Monday, 30 November 2015

HOW CHILDREN ARE USED FOR POLITICAL CAMPAIGNING ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Here is a harmless-looking organisation that is active right near me. If you click on the link you will find the website full of pictures of New Forest ponies and trees. They also support many excellent initiatives such as encouraging recycling and healthy eating, exercise, etc. So far so good. But along with these uncontroversial campaigns they also, in common no doubt with many other similar organisations, encourage 'action on climate change'. You can see how this bit is just slipped in along with all the other bits.

Maybe the people running this just don't think there is any controversy in taking 'action on climate change' in which case they must be very blinkered in not seeing all the articles in the press and on-line referring to the pause in global temperature, the job losses due to high energy prices caused by green policies and the massive cost of reducing CO2 emissions. Alternatively they are aware but simply refuse to acknowledge them.

In either case they are quite intentionally encouraging children from as young as four to take part in a political campaign to influence political leaders to bring in stricter targets to control CO2 emissions. This campaign can be accessed by clicking the link near the bottom of their home page. It is entitled 'New Forest Postcard to Paris'.

I would never have heard about this, but for an article in our local paper the Advertiser and Times (A and T), which explained what was happening. I decided to write a letter to the paper outlining my objections. Here it is:

SIR - In last week's A and T we were informed that New Forest children, including those at pre-school, were being encouraged to write 'postcards to Paris' to try and influence the outcome of the UN Climate Conference.  This may seem like harmless fun, but what the children are unaware of is that this is a hugely controversial and highly political subject.  


It is therefore evident that the children are being encouraged by the adults in charge of them to promote a political campaign.  I am sure the adults believe that this is a simple case of supporting a good cause, like campaigns to eliminate poverty, hunger, etc. But this is not the case at all. There are serious issues over both the extent of the problem as well as the proposed solutions.

 To appreciate just how political this subject has become, just see what happened to Philip Verdier, a leading meteorologist on French television, when he wrote a book critical of some of the more alarming claims used to push the case for stricter controls on CO2 emissions. He was sacked. Others who have spoken out have had similar treatment in what has become a modern witch-hunt.


Let's be clear, the severe cuts in CO2 emissions being proposed would restrict the availability of cheap energy and condemn poor people in the Third World to cook on wood or dung-fuelled fires for many more years with all the attendant lung damage due to smoke inhalation that this causes.  Here in the UK some energy-intensive industries such as steel making and aluminium smelting have already been forced to close due to high energy costs. The jobs have simply moved to nations which are not prepared to sign up to cut CO2 emissions, such as India and China.


What next? Should children be writing postcards asking to raise the minimum wage or to ban the fur trade? It is vitally important that children should receive a balanced education free from political propaganda, however well-meaning. 

Yours faithfully,
Derek Tipp

If it gets published on Saturday (5 Dec) I will be interested to see what the public response is, if any, in the following edition (12 Dec) Also what  the participants in this project have to say. I will, of course, keep you posted with any updates.
UPDATE 1
The letter has been accepted for publication with two minor changes which the editor required. These were minor and did not detract from the message.
UPDATE 2 - 12 December
Surprisingly there were no letters objecting to mine, just one letter in reply to mine which was in support.



2 comments:

JS said...

Well done!

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