by David Wojick
The “Climate Change Education Act” (S.3074) directs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to establish a climate change education program focused on formal and informal learning for all age levels.
When it comes to beating the climate change drum, Sen. Ed Markey is the Energizer Bunny. As a Congressman, Rep. Markey was Chairman of the now defunct House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming from 2007 to 2011. This time he is drumming on the education front. Markey has dropped the “Climate Education Act” into the Senate hopper. While the bill is unlikely to pass at this time, it is still important to object to, lest it be seen to be acceptable.
Sen. Markey’s website summarizes the proposal as follows: “The “Climate Change Education Act” (S.3074) directs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to establish a climate change education program focused on formal and informal learning for all age levels. The program would explore solutions to climate change, the dangers we face in a warming world, and relatively small changes in daily routines that can have a profound global impact. The legislation also establishes a grant program to support public outreach programs that improve access to clean energy jobs and research funds so local communities can address climate mitigation and adaptation issues.”
There is a lot not to like here, beginning with the false scientific claims. The first is hyping the supposed dangers we face in a warming world, which simply do not exist. Nor are there small changes in daily routines that can have a profound global impact, because humans do not control the global climate. What is here being called Education is really just scaremongering and propaganda. Ironically, the Bill itself says one goal is to remove the fear of climate change, which it actually promotes.
What is really strange is the focus on so-called clean energy jobs and technology. The term “clean energy” is a misleading euphemism for renewable technologies. Thus the thrust of the Bill is not just on climate science education; rather it is on using the education system to promote renewables. NOAA has no expertise in this regard and no mission. They do things like running the National Weather Service. Promoting renewables and green workforce development is the Energy Department’s job.
On the science side, NOAA has long been active in so-called “climate education,” which basically means spreading the Government’s biased view of climate change as human driven and dangerous. For example, the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) Portal was launched in 2010, co-sponsored by NOAA, NSF and the Energy Department. As of 2012, CLEAN has been syndicated to NOAA’s climate.gov portal, where they offer over 600 educational materials, most of which are biased toward the scary Federal version of climate science.
In fact NOAA has led a Federal drive to redefine “climate literacy” as accepting the Government’s biased position. According to their website, the stated Guiding Principle for climate literacy is “Humans can take actions to reduce climate change and its impacts.” The reality is that humans can do little to change climate change and a little global warming is not harmful. It is probably beneficial.
What the proposed Climate Education Act would do is give statutory authority for NOAA’s existing propaganda actions, something that is presently lacking. It also allows the agency to bribe states to use its stuff, which is pretty insidious.
It would also allow NOAA to go beyond simply providing online information, to begin writing actual curriculums to be used in the classroom. That is where the bribery really comes in. This curricular push coincides with the widespread deployment of the Next Generation Science Standards. Most states that adopt them need to develop new curriculums, because these science standards are very different from the existing state standards, especially in the area of climate change.
Beyond this, the Bill would put NOAA into the strange new business of promoting the renewable energy industry and training its workers. The Energy Department already does this, while NOAA has neither the mission nor the organization to do it.
In summary this so-called Climate Education Act does nothing that is good, for the climate or the students. It is based on false science and pushes NOAA in the wrong direction. NOAA should be trying to understand climate change, not promote renewable technologies in the name of dangerous global warming.
Press coverage is bad, buying the Bill as expected. See for example these:
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