinks deserts (which are dry because they get little rain, not because they are hot).
While it's true that some glaciers have been shrinking, more glaciers are growing. But neither the media nor Al Gore want us to know the facts that contradict their propaganda.
"Extreme global warming," says Dr. Krug, "...would probably induce a modest drop in sea level as more water gets stored on land.... Not only would the world's great desert be greened, but marginal dry lands would also be transformed into moister pasture plus cropland. " (Leave or delete? Some believe that this condition might have characterized the pre-flood world.)
So when the media tells you that a rising ocean level proves global warming, don't believe it! That's called political "spin control". If indeed there was a temporary minimal rise (a few millimeters or a fraction of an inch), it was probably caused by decreased evaporation due to cooling temperatures over large masses of water--not warmer temperatures.
Recycling paper. After two decades of dire predictions that our "fragile" planet is being stripped, we face a new problem: our mounting supplies of recycled goods far exceed the demand. Yet, as the costs of health, education, and welfare programs soar, states are mandating costly, unnecessary, and impractical recycling programs. With plenty of relatively inexpensive landfill space, states didn't need to pay "more than $250 million to subsidize recycling" in 1994. Contrary to popular beliefs, paper recycling doesn't save our stately old forests, for "87% percent of our paper comes from trees specifically planted for that purpose." I don't want to discourage anyone from recycling whenever it can help save resources without causing greater problems. But when noble intentions cause more harm than good, we had better learn the facts and do what is best. Even the U.N.'s Rescue Mission Planet Earth, so full of globalist propaganda, brings a bit of wisdom through Rauno Laithalainen, a Thai Forestry Worker. Her warning is for all of us:
"Recycling, that great environmental savior, may not be as beneficial at it seems. In Thailand, all paper is recycled. The old paper has to be washed to get rid of all the ink and this causes heavy metals to pollute [our] rivers. The poison gets into the fish and the surrounding countryside. The best thing is always to plant fresh trees."
Pesticides cause cancer. "... pesticides kill more than just pests. They kill the bugs that keep the land healthy," write the authors of Rescue Mission Planet Earth. 
What are the facts? "It just doesn't make any sense that the pesticide that resides on a tomato is doing us more harm than the natural pesticide in the tomato," says Dr. Bruce Ames, the award-winning, scrupulously honest Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of California at Berkeley. He assures us that "Cancer deaths rates are not increasing," and that "Most carcinogens and other known toxins are not man-made. In fact, 99.99% of the 'pesticides' we consume occur naturally in plants...." His favorite illustration: You swallow more "known carcinogens" in a cup of coffee than you would in all the pesticide residue on food you would comfortably eat in a year.
Dr. Ames is deeply concerned about the science guiding America's environmental and health policy. An increasing number of his peers quietly agree. They see the diminishing integrity among government-influenced scientists. Supported by the media and global politics, this new breed of scientists seem determined to prove that man, not nature, is the culprit. After all, you can mobilize global support for controlling human behavior. You can't do much to stop the natural forces that effect global climate and the skin of an apple.
Columnist George Will doesn't mince words. "Whose interests are served by [such] exaggerations?" he asks in a 1992 column on the environmentalist attacks on pesticides. "The answer often is: The people whose funding or political importance varies directly with the perceived severity of the problem."
Ecology books and curriculum undoubtedly help raise that "perceived severity." Full of scary scenarios, many blame parents for the disasters. After all, says Captain Eco, the high flying superhero of a large picture book called Captain Eco and the Fate of the Earth,
"...your parents and grandparents have made a mess of looking after the earth. They may deny it, but they're little more than thieves. And they're stealing your future from under your noses."
It gets worse. Captain Eco takes two children on a soaring tour of the damaged earth. After showing them all the well known abuses in the worst possible light--and blaming everything on rich, self-centered Westerners--the noble captain points them to the final mega-problem: "and that's YOU."
"We're not that bad, are we?" they respond.
"Not you personally, but the whole human race. There are so many of you, it's getting harder and harder to meet everyone's needs--and harder for other creatures to find breathing space...." The solution, of course, is global welfare and intense family planning.
Finally the Captain gives his final orders, "You young ones have got to speed things up. Keep the pressure on.... You still have a choice. Either you go on... cutting down the forests and never thinking of replanting them, polluting all over the planet, killing other creatures without care or respect... Or you can work toward a better world.... Grown-ups just haven't been able to make that choice... but there's a new force at work in the world. Things are changing very fast, and it's time for you young earthlings to make peace with the earth. Will you help me?"
Lots of children are willing. They plant trees and clean river banks--which is great! They join Kids for Saving the Earth, Kids for a Clean Environment, Kids's in Nature's Defense, the K-12 Network, and all kinds of other organizations that help them save the planet. They become vegetarian, peace activists, and Enviro-Cops who receive badges and recite an oath to "protect the environment and arrest waste." They write letters by the thousands--to the White House, to their senators, and to their local newspapers. (That's not so great, since most young eco-warriors can only echo the politicized messages they have been told.)
Determined to change their world, they join worldwide environmental networks through global computer links, which can tap into advocacy groups like PeaceNet and EcoNet. Nearly 300 schools in 21 countries are linked through the International Education and Resource Network (I*EARN) which formed in 1991 when the Copen Foundation expanded its New York/Moscow project. "It empowers people to become active learners," says Ed Gragert, program manager for the network.
Clean Sweep, an environmental curriculum published by the Iowa Department of Education, is full of fun cartoons and creative classroom exercises. But it demonstrates the same biased information and politicized solutions found in other environmental curriculum across the country. Take a look at one of the lessons.
The "learners" divide into two groups. One group, the people of the earth, sit on chairs in a circle representing the Earth. The others, the "unborn" people of the world, wait on the sidelines "to be born." In the center of the circle the learners have piled things like aluminum cans, foil, plastic bags, paper clips, glass bottles, etc.
When the music plays, the children mill around looking for natural resources. When it stops, the children sit down and collect stickers that represent consumption of a particular resource. To demonstrate the rising world population, new children are "being born" and added to the group using the dwindling resources. When all the stickers on a chair are taken, the chair is removed. Learners without a chair must find someone willing to share their chair or lap. Guess what happens. The world runs out of resources.
Like the computer models used to predict climate change, the game doesn't match reality. This exercise is designed to change attitudes, not show real life. Therefore, it teaches neither scientific facts nor social statistics. What it does is far more dangerous than what it omitted: it gives children a new exaggerated and alarming view of an imagined reality--one designed to stir fear and anger. The children felt the imagined dangers. They wanted to do something about them. Here's how the "Questions" manipulate those feelings:
1. What would happen if the game continued....?
2. Was it sometimes difficult finding someone to share a chair or lap? (Do countries have difficulty sharing resources?)
3. How did it feel to be crowded on one chair?
4. Is there a similar problem on our Earth? Are some nations using resources more rapidly than others?
5. How could we alleviate the stresses on our natural resources? (reducing consumption on gasoline, slowing global population growth.... and of course recycling whenever possible.)
To make sure the learners understand that America is the villain of the world, this variation and question is added: "The U.S.A. uses over 20% of the world's resources, so the U.S.A. could always have first chance at a chair and would not have to share. How do the others feel toward the U.S.A. in this game?"
Do you wonder what global and economic alternative to capitalism the Iowa Department of Education might be advocating?
Resisting the new-paradigm myths
To withstand the classroom and peer pressures to accept the scary environmental scenarios and their global "solutions", your children need to....
Know science facts that (1) provide evidence against false scenarios and (2) show genuine problems and practical solutions. In addition to the eco-myths listed earlier, they need to know that we are not running out of natural resources, that farmers can produce far more food than they do today, and that "we even have a national glut of landfill capacity." (For more facts that counter eco-myths, yet expose genuine concerns, contact CFACT and their team of respected scientists at P.O. Box 65722, Washington, D.C. 20035 or Dr. Edward Krug at P.O. Box 1161, Winona, MN 55987)
Understand some of the political visions which fuel the environmental movement.
Remember that classroom computer models don't simulate the real world. At best they match the standard environmental philosophy. The programmers determine what the computers will demonstrate.
Realize that the U.S. government is manipulating science to fit political purposes. "Executive Order 12498 allows scientific research to be skewed 'for conformity with administration policy'." One result: researchers are "forbidden to collect data on a range of sensitive topics." 
Get environmental education curricula from:
CFACT (See address above)
orHis Creation, PO Box 785, Arvada, CO 80001-0785.
Resisting the evolutionary worldview
One final myth prompts our scrutiny. Though evolution has never been proven, classrooms still teach it as absolute truth. Since much social and environmental dogma is based on faith in evolution, our children need to know some of its serious flaws expressed by well known and respected secular scientists.
For example, Sir Frederick Hoyle, Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge University, compared the absurdity of believing that life could result from time, chance, and properties in matter with believing that "a tornado sweeping through a junk yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the material therein." Listen to some of the other credible voices of science:
"The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary tree that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference...." (Dr. Stephen Jay Gould, Professor of Geology and Paleontology, Harvard University)
"One problem biologists have faced is the apparent contradiction by evolution of the second law of thermodynamics [Entropy]. Systems should decay through time, giving less, not more order." (Dr. Roger Lewin, a well known evolutionist)
"The origin of life appears to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have to be satisfied to get it going." (Francis Crick, Nobel prize winner for DNA discovery)
"We now have a quarter of a million fossil species, but the situation hasn't changed much.... ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transitions than we had in Darwin's time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of Darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded." (Dr. David Raup, Curator of Geology, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago)
"Evolution became in a sense a scientific religion; almost all scientists have accepted it and many are prepared to "bend" their observation to fit with it... To my mind, the theory [of evolution] does not stand up at all." (Dr. H.S. Lipson, a British physicist)
Faith in evolution was essential to America's paradigm shift. First, it provided an alternative to biblical truth. Second, it built a much-needed "scientific" foundation for today's leap of faith into the new-paradigm view of the future. Many of today's most outspoken visionaries -- Al Gore, Robert Muller, Marilyn Ferguson, etc. -- base their hopes for the 21st Century on the spiritual evolution first popularized by the controversial Catholic priest and scientist, Teilhard deChardin. Notice how he fits everything into the context of his cosmic evolution:
"[Evolution] is a general postulate to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems must henceforward bow and which they must satisfy in order to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light which illuminates all facts, a trajectory which all lines of thought must follow.
Quoting deChardin, Al Gore writes, "'The fate of mankind, as well as of religion, depends upon the emergence of a new faith in the future.' Armed with such a faith, we might find it possible to resanctify the earth..."
RenÚ Dubos, a board member of the futuristic organization Planetary Citizens, carries Gore's thoughts a step further. In A God Within (the book Education secretary Lamar Alexander said "changed his thinking the most"), Dubos writes,
"The earth is literally our mother, not only because we depend on her for nurture and shelter but even more because the human species has been shaped by her in the womb of evolution.... Our salvation depends upon our ability to create a religion of nature."
Dr. Thomas Sowel, economist and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, would disagree. Piercing the hollow visions of utopian dreamers, he writes:
"Dogmatic environmentalism, like fascism, communism and eugenics, appeals to the frustrated egotism of intellectuals who burn to tell lesser people how to live.... Nothing as mundane as mere evidence can be allowed to threaten a vision so deeply satisfying."
To avoid compromise with the kind of mythical thinking and earth-centered environmentalism that brings destruction, not healing, children should watch out for....
Songs and poems that encourage earth worship.
Classroom exercises or rituals that "empower" children to connect with Mother Earth, hear her voice, learn her wisdom and visualize her healing.
Environmental programs that promote the lifestyles of pagan cultures.
Native American chants and prayers to the Great Spirit.
Buzzwords like connectedness--referring to spiritual oneness rather than biological interdependence--and reverence (suggesting a response reserved for the Creator Himself.
A pledge of allegiance to the Earth. Many versions are in use.
To help your children understand both the national and the personal consequences of worshiping nature instead of God, read Romans 1:18-32, Deuteronomy 11:13-19, Isaiah 24, and Jeremiah 14:22 together. Take time to think about each message. Talk about the ways God shows His love by giving us these warnings.
Remember, God told man to take care of His beautiful planet. To do our part, we need to heed the Maker--not earthy spirits. When he put humans in charge of his creation, He wanted us to love and care for it as He would, not abuse it. He wants us to see the world through His watchful eyes and value all life as He does. His Word tells us how. It warns us against mistreating animals, wasting trees, and squandering His resources. Before the watchful eyes of the world, we need to model grateful appreciation for God's gifts. "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To him be the glory forever." (Romans 11:36)
Pledge and curriculum prepared by Global Education Associates (GEA), 552 Park Avenue, East Orange, NJ 07017.
Alexander King & Bertrand Schneider, The First Global Revolution (New York: Pantheon Books, 1991), 115.
Education 2000, Global Alliance for Transforming Education (GATE), "The Vision Statement," 9.
Kathryn Sheehan and Mary Waidner, Ph.D., Earth Child (Tulsa: Council Oak Books, ), 71.
Gary Nash, From Sea to Shining Sea (New York: Houghton-Mifflin, 1991), 86.
Beverly J. Armento and Gary B. Nash, America Will Be, Teacher's Edition (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1991), T30.
Dixy Lee Ray, Environmental Overkill (Washington: Regnery Gateway, 1993), 114.
Jim Petersen, "Think Globally, Act Locally," Evergreen (Summer 1993); 7. Citing information from the U.S. Forest Service.
"'Environmentalists' Can't See the Forest for the Trees," Posthaste Facts on the Environment #8, Forests Today & Forever, Vol. 8, Issue 2, May 6, 1994.
Steven Chapman, Chicago Tribune, October 8, 1992.
Prepared Remarks, typescript distributed at the United Nations' Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, June 1992.
Dixy Lee Ray, 101.
Al Gore, Earth in the Balance (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1992), 259-261.
Ibid., 237, 259.
Bob Garfield, "Little Chop of Horrors," Washington Post, May 1, 1994.
The Children of the World, in association iwth the United Nations, Rescue Mission Planet Earth (New York: Kingfisher Books, 1994), 65.
Dr. Gordon Dobson wrote a review of his ozone discovery in the March 1968 issue of Applied Optics. Cited in Fact Sheet: A Hole in the Ozone by Edward Krug, Ph.D.
*New York Times, October 12, 1990.
For more information and specific data, contact either CFAC (see next footnote) or Dr. Krug. The address for his newsletter is given at the end of this chapter.
Edward C. Krug, Ph.D., "Fact Sheet: A Hole in the Ozone", Committee for A Constructive Tomorrow, Box 65722, Washington D.C., 20035.
Dr. Frederick Seitz, Global Warming and Ozone Hole Controversies: A Challenge to Scientific Judgment (Washington, D.C.: George C. Marshall Institute, 1994), 25, 27, 33.
Rescue Mission Planet Earth, 13.
Warren T. Brooks, "The Global Warming Panic," Forbes (December 25, 1989), 97.
Sherwood B. Idso, Ph.D., "The Greenhouse Effect: Just A Lot of Hot Air." CFACT, Washington, D.C.
"Stay cool," The Economist (April 1, 1995); 11.
"Facts and Fiction of Global Warming," The San Francisco Chronicle, February 4, 1991.
Jonathan Schell, "Our Fragile Earth," Discover (October 1989); 44.
Linda MacRae-Campbell and Micki McKisson, Our Troubled Skies (Tuscon: Zephyr Press, 1990), 6.
Rescue Mission Planet Earth, 45.
"Climate History Invalidates Global Warming Models: Part II," Environment Betrayed (January 1994); 8.
"Curbside Recycling Comforts the Soul, but Benefits Are Scant," Wall Street Journal, January 19, 1995.
"Recycling: Green Panacea or Municipal Nightmare?" Citizen Outlook, CFACT: Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (March/April 1993), 2.
Leslie Spencer, "Ban all plants--they pollute," Forbes (Octobre 25, 1993); 104.
George Will's syndicated column on January 8, 1992. Cited by Edward C. Krug, Ph.D., "A Hole in the Ozone," Fact Sheet, CFACT, Washington D.C.
Jonathan Porritt, Captain Eco and the Fate of the Earth (New York: Dorling Kindersley, Inc., 1988), 5.
The Associated Press, "Earth Day Celebrations Include Kids," The Oakland Press, April 23, 1992.
Matt Holland, "Planetary Networking for Kids," In Context (No. 34); 43.
Iowa Department of Eduation, Iowa's Clean Sweep, (Des Moines: Department of Education, 1992), 4-5.
Robert Lilienfeld and Wiliam L. Rathje, "Six Enviro-Myths, The New York Times, January 21, 1995.
Sources of facts about the political quest for planetary management which fuels the environmental movement.
"Censored Science," The Observer [London] , April 24, 1994.
Sir Frederick Hoyle, "Hoyle on Evolution," Nature (Novermber 12, 1981); 105.
Stephen Jay Gould, "Evolution's Erratic Pace," Natural History (April 1977); 14.
Roger Lewin, "A downward slope to greater diversity," Science (September, 1974); 1239.
Francis Crick, "In the beginning..." Scientific American (February 1991); 125.
Dr. David Raup, "Conflicts between Darwin and Paleontology," Field Musumof Natural History Bulletin (January, 1979); 25.
H.S. Lipson, "A Physicist Looks at Evolution," Physics Bulletin (May 1980); 138..
Quoted by Henry M. Morris and Gary E. Parker, What is Creation Science? (El Cajon, CA: Master Books, 1982), 21.
Al Gore, Earth in the Balance (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1992), 263.
Lamar Alexander, Steps Along the Way: A Governor's Scrapbook (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1986), 85.
RenÚ Dubos, A God Within A God Within: A Positive Approach to Man's Future as Part of the Natural World, (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1972), 38, 41.
Thomas Sowell, "Revelations for the Anointed," Forbes (January 18, 1993); 65.
Genesis 1:19, 26.
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