A Homework Assignment:
This was a link I found when looking at what children are learning about climate change:
The article contains links to the assignment.
The assignment is definitely fiction—of the very, very dishonest type.
First, the likelihood of a society based on wind,solar and hydro being able to create a hologram is highly questionable. Advanced electronics often require much electricity—more than “on-its-own-time”, hunter-gatherer wind and solar can produce. Hydro is more reliable, but in a society that has learned to “make do with less”, why would they waste energy on a hologram? Crayons and paper or chalk and a board are far more environmentally friendly. Maybe by 2512, someone will learn how to bend the laws of physics and get large quantities of electricity from sources that have never been shown to work well anywhere at any level and that would allow the sophistication indicated in the story. Perhaps with all that new open water, the people used their highly valuable, limited resources to plant turbines everywhere. Or maybe they put them in the Gulf Stream and perhaps further altered the climate. Hard to guess.
This brings us to the major deception—that Kansas could ever be beachfront property. There are only two ways I can think of for this to happen:
1.Some kind of huge fault line slips and land plunges into the ocean, resulting in land south of Kansas submerging. This has nothing to do with climate change. I’m not sure it’s even possible. There may be no fault lines that could result in this type of massive land movement.
2. Aliens arrived with billions and billions of gallons of water and drowned out a huge part of the human race. Since no aliens are mentioned (though that would have clearly indicated the “science fiction” nature of the assignment), either the aliens worked in secret or there were no aliens. I’ll leave you to decide which. Again, climate change is in no way involved in this version.
Why is this such a huge misrepresentation? Because it is IMPOSSIBLE for climate change to make Kansas beachfront property and turn the Smokey Mountains into islands. Don’t take my word for it. Check out this link: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/09/rising-seas/if-ice-melted-map for a map showing what the planet would look like if all ice melted. The maximum rise is around 200 feet if all ice on the planet melted. Because humans, for some reason unfathomable to me, tend to live on coasts or near waterways, the rise would have an effect. Europe would probably be hardest hit, since their population density is already high. China would be even more crowded. However, there would be plenty of land space for people to move to. This would be a gradual transition, over decades. Note: Calling people who move inland due to their land being flooded by sea level rise “climate refugees” is pure politics and highly inaccurate. People move from places they don’t like or cannot live in any more all the time. The word “refugee” conjures up war-type refugee camps, which in no way are similar. Sea level rise is gradual and requires no “fleeing” from the change. Climate does not bomb cities and seek out people to kill as happens in war. So cease with the “refugee” misrepresentation. Let’s have some honesty in science rather than propaganda.
You may wonder why I’m so furious at the “homework” assignment. The assignment may be labeled “fiction” but it is clearly designed to evoke fear in the students, making them afraid of their current lifestyle that involves fossil fuels. That fear is based on a physical impossibility, not facts or science. It’s a very deliberate deception. In the long run, it will cause major damage to science. Children will learn they’ve been manipulated for political purposes and come to see science as nothing more than a political tool. In a worst case scenario, they will become paralyzed by fear. Any trust there may have been in the scientific field will be lost. We see that starting today—people are losing trust in science when everything is proof of the theory of climate change caused by man. Even elementary science tells us no theory can be proven by everything—if it cannot be proven wrong (falsified), it’s not science. As the children grow older and learn the consequences of belief in a theory that is questionable and bad science which is being used to attempt massive reductions in people’s standard of living, their belief that science is politics will only grow.
It’s bad for science. If we want to keep the discipline of science, we must address these problems and stop trying to indoctrinate children instead of educating them.