Nebraska Education Department Committing Suicide

Nebraska Education Department Committing Suicide
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Living in extremely liberal Massachusetts, this writer expects (hopes?) that fellow Americans in our nation’s midsection still possess enough good sense to reject leftist policies and trends. Looking over the region not close to either east or west coast lunacies, the perception is that traditional political, economic, and cultural standards haven’t been jettisoned. States like Nebraska, for one, seem far enough away from the coasts to resist joining the mob and plunging off a cliff into political correctness and its ideological offshoots.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

But on September 8th by a vote of 6 to 1, Nebraska’s Board of Education approved new science standards that have conservatives outraged. In 2012, the education watchdog Thomas B. Fordham Foundation said of the Cornhusker state’s rules for primary and secondary schooling:

The Nebraska science standards are inadequate in nearly every way. They lack sufficient depth and breadth at every grade span, and critically important areas receive woefully inadequate attention – or are completely absent…. Taken as a whole, Nebraska’s science standards do not articulate nearly enough of what students need to know and be able to do.

Local civil engineer Henry W. Burke found that the 2017 Nebraska Science Standards standards are based on the failed Nebraska 2010 Science Standards. He fought unsuccessfully to alert DoE members about the deficiencies of these newly conceived standards. With bachelor and masters degrees and 45 years of experience in his field, he felt sufficiently qualified to register an opinion about the matter. He concluded that the state’s Department of Education was being asked to approve standards that are “more interested in promoting global warming and climate change than providing an academic understanding of science.”

After studying what was being considered by his state’s education board, Burke added a further opinion: “Global warming is presented as if it was proven science, rather than political narrative. This global warming agenda permeates the Science Standards from kindergarten through high school.” “These standards,” stated Burke, “do not present an objective, academically-based and scientifically-based approach to the topics.”

The veteran civil engineer recommended looking at his Internet posting as he addressed the matter of carbon dioxide being a significant culprit:

When it comes to global warming, raw subjectivity has replaced scientific method. Many scientists and researchers began with preconceived notions and theories and then proceeded to find ways to support them. Ideology is controlling the conclusions instead of true science. No authentic scientific data proves that there is a correlation between man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) and global warming.

Backed by numerous representatives of the state’s colleges and universities Omaha World-Herald reporter Joe Dejka wrote approvingly of the decision adopting the new standards. He correctly noted that, in addition to worries about global warming, students would also be exposed to insistence that evolution is a fact, rather than what many believe it to be a widely discredited theory.

The new standards for Nebraska schools will not be reviewed for another seven years. The conclusion: Nebraska has joined the left wing in the world of education. Watch for some parents to opt out and consider homeschooling.

A great home schooling alternative is our affiliate FreedomProject Academy. Learn more about the online school today!

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.

Al Gore’s Sequel

Al Gore’s Sequel
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Soon to be in theaters across the nation, Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Sequel” will repeat, even add to, the apocalyptic claims shown in his 2006 film “An Inconvenient Truth.” In the decade since Gore’s earlier film, however, the numbers of scientific realists who counter the stance put forth by Gore and others has grown enormously. There will, therefore, be plenty of outright denials of the former vice president’s fright-peddling insistence about warming and mankind’s role in it.

Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Sequel” will soon be in theaters across the nation. (Image from Wikimedia Commons by Kasey Baker CC BY 3.0)

Don’t expect any apology for misinformation in this film. And don’t look for details from an important report examining how data from weather stations have been doctored to buttress Gore’s scares. A conservative news purveyor known as PJ Media has recently shown that temperature figures making up the Global Average Surface Temperature (GAST) have been manipulated to favor the position favored by Gore. The culprits include the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA), and the Hadley Center for Climate Prediction and Research.

Figures used to create GAST’s summary conclusion do not coincide with actual temperature readings and have been dubbed “not a valid representation of reality.” In fact, the year 2016 was not “the hottest year on record” as claimed by NOAA. That year produced “a below average’” number of hot days that ranked it 80th from the hottest since 1895 when recording temperatures began.

NOAA’s charts and graphs portray U.S. temperature higher by 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since the 19th century. But its own figures disproving that very claim have been altered to conform to the increased amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. CO2 is “supposed” to be a dangerous substance driving temperatures upward; however, mounting numbers of climate realists and allies in other fields point to the needed and beneficial effects of CO2. And they don’t adjust temperature data to conform to their expectations regarding temperature fluctuations.

According to many climate alarmists, deniers of “inconvenient truths” are bought-and-paid-for agents of energy companies. No mention is made of the millions Al Gore and his climate allies have accumulated from government grants and green-energy subsidies. Gore alone has become a multi-millionaire.

Nor should anyone be conned into believing that any denier is a self-indicted and dangerous kook just because of the claim that “97 percent of scientists” believe the CO2 con and mankind’s pernicious role in causing its increase. There’s “consensus” among scientists say Gore and his allies. There isn’t. But, as the late physician, researcher and author Michael Crichton stated in his 2003 Caltech lecture, “In science consensus is irrelevant…. There’s no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”

There happens to be a political agenda behind all of the hoopla about climate change. The Paris Agreement President Trump refused to sign turns out to be a key step toward wealth redistribution. Former head of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Rajendra Pachauri openly pointed to that goal. Christiana Figueres, who led the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) until 2016, said the Paris Agreement provided tools to “replace capitalism.” Former UNFCCC official Ottmar Edenhofer summarized, “we de facto redistribute the world’s wealth by climate policy.”

Climate realists, adamant deniers of the message put forth by Gore and others, are today’s heroes not the enemies of mankind. That their number continues to grow is welcome news.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American

The Mushrooming Trend to Skirt the Constitution

The Mushrooming Trend to Skirt the Constitution
by JBS President John F. McManus

Claims about global warming have been countered so effectively by a growing number of scientific skeptics that promoters of the flawed theory have abandoned use of the global warming term. They now refer only to climate change. But their goal remains the same: propagandize the public with predictions of calamites, and force a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions which they insist are heating the globe, melting polar icecaps, raising sea levels, causing weather-related catastrophes, creating droughts, and even impacting food production.

Above: William Jasper (right), from The New American, interviews Tom Harris, Executive Director of the International Climate Science Coalition, on climate change realism.

Carbon dioxide emissions, mainly from coal-fired power plants and automobiles, were targeted by the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, a United Nations agreement that the United States wisely refused to endorse. At Copenhagen in 2009, environmentalists hoped that the U.S. and other nations would sign on to a similar pact, but that gathering likewise produced nothing. Now, another UN-led try to force drastic cutbacks in carbon emissions will be held in Paris in mid-2015.

Not waiting for the Paris meeting, the Obama administration plans to add new requirements to an already existing 1992 treaty as a way to counter climate change. These will greatly stifle coal-fired energy production. Also, the Obama team will employ what is known as “reflexive law,” which is not a law in the full sense of the term but the use of pressure to force acceptance of some attitude or requirement that could not be gained legally.

Environmentalists have the ear of most journalists. Their impact on the public’s attitude regarding something as questionable as climate change can be considerable. It can lead to achievement of the desired goals by “naming and shaming” opponents, essentially browbeating them into compliance. The result would not be a law in the traditional sense but something called “soft law,” a combination of pressure and inevitability directed at opponents. If resistance persists, far more onerous government-imposed regulations – also unconstitutional – would be forthcoming.

Obama administration personnel plan to add their “soft law” gains to an existing 1992 treaty. Changes in a treaty, of course, should require approval by two-thirds of the Senate. A New York Times article entitled “Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of a Treaty” quoted Jake Schmidt, a National Resources Council expert, who noted that promoters of new regulations “are trying to move this as far as possible without having to reach the two-thirds threshold” required by the Senate. Will the senators allow this?

President Obama has already boldly indicated that he will unconstitutionally use his pen to create law by Executive Order. Now, his administration intends to skirt the Constitution via “reflexive law” or “soft law.” He obviously doesn’t like the constitutional restrictions placed on a President. Will Congress allow such conduct to continue? Will the American people continue to elect members of Congress who won’t stop the drive toward total government?

Mr. Obama and his merry band of dictatorship builders have to be stopped. Blocking the plans noted above would be a good way to begin.

Contact your Senators and let them know you’re opposed to reflexive law.

Mr. McManus joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966 and has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.

Australia Leads the Way; America Should Follow

Australia Leads the Way; America Should Follow
By JBS President John F. McManus

Three years ago, the Australian government led by Prime Minster Julia Gillard bowed to the questionable claims of environmentalists and imposed a carbon tax on large companies. Any company releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere was required to fork over a hefty penalty per ton of emissions. However, on July 17, 2014, the Australian Senate followed the lead already taken by the nation’s House and approved a measure repealing this onerous tax.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who succeeded Gillard in 2014, saluted the legislature’s wisdom. He had campaigned for the office on a pledge to do away with the assault on carbon dioxide emissions. Repeating what he stated in his campaign, he called the now-cancelled measure a “useless destructive tax, which damaged jobs, which hurt families’ cost of living, and which didn’t actually help the environment.” As expected, opponents of the repeal insisted that doing away with the carbon tax would adversely impede efforts to address climate change, the new label for what was formerly known as global warming.

Only a few weeks earlier here in the United States, President Obama endorsed a plan created by the Environmental Protection Agency to have states devise plans to reduce the amount of carbon emissions produced by coal-fired power plants. Approximately 40 percent of the electric power generated in the U.S. comes from burning coal. If the EPA’s regulations are imposed, the effect on energy production nationwide will be enormous, and the loss of jobs by coal miners and others in coal-producing areas will be catastrophic. So, too, will jobs be lost when the cost of energy formerly generated by coal skyrockets.

Addressing the EPA plan, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) stated, “The Obama administration must think our country … can operate on windmills.” Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said of the EPA’s targeting of carbon dioxide emissions stated: “Never before has the federal government forced an industry to do something that is technologically impossible.” He added: “If these regulations go into effect, American jobs will be lost, electricity prices will soar, and economic uncertainty will grow.”

The great bugaboo targeted by environmentalists and the EPA, of course, is carbon dioxide. No one doubts that burning coal to produce energy puts the substance into the atmosphere. But when pressed to address the scientific fact that carbon dioxide is absolutely essential for plant growth and therefore a definite good, the fright peddlers seek to change the subject into claims about rising sea levels, droughts, and severe weather outbreaks – all supposedly resulting from human activity and carbon dioxide.

Australia has shown the way. Prime Minister Tony Abbott is correct about the effects of the carbon tax in his country. The same effects would be seen here. But proponents of a similarly destructive measure would have the U. S. impose its own counterproductive tax on carbon dioxide emissions. U.S. leaders don’t like to admit that anything can be learned from some other country. But if enough Americans merely inform our officials what Australian officials have just done, the damage a carbon tax and the related war on coal can be avoided.