Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fear and Education

"You can't believe everything you hear."

This was common advice when I was growing up. I tell it to my kids quite often. Of course, they had better believe everything they hear from me.

"There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production – with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth." This is how the article from Newsweek published in 1975 begins. Global warming, you think? No, it was about global cooling. This was some of the hysteria going on when I was growing up.

Some might question that if the Earth was cooling then but has been warming recently, what is the net effect? The Earth is now at the same temperature it was in the 1940s, when the last cooling cycle began.

In addition to the global cooling garbage, there were other calamities waiting to end the world:

* acid rain was going to eat away everything.
* pollution was rampant and was going to blot out sunlight, leading to a new Ice Age.
* oil was going to run out and no cars would be able to move.
* the deserts were expanding every year.
* the waste from nuclear power plants, which had to be buried, were going to contaminate the soil -- that is, unless
* the U.S. and the Soviet Union didn't annihilate each other in World War III.

Think back to when you were a kid and see if you can remember anything like that.

Personally, I am of the opinion that global warming is a hoax. It's junk science. Plenty of scientists disagree with it, too. I would advise anyone that truly believes it to follow the money. See who is getting rich off of it.

This is all new to our kids. It scares them into thinking there will be no world left when they grow up. We as parents need to provide some balance to them -- teach them to question, to think critically and not to blindly accept what they learn in school or see on TV. Provide them some perspective so that they can be skeptical of claims given to them.

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