Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Poisoning the children's minds with climate scares: will that educational tide be on the turn in 2011?

We have seen an astonishing 40 years of scaremongering triggered by a few irresponsible scientists whose computer models became so vividly real for them that they abandoned basic adult responsibilities in their consequent public agitations. After a brief dalliance with the possibility of the onset of the next glaciation, their efforts turned to warming, encouraged no doubt by the remarkable annual increases of CO2 recorded at Mona Loa.

They devised models to give CO2 a more important role in climate than observations and properly conducted historical reconstructions support. The models do this by means of an hypothesised positive feedback involving water vapour, a feedback which is implausible from our knowledge of atmospheric history, and unconfirmed by recent observations, not least of air temperatures which fail to show the tropospheric 'hotspot' predicted by the models.

The 'settled science' of CO2 applies merely to its radiative properties, since the impact of these on the climate system is far from settled, with expert estimates ranging from an overall slight cooling, to a slight warming from projected increases in ambient CO2 over the next hundred years or so.

The apocalyptic stuff requires those computer models and their novel feedbacks. Models which are mere toys in the face of the immense complexity of the system they refer to. Models fit only to illustrate some aspects of speculations about the climate amongst relevant professionals, and not nearly good enough to warrant the widespread alarm they have been used to support.

It seems to me that adults, and in particular professionals, have a moral responsibility to avoid such scaremongering, and in particular to protect school-age children from it. The temptations to pursue it for financial and political gain, or even for the pursuit of publicity and public attention as ends in themselves, are obvious and in part explain the enthusiastic adoption of climate scares by powerful individuals and organisations keen to grow in power and influence. That they have dramatically succeeded in this is one of the most interesting features of the current scare, and one which is surely worthy of deep study in many disciplines if we are to have any hope of reducing our vulnerability to such exploitation.

While the media/political class chattering in and around climate will no doubt continue into the indefinite future, perhaps continuing the 20th century tradition of alternating, on an approximately 30 year cycle, between cold and hot dooms. (Certainly the recent cold weather over most of the northern temperature latitudes has seen more talk of ice ages, 'little' or otherwise.) Or, the talk may become more nuanced, and less vulnerable to refutation, by deploying less specific threats such as 'climate change' or 'climate disruption', giving the agitators scope for pushing their 'cause' on the back of the inevitable excursions of weather events near or beyond previously recorded extremes. Attempts have been made to make this particular spin, but their impact seems limited, presumably because of the huge prior success in promoting the warming motif.

The establishment (media, political classes, academia, governments, the EU, the UN, major NGOs and other multinational corporations) has bought wholeheartedly into climate alarm, some no doubt for genuine and honest reasons, based on trust in the pontifications of erstwhile respected bodies such as the Royal Societies of Edinburgh and London, or indeed of the once 'dull and dowdy' Met Office, now transformed with the help of a WWF activist into an important exponent of 'climatism'. They make for a wealthy and powerful force driving and/or riding the tide of alarmist opinion about climate. It might seem futile to resist it.

But what else can we do? Will it self-destruct? The case for alarm over human impacts on climate is so thin, so tenuous, that it seems doomed to collapse from its own absurdity. The last year or so, from Climategate onwards, has seen much to encourage this view, aided and abetted by the wacky sense of humour of the weather gods who produced the Gore Effect so many times, and, now, another winter on the cold side over very extensive areas in the northern hemisphere.

Unfortunately the alarmist-virus is out and into the educational bloodstream, threatening to produce more and more demoralised and frightened children. At the very least, we who look on appalled at its spread, can try to find and encourage antibodies wherever and whenever they appear. To mix-in the earlier metaphor, the tide may be turned earlier in some places than in others. Variability is, after all, all around us.


Black Pogrom against Asians in Philadelphia School

Wikipedia describes the Russian word “pogrom” as a form of “violent riot, a mob attack, either approved or condoned by government or military authorities, directed against a particular group, whether ethnic, religious, or other”.

Education Week reports “The courage of Asian students to describe the harassment and violence they experienced at South Philadelphia High School led members of the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission to act on their behalf, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.”

Those of you who are part of the truly politically correct rainbow coalition learned in college in the 70s to 90s that racism can only be committed by whites against blacks because of the nature of the racist power structure. Well somebody forgot to tell the groups of predominantly African American students who weren’t feeling particularly multicultural on December 3, 2009 to not beat up 30 Asian students who were English Language Learners. The Asian-American Legal Defense and Education Fund also filed the complaint with the federal government.

USA Today reported that gangs roamed the halls searching for Asians. After they found and attacked their first victim in a classroom, another 70 students mobbed the cafeteria, beating several others. Another 35 students who were undeterred by a police officer were turned back from what they called the “Asian floor”. After school, Asian students were escorted home, but still targeted by toughs. 30 Asians were injured that day and seven were hospitalized.

Apologists said race had nothing to do with it. Community specialist Wali Smith who saw the violence explains blacks were marginalized by Italians and Irish. Now as the schools are 100% “diverse”, 70% black with an 18% Asian minority they resent seeing Asians given a special second-floor sanctuary for language programs, while the staff doesn’t care about black students. The gangster mentality also drives some to target weak people, so when they mugged Asians in the bathroom and they didn’t report it “they’ll just keep riding it until the wheels fall off.”

Asians were most angry at the school district which had failed to protect them. If anything it seemed that the African American staff and administration was taking sides and looking the other way. They seemed to put the blame on a racist and capitalist society with a centuries long history of injustices towards African Americans rather than the individual perpetrators as criminals. District superintendent Arlene Ackerman said “These problems are long-standing and go beyond the school and into the community.”

The primary directive of Asian immigrants is not “demanding racial justice from whites”, even if that is what 70s college educated “Ho Chih Minh is my hero” Asian American Movement™ hippies were taught. They try for and get BETTER grades and scores than majority whites. If the low income immigrants score lower than their counterparts in Cupertino and go to San Jose State instead of Stanford while their parents work 6 jobs 25 hours a day, they still think they’re ahead of the game instead of vowing to bring down suburban Koreans and Mandarin Chinese.. They see America as a land of limitless opportunity. They are thankful they have been given the chance to climb over obstacles placed in their path rather than cursing the races and economic systems responsible for their misery.

Asians do not see America as an inhuman, morally bankrupt capitalist system whose dominant whites and new pet Asians have stolen unfair wealth, restaurants, corner stores and Acuras on the backs of the oppressed. To their tormentors, Amerika is a system that must be smashed. Petty theft is merely payback for “problems that are long-standing and go beyond the school and into the community.” Young predators do not comprehend the concepts like individual accountability or guilt, or advancement through virtue. They only understand the language of “racial equality” and “social justice”.

Black conservatives like Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams would certainly agree that White Nationalists could not concoct a more evil system to happily brainwash a once-proud people into a self-destructive cycle dooming them to the bottom rungs of society for generations. There is a multi-million if not billion dollar industry which enriches a leadership (obviously not Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck) enriched by their cut of the profits of the 21st century slave trade of “racial justice” which keeps people in chains.

It was South Pacific that explained how babies born into innocence are “carefully taught” to pull others down rather than look for and grab a helping hand up. Perhaps that is what creates jobs for so many full time activists, academic and government officials training poor, Hispanic and African Americans to see American 180 degrees of how Asians see it, and why they carefully exclude Asians from any of their studies of “economic justice”

But Asians do have the African Americans to thank for shoring up the one big Asian weakness – having the guts to stand up and complain. It was local activists, god bless them for once, who came up with the idea of 50 Asian students boycotting school for a week to make a bold statement, a tactic seemingly inspired by the original civil rights era boycotts like the bus boycott. Economic success is not an either-or proposition. Yes you must protest injustice and unfairness. But once you put a stop to violence and hatred, it is ultimately up to the individual to raise him or herself and their people as high as they can go.


Britain's Common entrance exam could go online

A century-old exam used by the country's top private schools is to undergo its first major overhaul in decades. Plans are being drawn up to put the Common Entrance exam online in an attempt to make it less stressful for young pupils, according to the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS)

First introduced in 1904, Common Entrance is an exam taken by children applying to private secondary schools, including top institutions like Eton College, at age 11 and 13. Pupils are entered for the exam if they have been offered a place at a school, subject to passing it, and the papers are then marked by the relevant school.

All pupils take Common Entrance in English, maths and science, and at age 13+ they can also take French, geography, German, Greek, history, Latin, religious studies and Spanish. Secondary schools choose which options they require from pupils, which means youngsters applying to more than one school could have to sit several subjects.

Critics have also raised concerns in the past that the exam is too intensive, and overloads prep schools' syllabuses.

IAPS chief executive David Hanson said: "Other examination systems have come and gone, but Common Entrance has remained because it has great qualities. "What we need to do now is to build on those qualities and make best use of new technology to ease the burden of examinations on young pupils."

A team of IAPS heads has been working with the association to develop a series of online tests, he said. "These tests can be done online, in the child's school, which we hope will not only help them to feel more at ease, but also free up time during senior school visits so pupils can really get to know their chosen new school."


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