Friday, June 1, 2007

What did your children learn today at school?

How to acquire a taste for the gala lifestyle of elite environmental propagandists:

From the London Free Press:

Former U.S. vice president Al Gore got the red-carpet treatment in London last night, but only those who paid $500 for dinner heard the meat of his message. Gore, the almost-president-turned environmental crusader, appeared for five hours last night, speaking at the London Convention Centre about climate change at a tightly-guarded organic dinner for a posh crowd of politicians and civic leaders.

[…] Last night's event was tightly controlled by Gore's handlers, the media allowed in only for the first five minutes of his opening remarks before being ushered out.

Reporters and photographers also were kept out of an auditorium where hundreds of school kids watched and listened to Gore speak on a live television feed. The kids won that honour after entering a contest to make one-minute films about climate change. Gore shook their hands on his way to dinner, leaving some elated.
Elation, it appears, has also become a cheap commodity. But as long as it makes children feel good about themselves, it's a lot easier than teaching them practical literacy, mathematics or science.


fenris badwulf said...

This picture in this post is not politically correct. Several sub-groups are not represented. The picture implies that white males have influence over the education process beyond that of the invisible tricorn hat of white academic privilege. It would be better to employ actors to create the realistic image of diversity. The students can 'reflag' as something they are not so that the reality they present embraces the truth.

eng said...

I see nothing about London Foggers organizing a demonstration to show how much opposition there is to this Goracle and his glowtard agenda.

Why didn't you have a big protest? Couldn't find a phone booth to fit your entire group into?

Or did the cheque from Exxon bounce again?

MapMaster said...

Thanks, but I'll leave the protests to people who want something from other people. Cheques from Exxon, on the other hand, I could get into. Maybe I could pry some of them away from David Suzuki.

eng said...

Good comeback! But wouldn't you want something from other people too? Like keeping their hands out of your pockets?

And I don't think Exxon is bankrolling David Suzuki, but somebody sure is. I used to get cheques from Exxon, but I sold the shares. Needed the money.

MapMaster said...

On the subject of glowtard agendas, since it was first introduced here in the comments, if not in the post… well, actually the post had nothing to do with it in the first place.

I assume that as an adult you are competent to decide for yourself the merits or demerits of Gore's glowtard agenda. This may be an inaccurate assumption, but I am compelled to make it anyway in the spirit of democratic egalitarianism to which I subscribe. But don't you think that any sort of political agenda taught at schools is taking advantage of children before they become competent at deciding — in effect, deciding for them what they will decide? To put it another way, what particular educational value is attained by these sorts of exercise except for building pre-conditioned political acquiescence?

MapMaster said...

You're right, of course, that I do actually want that something from other people that you cite. I suppose that I am old-fashioned, though — public protests have come to seem terribly vulgar in the past decade or so, and perhaps before that. On the other hand, maybe they're fun in an intoxicated, dance club sort of way.

eng said...

I think that in high school or beyond, the global warming debate would be a great way to study the political process. There's lots of rhetoric and spin. It is a microcosm of how do you sell ideas. It even provides some opportunity for looking at your own ways of seeing things. I usually say I am comfortable with the science, but really it is the fact it does not seem preposterous in the first place, and that numerous scientists are in agreement. So I am mostly "taking their word for it". How does the average person who is not a political junkie or science buff look at this?

For elementary school, it's a tougher call. You see religious schools indoctrinating kids, but they can still think critically. Science should always be taught with attention paid to science history. So you teach "this is what science believes today, but it has been wrong in the past".

Science is right more than it is wrong, but that doesn't tell us which things we accept now will turn out to be wrong. The scientific method is all about "knowing that we know", so old knowledge that has not been refuted for a long time should have more weight than newer knowledge.

Certainly the political decisions "can we, as a society, do something about this?", "should we do something?" and "how much will it cost?" should stay out of elementary schools.

I never went to protests when I was the age to do so. For some reason, nobody told me it was a good place to meet girls. It was cheaper than going to a concert, lots of milling around and after a few hours in the hot sun, it would be like a bar near closing time.

Fenris Badwulf said...

You know, eng has a valid point. Like, what have you done to advance your agenda, huh? Aside from the blog thing, and the other stuff you do that you don't blog about, like, what have you done?

And since you can't live up to this stranger's arbitrary standards, this puts your entire philosophical system into doubt. Its like having a dog that won't sit on command. Useless! Make him into soup or sell him to a burn lab.

I am glad eng never supplied an e-mail. He is afraid of you.

MapMaster said...

I'm not substantially in disagreement with you, Eng, on the "oughts" and "shoulds" of public education. The trouble is that too often the education is not the study of political process, it is the political process. And the result is too often to produce single-minded junior activists who, not taught to scrutinize the source of their education, fail to scrutinize its effects.

Although it's often exaggerated as a conscious conspiracy to indoctrinate children, there is no shortage of students who have been seated regularly before showings of Al Gore's documentary with little or no prefatory remarks about the political process. While there are a few teachers whose active objective is to recruit their students into dogmatic activism, most I think find it just a safe and easy classroom exercise on a subject that they themselves have received as unobjectionable wisdom. I don't mean to castigate all teachers — there are of course many conscientious and discriminating ones out there. Moreover, I don't even really blame most teachers — in a relatively thankless job and caught in a massive bureaucratic engine that stifles their ability to respond or perform pro-actively or effectively, there is little incentive for them to try anything differently. Environmentalism in schools is not the problem, it's education itself that needs to be reformed entirely.

On the subject of climate change, most of what I've received is second- or third-hand summaries and abstracts in the media. I was talking the other day to a weather and climate professor who I've always found to be undogmatic and rational. The substance of our short conversation is that concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere "will have an impact," something that I don't think any thinking person would really dispute anyway. On the subject of the nature and size of the impact, however, he appeared to be hesitant. I hope to follow up the conversation soon.

Fenris, I'm drinking cold beer right now, what more do you want me to do?

John Nicklin said...

eng: David Suzuki might not be getting payments from Exxon, but he does get money from Encana and Atco, two big players in the Canadian oil and gas industry. Its in their foundation's annual report, even after Suziki specifically said that they don't get money from such sources. Now to be exact, Suzuki probably doesn't get the money directly, but his foudation does and they pay for his activities.

John Nicklin said...

What did the kids learn at school? Only that's there's only one side to any arguement. They learned that they too can be pawns in the game.

If the alarmists can convince everybody that AGW is true, the big industry players will reap billions and our kids will pay for it, not for our "crimes against the environment" but because our generation just curled up in the featl position and did nothing.

Incandescent bulbs are too inefficient they say, but wait, GE has the answer, high effeiciency flourescent bulbs brimming with mercury that will, at the end of their life cycle, have to be treated as hazardous waste. Break one in your house and you have to call in a hazmat team. But our kids are convinced that incandescents are evil.

Gas and coal fired power plants emmit CO2, hydroelectric plants are mean to fish. Our saviuors at GE will provide us with windmills and solar cells. The coal fired plant operators are begging for carbon trading, then they will modernize, make their plants more efficient and not only get paid by governments, but also have gobs of credits to sell. Enron was the king of carbon credit demands, too bad (for them) that they coldn't manage to cook the books long enough to strick pay dirt.

DuPont modernized its operations in the adipic acid production side and gained tons (literally) of carbon credits for reducing CO2 emissions. We did the right thing, now pay us for it.

Chirac said that Kyoto was a good first step towards true global governance. And who would be the governed? He and others, like Gore think that they should do the governing and th rest of us can eat cake.

That school kids are getting only one side of the debate is unethical and immoral. How are these kids supposed to develop an ability to weigh arguements, do their own research and make their own decisions? Oh, right, we don'd want that.

End of rant.

MapMaster said...

Rants always welcomed here, especially of this quality. Thanks, John, and you've been added to the blogroll.

elaine said...

eng, take a look at this video. This is a prime example of why schools shouldn't teach religion nor politics.

Fenris Badwulf said...

Mapmaster: actually, drinking beer is just fine. I frequently make up arbitrary standards in order to extract the result I want from people whilst telemarketing. It was fun to see ENG try to pull it on you, and, of course, your correct use of 'stick to the argument'. Practice makes better, eh?

John Nicklin said...

Thanks for the compliment and for putting blue marble climate blog on your blogroll.

MapMaster said...

Saw that video, Elaine. The Palestinian territories, or whatever they're called these days, are in an entirely separate world of their own. But it is a good, if extreme, example of the political agenda not in schools but of schools. The political agendas are controlled to some degree by what is considered tolerable in a society, but their presence in education is inevitable where a politically-motivated government or bureaucracy has a near virtual monopoly on regulated education. Someone like Eng might point out, of course, that religious or private schools will often end up indoctrinating students as well, but at least the fragmentation of non-monopoly education serves to diffuse the effects of their schooled agendas in society at large.

John, your welcome and keep up the good fight.

honeypot said...

Map, doesn't take much to change the agenda in a primary school. A captive audience the government has. The secondary students will be a much harder sell just because the focus for the last twenty years or so in public education was rights without responsiblity. That was the going thing, the liberal/ndp agenda.

It will be interesting to see the government education system now teaching children it is best to let people in the third world countries starve to death to put a dent in global warming.

It didn't take anything for the political left to switch gears, when they realized global warming hysteria was where the power is. They kicked the poor to the curb when they decided the poor are the one's that are threatening their world by their mere existence. This is now the unspoken cry of the left to the poor "fuck off and die you breeding carbon emitters!"

I can't remember the last time I read about the left crying for the poor here in Canada, or anywhere else in the world.

I do understand why the left embrace islam, the cult of oppression and death. It just fits into their global warming agenda. Someone has to be supreme commander and call for the death of people, whole populations, to save the earth. It might as well be that fucked up supernatural allah. They can kill, and then all pray together to justify their fuckedupness.

Having a god to blame shit on has came in pretty handy throughout history.

Watching the new puritans in action is interesting, though somewhat predictable.