Climate change misinformation is flooding into British schools, funded, it would appear, by the dark green money of elite billionaire foundations. Schoolchildren are encouraged to plot implausible temperatures rises of 11°C, taught that alkaline oceans are ‘acidic’ and encouraged to write letters to policymakers claiming “our house is on fire” in the style of Greta Thunberg.
The material is being distributed around schools by a London-based operation called Climate Science. An introductory video says its mission is to bring “high quality climate education to every school, company and individual in the world”. Such aims of course do not come cheap. Among the lobby group’s “partners, supporters and friends” are green activist funders such as Schmidt Futures – the family foundation of former Google boss Eric Schmidt – and the Grantham Institute at Imperial – partly funded by green billionaire investor Jeremy Grantham.
Give me the child until seven, and I will give you the man, said Aristotle, a phrase understood down the ages, not least by the Jesuit Christian order. Blind faith is more readily accepted by minds whose critical faculties have not been fully developed. And there are few ideas in today’s climate political agenda that require more faith than the forecasts of climate models. How exactly do we know about future climate change and the frequency of extreme weather events, asks Climate Science. “It’s all down to climate models,” is the answer, adding: It’s “pretty cool” to get a glimpse of a potential future, isn’t it?
The school briefing notes suggest that climate models “have been used to make accurate projections for the past 50 years, and have advanced significantly during this time”. Of course, as we have seen in the Daily Sceptic, those “accurate projections” do not apply to temperature forecasts. In fact, it would more accurate to say that they have never produced an accurate forecast in 50 years of trying. Far from becoming more accurate, they are becoming almost laughably inaccurate.
The above graph was produced in a recent paper by the physicist Nicola Scafetta. It analysed 38 of the main models and found that most had overestimated global warming over the last 40 years. Many of them should be “dismissed and not used by policymakers”, he concluded. The thick green line shows the actual temperature measured by accurate satellite recordings. Interestingly, the models started to go haywire at a time when the warming scare was gaining political traction and critical debate on the science started to be discouraged. The World Climate Declaration has been signed by almost 300 university professors, led by a Nobel physics laureate Professor Ivar Giaever. “We should free ourselves from the naïve belief in immature climate models,” says the Declaration. “In future, climate research must give significantly more emphasis to empirical science.”
Meanwhile, back in British classrooms, schoolchildren are being told that we can “expect to see an increase of 4.5°C in global temperatures by 2100 and an increase of roughly 11°C by the end of 2200”. To ram the message home, children must plot the graph below.
There is of course no mention that it is unknown how much temperature will rise if carbon dioxide is doubled in the atmosphere. Scientists debate a range from around 0.5°C to 6°C. Recently, the estimates have tended to fall away from the upper end, not least because global warming has been running out of steam for over two decades. Some scientists argue that the warming properties of CO2 diminish on a logarithmic basis past certain concentrations as the gas becomes saturated in the atmosphere. If, and it is an if, CO2 doubles in the atmosphere by 2200, even the most extreme estimates of temperature rise come nowhere close to 11°C.
Further misinformation is contained in the statement that average temperatures over the last 10,000 years have risen “very gradually” by no more than 1°C. Living things are said to have had time to adapt to gradually changing conditions. This entirely misses the point that over the last 10,000 years there have been a number of warming periods when temperatures were higher than they are today. Last week we noted evidence that suggested the high Austrian Alps were up to 7°C warmer in summer between 4,000 BC and AD 70 than today. Humans, of course, are capable of adapting quickly to temperature changes much higher than an almost unnoticeable 1°C.
Corals are tricky territory for climate alarmists these days since the Great Barrier Reef is currently reporting 35-year record levels. But they are said in the schools material to have been “harmed by the effects of climate change”, although there is no evidence that observed long-term changes in the climate have caused recent significant damage. In fact tropical corals have been around for 500 million years and grow in waters between 24-32°C. Recent bleaching was mostly caused by temporary spikes in water temperatures, easily attributed to natural El Niño oscillations. Instead, Climate Science puts an emphasis on ocean “acidification”, although an entry level chemistry course would note that oceans are not acidic but alkaline.
Humans are said to release “nasty gases” into the air and this “sours” the ocean. The corals become stressed, die and turn white. In fact, corals don’t die first, they bleach and this process is almost entirely due to changing water temperatures. ‘Nasty gases’ of course is a way to demonise CO2 among the younger generation, despite the gas being vital to all life on Earth. The ocean is in fact very alkaline and numerous exchanges, many little understood, influence its pH value. In addition, slightly higher temperatures release CO2 from the oceans.
Needless to say, schoolchildren are encouraged to engage in “climate activism”. This is despite the fact that many activists are said to be in danger of “persecution”, and receiving “threats” from animal farmers, fossil fuel and mining interests. Further information on these threats is not provided. Could it be that the butcher will stop delivering sausages, BP will turn the heating off and Rio Tinto will cease paying dividends into parents’ (and teachers’) pension schemes? Children are also advised to pick an activist from a list including Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot, and fill a poster board full of their good works. Letters to policymakers should stress the emotional, they are told. It is said to be important to learn how other writers present their arguments so children can use these techniques in their own writing. One of the “pillars” suggested is Thunberg’s claim before the World Economic Forum in 2019 that: “Our house is on fire, I am here to say, our house is on fire.”
As with the Jesuits, so with the new climate religion. Belief is everything. “There are no grey areas when it comes to survival,” the children are told.
Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor.