...Critical Thinking and Turning the Corner…
Is it possible we are finally turning the corner on climate change being an existential threat to mankind?
A recent Rasmussen pole showed that 60% of Americans now believe that climate change is only about power and control, not climate.
The core idea behind the book Clean Energy Crisis is contained in the first paragraph of a quote from Michael Crichton, a scientist and the author of the Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park.
The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda.
I am thoroughly sick of politicized so-called facts that simply aren’t true. It isn’t that these “facts” are exaggerations of an underlying truth. Nor is it that certain organizations are spinning their case to present it in the strongest way. Not at all— what more and more groups are doing is putting out is lies, pure and simple. Falsehoods that they know to be false.
So it’s time to abandon the religion of environmentalism, and return to the science of environmentalism, and base our public policy decisions firmly on that.
Commonwealth Club, San Francisco, CA
September 15, 2003
Two years ago, however, a PEW poll, published in May, 2021, showed that a majority of Americans felt more should be done to combat climate change. It also showed it was younger Americans, i.e., Gen Z 67%, and Millennial 71%, who were most concerned about climate change. Only 57% of baby boomers and older Americans were supportive of climate action.
A lot has happened in the past two years with Covid and government lockdowns, the energy crisis in Europe, and more scientists and politicians raising questions about climate change, all of which which could be affecting how people view the government’s green energy agenda.
As time passes, there is also an increasing number of climate predictions that have failed to come true, exposing them as propaganda.
- Great Thunberg’s withdrawal of her June, 2018 post claiming “all humanity would be wiped out unless we stop using fossil fuels in the next five years”.
- Gore’s prediction that Kilimanjaro would be without snow.
- Ehrlich’s claim in 1968, that “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. The world will undergo famines with millions starving to death,” failed to materialize.
- And the Arctic still has ice, while Greenland’s glaciers haven’t melted.
As more and more of these predictions fail to materialize, it becomes obvious the predictions were merely fear mongering.
There is a fundamental problem exposed by the Pew poll: The differences in thinking about climate change by the younger generation.
In my view this can be attributed to the education system.
- Students have accepted, without question, what they have been told by persons in authority, i.e., government and teachers,
- There has been a one sided depiction of the causes of climate change taught in schools.
What has been lacking is an emphasis on critical thinking.
John Droz, a scientist, has prepared an excellent proposal on how to correct the problems with the scientific education in our schools. A key part of his proposal is an emphasis on critical thinking. He has also highlighted the failure of the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
One snippet from his paper is especially relevant:
“The well-known Fordham Institute rated each state’s Science Standards, and gave the NGSS a “C”. Why would any state adopt a “C” rated set of Science standards? Worse, the Fordham rating is very generous, and when all factors are considered the NGSS should get an ‘F’.”
His proposal for correcting scientific education is available at bit.ly/3yPttU9
Interestingly, the CO2 Coalition was forced to disband its booth and leave the National Science Teachers Association’s Annual meeting this past week because the CO2 Coalition presented material that favored science and criticized the the NSTA for relying on consensus rather than science, concerning climate change. The CO2 Coalition referred to Michael Crichton’s summary:
“If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”
If we are to rely on science, students should be taught the scientific method where critical thinking plays an important role.
If we are to fully turn the corner on the claim made by activists that CO2 is an existential threat to mankind, rather than being a manageable problem without the need to abandon fossil fuels, or even no threat because a doubling of CO2 has little effect on temperatures, a majority of Americans, including Gen Z and Millennia’s, will need to embrace critical thinking and the scientific method.
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