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Perhaps schools should put the 3Rs before dubious climate change theories!

What is so wonderful about Greg Barker and his banal climate change views .Why are these dubious and improbable scientific views been pushed by David Cameron? Why is Greg Barker in the Shadow Cabinet at all-it cant be due to his exemplary family life?

Anthony: Let's keep on the subject of climate change and education please.

Jennifer, you're absolutely right.

Before trying to talk to teenagers about how excess CO2 in the atmosphere might be a problem, they need to know what CO2 actually is and why it's generated in the first place.

Note to Shadow Cabinet. Climate Change, and it's supposed causes, are nowhere on voter's lists of concerns (apart from a few people who would never vote Conservative in a million years).

By all means teach children about issues like respecting the environment and energy costs but yet another group of politicians preaching about something that many of us rather suspect is beyond man's control is just another nanny state turnoff.

"Schools should appoint 'Climate Change Champions'"


In my school the geography teacher taught about climates and the science teachers taught about gasses and their effects.
By all means add a politics teacher in to explain about "climate change".

A lot of the other problems identified are relevant and good points that just make economic, educational and efficient sense - I hate the way they are lumped in with "climate change", as this makes people just ignore them as they have climate change fatigue.

On the subject of education.
What is this Goverment up to?, they are going to bring teaching "Britishness"but only in English schools, I thought all of this Island was supposed to be British.
Our English children need to be told they are English ,and then told about climate change.

Regardless of people's views on climate change, this still looks very much like a pathetic attempt at indoctrination of children.

Kind of off topic, but why are almost all tory mps under 50 on the front bench, I thought we were small government conservatives?

"Climate change" is bunk, and will win votes from the likes of Zac Goldsmith and wealthy chums who want to keep the plebs down, but none from the hard-working classes.
This is the Conservatives' Achilles heel, and if Gordon Brown was astute, he would be exploiting this.

Indoctrinating our children with a questionable hypothesis presented as a given truth is distinctly worrying. Are we about conditioning a generation to unquestioningly accept theory as fact rather than nurturing the enquiring mind and exploring possibilities rather than dictated certainty?

This will hardly equip us to deal with the consequences of climate change if the conditioned emphasis is upon controlling causal human behaviors rather than finding applicable solutions.

"And his recommendations include:

* Schools should appoint 'Climate Change Champions'".

This sounds like crude political indoctrination.

Why not have the schools teach basic science competently and equip people to make their own minds up about contentious theories and the political movements which flow from them?

My daughter is doing three sciences at GSCE.
The Chemistry course is all about the rise of CO2 in the atmosphere, fossil fuels versus biofuels. The Physics about renewable energy and energy conservation.
The Biology about the benefits of genetically modified crops.
This is not science but social engineering.

We need scientists who can work in laboratories and do proper experiments! They need to be taught the scientific method, data analysis and drawing proper conclusions.
We need to teach them how to think not what to think.

I am very angry!

Far better to do what Michael Gove has suggested and that is to adopt the Swedish model, set all schools free to teach what they feel is appropriate- funds follow students- and parents will decide. Crucial to this is the abolition of the national curricullum which although introduced by a Conservative government has proved to be a mistake.

It follows therefore that there is no place for a Conservative Government to tell schools what they should or should not teach. If a school wants to concentrate on climate change, then let them, but let's not tell them from the centre what to teach.

>Schools should appoint 'Climate Change Champions'

Who? Students? The local ground source heat pump salesman? Enforcing doctrinal adherence is what commissars were for.

>More support for farm schools and school/farm twinning programmes

>I’m a country boy and the chances of children being exposed to anything other than petting zoos is zero. Intensive poultry, abattoirs and deer culling? The true countryside is too visceral to be visible unless you have an animal rights agenda.

>More freedom for school caterers to buy local seasonal food

Ours already do but I’m not sure what the pork is like in downtown Lewisham.

>Create a new body responsible for spreading best practice in schools

If best practice is appointing self-righteous commissars to indoctrinate a generation with unproven causality via the school Tannoy system when not taking them to cuddle bunny rabbits at Ye Olde Country theme park then I would suggest that the alternative of worst practice looks quite appealing.

Please don't blindly accept what the climate alarmists say. CO2 has a diminishing greenhouse effect with increased concentrations unless you believe in some positive feedback mechanism for which there is no evidence.

One of the greatest dangers facing the UK is national bankruptcy and the consequent threat of commodity starvation, from food to fuel, to power, to drinking water.

Second is overpopulation and that is indeed the single biggest cause of pollution and climate change, assuming that mankind is indeed responsible for the latter. It also causes poverty, starvation, wars and disease.

Mr Barker must realise that the average to low wage earner cannot bear these added costs as easily as the chatterati can.

'Create a new body responsible for spreading best practice in schools'

Great ! Now the Tories are proposing new quangoes for politically correct indoctrination of the young.

At a recent school event the children paraded round the field dressed up as dustbins (using large cardboard boxes) to advertise recycling. Far too much of the curriculum is taken up with the preoccupations of the ecozealots already.

I agree with the comments above that a far better response would be to campaign against the dumbing down and politicization of science teaching (as well as many other areas of the curriculum).

I'm with trhe general body of the sharpest criticism above. The sight of the Tory Party signing up to the idea that CO2 is bad and that the amount man produces affects the climate is utterly fatuous. For most of the 90s the world was greatly slightly warmer- as it does from time to time, mainly because of sunspot activity. Since 1998 it has got got appreciably cooler, mainly because of a lack of sunspot activity . It does this from time to time too!

The EU has set unattainable targets for us all to meet but quite apart from the futility of this only today in the report that Oxfam say that EU's biofuels target could multiply carbon emissions 70-fold!

They’re all mad ! What DOES matter is a growing world population and shrinking food supplies made worse by two successive extra cold winters. So what do the idiots want ? - to grow biofuel instead of food.
------- Some instances - - -
Arctic ice expands, UK wallets contract
Propagandists for global warming were very excited last September when Arctic ice-cover, at 3 million square kilometres, hit a record low. They have been strangely silent, though, about the latest data which shows that, after the northern hemisphere's coldest winter for 26 years, ice-cover is now 14 million sq km, a million more than this time last year. (Booker/S.Telegraph 6/4/08)
It is striking that during the 21st century, carbon dioxide emissions have been growing faster than ever - thanks in particular to the rapid growth of the Chinese economy - yet there has been no further global warming at all.

Carbon dioxide, like water vapour and oxygen, is not only completely harmless but is an essential element in our life support system.
But government scientists seem wedded to outdated and incorrect data and throughout Europe propose to wreck our economies by cutting emissions by ludicrous percentages seemingly plucked out of the air at random.
More than 31,000 scientists have signed a petition denying that man is responsible for global warming. = TOTALLY IGNORED!
For all the hype anything specific in his suggestions which contributes to reducing pollution is to be welcomed but it seems to me that the crucial drift of this policy is to brainwash children into a false science which they are not well enough educated to look at critically.

What is the Tory Party playing at? Do they perhaps think that because Gordon Brown has dug himself into such a deep hole that they can spout whatever rubbish they fancy and nobody will notice.

Cameron's Greeny-blue madness

Anthony said: "Why is Greg Barker in the Shadow Cabinet at all-it cant be due to his exemplary family life?"

Typical Tories. You never change. Hate gays & deny climate change. Cameron is a shallow salesman leading an unreformed party of racists & homophobes

I note that that Greg Barker’s website links directly to Friends of the Earth as a useful source of information.

I also note that the core mission of FOE is:

There is a tomorrow
We need to use the planet like there is a tomorrow. This means living within the limits of the natural world.

Everyone gets a fair share
Everyone, everywhere, now and tomorrow, deserves to have a good life.

Change the rules
We need to change the rules so that the economy works for people and the environment, not pit one against the other.

In other words the veneer of environmental loveliness is underpinned by the usual anti-capitalist, equality of outcome and re-distribution of wealth objectives. The avowed aim of much of the climate change industry.

‘He (Barker) went on to speak about using Conservative means to tackle climate change, and how centre-right political leaders around the world had been asking him how he'd managed to get a conservative party so focused on the environment as an issue.’

This truly mystifies me too given the desired transparently socialist endgame.

Posted by: I hate Tories | June 25, 2008 at 15:31

Note to self. Must try harder. Try to be a little less random.

- typical of - er - whatever you are, signing up to a fraudulent and bogus science. Without CO2 the earth would be a giant snowball

I'm inclined to believe that man's actions can account for some climate change, but let's first ensure that the voters of tomorrow can have a reasonable understanding of the sciences so that they can debate what scientists and politicians tell them what they must do for their own good.
Some of Barker's proposals for school sound just like the rubbish being promoted in schools by NuLabour. If you can send your kids to private school, I recommend you do so, preferably if they offer exams in International GCSE, or Pre-U.

An interesting report on the findings of 31,000 scientists – 9,000 of whom are PhDs – became available at the end of last month rejecting man made global warming theory.

Impressive as these numbers are, however, the UK news media, almost exclusively, chose to ignore them.

Sponsored by climate scientists of the International Coalition on Climate Change (ICCC), it stated: "There is no convincing evidence that CO2 emissions from modern industrial activity have in the past, are now, or will in the future cause catastrophic climate change." The Declaration calls for governments and others to "reject the views expressed by the UN IPCC, as well as popular but misguided works such as Al Gore's “An Inconvenient Truth”.

The Chairman of the ICCC, Professor Tim Patterson said, "Instead of wasting billions restricting emissions of CO2, a vitally important gas on which all life depends, governments must concentrate on solving known environmental problems over which we have influence."

Whatever we may personally believe about global warming, serious science-based pressure is building on the UN IPCC to admit its objectives are political not scientific. Sir John Houghton, first co-chair of the IPCC, acknowledged as much when he stated: "Unless we announce disasters, no one will listen."

The Tory leadership continues with its environmentalist obsessions, disconnected from not only the greater part of their own party rank-and-file but also it seems the general public, judging by the poll published in The Observer.

The deluge of environmentalist propaganda in state schools is already a disgrace, so why is Cameron proposing its continuation, albeit in a different form, rather than complete elimination? This is not what education should be about.

If I had a child of school age, I would remove him or her from all classes where such propaganda is put forward.

Oh, and by the way, militant Islam is by far the greatest existential threat faced by this country, probably not since Nazism.

Just in case we are skeptic of the skeptics visit:


‘The lunacy is culpable. … It is inhumane and cruel carelessly or callously to inflict upon the poorest in the nation a policy – however currently fashionable – that is not justified by any “climate crisis”, that would not have any effect on the climate even if there were a “crisis”, that would cost the poorest households their current right to affordable electrical power and transportation while at the same time transferring overseas the jobs upon which our working people depend for their livelihoods, and that is calculated – and perhaps even intended – to enrich the enemies of freedom among the international community while actually increasing the global carbon emissions that it was nominally intended to reduce.

Carbon trading is not merely futile – it is immoral, for it cannot but do harm to the poorest people in our community: the very people who are most deserving of our protection.’

Christopher Monckton, Viscount of Brenchley.

Enough is enough. Even if the apocalyptic vision of MMGB is delivered we are told that we are already way past the tipping point by the most swivel eyed of the environmental zealots.

Instead of indoctrinating our children about our collective guilt and offering a vision of hopeless calamity how about directing the resources at solutions?

My comment about greg Barker's private life was in the context of his appearing as the official Conservative spokesman on matters to do with bringing up schoolchildren and what they are taught with a jokey Conservative party leader beaming approval.
Perhaps it would have been better if the jokey leader had said that the best thing to do is not to desert your children as the spokesman has done.

See what I mean about climate change fatigue... as soon as it's mentioned we get everyone arguing whether it's true or false and then totally ignoring the issues, like what NigelC says, that there's too much social engineering and not enough science.

... or too many H&S rules, or general inefficiencies.

It's going to be a case of crying wolf.
We teach that man made climate change is going to ruin the world, it doesn't, so people think that it's impossible for man to change the climate (people are stupid and think in extremes)... but then comes the day when man does make a difference and it's not believed and no-one can think for themselves to be able to work out if it's true or not.

Delete "climate change," insert "nuclear war" and you have the extreme left's policy from the 1980s. Congratulations, the Party has just endorsed ILEA's education approach, with climate studies replacing peace studies.

Sadly, a Tory government will be more of the same batty greenwash.

ps. I meant to say EU-approved hogwash

Before the Tories run Education and the Treasury they should recall the 2006 headline in the Guardian: "Royal Society tells Exxon: stop funding climate change denial".

True to form, the Royal Society has recently given a book prize to Mark Lynas, the warmist author whose fame rests on his
mature performance in front of a TV camera when he threw a custard pie in the face of the prominent "skeptical environmentalist", Bjorn Lomborg.

Please bin Greg Barker's pamphlet and write another to get a Guardian headline: "Tories
to tell children: anthropogenic global warming scientists are caused by taxpayers'
money, which we propose to cut for reasons of scientific objectivity and balance".

Leave my children alone! The state can teach them the three 'Rs' and I and my husband will teach them the rest.

There were a number of remarkable things about last night's launch.
One was the diversity of people attending from different parts of the Party and wider society - this is just one more example of how we are setting the agenda and being the focus of debate. Greg Barker should be congratulated not pilloried.
Secondly there's much in the paper which few, even those posting here would challenge - there're only 14 recommendations which include a desire to encourage school field trips by reducing the risk culture in schools and making (publicly funded) school buildings as energy efficient as possible.
Finally, if you Google for them, you'll still find scientists claiming no link between smoking and lung cancer. I'm neither climate science statistician nor a lung doctor - however, had our politicians been more far-sighted in the 1950's, I might have got to know my grandfather who died from smoking induced lung-cancer.
Whether you see this debate as pure politics, as principle (the polluter pays?) or through the precautionary principle, the debate we should be having (and was happening last night) is about how, not whether, to reduce our GHG emissions.

My family and I will not be lectured by an MP who cheated on his wife with another man. Mr Barker needs some lessons in moral responsibility before getting on his high horse.

If you google for them you'll still find people saying man is mainly to blame for global warming, sorry I mean Climate change.

Whether you see this debate as pure politics
Exactly, it's a debate .. Schools should have the debate or teach it in RE but to teach in science as an absolute or get a Climate awareness panda to talk to them in assembly helps no-one even if it was totally true - it's not "reduce at all costs" thing like telling kids not to run on railway lines or definate equation like f=ma.

...and talking about it distracts from the other worthy things like you mention like reducing the risk culture.
They should be playing with chemials and van der graaf generators and not preached at with labour party politics.

To understand the science of climate change the pupils will need first to be taught some science, and scientific method.
What is the conservative view if climate change? Is it a case of "In climate change but not ruled by climate change" by any chance ?

This is so utterly depressing. We should be teaching children to weigh evidence so that they reach their own conclusions about Climate Change, as well as the other threats and challenges their generation faces. I hope the Gover will kick this into touch.

Brian Connell@2230 - "the debate we should be having is about how, not whether, to reduce our GHG emissions"

What you actually mean by that bland statement is that we must reduce carbon emissions, That's pure rubbish science! Carbon emissions are at their highest right now while temperatures are dropping and ice-cover is growing. It's only carbon (most of it natural) that stops us freezing to death and helps crops grow.

You're wasting energy - just as Cameron is - talking this way.

We don't need green education
We dont need your thought control
No socialist lessons in the classroom
Teachers leave our kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave our kids alone!
All in all its just another kick in the balls.
All in all its just another kick in the balls.

I we are going to teach climate change denial, I also think we should teach Creationism alongside Evolution. Science by petition is really the way to go, particularly with such scientific luminaries as Michael J Fox and Geri Halliwell adding their marks. We could get the school kids to vote on whether they think ice floats in water rather than observe.

Passing leftie resorts to the usual smear tactic - equating climate change scepticism to holocaust denial. Yawn!

Carbon Dioxide is an essential gas for life on this planet. It provides carbon for plant growth and oxygen for animal respiration. As a major source of plant food it is now more necessary than ever if we are to feed an ever growing population. Lords Moncton and Lawson should be listened to by the Conservative leadership.

Interestingly, passing leftie, ice does float in water. Put an ice cube in a glass of water and fill to the brim. Hey Presto, floating ice.

Then watch it melt. Oh look, the volume of water does not change. My cup doth not runneth over. My ice cap doth not raise sea levels.
Eureka! As Archimedes might have said. Or he might have said ‘I can do science, me’.

Posted by: Libertarian | June 26, 2008 at 00:09
Passing leftie resorts to the usual smear tactic - equating climate change scepticism to holocaust denial. Yawn!

I would never be so crass. No, I equated it to the so-called Evolution/Creationism debate. The analogy is apt. Putting badly worded petitions together doesn't make science.

Posted by: doriangrape | June 26, 2008 at 08:53
Interestingly, passing leftie, ice does float in water. Put an ice cube in a glass of water and fill to the brim. Hey Presto, floating ice.Then watch it melt. Oh look, the volume of water does not change. My cup doth not runneth over. My ice cap doth not raise sea levels.
Eureka! As Archimedes might have said. Or he might have said ‘I can do science, me’.

You are merely showing your ignorance. When ice melts, the total volume of the ice/water system decreases, but it's the landlocked fresh water (glaciers) combined with thermal expansion which will cause global seas levels to rise.


Education should engage young people with the environment. However, in relation to controversial issues, the role of education in a democracy is to help learners to explore different viewpoints, develop their critical thinking skills, and formulate their own opinions. It is not to campaign on behalf of environmentalists. The Department for Children, Schools and Families seems to have forgotten all this. It has dropped the word 'education' from its title and given over its thinking on such issues to campaign groups WWF, Forum for the Future and the Sustainable Development Commission. Mr Barker should be advised not to make the same mistake. Schools need independent education advisers, not Climate Change Champions!

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