The Globe Program
By Allen Quist
July 29, 2004
Just as its name suggests, the GLOBE Program is part of an effort to establish a global system of education. Also as its name suggests, the GLOBE program looks at the world from a global perspective, not from the perspective of the United States.
GLOBE is popular in the United States. There are now 10,350 U.S. schools that participate in the GLOBE program. Additional schools are signing up on a steady basis. “GLOBE” is an acronym for “Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment.” That is, GLOBE, is an international education system with an international curriculum and an international data collection network. The National Science Foundation (NSF) defines GLOBE as follows:
"Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) – [is] an international program designed to develop links between scientists and school children through a global information network." [http://www.geo.nsf.gov/adgeo/education.htm]
As clarified by its full name, the purpose of GLOBE is both international education and environmental education. A 1996 bulletin published by GLOBE highlighted these two purposes as it announced the formation of a partnership between GLOBE and UNESCO (the education arm of the United Nations). The headline read, “GLOBE-UNESCO To Work Together on Environmental Education.” The article said:
"UNESCO and GLOBE will work together as appropriate toward diffusion to schools of key messages concerning sustainable development, enhancement of teacher training with regard to education for sustainable development, and involvement of other United Nations bodies in the implementation of the Globe Program worldwide." [http://www.globe.gov/fsl/GB/Display.pl]
What do GLOBE and UNESCO mean by “diffusion to schools of key messages of sustainable development”? The “key messages of sustainable development” are defined by the Earth Charter, a document which has been officially endorsed by UNESCO and is supported by GLOBE. The Earth Charter [www.earthcharter.org] includes the following positions, or “messages” as being among what it calls its “principles” for action:
1. Earth worship (pantheism).
2. Evolution, broadly defined.
3. Socialized medicine.
4. World government.
5. Animal rights (animals are seen as our brothers and sisters).
6. Income redistribution among nations and within nations.
7. Eradication of genetically modified (GMO) crops.
8. Contraception and “reproductive health” (legal abortion).
9. World-wide “education for sustainability” which includes spiritual education.
10. Debt forgiveness for third-world nations.
11. Adoption of the gay rights agenda.
12. Elimination of nuclear weapons and elimination of the right to bear arms.
13. Redefining the media so it will support the environmental agenda, not report on it.
14. Setting aside biosphere reserves where no human presence is allowed.
As is obvious from the 14 points above, “the key messages of sustainable development” as defined by the Earth Charter include a broad religious, ideological and political agenda. How does the Earth Charter hope to accomplish its ambitious goals as defined by the Charter? The Earth Charter webpage answers that question by saying:
"Education is the key to advancing the transition to more sustainable ways of living. Transformative education is needed: … The Earth Charter provides a unique framework for developing educational programs and curricula aimed at transformative learning for a more just, sustainable and peaceful world." [www.earthcharter.org, Emphasis added.]
Notice that the Earth Charter does not say that education is “a key” to sustainable development. The Earth Charter says that education is “the key” to sustainable development. As stated above in the Earth Charter, and as also stated in various UN agreements including Agenda 21, the Treaty on Biodiversity, and Education for All, UNESCO sees education for sustainable development as being the primary method for advancing the goals of the Earth Charter as stated above.
It is obvious, therefore, that UNESCO is using its partnership with the international GLOBE Program as a means for accomplishing the radical objectives of the Earth Charter stated above. Schools that participate in the GLOBE curriculum should expect the broad religious, ideological and political agenda of the Earth Charter to be aggressively promoted in their schools.
UNESCO has clarified that environmental education, as it sees it, is not primarily academic. In its “International Implementation Scheme” for its coming “Decade of Education for Sustainable Development,” for example, UNESCO said:
"Thus, education is the primary agent of transformation toward sustainable development … The international community now strongly believes that we need to foster -- through education -- the values, behavior and lifestyles required for a sustainable future." [p. 4 of the Draft Statement. Emphasis added.]
That is, according to UNESCO, education for sustainable development is “transformational” education -- education that focuses more on values, behavior and lifestyles than on teaching academic knowledge and skills. By means of its partnership with UNESCO, GLOBE has clarified that it sees environmental education in a manner consistent with the position of UNESCO.
How, then, does the GLOBE Program go about promoting the agenda of the Earth Charter? On its webpage, GLOBE says that its curriculum is consistent with the National Science Standards and the National Geography Standards. These national standards are transformational in nature, just as UNESCO says they should be; and, like the Earth Charter, focus on attitudes, values and behavior as opposed to emphasizing academic education. The National Geography Standards, for example, do not require that students learn the location of the nations of the world, nor are students required to learn the capitals of the nations. These standards do not even require that students learn the location of our 50 states and their capitals.
What, then, do the National Geography Standards require that students know? Following the format of transformational education, the geography standards are organized around themes, not knowledge. The themes are of two types – sustainable development themes and, to a lesser extent, multiculturalism. There are, for example, numerous requirements for promoting sustainable development themes such as the following:
Analyze the role of people in decreasing the diversity of flora and fauna in a region (e.g. the impact of acid rain on rivers and forests in Southern Ontario, the effects of toxic dumping on ocean ecosystems, the effects of over fishing along the coast of northeastern North America or the Philippine archipelago) [p. 212]
Describe the spatial consequences of … increases in runoff and sediment, tropical soil degradation, habitat destruction, air pollution, alterations in hydrologic cycle [p. 212]
Examine the characteristics of major global environmental changes … (e.g. increases in world temperatures attributable to major global environmental change, results of greenhouse effect attributable to human action….) [p. 213]
Develop contemporary and historical case studies … (e.g. the drought-plagued Sahel, the depleted rain forests of central Africa, the Great Plains Dust Bowl) [p. 214]
Discuss how and why some countries use greater than average amounts of resources (e.g. German iron-ore imports, and petroleum consumption in the United States and Japan) [p. 216] [The implication is that economic growth and activity is a matter of fairness, not an issue of following sound principles of economics.]
Compare the attitudes of different religions toward the environment and resource use and how religions have affected world economic development patterns and caused cultural conflict or encouraged social integration [p. 219] [The implication, as clarified by the UN’s Treaty on Biodiversity, is that Christianity is supposedly harmful to the environment because it teaches that man is above the rest of nature, while pantheism is supposedly environmentally friendly because it says that Nature is the steward of man.]
The National Geography Standards are packed full of requirements like those above. These standards really should be called the “National Education for Sustainable Development Standards” because that is what they actually are. The National Science Standards, similarly, have numerous requirements for teaching sustainable development.
What we see, therefore, is substantial consistency between the goals of UNESCO and the GLOBE Program. The principles of freedom followed by the United States, and as stated in our Declaration of Independence, are contrary to the purposes of GLOBE and UNESCO and will not be taught. National sovereignty, for example, is undermined by the GLOBE Program.
The basic purpose of UNESCO was made crystal clear by its first Directory-General, Sir Julian Huxley, when he said:
"Specifically, in its educational program it [UNESCO] can stress the ultimate need for world political unity and familiarize all peoples with the implications of the transfer of full sovereignty from separate nations to a world organization ... political unification in some sort of world government will be required." [Sir Julian Huxley, UNESCO: Its Purpose and Philosophy, 1947, p. 13]
This is also the purpose of GLOBE – creating an international system of education for sustainable development as defined by the Earth Charter. International education is a critical step in UNESCO’s overall goal of international government.
Copyright 2004 Allen Quist. (Biography) Posted with permission.
Permission to distribute, but not sell, with proper reference to author and
Allen Quist is author of FedEd: The New Federal Curriculum and How It's Enforced, and soon-to-be-published book The Battle For America in Our Schools.
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