Recently we have had the ability to comment on a number of proposed EPA reforms, especially putting an end to secret science. Now we all have a unique chance to tell the National Science Foundation to stop promoting climate change alarmism, especially in our schools.
This important opportunity is a “Request for Information” from NSF’s Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education. The scope is quite broad, basically how to improve any aspect of NSF’s environmental research and education efforts. NSF spends almost a billion dollars a year on science education, which in the case of climate change means promoting alarmism.
Comments can be simple or elaborate. There is an online form with various specific questions, but these do not have to be answered. For simple comments there is a 200 word limit “abstract” entry. Just saying “Stop funding climate change alarmism” would be a useful start.
The RFI invites us “to think boldly about the opportunities for advancing environmental research and education into its next stage through a lens focused on economic competitiveness and/or national security.”
My bold thought is that NSF should stop funding climate change alarmism in both education and in research, which it presently does a great deal of.
In education NSF funds a number of large websites that provide alarmist teaching materials. Some examples include these:
1. Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN), which boasts that it is
“A collection of 650+ free, ready-to-use resources rigorously reviewed by educators and scientists. Suitable for secondary through higher education classrooms.” CLEAN is funded by grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy.
2. “Teaching about Climate Change” is a very large collection of alarmist teaching materials from Carlton College. Carlton partners with CLEAN and is a major repository for alarmist teaching materials, with over 100 items.
3. “Climate Change Activities” from UCAR. There are 22 standalone alarmist activities for students. For example — “Through a simple online model, students learn about the relationship between average global temperature and carbon dioxide emissions while predicting temperature change over the 21st Century.”
4. “Climate Change” from AAAS. This site consists of almost 50 annotated links to lesson plans, videos, short articles, and other climate related materials. It begins with the K-2 grade level. The content covers the usual alarmist topics, in keeping with the AAAS endorsement of climate alarmism.
5. “Going Green! – Middle Schoolers Out to Save the World” is funded by NSF. It is a Wikispaces project that recruits middle school classrooms to save electricity in the name of climate change activism. It includes a lot of links to other alarmist websites.
NSF was recently blasted for funding the huge, alarmist Climate Central operation, especially their program to indoctrinate TV weather presenters.
On the research side, NSF is the biggest federal funder of so-called climate science. In reality this primarily consists of producing sciency scare stories using computer models. The real scientific questions regarding climate change are never asked. In fact NSF’s climate science program summary says that if humans did not mess with it, climate would not change, which is absurd.
The impact of this alarmist research on America’s competitiveness is quite large, because this research is often used by federal regulatory agencies to justify harmful regulations. For example the war on coal was led by the Obama EPA, but a lot of the supposed science came from the Obama NSF. EPA is now being reformed but so far NSF is not. The alarmists are still running the asylum.
Mind you this Advisory Committee is also larded with climate change alarmists, who are not about to listen to such criticism. Many are funded by NSF. But the RFI says the comments will be made public, so this is a great chance to publicly expose NSF’s rampant alarmism, especially in our schools.
The ‘Balance Of Nature’ Myth
By Donna Laframboise
SPOTLIGHT: There’s no such thing as a ‘balance of nature.’ BIG PICTURE: A prominent theme of ecologist Daniel Botkin’s latest book, 25 Myths That Are Destroying the Environment, is that the natural world is more sophisticated than we imagine.
Everything is fluid. Numerous interactions are taking place at any given time. On multiple levels and in multiple directions. Between species and within species.
The belief that whales and other animals would be peachy keen if only humans weren’t around informs many conservation measures. We’re the skunk at the picnic. We disturb. We perturb. We upset a natural, intrinsic balance.
The irony of such ‘environmental’ thinking, says Botkin, is that it ignores the environment:
There is no change in the weather – no storms, hurricanes, or volcanic eruptions. The population has no diseases and no predators. Its food can’t vary in abundance because the amount of food just isn’t represented in the equation…
This school of thought is bankrupt. In Botkin’s words:
Scientists have tried very hard to see if the [balance of nature] logistic could work for real populations out in the wild; after searching the scientific literature at great length, I’ve found that they have always failed…it has never worked in the real world outside of a laboratory.
In physics, when an equation completely fails to make accurate forecasts of real events, it is abandoned…ecologists have done just the opposite of physicists: They have continued to use an equation that has never matched real-world observations.
Why do the WWF, the Sierra Club, and the Canadian Wildlife Federation continue to talk about the ‘balance of nature’? Perhaps because it inflates humanity’s importance. It places us at the center of the drama. It casts us as directors of the play and stars of the show.
How bizarre that professional environmentalists are in the business of dismissing and diminishing highly potent, natural forces.
TOP TAKEAWAY: The ‘balance of nature’ idea is folklore – a persuasive idea for which there is no evidence.
Read more at Big Pic News