Category Archives: Climate Change

Texas Hurricane Harvey and Floods

Rescue in Harvey Flood (Photographer unknown)

Anyone living in Texas right now is probably not spending time reading this blog. So this is for the rest of the country who will have questions from their kids. This amount of rain following a hurricane is called “unprecedented,” but is it the result of climate change? Your kids will probably be told in school that this should shut up the “climate change deniers.” Let’s look at it objectively.

Hurricane-turned-tropical-storm Harvey is a major disaster. But there have been many weather-caused disasters before this one. Why is this different? Houston has grown tremendously. It’s now called a “metroplex” rather than just a city. That means what used to be soil, is now streets, roads, parking lots, and buildings both residential and commercial. Much of the soil that previously acted like a sponge, helping to soak up the excess rain, is now impenetrable. And I read that  the water drainage, for some reason, is mostly in the direction of downtown Houston.

But, you still have this “unprecedented” rainfall. Did you know that in December, 1935, Houston’s downtown was flooded, and at Buffalo Bayou in Houston the water level measured 54.4 feet at its peak? Of course, that might have been a bit easier to deal with because you didn’t have a metroplex population of just under seven million. Another way to compare 1935 with 2017 is that the level in the same location is, at least at this time, 38 feet, which is 16 feet less than it reached in 1935. Although the rain doesn’t seem to be over yet, and the level reached this year will undoubtedly rise, give thanks for small favors.

Downtown Houston: Flood of 1935

But there is so much rain this time. Again, “unprecedented.” It must be because of global warming. Maybe not. In 1979 Tropical Storm Claudette  dumped 43” of rain on Houston in only 24 hours. In this case, Harvey has a high pressure area that is keeping it from moving on and weakening. Climate change doesn’t cause a storm to get stuck in place, high pressure above it does.

But this was a hurricane, not a tropical storm! Keep in mind that there have been only four hurricanes hitting the United States that were Category 4 or stronger since 1970,  (47 years) but in the 47 years preceding 1970 there were fourteen of them! Don’t forget that it has been 12 years, a long time—an “unprecedented” long time—without a hurricane that was Category 3 or stronger. Meteorologically speaking, we were probably due for one.

A CNN news anchor asked Bill Read, a former director of the National Hurricane Center, if he thought Harvey was as bad as it is because of global warming. You can read his full answer here, but basically he said, “No.”

Tell your kids about this so if their teachers try to lay the Harvey disaster on climate change, they can say they have some additional information to contribute. But tell them to do that as we read in Colossians 3:12:

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Back to School: What to Expect

CAUTION – Tell your kids not to believe everything they’re going to read and hear.

What do your kids, and you, expect as they head back to school? Seeing their friends again? Learning something cool? Are they wondering what their new teacher will be like? Probably all those things.

But are you expecting something more? Perhaps a true representation of our great American history? Truth in their science courses that discuss earth’s origin and climate change? If you do, I applaud your optimism. The chances of those things happening if your kids are attending a public school range from slim to none.

I say that, even though I am a basically optimistic person, because I’ve studied what’s been happening, and is continuing to happen. If you haven’t read my book Who’s Got Dibs on Your Kids? yet (I sometimes call it Dibs), this might be a good time to do that. In my opinion, it is vital for you to prepare your kids ahead of time for what they most likely will be taught in school. Teach them yourself what the truth is.

I’m bringing this up now because I just read a quote of Vladimir Lenin that chilled me to the bone. He wrote:

We must be ready to employ trickery, deceit, law-breaking, withholding and concealing truth. We can and we must write in a language that sows among the masses hatred, scorn, and the like towards those who disagree with us. (Emphasis added.)

Lenin was born in 1870 and died in 1924, but we can see his hateful plans still alive and well in our own country today. Does that sound over the top? Let’s take a look at it.

Don’t believe everything in the textbooks

Trickery and deceit were definitely employed in Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth, which taught our children that our world was doomed if we didn’t drastically reduce our carbon footprint immediately. Add to that the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) which are probably in use in your kid’s school. (See page 45 of Dibs) Those standards require climate change instruction. One of the high school course descriptions reads: “Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.”

Please note this does not ask the student to determine if Earth systems are being modified by human activity, but how.

If you haven’t noticed the acceptance, possibly encouragement, of law-breaking on college campuses, you need to take a little time off from your daily chores. Look at some video clips of students preventing speakers from conveying their ideas with shouting, physical endangerment, and destruction of private property.

I could cite countless examples of schools withholding and concealing the truth, but to keep it simple, let’s look at just one textbook on American history. The Florida Citizens Alliance has done a great job checking textbooks. One portion from their report on (2015) Modern World History, 9th Grade Teacher Edition, covering the Section on the American Revolution reveals that:

  • The debating between the Federalist and the Anti-Federalists is distorted.
  • The Federalist position was entirely misrepresented.

Signing the Constitution

  • There is no mention of the thirteen colonies declaring their independence as thirteen independent Nation states.
  • There is no mention of our Constitution being a legal document that created the federal government.
  • No mention that the Constitution gave only eighteen very well-defined and very limited powers to the federal government.
  • No mention of the extensive debates that led to the Bill of Rights and particularly why we have a 9th and 10th amendment.
  • The textbook states “colonial leaders eventually recognized the need for a strong national government” which is not true. Our Constitution was carefully crafted to limit federal government powers.

The Florida Citizens Alliance rank this section on American History as having 1) Bias 2) Omission of Fact 3) Half-Truth and 4) Factual Error.

This definitely falls into the withholding and concealing the truth category and, as I said before, is only one small example of how our kids are being misled. How can we expect them to realize how truly exceptional our country is if they are not told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

Back to Lenin’s statement—he continues: “sows among the masses hatred, scorn, and the like towards those who disagree with us.” Have you heard the words homophobe, xenophobe, Islamophobe, misogynist, racist, sexist? Can you honestly say those words do not sow “hatred, scorn and the like towards those who disagree with us?” How is our culture today different from that espoused by Lenin? Will your kids experience this in school?

These are but a few examples of how some are trying to lead our kids on paths away from truth, patriotism, and God. As a parent you must prepare your kids for being confronted with these realities. Teach them the truth, and that God’s love that endures all things.

Tell me, Mellon, when did we let evil become stronger than us?

– The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

 

Will the Classroom Climate Change? – Part 2

Strong differing opinions about climate change

I’m continuing here my comments on the National Center for Science Education survey of teachers regarding climate change, and whether human activities are responsible for global warming. In case you see the term “anthropogenic global warming” (sometimes reduced to AGW), that’s what they’re talking about.

A focus of the results of this survey is to understand how and why students are receiving what NCSE calls mixed messages. The mixed messages apparently are 1) not all teachers believe there is global warming, and 2) of those who believe there is, not all of them think we humans are causing it. Therefore, “mixed messages” means not all teachers are teaching what many in politics and science are calling “fact” about climate change.

It doesn’t surprise me that they are concerned that all kids are not being properly indoctrinated. One paragraph in the report makes clear they feel it is their duty to ensure this is accomplished:

Although the mass media, informal education (such as museums and zoos), and advocacy organizations play important roles in promoting scientific literacy, a special responsibility lies with our public schools. Schools reach into all sectors of society and create environments that are better insulated from ideology and rancor than social media or political forums.

I certainly agree that schools reach into all sectors of society, but I need someone to show me that what schools (in general) are teaching today is insulated from ideology. Fortunately, “more than a quarter of teachers ‘give equal time’ to perspectives that raise doubt about the scientific consensus.” NCSE regards this as “managing conflict” rather than objectivity. I suppose if kids want to examine various viewpoints it becomes “conflict.”

Another finding states:

Many teachers’ understanding of the greenhouse effect may be shaky. When asked to prioritize topics for a 2–3 day unit on the greenhouse gases and recent global warming, many teachers selected topics that are not especially relevant.

If you haven’t been following this train of thought, you may not know the claim is that greenhouse gases cause global warming, carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas, therefore CO2 causes global warming. Remember that CO2 is vital to life on earth. It was not considered a greenhouse gas until the EPA declared it so in 2009.

Finally, the last of their findings I’ll comment on is:

Teachers’ awareness of the scientific consensus is linked to their attitudes toward the role of government. The more that teachers question the role of government relative to individual responsibility, the less likely they are to know that most climate scientists believe that human activity is the major cause of global warming.

Teachers may no longer be puppets for “consensus” science

Let’s take a close look at that statement. Look at the earlier paragraph above that claims schools are better insulated from ideology and rancor than social media or political forums. Here they state that the more teachers question the role of government relative to individual responsibility, the less likely they are to know the group-think they are supposed to endorse. So are the schools supposed to separate themselves from “political” sources as they claim to do, or do they promote government/political information?

In Part 1 of this post I mentioned that the survey of 1,500 teachers showed that “Fewer than half of all teachers [responding] had any formal coursework — even one class lecture — on climate change.”

Perhaps the decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Accord will start some of those teachers wondering what’s going on, and they’ll do some research on their own.

To emphasize that scientists have differing opinions, check out this statement by Freeman Dyson quoted in the Cornwall Alliance. Freeman Dyson is one of the world’s top physicists. He replaced Albert Einstein at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He put very simply a basic argument against the notion that CO2-driven global warming is likely to be disastrous:

In humid air, the effect of carbon dioxide on radiation transport is unimportant, because the transport of radiation is already blocked by the much larger greenhouse effect of water vapor. The effect of carbon dioxide is important where the air is dry, and air is usually dry only when it’s cold. Hot desert air may feel dry, but it often contains a lot of water vapor. The warming effect of carbon dioxide is strongest where the air is cold and dry, mainly in the Arctic rather than the tropics, mainly in winter rather than in summer, and mainly at night rather than in daytime. The warming is real, but it is mostly making cold places warmer, rather than making hot places hotter. To represent this local warming by a global average is grossly misleading.

Freeman Dyson also said he rejects environmentalism as anti-humanism. So you see, knowledgeable people can have differing viewpoints.

The title of this and the previous blog post is “Will the Classroom Climate Change?” My question is aimed at what NCSE calls mixed messages. Will those with authority choose to teach students both sides of the global warming debate, or will a heavier hand come down on teachers to teach the view of the global warming proponents and their view only?

I strongly recommend that you go to the NCSE report and read it all for yourself. What our kids are taught, learn and believe may depend on you understanding the problem. Let me know if you agree with me.

 

Will the Classroom Climate Change? – Part 1

National Center for Science Survey

You have undoubtedly heard of the widely diverse opinions on whether or not our climate is changing and, if it is, if it’s because of the terrible things we humans are doing to our earth. I just read about a survey done by the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) that questioned teachers about if and how they taught climate in their classrooms. Of the 3.9 million teachers that are in the Dun and Bradstreet database, the NCSE selected 5,000 to query. Of those 5,000, they had 1,500 responses from teachers in all fifty states, who taught science classes ranging from middle school through high school. So this survey represents approximately 3.85 percent of teachers nationwide.

Although it has become more frequently referred to lately as simply “climate change,” what the scientific community really means is what they formerly called it: global warming. I can’t go into all the results from the survey as the report is forty pages long, but I’ll cover a few of their findings.

The first that grabbed my attention—it truly astonished me—was that “Fewer than half of all teachers [responding] had any formal coursework — even one class lecture — on climate change. Of those who did not study climate change during college, only one in five has obtained continuing education on the topic.” So how, I wonder, (as you might) are they equipped to evaluate the material they are given to teach, and convey the information to the kids?

Climate Change – Not everyone agrees

We can look at the bright side. “Many students are receiving mixed messages. As many as 30% of teachers who teach about climate change are emphasizing that scientists agree that human activities are the primary causes of global warming while simultaneously emphasizing that “many scientists” see natural causes behind recent global warming.” (Emphasis added.) So the kids, at least some of them, are learning that there can be natural causes for global warming. The disturbing part of that finding is the NCSE interprets looking at two opinions on the subject as “receiving mixed messages.” That doesn’t sound like a very scientific attitude to me.

The study found that “Less than half of all science teachers are aware that more than 80% of climate scientists think that global warming is caused primarily by human activities.” It’s an interesting statement all by itself. The Daily Caller reported on a survey by George Mason University (GMU) of more than 4,000 American Meteorological Society (AMS) members found that a third of them don’t agree with the so-called global warming “consensus” that humans are the cause of most recent warming.

Dr. Roy Spencer is a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and formerly a Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA. He is co-developer of the original satellite method for precise monitoring of global temperatures from Earth-orbiting satellites. He has provided congressional testimony several times on the subject of global warming and has authored several books. His blog post regarding the GMU survey reads:

Fully 33% either believe climate change is not occurring, is mostly natural, or is at most half-natural and half-manmade (I [Roy Spencer] tend toward that last category)…or simply think we “don’t know. For something that is supposed to be “settled science”, I find that rather remarkable.

As they have had no classes at all on climate change/global warming, I cannot fault teachers believing that global temperatures are on the rise. However, let’s give a cheer that “While few teachers doubt that average global temperatures are on the rise, many do not accept scientific
conclusions regarding human energy generation and consumption as the critical cause.” (Emphasis added.)

There is much more in this report that I want to tell you about. I said earlier that I couldn’t cover it all, and I won’t, but there are a few more items you should know about. I try to get to the rest of them in my next post. Let me know what your kids are being taught about global warming.

Global Warming: Is It Science and Is It Settled?

If you’ve read my book Who’s Got Dibs on Your Kids? you know there is a chapter on climate change. Why, when the focus of the book is on how kids are being led on paths away from God, do I address the very controversial topic of climate change?

The first reason to start questioning may be when one learns you are being lied to. Well, the word “lie” has grown out-of-favor lately, so let’s be politically correct and say “misled.” My chapter on climate change gives a number of instances of “misleading” information used to validate the claim of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). The website Critical Thinking describes AGW: “The UK Met Office describes the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) hypothesis as follows: “It is now clear that man-made greenhouse gases are causing climate change. The rate of change began as significant, has become alarming and is simply unsustainable in the long term . . .”

That Critical Thinking page states, “In short the AGW theory is not borne out by the evidence.  Had the AGW hypothesis been subject to the proper scientific method, the failure to substantiate this fundamental premise (of increased warming in the troposphere over the Equator) would have rendered the man-made global warming theory invalid.” It then directs the reader to other resources that disprove the theory of AGW.

Climate model prediction of warming compared to actual temperatures 1958-1959

There is much scientifically-based material available to refute the global warming alarmists claims, but a good short analysis I have found that delineates how such a proposal is antithetical to the Bible is a paper “A Proposed Bible-Science Perspective on Global Warming” by Rod Martin, dated May 26, 2010. You can read it or download it as a PDF at Answers in Genesis. A concluding statement of that paper reads in part:

The biblical history of the earth, contained in the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis, provides a useful and sufficient framework for evaluating the current global warming issue. As we have seen, CO2 is a natural atmospheric gas that is essential for man’s existence. It is not a pollutant. The atmosphere is likely deficient in CO2 compared with the original created atmosphere. Reducing CO2 would definitely create problems, but increasing it will not. Burning fossil fuels merely returns CO2 to its place of origin. Forests are to be used for man’s benefit. They are not needed to produce O2 and they have no intrinsic rights, but should be managed responsibly and effectively.

Basic science is consistent with the biblical history and argues strongly against the global warming hypothesis. Melting glaciers and changing climates are not an indication of man-made global warming. These natural phenomena have been operating for thousands of years. Temperature histories are imprecise and unreliable. Global warming is built on an evolutionary earth history and an evolutionary time scale. Anything built on a faulty foundation cannot stand. Global warming is an offshoot of evolutionary thinking and is needlessly creating mass hysteria. God is in control of the earth, not man.

It can be expected that several trends evident since the Flood, however, will continue: sea level will rise as polar glaciers continue to melt, and deserts will expand. These trends, as we have shown, have little to do with CO2, they are a consequence of a God-ordained event, the Flood. Governments with either ocean boundaries or deserts should consider how to efficiently and economically address these trends.

There is no viable justification either biblically or scientifically for limiting the generation of CO2 or restricting logging of forests. In view of the great benefit of CO2 it is absolutely unnecessary to consider spending billions of dollars to restrict something that is extremely good for mankind and the earth. We cannot properly understand creation apart from God’s Word. Viewing global warming within a Bible-science perspective brings much needed clarity to this issue. As stated in Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Emphasis added)

I will soon be adding on my DibsOnYourKids.com website this link and others to use as resources for a Biblical stand refuting the claims of the global warming alarmists. Some of them have threatened to put anyone who disagrees with their “settled science” in prison. I’d like to hear how you are encouraging your children to disagree “with courtesy and respect, keeping a good conscience, so that those who slander your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame when they accuse you” (1Peter 3:16).