I recently read an articulate letter from a fellow citizen who offered a distinction between education and indoctrination. The writer listed a few facts about the elements present in our air and the nature of climate change. I cannot argue with those facts, but I must say that they are by no means exhaustive.
Whether it is indeed “child abuse” to teach additional facts, I cannot say But it is a fact that 97% of scientists believe that human beings have tipped the balance of weather patterns by their increased levels of carbon use. It is also a fact that arctic ice is melting at alarming rates, erratic weather patterns in general have put many seaside communities and cultures — including those in Florida — at risk. Further, rising global temperatures threaten hundreds of species of birds and other beautiful and ecologically vital creatures.
That writer and I disagree as to whether the wildfires in California, droughts in Africa, monsoons in Indonesia and increased numbers of category 3 to 5 hurricanes can be connected to rises in CO2. Obviously — and this too should be taught — climate is complex.
In my view, adults should want to protect children from the terrors of a world where millions of species are lost, coastlines vanish and the consequences of that such as famines and wars threaten the incredibly blessed American landscape and lifestyle. Taught sensitively and honestly, the truth about challenges can motivate a new generation and possibly help us to forestall what I believe may be the greatest threat to the earth’s biological systems ever posed.