A Free-Market Energy Blog

Common Core’s Climate Indoctrination

By James Rust -- April 21, 2014

“Our science programs should stimulate students to have an inquiring mind–the very opposite of the science-is-settled, “consensus science” mindset. Obama’s Common Core is a Trojan Horse mixing propaganda with science for our youth…. [Such] one-size-fits-all learning smacks of collectivism in place of individual initiative.”

At a Chicago fundraiser May 29, 2013, President Obama chillingly stated, “I don’t have much patience for people who deny climate change.”  At his swearing-in ceremony May 21, 2013, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz declared he is “not interested in debating what is not debatable [in climate science].”  These remarks echo the long-standing assertion of climate alarmists that the “science is settled” in regard to the deleterious effects of fossil-fuel burning on global climate. The oxymoronic “consensus science” is another political sound bite in this genre.

Would these statements come from true scientists interested in pursuing the truth about whether carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuel is a global threat?  These remarks make very clear the policies of the United States government with regard to education or research on climate science. If proposed education material or research does not support abandoning fossil fuels, go somewhere else for financial support and airing your views. Close the door on the way out.

The shared narrative is that man, not nature, has been the main driver of climate change for most of the last century–and that this cannot be good, only bad. Support for this thesis is a series of Assessment Reports by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC) released since 1990. 


To counteract omissions, half-truths, and false statements in these reports, the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) was formed in 2003.  Since 2009, the NIPCC has released six reports that give authoritative, easily-read information about the vast amount of experimental data showing negligible influence of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels on climate, financial losses from mitigation, and proper role of adapting to climate change.

 The NIPCC is supported by three non-profit organizations—Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, Science and Environmental Policy Project, and the Heartland Institute.

Common Core Propaganda

The science portion of Common Corecalled “A Framework for K-12 Science Education:  Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas“–is written from material provided by The National Academy of Sciences (NAS).  The report is a revision of a previous report by the NAS published in 2011. I examined parts of the 2011 report and conclude that it is propaganda for one viewpoint, the hypothesis that carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is causing catastrophic global warming.  The NAS has taken this position for many years.

The Common Core Science portion is 400 pages. I examined PART II: Dimension 7 dealing with Earth and Space Sciences from pages 169 to 201.  The coverage is cursory due to the shortness of material. Part ESS3.D:  Global Climate Change covers global warming from pages 196-199.  The coverage mentions that computer models are used for predicting future climate and weather conditions for the planet. 

The report claimed:

However, it is clear not only that human activities play a major role in climate change but also that impacts of climate change—for example, increased frequency of severe storms due to ocean warming—have begun to influence human activities. The prospect of future impacts of climate change due to further increases in atmospheric carbon is prompting consideration of how to avoid or restrict such increases.

There is insufficient coverage that computer models fail to replicate what happens in the future when data for comparisons are available.  In my opinion climate models should not be included in K-12 education because our understanding of forces influencing climate is incomplete and because of the models’ failure to be validated.  Material in the book does not make this clear. 

Four references are cited at the end of the discussion.  One is the 2009 Report “Climate Literacy:  The Essential Principles of Climate Change by the United States Global Change Research Project (USGCRP) which contains scary predictions for the future of the world because of global warming. 

 One example is “C.  The impacts of climate change may affect the security of nations.  Reduced availability of water, food, and land can lead to competition and conflict among humans, potentially resulting in large groups of climate refugees.”  The material says carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is causing global warming which is a highly controversial topic.

No doubt numerous copies of the 2009 USGCRP Report will be sent to all schools to provide reference material showing fossil fuel use should be abandoned in order to save the planet.  This report, and other U. S. government printed reports, will provide numerous reference materials to indoctrinate students to accept catastrophic climate change is occurring unless fossil fuel use is abandoned.  This all confirms political bias on climate change shown by remarks of President Obama and Energy Secretary Moniz.

The 32 pages of a 400-page report convinced me global warming science should not be used in education of students at the K-12 level.  More material of this nature could be in the NAS Report.  This is sufficient reason to abandon the science education portion of Common Core.

The official website for the PUBLIC BROADCAST SERVICE provides discussions of the following features of Common Core:  (1) Climate Literacy:  The Essential Principles of Climate Science, (2) National Science Education Standards,  (3) A Framework for K-12 Science Education, and (4) Common Core State Standards for Mathematical Properties.

The threat of catastrophic global warming due to carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is again emphasized in areas outside the science portion of Common Core.

UK Precedent against Propaganda

The United Kingdom’s Global Warming Policy Foundation issued a report, Climate Control—Brainwashing In Schools. Statements in the Report’s Executive Summary are as follows:

We find instances of eco-activism being given a free rein within schools and at the events schools encourage their pupils to attend.  In every case of concern, the slant is on scares, on raising fears, followed by the promotion of detailed guidance on how pupils should live, as well as on what they should think.

In some instances, we find encouragement to create ‘little political activists’ in schools by creating a burden of responsibility for action on their part to ‘save the planet’, not least by putting pressure on their parents.…  Surveys show that many children are upset and frightened by what they are told is happening to the climate.”

In the main body of the report is the statement, “The chairman of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri has suggested that a focus on children is the top priority for bringing about societal change, and that by ‘sensitizing’ children to climate change, it will be possible to them to ‘shame adults into taking the right steps.’.

Australia has a similar problem of climate science corrupting education in a paper titled “Schools places of indoctrination rather than learning”.  The report cited, “The current Australian Curriculum is full of references to “sustainability”, which is a concept without any intelligible meaning in most of the contexts in which it is used, apart from in the very short-term.”

Propaganda and Youth

Another approach to the outcome of teaching climate science to young people is reported by Robert Bradley Jr. in his paper “Adults Reject Climate Catastrophe, Alarmists Bring In the Children (thoughts on Hansen’s latest).

Bradley protested the rhetoric of climate alarmist’s labeling those who disagree with carbon-dioxide-caused global warming as “denier” implying they are in league with those who are “Holocaust deniers”.  The Holocaust is a tragedy occurring during the reign of terror from Hitler’s National Socialism.

National Socialism used the Hitler Youth from 1922 to 1945 to train young men to be obedient to their goals, enforce their rulings, and provide fanatical defense of the Fatherland.  This use of propaganda and brainwashing to enlist support of the young can be seen as analogous to attempts to enlist young people in promoting climate change due to fossil fuel use is a threat to society.

After a meeting with children at a Plant-for-the-Planet meeting in Seattle, Dr. James Hansen wrote “Children and Adults on Climate Policy: Evidence that They ‘Get It’”The children wanted to put a price on carbon pollution, pledge no new carbon pollution, and plant trees.

A link between National Socialism and Conservation movements is reported by German historian Uekoetter’s The Green and the Brown:  a History of Conservatism in Nazi Germany published by Cambridge Press in 2006.  A detailed review of this book is written by William Walter Kay.

The conservation movement started in Germany in the late nineteenth century and found easy mixing with National Socialism with conservationists having memberships in their local groups and the National Socialist Party.  Millions of trees were planted in the name of Adolf Hitler.

Thus playing tit-for-tat, Mr. Bradley suggests we could label brainwashed youth from Common Core and other programs “Climate Youth”.  In fairness to Mr. Bradley he correctly states this name-calling and comparisons with National Socialism should cease immediately.

Even greater dangers from the science portion of Common Core are teaching people to accept the political use of science and not follow fundamental principles of scientific inquiry–propose a theory about the behavior of Nature and continually test that theory by experiment.

Never accept propositions of “science is settled”.  Additional problems are painting the planet’s future in a dismal fashion with reduced living standards and poverty for many parts of the planet.  This may lead to psychological damage to students.


The United States has vast fossil fuel energy resources; an inventive, resourceful population; and one million square miles of farm land with the best farmers on the planet.  With correct policies legalizing the development of our superior assets, the future is very promising for us and the world.

Our science programs should stimulate students to have an inquiring mind–the very opposite of the science-is-settled, “consensus science” mindset. Obama’s Common Core is a Trojan Horse mixing propaganda with science in our youth (ages 5 to 18). Common Core should be discarded from an intellectual point of view. One-size-fits-all learning smacks of collectivism in place of individual initiative. Greater pluralism and localized decision-making are called for.


James H. Rust is a retired professor of nuclear engineering and a policy adviser for The Heartland Institute.


  1. NikFromNYC  

    That it’s all just a big scam fueled by money thrown at an obscure branch of science is now totally undeniable given that the latest temperature hockey stick is understandable by any student to be a fraud in but a single glance at a plot of the input data:


    The Harvard “scientists” took boring Ph.D. thesis data and bizarrely re-dated a few low lying temperature proxy series to afford a hockey stick blade as a data drop-off artifact at the very end.


  2. Mike Haseler  

    There is now a battle for the very essence of “science”. On the one side is what I call “skeptic science” the understanding that science is essentially a system of testing and verification or “making sure the theory works in practice”. This is what Einstein meant when he talked about one scientists with the facts versus all the rest without.

    Then we have what the social concept called “science”. This isn’t so much about standards as who you are and who you know. The rules are simple: “if you can persuade other people who call themselves “scientists” to agree it’s science – then even if there’s no evidence or testing, you can call it science.

    Obviously, the two overlap. In sum areas like physics “skeptic science” dominates, but in other areas like climate science, it is very much an old boys club with an ethos that “if you scratch my back and I’ll look favourably on your peer review paper” – or even worse: “if I agree with your politics I’ll agree it should be called science”.


  3. Bob Armstrong  

    So… where do they cover the requirements for a highschool physics course ?

    Surely , given its salience , they should be teaching , with experimental experience , the essential quantitative physics of radiant heat transfer , ie , how to calculate the temperature of a gray ball in our orbit . That certainly is within the difficulty level of the PSSC physics I had a half century ago .


  4. Wayne Lusvardi  

    There is a joke that goes something like this: In any two word phrase the word “social” should basically be read to mean “NOT.” So “social science” is not a science. Social justice is not justice, etc.

    The same aphorism has invaded climate science. The adjective “climate” has now become an unintended code word for “NOT” (not science).

    There are those who say money and Capitalism ruined baseball. But no one ever says money and Socialism ruined science.


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