Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Child Abusers

The Washington Post has a disturbing even angering article on how young kids are being indoctrinated into the global warming is all mans' fault propaganda. Hat tip to JunkSciecnce.com. of April 17th. It is titled "Global Warming Scenarios Scare, and Motivate, Kids" by Darragh Johnson. It starts with:
The boy has drawn, in his third-grade class, a global warming timeline that is his equivalent of the mushroom cloud.

"That's the Earth now," the 9-year-old says, pointing to a dark shape at the bottom. "And then," he says, tracing the progressively lighter stripes across the page, "it's just starting to fade away."
And continues with:
Alex Hendel of Arlington County is talking about the end of life on our beleaguered planet. Looking up to make sure his mother is following along, he taps the final stripe, which is so sparsely dotted it is almost invisible. "In 20 years," he pronounces, "there's no oxygen." Then, to dramatize the point, he collapses, "dead," to the floor.

For many children and young adults, global warming is the atomic bomb of today. Fears of an environmental crisis are defining their generation in ways that the Depression, World War II, Vietnam and the Cold War's lingering "War Games" etched souls in the 20th century.
Although the article talks about college age kids, which is where I think subjects like nature and environment can be introduced to students, it goes on about the very young:
Parents say they're searching for "productive" outlets for their 8-year-olds' obsessions with dying polar bears. Teachers say enrollment in high school and college environmental studies classes is doubling year after year. And psychologists say they're seeing an increasing number of young patients preoccupied by a climactic Armageddon
These kids are way too young to be introduced to such complex subjects as planetary climate systems not to mention all the political and ethical and social issues involved. Young minds like this cannot cope with the higher level abstractions required to make any kind of rational judgement. The only way a child can respond to this kind of indoctrination is emotionally. And that's exactly whats happening with "...an increasing number of young patients preoccupied by a climactic Armageddon." And if any parent has a child obsessing about anything, it is the parent's job to be that "productive" outlet. What kind of parenting is going on today?

Sadly, there's more:
There was also last spring's effort by David Bronstein -- before he graduated and enrolled at St. John's -- to do 20-minute PowerPoint presentations on "the problem of global warming and how it's the challenge of our generation and what we need to do about it" to about 20 of Sherwood's government, English, social studies and philosophy classes.

"This message about global warming is so powerful," Bronstein says. "It gives me hope for the human race because people are responsive to it." He also encourages anxiety about the planet's future, comparing enviro-fears to "any suffering in your life: The first step is denial, and then there's a sense of doom, and then you have to get up and shake it off and change something."
But is it just the teachers who are destroying the kids minds? The article ends with:
Which is exactly what happened when 9-year-old Alyssa Luz-Ricca's mother returned from a business trip to Costa Rica with a T-shirt of a colorful frog and the words "Extinction is forever." Alyssa looked at the T-shirt and, she says, "I cried."

"She cried very hard," clarifies her mother, Karen Luz of Arlington.

"I don't like global warming," Alyssa continues, her eyes huge and serious behind her glasses, a stardust of freckles across her nose, "because it kills animals, and I like animals."

She dreams of solar-powered cars and has put a recycling basket for mail, office and school paper in the corner of her family's dining room. She made another recycling box for her third-grade English teacher's classroom at Key Elementary School and has persuaded her mother to start composting. At Key, she also organized an effort among her classmates to pick up playground trash at recess.

Marvel at any of her efforts, though, and she looks confused: Everyone should be doing all this -- and more -- to save the environment.

"I worry about it," says this girl who has yet to lose all her baby teeth, "because I don't want to die."
What kind of words can I use to describe the evil of scaring kids to death with a virtual non-problem? Unspeakable? Unthinkable? Even if GW were a problem, it would be the responsibility of adults to address it, not kids.

In the Jonestown mass sucide a mother was taped pouring poison down her child's throat. That mother was the naked essence of evil, the desire to destroy life. But destroying the minds of kids to form concepts and integrate them in an hierarchy, to know instead of believe, is to leave the kid's body alive while destroying the body's means of survival.

In closing I wonder if any of these teachers or parents know that the concepts nature and environment have two different meanings. I'll bet none. I hate to say this but I'm beginning to sympathize with those who are pessimistic of America's future.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post. I felt exactly the same way when I read that article this morning. These poor kids today. Homeschooling seems to be the only way to save them from this stuff.

Mike N said...

Anon, Thanks. You're right about home schooling. Increasingly, it's becomming every man for himself. You have to provide for your kids education because the government only provides indoctrination.

Myrhaf said...

If young parents can't afford private school or home schooling, they have a real problem on their hands: how do they prevent this environmentalist indoctrination? Can you say the following to a kid? "Look, we're sending you to school now. Learn to read and write, but don't listen to their lies about the environment." It could create terrible confusion in a child's mind, because his parents will be opposing what the educational authorities uphold as moral and good. It would be like asking a child to live in two different philosophical worlds. Leonard Peikoff was able to do something like that in college, when he went from his classes to Ayn Rand's apartment, but how can a child do it?

Mike N said...

Myrhaf:
Yes young folk who can't afford private schools or home schooling are stuck. That's why a government run monopoly on education is so destructive. And when I see so many kids being delivered to such schools I get pessimistic about our future. I don't have an answer for young parents facing this dilemma except try to counter the bad ideas with good ones and try to put pressure on the schools to teach a rational curriculum. In the Detroit suburb where I live the public schools agreed to re-incorporate some phonics into the reading curriculum in response to constant pressure by parents. That's what I mean by trying to do something.

Roderick said...

"I don't have an answer for young parents facing this dilemma except try to counter the bad ideas with good ones and try to put pressure on the schools to teach a rational curriculum."

Since my childhood is still pretty fresh in my mind, I can say that want seems to be going on now, all this indoctrination, didn't seem to occur at the public schools I attended, or at least I wasn't impacted by them.

"In the Detroit suburb where I live the public schools agreed to re-incorporate some phonics into the reading curriculum in response to constant pressure by parents."

That's good. I helped some elementary school kids with their reading last year, and I don't remember exactly what process I was supposed to be teaching them, but it definitely wasn't phonics. Having only one sample(the group of kids) to observe, I'm not sure if that different technique was effective, but I know it didn't work as well as phonics did. This coming from a guy who as a kid had a very difficult time reading at first, but learned how to thanks to phonics and practicing pronunciation.

Thanks for the article, Mike.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comments. So is having environmental indoctrination any different from having religious indoctrination, or having an indoctrination of the ideologies of one's parents?
Does isolating one's self from a larger community and its ideas, especially controversial ones, lead to beneficial mutual change?
Assuming the concept of government will continue for our lifetimes, how can we involve ourselves to create a wider and more durable socially constructed world that we desire?

Mike N said...

Anon:
"So is having environmental indoctrination any different from having religious indoctrination, or having an indoctrination of the ideologies of one's parents?"

No. Indoctrination is indoctrination regardless of source although I would hesitate to regard everything our parents pass along to us as indoctrination. The indoctrination of religion is no different than that of environmentalism. Religion demands you sacrifice this world to a god of the universe. Environmentalism demands you sacrifice this world to the wilderness. A non-sacrificial way of life is alien to or rejected by all members of both camps.

We have no control over what our parents tell us until we learn to think for ourselves. Then we can examine those ideas and accept or reject them using correspondence to reality as the arbiter.

"Does isolating one's self from a larger community and its ideas, especially controversial ones, lead to beneficial mutual change?"

If you are talking about homeschooling, I wouldn't refer to it as isolation especially if the "larger community and its ideas" are crippling the minds of children. I would call it self defense, survival and a mutual benefit to you and your child. You seem to be saying that a schooling decision must somehow be of a benefit to the community. This is the morality of otherism, altruism which requires sacrifice for others. Again, the morality of sacrifice. A morality of rational self-interest should replace altruism.

Now, in a wider context, knowing and believing are two different things. People homeschool because they want to teach their kids knowledge, not indoctrinate them with beliefs. How do you tell the difference? Through a process of non-contradictory identification called logic.

As for your call for a socially constructed world, no one should want it. We should all want an individually constructed world where everyone understands and respects the individual rights of everyone else and where no one's benefit is achieved by someone else's sacrifice. To achieve this there needs to be a philosophic revolution in this country and that is what Objectivism is trying to do. The spread of Objectivism will be of mutual benefit to everyone.

Hope that helps.