Filed under: Education, Energy, Environment, Junk Science | Tags: Environmental Literacy, http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/06/27/maryland-adds-environmental-literacy-in-high-schools/?test=latestnews, Junk Science
The state of Maryland has become the first state in the country to impose a new requirement for kids to graduate from high school—something called “environmental literacy.”
The new rule is a regulation from the State Board of Education, not a law passed by the legislature. Governor Martin O”Malley offers no details but praises it saying that “it will infuse core subjects with lessons about conservation and smart growth and the health of our natural world. O’Malley also said that it will also serve as a “foundation for green jobs.”
An analyst remarks that training for those is just like it is for any other job. “You need to know how to get there on time, how to be alert, how to work hard, how to absorb a lot of information, how to — learn new skills.
The state board of education leaves all content up to local school boards. Sarah Boder of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation supports the initiative and says that students could learn by doing. “Kids have the opportunity to participate in some real world learning, such as raising native oysters and replenishing reef habitat. By raising the oysters they can learn math and read about the history of oystering in the state of Maryland and throughout the Chesapeake Bay and that gets them excited and that helps to boost their achievement.”
Sounds like a pretty complicated way of getting kids to learn math. Could there possibly be political agenda? Well, in short, yes. The local school boards won’t get any extra money, so a group called the North American Association of Environmental Education offers a teacher’s guide.
An early passage from the guide says “consumption of natural resources, air and water pollution, and the impacts of climate change are among the many complex challenges that threaten human health, economic development, and national security.” It goes on to talk about the need to “take informed action.”
That’s not education, it’s indoctrination. Myron Ebell of CEI points out that “it’s propaganda and it’s designed to raise up a new generation of easily led and poorly educated and misinformed students.”
Beware of associations and groups that are just delighted to step in and offer all sorts of free materials to help with the education of your children. They usually have an agenda. When kids’ ability in math is a problem, it’s not wise to take more time away from the subject to play around with activist agendas. Environmental literacy, indeed. Our school have been busy indoctrinating kids in “environmentalism” because they can write papers about cute polar bears and find all sorts of pictures on the internet. Do they learn that polar bear numbers are increasing, and the bears are not endangered? Not likely.
They call them NGOs. Non-governmental organizations. Because they call themselves “an association” and have a website and a 501(3)C designation doesn’t mean that then are anything other than a bunch of activists with an agenda.
Filed under: Energy, Environment, Science/Technology | Tags: Junk Science, Roy W. Spencer PhD, The Left's Global Warming Agenda
A complete debunking of the left’s global warming agenda, from Roy W. Spencer, former NASA climatologist and climate expert. Dr. Spencer, at University of Alabama at Huntsville, continues his work with NASA as the U.S. Science Team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite.
He has published two popular books on global warming that are completely accessible for those who are not scientists. He’s a good explainer. His first was Climate Confusion (2008), followed by The Great Global Warming Blunder, which has the coolest cover ever. And for more on this topic, purchase his new Broadside, “The Bad Science and Bad Policy of Obama’s Global Warming Agenda” by clicking here: http://amzn.to/jYWz
He has provided expert testimony to Congress several times on the subject of global warming.
[via @adamsbaldwin on Twitter]
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Health Care, Law, Liberalism | Tags: "Healthy Food Initiative", Junk Science, Liberal lies
Sam Kass, who was the Obama’s chef in Chicago, came to the White House with the Obamas. He was known as Mrs. Obama’s Food Initiative Coordinator, but about a month ago, his title was changed to Senior Policy Adviser for Healthy Food Initiatives. The new title more accurately reflects Kass’ broad range of duties, as internal and external expert on all things health, kids, and food. Or in the vernacular — he is the “Food Czar.”
So Sam Kass went from being a 20-something Chicago gourmet cook, privately paid to cook for the Obamas, to a big-time White House adviser. Michelle Obama’s healthy nutrition program is supposed to eliminate childhood obesity within a generation, especially in the country’s inner cities. Mrs. Obama claims that childhood obesity is a threat to national security, and a crisis that requires the administration to spend $400 million a year to bring “healthy foods” to low-income neighborhoods and $10 billion to make revisions to the old federal program that feeds tens of millions of poor children at school. Mrs Obama said when launching last month’s “Chefs Move to Schools” initiative — a program to get professional chefs to volunteer in America’s schools:
I think it’s just pretty powerful to see what started out as a few conversations in our kitchen on the South Side of Chicago turn into a major initiative that hopefully will change the way we think as a country, not just about the health of our kids but about our health as a nation,”
I think the ambitions may once again exceed what is possible or probable. Mrs. Obama is enamored of organic produce, local, regional and “sustainable” food. I assume that is not “sustainable” in the sense of the cans of food in the pantry, but in some larger, greener sense. “Sustainable” is very big in the green left, but I haven’t figured out yet just what it means, but is sure is a popular word.
Mr. Kass gave the keynote speech at the Food Marketing Institute’s trade show in Las Vegas, urging supermarket important people to take a leadership role in “Let’s Move.” He told the grocery retailers that it’s time to seize the opportunity to be leaders in creating a generation of healthier kids by being “architects of choice” on the micro and macro level. He gave, according the to blog “Obama Foodorama” “a mini dissertation on how to change the design of markets which ranged from where to position healthy foods, to changing food packaging labels is crucial for parents’ decision making, to why it’s important to build more supermarkets in places that don’t have them.”
There was also a conference with governors to urge them to establish food initiatives in their states and cities. Baltimore has a food czar named Holly Freishtat, and the City of Boston has recently joined in, creating a $75,000 a year position of “Food Policy Director” with an ambitious agenda.
I may not grasp the true meaning of “sustainable” but I do know a bit about “organic” food. “Organic” is a marketing ploy designed to sell smaller fruits and vegetables grown on larger acreages at higher prices. Organic produce has been tested over and over, and there is no benefit in nutrition or freshness. It usually costs about 30% more. Organic designates a method of growing which involves using only ‘natural’ fertilizers (manure) and only ‘natural’ pesticides (like pyrethrums–some of the most poisonous pesticides). No better for you. You can look up the process that farmers must follow to get the “organic” label, but it remains only a marketing ploy.
I would have loved to be a fly on the wall at that convention of supermarket CEOs being lectured by the Obama’s 20-something cook. But I’m not a foodie, I’m just an ordinary good cook.
Filed under: Economy, Energy, Science/Technology | Tags: Congress, Environment, Global Warming, Junk Science
A monopsony is a situation in which a product or service is only bought by one customer. Jo Nova has done a new study now available at The Science and Public Policy Institute that reveals that the U.S. Government has spent more than $79 billion of taxpayer money since 1989 on policies related to climate change, including science and technology research, administration, propaganda campaigns, foreign aid and tax breaks. Most of this spending was unnecessary and useless.
An informal movement of scientists around the world has sprung up to test the integrity of the “global warming” theory and to compete with this lavishly funded, very organized climate monopsony. Over and over, they have exposed major errors.
Worldwide, carbon trading reached $126 billion in 2008. Experts are predicting that the carbon market will reach $2-$10 trillion in the near future. The largest single commodity traded on global exchanges will be hot air.
Exxon-Mobil is continually attacked for funding climate skeptics for $23 million — less than one thousandth of what the U.S. Government spends on climate activists and alarmists.
This huge expenditure is designed to prove the non-existent connection between carbon dioxide and climate. Government bodies, big business rent-seekers and environmental NGOs recruit, control and reward their own scientists who use climate modeling to justify power, control, wealth and population reduction. Robert Ferguson, SPPIs president asks:
Are politicians paying out billions of our dollars for evidence-driven policy-making, or policy-driven evidence-making? The truth is more crucial than ever, because American lives, property and constitutional liberties are at risk.
If the Waxman-Markey climate bill passes, billions more will be expended to pay for environmentalists useless fantasies.
Filed under: Health Care, Progressivism, Science/Technology | Tags: Culture War, Junk Science, Liberalism is a Mental Disorder, Taxes
Remember all the fuss about stem cells? Candidate Obama was going to restore science to its rightful place in the wake of the dreadful Bush administration which was apparently completely unfamiliar with science or the scientific method. Embryonic stem cells, freed from the religious fundamentalism of the Bushies, would cure diseases, allow the lame to walk and provide scientific honors for those who engaged in federally funded embryonic stem cell research, as well as endless riches for those who developed the wondrous new treatments. President Obama quickly lifted the ban that limited federally funded research to existing lines of cells. (Please note, there was no ban on research).
Dr. Bernadine Healy, former director of the National Institutes of Health, was once an embryonic stem cell enthusiast. She now calls such research “obsolete.” Medical-research insiders know that embryonic stem cell technology is proving to be a dead end. Senator Arlen Specter, (D-PA) said the research “has the most remarkable potential of any scientific discovery ever made with respect to human health.” That statement gives an idea of the enthusiasm. Remarkable potential indeed. Real results were another thing.
First of all, there is the rejection problem. Your body naturally fights off foreign cells, even ones that might help. So cell recipients must permanently use imunosuppresive drugs, which are dangerous themselves. Then there is the unpleasant tendency of ES cells to become cancerous or to form teratomas — tumors that can grow larger than a football and contain hair or teeth.
The problem of rejection may someday be solved, but University of Wisconsin scientist James Thomson, who created the first human ES-cell line, says that treatments and cures could be decades away.
Adult stem cells do not have the problem of rejection, for they come from the patient’s own body. They have treated scores of illnesses including many cancers, autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease, immunodeficiency disorders, neural degenerative diseases, anemia and other blood disorders. They have been used in over 2,000 clinical trials. No uncomfortable moral questions, just cautious, responsible science.
Although it was long thought that only embryonic cells could become pluripotent, researchers in 2006, led by Dr. Shinya Yamanaka of Japan’s Kyoto University, were able to reprogram human skin cells to behave like embryonic stem cells.
Several states now fund embryonic stem cell research. Dead broke California created a $3 billion research effort with their Proposition 7, and other states such as New York, New Jersey and Connecticut also fund the research, which may be a dead end. Federal funds are flowing.
We’re investing a remarkable amount of money in things that are supported by enthusiasm rather than science. Liberals have always been utopians, attached to a romantic view of policy: ending climate change, stopping the seas from rising, powering the world with the wind and the sun, curing disease and injury with embryonic stem cells. It’s not going to happen. But they always want the rest of us to support their flights of fancy with our taxpayer dollars.
And if their romantic policies don’t work? They cannot fail, it’s just that they did not appropriate enough money.