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Chill out, children: the world has not warmed in your lifetime

Very quietly on the weekend, the UK Met office released the official world surface temperature data for the last 15 years. As I suggested to my Year 10 son last night, “Tell your teachers – you know, the ones who have hammered into you since kindergarten that we are cooking the world with our CO2 emissions – that there has not been any, repeat ANY, global warming since before you were born”.

Of course, the world has been slightly warming since starting to emerge from the Little ice Age around 1800; the total is small (about 0.7 degrees), the trend is steady and pre-dates any spike in our CO2 emissions and exhibits the typical 60 year cycle of warming / cooling which made sensible people predict that 2000 would be the crest of the recent 30-year warming… and so it has been. Solar scientists are serious about a possible 30-60 years cooling phase now, which could be far more serious for the wellbeing of us and our planet than further pleasant warming… But under what curriculum is this sort of balanced informatioin given to kids?

It is steady work as a parent these days countering the faintly hysterical “climate science” imparted by well-meaing but ill-informed teachers. A student can expect to endure, as mine have, several viewings of Al Gore’s error-ridden propaganda, and to study in classrooms still graced with Michael Manne’s  notoriously misleading “hockey-stick” graph, and to be given guilt trips by government-funded educational material concerning one’s carbon-impact on a dying world… Disgusting, ignorant and unprofessional, but still it goes on.

Recall the rare and brave objections raised publicly by teachers and child psychologists on the eve of Ms Gillard’s Carbon tax, concerning the systematic and unwarranted scaring of children:

Resource material produced by the Gillard government for primary school teachers and students states climate change will cause “devastating disasters”.

Australian National University’s Centre for the Public Awareness of Science director Dr Sue Stocklmayer said climate change had been portrayed as “Doomsday scenarios with no way out”. Dr Stocklmayer said she was not a climate-change sceptic but worried that “too much time was spent presenting scary scenarios, especially to young people. (Children) feel incredibly despondent and helpless in the face of all this negative information,” she said. “To put all of this before our children … is one of the most appalling things we can do to (them).

Child psychologist Kimberley O’Brien also said the language of climate change should be “toned down”. “(Educators) should stick to the facts,” she said. “They should be aware that kids do have nightmares.”

Psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg called on educators to be “more circumspect and present both sides (of the climate-change debate). “When you repeat things over and over to young people who don’t have the cognitive maturity and emotional maturity to process this stuff, you end up creating unnecessary anxiety,” he said.

Federal Schools Minister Peter Garrett said the government would not stop the teaching of climate science, despite moves in Britain for the subject to be withdrawn.

So as the schoolies head off to the Gold Coast next month to revel as young adults, having completed thirteen years of education dominated and intimidated by the One Great Myth of “catastrophic man-made global warming”, reflect that the world is not a skerrick warmer now than when they took their first stumbling step and sat down backwards on a full nappy… Which is a fiting image for the non-rational hyper-emotional pseudo-science they have had to sit in since day one of their schooling.

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