St. Gaia's Academy for Brainwashed Children

Another day, another example of children being indoctrinated by Green ideologues. This one is out of London, Ont., where John Paul II Secondary School has proclaimed itself "Canada's first self-sufficient, carbon neutral high school." JPII spent $9.7 million installing a geothermal heating and cooling system as well as 2,700 solar panels to provide electricity. According to the school, this will "reduce greenhouse gas emissions to near zero, and remove almost 277 tons of carbon every year."

I am, of course, skeptical of those numbers -- projects like this tend to be at least partially eye wash, running the place on solar panels until, you know, it rains, at which point they plug into the local power grid and keep the juice flowing just like everyone else. And then there is the fact that solar panels themselves require many times more mined materials to produce compared with machines that run on hydrocarbons. Plus they need to be replaced every 25 years or so, and are nearly impossible to recycle, often ending up in landfills where they leach chemicals into the ground.

But whatever -- it's the school's money! (Or, half of it is -- the rest comes from the government, that is to say, tax-payers). If you think of this as a giant science-fair experiment, equivalent to generating an electrical current by poking a bit of zinc and a piece of copper into a lemon, then it isn't so grating.

But what I find concerning is the way the students speak about the project -- "I've watched as the world has slowly deteriorated and I want so desperately to be part of something that I know will cause good change," said one. And another, "I believe that it's very important to be part of this project in order... to help our Mother Earth who is suffering right now," a creepily pagan image for a student at a purportedly Catholic school.

I don't mean to mock these kids. They're obviously just parroting what they've been told. And if their high school is anything like the one I attended, for every go-getter involved in a project like this, there are likely ten kids rolling their eyes or just happy to miss calculus to go to the solar panel ribbon-cutting.

Still, I can't help think of the poster child for eco-anxiety, Greta Thunberg, who has her parents and teachers around her to blame for her seemingly compromised psychological state. Sure she's famous -- maybe that's part of the problem -- but her worldview is extremely bleak. And, what's more, she's traded any semblance of a normal childhood to become an activist in a cause whose end goal -- net-zero carbon emissions within a few decades -- just isn't going to happen. It's a grift, and she is a victim more than a perpetrator.

Greta, and her confreres at John Paul II, would have been better off if they'd had a few sane adults around them to keep them on the straight and narrow.

How Covid-19 Killed Academic Tenure

Academic tenure has long been controversial and imperfect—and now, in one fell swoop, it is dead, killed by progressives under the guise of Covid-19 safety. The manner of its killing tells us much about progressives’ respect for individual rights. 

Defenders of tenure for university professors once claimed that it offered necessary protection against the combined forces of corporate funding and political correctness, a multi-headed hydra which if unchecked would prevent academics from conducting honest research into topics of their choosing.

Others argued that tenure was mainly harmful, making it costly to dismiss university faculty members who collected large salaries without fulfilling their teaching and research duties. In practice, as organizations such as the National Association of Scholars and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education warned, tenure repeatedly showed itself incapable of protecting those who needed it most. Dissident intellectuals often found themselves on the wrong side of disciplinary committees, dismissed from their positions for alleged harassment and/or vaguely defined “misconduct.” Many of these academics’ troubles began because they were ideological outliers in a punitively progressivist milieu.  

Guilty!

Until now, however, there was at least a semblance of due process. Though they were often targeted unfairly, persecuted academics were at least notified well in advance of proceedings against them; allowed to attempt a fact-based self-defense; examined by a committee convened for the specific purpose of hearing the evidence; given the opportunity to hire a lawyer or enlist the assistance of their faculty association/union; and if terminated given written notice of their particular transgressions. Inadequate and biased as it often was, some formal fact-finding procedure was observed.

In the time of Covid, however, mass firings are in preparation at universities across North America without even a pretense of case-by-case consideration or rational weighing of evidence—tenure be damned. 

The mere evocation of “safety” is now enough to authorize firings without investigation on grounds not covered by any faculty member’s Collective Agreement and notably without public protest from faculty associations, bodies which once existed solely to protect the working conditions and rights of faculty members. Outside of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, this is an unprecedented situation so far being greeted with stunning silence from the professoriate. 

Under the new Covid dispensation, professors are simply notified that, if they do not produce proof of vaccination by a certain (arbitrarily chosen) date, a disciplinary process will be commenced with an end-point of termination. 

The University of Waterloo, a large research university in southern Ontario, is one among many universities that began sending out the equivalent of pink slips on the Friday before Canadian Thanksgiving (Oct. 11 this year), informing what it called “non-compliant” employees that the deadline to provide proof of vaccination is October 17, 2021.  

The letter, sent to me by a University of Waterloo employee, states that unless “alternative work options” (left conveniently vague) can be found, employees who do not provide the required proof of vaccination will be placed on a 42-day “unpaid suspension,” presumably in order to think over the prospect of the total wreckage of a once-secure and remunerative career. Then, “[i]f the individual remains non-compliant 14 days before the end of the 42-day suspension, they will receive a letter indicating that their pay and benefits will cease as at the end of the suspension.” No appeal procedure is mentioned.

Following up on this dire statement, the letter informs employees that “the vaccination form is quick and easy to complete”—as if mere cumbersome documentation were hindering compliance—and that “personal information will be kept confidential in compliance with statutory privacy requirements and will only be shared with individuals for the purpose of program administration.” It’s presumably a relief to know that, having been coerced to take an experimental medication in order to keep one’s position, the violation takes place under cover of confidentiality. The obvious fact that hundreds of people on campus will easily guess why “non-compliant” employees are being suspended—thus violating the privacy promised—is not acknowledged.   

No science-based rationale is offered for the extraordinary statement of compulsion. The extremely low infection-fatality rate for Covid-19, particularly for healthy individuals under 65 (the super-majority of those studying and teaching on campus) is never mentioned. The now well-documented failure of vaccines to protect against infection and transmission is also left unmentioned; alas, the evidence reveals that vaccinated individuals are just as likely as the unvaccinated to transmit Covid-19, even in conditions where all are vaccinated. The unseemly haste reeks of a political desire to purge the non-conforming. 

No attempt is made in the letter to explain why provisions in the Universal Declaration on Bio-Ethics and Human Rights are flagrantly violated by the measure. The Universal Declaration makes clear that medical treatments must never be coerced, must always be informed and entirely voluntary (not carried out under conditions of duress) and that the good of society or of science must never take precedence over the individual human right to choose. 

No provisions are made in the letter for individuals with natural immunity, which scientific evidence shows to be at least as effective as, and likely far more effective than, vaccination. The humane alternative of enabling the unvaccinated to carry on their duties off campus—as had been done for well over a year before the advent of the vaccines—is gestured toward, but not in any way guaranteed. 

Accommodation is offered only “for unique cases where individuals cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or protected human rights grounds,” but it is not made clear how such accommodation decisions will be made or why university administrators are qualified to make them. One of the main grounds for a human rights accommodation would be an exemption for a sincerely-held religious belief, and it is far from self-evident that a group of secular leftists—with many avowed Marxists—can discern or appreciate the sincerity of any such beliefs.

No velvet glove needed any more.

In a final paragraph full of unintended irony, the letter informs the non-compliant that “If you are struggling with your mental health during these changing times, reach out for support […],” providing the names of various university agencies, none of which, of course, will provide any actual support in resisting the vaccination mandate, and none of which, given the demonizing tenor of communications regarding non-compliance, will likely even be able to express genuine empathy for an employee about to be terminated. If the termination of your employment leads to suicidal despair or health-damaging stress, you’re on your own. 

This is the new university: fully collectivist and tyrannically indifferent to individual rights of conscience or choice. Over the past 30 years, the progressivists infiltrated and took over the academy. Their ruthless determination, always under cover of benign rhetoric about "inclusion" and "safety," should always have been evident; now its vaunting brutality is unmistakable.

It’s Not About the Environment

The admiral’s speech at the 2009 graduation of my stepson from U.S. Navy Basic Training included, “It’s not about the bed,” referring to teaching boot sailors to make their bed. The point was learning to do something because it was necessary: self-discipline. No one worried if the Boot cared about getting into an unmade bed. The bed was a tiny part of a big picture; a tactic to accomplish the strategy of creating a person disciplined to do what needed to be done by observing it. That strategy was part of a larger one: ensuring the ability to achieve a goal when confronting an opponent.

This is the self-discipline required not only of a warrior, but of every free person in a society that wants to remain free. Do we still have it? Winston Churchill once noted, “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing -- after they've tried everything else.”

The caveat is that the recognition of the usefulness of a tactic requires understanding the strategy of one’s opponent. Churchill’s meaning is that we will try multiple tactics until we hit on one that addresses the strategy of the opponent, at which point that tactic becomes the foundation of an effective strategy, and thus “the right thing.”

Vandals at the gates.

Americans so far do not grasp the strategy of the Democrats in particular, or of the bipartisan political establishment, in general. It is not an overstatement that our continuing failure to do so will be fatal to Western civilization. This is clear from their continuing, punitive fetish of "climate change."

The environment is a tactic. It is not the strategy. Blocking the Keystone pipeline (again), and joining the the Paris accords (again), are tactics within a tactic. Mask mandatess are a tactic. Open borders are a tactic. Even destroying education is a tactic.

If you think the city fathers of San Francisco, Los Angeles and Denver care about the environment, please explain tent cities, uneducated feral kids running in gangs, and streets full of discarded trash, used needles and feces. Explain killing pipelines to ship oil in (Warren Buffet’s) rail cars – which is more dangerous to the environment than pipelines.

Our rulers demand we stop the earth from warming right now or the global temperature might increase two degrees!  Not only does no data support their warming hoax, not only do these same “experts” admit that hitting 100 percent of the goals of the Paris Accord will not accomplish this, the peer-reviewed journal, Astrobiology, informs us that the ideal planet temperature is five degrees C - warmer .

Paris is not about the environment, and even if it were, it wouldn’t fix anything. Why are they pursuing this tactic?

We now have denied our entire youth of an education for an entire year. Ready for seven more? The education industry insists learning can and must be done from home. That they are wrong is not the issue. Parents – who know their kids far better than teachers – from across K-12 and college know the educators are wrong, as is demonstrated by the increasing number of child and young-adult suicides, if that’s a strong-enough indicator for you. These kids know they are falling-behind and that society doesn’t care. That is the issue.

“Educators” (remember when we called them “teachers,” and they could actually teach?) are refusing to return to the classroom. The risk for those under 70 of dying from this virus is shown in the CDC Table below, updated September 10, 2020. Basically, zero un-retired educators and zero of the student population are among cohorts at-risk of dying from this virus.

What will be the consequences of years of substandard schooling? The same as those of open borders – an uneducated labor force. An uneducated labor force is not employable in First-World jobs. Why are they pursuing this tactic?

If the next generation is to be educated in this brave new world, a parent will need to both stay home and have the capability to teach their own children. Ignore the “have the capability”; skip everything after “stay home.” The percentage of married couples with two earners is 60 percent. What do you think will be the consequence on the national housing market if we take half of the married breadwinners out of the labor force? What does the middle class do with most of its money? Buys housing. And here you thought the collapse of 2008 was bad?

But – the elite have a plan for middle class housing: Destroy it. Why are they pursuing this tactic?

Open the borders, kill the schools and you have voila! an uneducated labor force doing the bidding of the apparats at the top. And no middle class demanding to raise their children as they see fit, to earn a good living, to spend their money as they decide, and to speak their minds about what once was their own government.

The ruling class isn’t wearing masks, taking commercial airlines, sequestering themselves from social activities, or worried about their children, like those at Bill Gates’ alma mater, not being educated in opened schools. This isn’t about them. It’s about the same thing that drove Stalin and Mao and the Killing Fields: Totalitarian power.

Ready for what, Bill?

It’s about destroying a middle class they see as having grown too big for its britches, wanting too much, and refusing to shut the hell up and do as we’re told. It's about millions of impoverished, uneducated, powerless workers trying to feed their families, and so doing whatever is asked by the owners of the new slave class: You and me and our kids.

This isn’t about the environment or education or housing or borders. Those are tactics.

Their strategy is destroying self-rule, human independence and all human rights gained since ancient Greece. They mean to destroy us. No other reasonable explanation exists for Paris, Open Borders, or the lockdown. No other consequences from their actions are imaginable.

The tactics to stop our opponents are not running for school boards or donating money to the red half of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party happily and unconstitutionally impeaching our former president. We’ve tried those. We’ve “tried everything else.”

Are you prepared to contemplate a strategy to stop them from killing you? If not, why not?

'Deniers' of the World, Unite!

Much is made of the fact that former "climate change" advocates have now defected to the side of reason. But much more needs to be done to defeat climate change propaganda. The latest defection, as we’ve noted here, is Michael Shellenberger, author of Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All. His arguments are well-documented but he’s been denied a voice in the major media.

The major media shut-outs are not the only way climate change skeptics are made non-persons and their arguments, studies and critiques of the prevailing view silenced. The most important search engine, Google does it, too. David Wojick   tested it by searching his own works and those of other climate change skeptics on Google.

The pattern is obvious — attack the skeptics of climate change alarmism. The ever present use of the wacko DeSmogBlog attacks, usually in the top 5 items and often first or second, is actually pretty funny. But it is also telling, as is the going back many years to pick up attack pieces, while the informational pieces are far more recent. This pattern cannot be accidental; the algorithm is clearly tuned to discredit skeptics of climate change alarmism.

The interesting question: is this illegal? After all Google boasts that it has billions of dollars invested in renewable energy. Skepticism of alarmism probably threatens those investments. Deliberately discrediting people in order to protect or enhance your business interests sounds illegal to me. Maybe there is even a class action suit in this.

This censoring of contrary opinion on climate change is not merely a matter of free speech and inquiry. It’s critical, because it’s likely to be the next woke campaign—overturning western civilization by piling on the moral panic which has already led to such absurdities as denouncing terms like “master bedroom” and “blacklisting,” and demolishing statues of abolitionists because of some fancied connotations of slavery and racism. (I did Google Michael Shellenberger and see Google’s algorithms have not yet made him a non-person. His most recent works and statements are at the top.)

The censoring of climate skeptics is or should be of interest to more than those of us interested in this issue. It’s likely to be the next “woke” campaign theme. And the censoring is likely to be even more extreme. Using the Forbes deletion of Shellenberger’s article as a warning, the author, Ross Clark, concludes:

A US journalist who tried to find out why was issued only with the following statement: ‘Forbes requires its contributors to adhere to strict editorial guidelines. This story did not follow those guidelines, and was removed.’ It is not hard to decode: a bunch of climate alarmists decided that Shellenberger is inconvenient to their cause and have tried to cancel him by complaining to the website – and the website caved in...

The attempt to classify climate change ‘denialism’ as a hate crime has been coming for quite a while. The very use of the word ‘denial’ is an attempt to put anyone skeptical of climate alarmism in the same pigeonhole as holocaust deniers.

There are so many fine blogs on the subject, including The Pipeline, Wattsupwiththat, and Climate Audit, for example, the question no longer is who can refute the silliness of the doomsday movement, but how can we make our voices heard in the face of the media-attempted blackout and the education establishments’ embrace of  climate alarmism?

Battling phantoms since 1212.

School children are especially vulnerable to the climate-change movement, which is the genius of using Greta Thunberg to appeal to the public on this issue. She’s a modern Stephen of Cloyes who’d lead frenetic children on a disastrous endeavor—in this case abolishing the fossil fuels that keeps us living well.  Her backers use her to inspire a repeat of the ill-fated Children’s’ Crusade, because children are so lacking in knowledge and experience an emotional appeal is most effective on them.

So, how do we reach the young formative minds? I went to the National Education Association’s website for its statement: “Climate Change Education: Essential Information for Educators.”  It directs teachers to a series of reports by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, PBS, and the KQED Education network. Picking one such study at random, the NOAA study, teachers will learn things like this:

Impacts from climate change are happening now. These impacts extend well beyond an increase in temperature, affecting ecosystems and communities in the United States and around the world. Things that we depend upon and value — water, energy, transportation, wildlife, agriculture, ecosystems, and human health — are experiencing the effects of a changing climate.

Or, to take a second example, the KQED Education Network:

Scientists around the globe have noticed that over the last 40 years Earth, as a whole, has been warming. This phenomenon, known as global warming, is affecting regional climates differently. For example, some regions may experience warmer summers, while other regions may see winters with heavier snowstorms.

A rise in Earth's average temperature isn't always immediately apparent. For example, some places still get snowy winters, which might appear to contradict the idea of global warming. (Check out Andy Warner's comic to learn how global warming can actually lead to heavier snowfall). So, how do scientists know Earth is warming?

The NEA lists its “Green Partners,” among them:

I stopped at the first, Earth Day Network, where I learned, “Our food system accounts for more than a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions, making animal agriculture one of the largest contributors to climate change. Food production and consumption are rapidly deteriorating the planet. And what we’re eating is pushing the planet to the breaking point on climate change and deforestation.”

My point is as far as I can tell, the NEA guides for teachers rely on sources in which no countervailing opinions seem readily to appear, and often make assertions of fact which are simply untrue. This underscores what Paul Driessen wrote last year.

From kindergarten onward, our young people are repeatedly told that they, our wildlife and our planet face unprecedented cataclysms from manmade climate change, resulting from our fossil fuel use. The science is settled, they are constantly hoodwinked, and little or no discussion is allowed in classrooms.

They thus hear virtually nothing about the growing gap between computer model predictions and satellite temperature measurements; questions about data manipulation by scientists advocating the dangerous manmade climate change narrative; the hundreds of scientists who do not agree with the supposed “consensus” on manmade climate chaos; or the absence of any real-world evidence to support claims of carbon dioxide-driven coral bleaching, species extinctions, or the seemingly endless litany of ever more absurd assertions that fossil fuel emissions are making sharks right-handed, arctic plants too tall, pigs skinnier and salmon unable to detect danger, to cite just a few crazy examples.

It all seems hopeless.

I haven’t any brilliant notions of how to combat this propagandizing and enlisting half-formed student minds to the cause, but it should start with pressuring our federal agencies to stop producing, promoting on its own fact-free propagandizing, and funding outside groups to do the same. The agencies producing the pap the NEA recommends need to be monitored and forced to provide in its place more objective, documented material for the public. The NEA needs to be challenged regarding the sites and material it is endorsing. If you encourage teachers to teach nonsense, you’re paying them to mis-educate their students.

There is a multi-state effort to create new education standards that are “rich in content and practice, arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education.” A glance at the standards, arranged by grades, seem far more objective than the NEA site. States that have not signed on to this should be encouraged to do so.

Perhaps all of the climate-change-skeptical sites should consider a feature occasionally explaining the truth of "man-made climate change" in terms children (and their parents) can understand, a sort of Scholastic Science feature now and then.

In the meantime, the climate cult is turning out students like those at Milwaukee’s North Division High School, which holds regular school-sanctioned walkouts on topics like Climate Activism. (Only one student out of 105 there are proficient in English and only two  are proficient in math.) Its most recent teacher-approved Red Guard-like march of the Milwaukee Public Schools was organized by “The People’s Climate Coalition" and specifically targeted Wells Fargo and Chase banks. Apparently they were singled out because they supposedly provided funding for fossil fuel companies. Parents and citizens should challenge the manipulation of students who certainly do not need time away from school to serve as leftist foot soldiers.

We skeptics can’t just talk to ourselves if we mean to bring greater support for rational energy and environmental policies, and we can’t persuade others they are being duped and misinformed if we don’t do more.