A Textbook Case of Global Warming Denial in New Jersey

Fri, 2008-04-11 10:43Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

A Textbook Case of Global Warming Denial in New Jersey

New Jersey high school student Matthew LaClair is crying foul over a college-level textbook that includes ungrounded and highly misleading information about the state of climate change science.

As reported in the Wonk Room, the textbook American Government states that “the scientific community is divided over the issue,” and “activist scientists say that the earth is getting warmer; skeptical ones note that the earth’s atmosphere has been getting cooler.” Environmentalists are portrayed as “elites who often base their arguments on ideology as much as facts” and “raise money with scary statements about the harm global warming will cause.”

Not surprising, the authors of the textbook, James Q. Wilson and John DiIulio Jr., have close ties to the Republican party and right-wing/free-market think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute and the Manhattan Institute.

Here's some more excerpts from American Government:

Activist scientists say that the earth is getting warmer; skeptical ones note that the earth’s atmosphere has been getting cooler.”

Activists say that the sea will rise because of melting ice caps; skeptics respond that the ice caps are not melting.”

Activists say that a warmer earth will be bad for humankind; skeptics say that a warmer earth will make it easier to grow crops and feed people. Activists say that we should act now, despite scientific doubts; skeptics say that we should learn more before doing anything.”

Friends of the Earth have started an email campaign to pressure the publisher Houghton Mifflin, to correct the misinformation contained in the textbook. Please take a moment to fill out the FOE form and also be sure to pass it on to your friends to sign as well.

UPDATE; New York Times, Andrew Revkin, has weighed in on his Dot Earth Blog. 

Comments

Quick, burn any book in which rational thoughts are expressed. Gives warmists a warm feeling I’m told.

How fitting that Friends of the Earth should be leading the howling pack!

OMG! The audacity to show children another GW point of view… Quick Burn The Infidel Teacher ! Burn the Book ! and to top it all.. HORROR ! It is written by a Right Wing Devil group… Only Us Left wing groups are allowed in our school system to preach the truth and the ones who known what is good for you. Don’t you all know? it is a fact that we are almost sure it AGW. It is also a fact that Ice melt in summer at an Unprecedented rate even if it is hard to compare something that is Unprecedented with….with…with..?

Schools should not teach lies. Remember the Keegstra affair?

VJ;
Exactly what in those comments is a lie?

Let’s see….

“Activist scientists say that the earth is getting warmer; skeptical ones note that the earth’s atmosphere has been getting cooler.””

The record from 1908 through 2007 shows an unmistakable warming trend, although the slope of the trend varied and there were even periods with a shorter negative or cooling trend. Much too soon to know how long the current flat trend will last and affect the long term trend, though. (Note that flat means lack of warming, not cooling. Cooling takes a trend with an actual sustained negative slope.)

“Activists say that the sea will rise because of melting ice caps; skeptics respond that the ice caps are not melting.”

Sea level is not only rising, but the rate of rise has accelerated, and the evidence shows that “not melting” is flat out not true, but some ‘skeptics’ do indeed claim this, so in that sense, none of the statements is a lie.

“Activists say that a warmer earth will be bad for humankind; skeptics say that a warmer earth will make it easier to grow crops and feed people.”

Again, many ‘skeptics’ do claim this. But it takes much more than more warmth to grow more crops. In fact, many current commercial food crops can not tolerate more warmth. More critical is water, and more warmth means changing precipitation patterns. Some agricultural regions will get less water or more water but at the wrong time. Winter snowfall is already falling in some catchment basins and the majority of glaciers world-wide are shrinking, threatening even irrigation.

What I find most disturbing about the three quoted excerpts is the use of the word “activist.” The ‘skeptics’ are every bit as activist as those proposing taking action to reduce and mitigate the effects of climate change. The word is clearly being used as a political catch phrase favoured by the right, as in ‘activist’ judges. It has no place in a textbook.

Excusian wrote:

“… none of the statements is a lie.”

See? That’s all you needed to say. You could have saved yourself a lot of superfluous typing.

What I find most disturbing about the three quoted excerpts is the use of the word “activist.”

This disturbs you? Would it be safe to conclude, that had they used the term denier in a similar context, that would not disturb you?

That’s a rhetorical question, by the way.

Actually, yes, Rob, it would have disturbed me if a textbook had used the word ‘denier’. I’d rather just see the science discussed. Pity that a textbook should end up being full of partisan political code words just like one of these blogs.

“The ‘skeptics’ are every bit as activist as those proposing taking action to reduce and mitigate the effects of climate change.”

I propose to call them “inactivists”, or “reactivists”.

If “activism” is bad, then “inactivism” must be pretty good.

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Frank Bi, http://tinyurl.com/yrpnmd
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

You might want to check this story in today’s Toronto Star, Troll, re: whether there is any melting going on in the Arctic.
http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/413838

Fern Mackenzie

Apparently, the counterargument to the textbook publisher’s deception is to exaggerate what people are doing in response to the lies. Deceptively turn the global warming crowd into looking like nazis, and you can avoid any real discussion about the issue. I think I understand the modus operandi now.

Deceptively?
Hey, if your only response is to deny the right of a publisher to point out that reasonable people scientifically dispute the one true religion of AGW, maybe the “bigot shoe” fits.

there zog:

“reasonable people scientifically dispute the one true religion of AGW

But where is this ‘scientific’ dispute?
And where is this AGW ‘region’?

And while you’re at it, how about you tell everyone what “zog” stand for?

Now that ought to be a ‘reasonable’ discussion.

When it comes to religion…

Of Pandas and People, 1987, intelligent design version, page 3-41:

“Evolutionists think the former is correct, cdesign proponentsists accept the latter view.”

Hmm… `they say this, we say that (and they’re pinkos, ergo we’re right)’. Looks like the authors of American Government are using the same rhetorical format as the cdesign proponentsists!

This is of course purely, absolutely, totally, completely coincidental, as evidenced by James Inhofe’s “God’s still up there” argument, and Tim Ball’s outright support for the cdesign proponentsists’ cause:

http://tinyurl.com/49njgp

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Frank Bi, http://tinyurl.com/yrpnmd
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

That’s “religion”, not “region”. Unfortunately, the AGW mania isn’t regional, although it infects predominately wealthy societies where it is the current phobia of silly, pampered dilettantes with nothing important to worry about. (Thirty years ago the bogey of the chattering class was nuclear energy.)

I’m surprised that you don’t know who King Zog was, especially since the catchy name infiltrated western popular culture back in the 60s. You must be very young. Try Google.

That was directed to EXUSIAN. Sometimes a road map would be useful around here.

You might try using GPS. Apparently, Al Gore invented that in his spare time, right after he invented the Internet.

I thought the Internets is a series of Tubes, and cdesign proponentsists are like Galileo, just like Fred Singer.

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Frank Bi, http://tinyurl.com/yrpnmd
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

“the AGW mania isn’t regional”

That’s weird, since the True Story About Climate Change (as revealed by the cdesign proponentsists) in invariably set in the US during the Cold War.

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Frank Bi, http://tinyurl.com/yrpnmd
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

Yeah, but isn’t it amazing how a simple typo opens up yet another slagging opportunity for you?

“I’m surprised that you don’t know who King Zog was”

Well, it certainly does change things when you add the word “king” before it.

I suggest you google “zog” yourself an see what the first hit is. It sure isn’t a former king of Albania.

But hey, it’s your handle, I didn’t choose it.

Interesting observation. I never gave any thought to your interpretation of my handle because I’m not a wild-eyed leftist obsessed with visions of eeeevil money-grubbing joooooz contolling the world and abusing benevolent jihadists who only want to “wipe them from the face of the earth”. Jeez, I don’t even fret about the Trilateralist conspiracy.

it’s your handle, you chose it.

But from your reply it seems you’re trying to downplay the fact that in the United States it’s not associated with leftists pinkos, but with paranoid delusional neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups.

Great handle there.

Heh. Looks like our friend, Excusian, is in his element, what with finding secret Masonic political “code words” in school textbooks – where unenlightened people like the rest of us only see fairly self-evident and uncontroversial statements.

Come on, rob. It’s already an open secret what “cdesign proponentsists” really means – the very spelling already shows it. And it’s also an open secret what kind of connotations the word “activist” has in your wingnut circles.

And I’ll say it again: your buddy climate inactivist Tim Ball has outright allied himself with the cdesign proponentsists. No code words needed to explain that.

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Frank Bi, http://tinyurl.com/yrpnmd
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

Yeah, you are as dense as it appears.

On the other hand, ROB stands for Rotting of Brain.

Laughs….good one

“Deceptively turn the global warming crowd into looking like nazis”

Yeah, “activist scientists” vs. “skeptics”.

I mean, that sounds so darn balanced, doesn’t it?

Paradoxically, the way to achieve balance is also the most obvious: if we have “activist scientists” on one side, then the other side should be simply the opposite of that, i.e. …

…”inactivist scientists”.

Or even more accurately…

…”inactivist non-scientists”.

There you have it. Fair and Balanced!

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Frank Bi, http://tinyurl.com/yrpnmd
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

…wait, I just discovered that there’s an even better way to achieve Fairness and Balance.

I said the opposite of “activist scientists” is simply “inactivist non-scientists”.

However, “inactivist” sounds a bit too negative because of the “in-” and “non-” prefixes.

So perhaps we should instead call them “reactivist un-scientists”.

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Frank Bi, http://tinyurl.com/yrpnmd
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

Since when did ‘rational thought’ involve lying about and undermining objective science?

Any mention of “cdesign proponentsists”? We need those.

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Frank Bi, http://tinyurl.com/yrpnmd
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

I’m surprised that you speak dismissively of cdesign folks since they are your brothers under the skin. Like the warmists, they begin with an “irrefutable” conclusion which they then proceed to prove by repetitiously shouting, “It has been proven.”

Two varieties of nuts in different jars.

Oh, and here I was, wondering if our “brothers” should be those godless Bolshevists! Instead of, you know, those God-fearing cdesign proponentsists.

After all, God Is Still Up There(*), so we need not worry about global warming. And it’s the exact same God whom the cdesign proponentsists literally worship.

- - -

(*) Inhofe

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Frank Bi, http://tinyurl.com/yrpnmd
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

Hey Zog, did you just now notice that you’re allied with creationists, flatearthers, and other purveyors of anti-realism? Are you feeling a little uncomfortable with the company you are keeping? Sorry, you fit right in with them.

Actually, I’m very comfortable, having pointed out in an opinion piece several years ago that the proponents of AGW, creationism, paranormal phenomena and the presence of extraterrestials among us all share a common approach to scientific investigation.

1. State your conclusion
2. Vilify anyone who disagrees with said conclusion
3. State that, since your conclusion is self-evident, the science is settled
4. Ignore or discount all evidence which casts doubt on your conclusion
5. Demand that your opponents perform the impossibe task of “proving” that your arbitrary conclusion is wrong**
6. Convince your acolytes that disagreement with your premise is immoral and that anyone rude enough to point to your lack of empirical evidence should be silenced
7. Repeat steps 1 to 6 with ever-increasing volume.

The routine works well because, thanks to more than half a century of degradation of the public education system, very few adults can even define the scientific method of investigation - much less apply it - or define 3 or 4 logical fallacies - much less refer to them in rational debate. This applies, not only to the general public, but to school teachers, and that perpetuates the rot.

**eg. I know that the Easter Bunny has blue eyes. Prove that I’m wrong you damned denialist heretic!

p.s. If forced to express an opinion as to which group of renegade scientists is less irrational - intelligent designers or warmists, I’d reluctantly choose the IDs since they have a firmer grasp on probability theory than climate modellers Hansen, Weaver et al.

Yawn. Prove that any climate scientist has actually followed those steps.

In fact, it’s the inactivists themselves who follow the steps religiously:

“1. State your conclusion”
AGW is a myth.

“2. Vilify anyone who disagrees with said conclusion”
Al Gore is a lard-ass pinko fatso.

“3. State that, since your conclusion is self-evident, the science is settled”
It’s obvious! How can mankind even have an effect on the climate? The very idea is just ridiculous!

“4. Ignore or discount all evidence which casts doubt on your conclusion”
Warming trend starting from the 1970s? Ignore ignore ignore! Global warming stopped in 1998… and in 2007… No, actually we won’t say global warming stopped. There never was any global warming, as shown by the fact that if you take 1998 as a starting point…

“5. Demand that your opponents perform the impossibe task of `proving’ that your arbitrary conclusion is wrong”
There’s a warming trend from 1998 to 2007? But wait, this warming trend is smaller than the warming trend from 1970? Therefore it’s a cooling trend!

“6. Convince your acolytes that disagreement with your premise is immoral and that”
The warmists are trying to make poor people suffer!!!

“anyone rude enough to point to your lack of empirical evidence should be silenced”
Just look at Monckton’s imaginary lawsuits.

“7. Repeat steps 1 to 6 with ever-increasing volume.”
The AGWists are desperate! Desperate! Desperate!!!

Classic case of projection. Little wonder that inactivist Tim Ball has outright aligned himself with the cdesign proponentsists…

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Frank Bi, http://tinyurl.com/yrpnmd
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

http://tinyurl.com/3k7xr7

Of course, the online quiz was wrong. The EPA was in fact created by Satan.

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http://frankbi.wordpress.com/ International Journal of Inactivism
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

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