Climate Brainwashing Of Children: A Rough Guide To Spotting It Happening

  • Date: 19/04/14
  • John Shade, Climate Lessons

Way back in 1992, Thomas Sowell wrote about brainwashing going on in the American education system, and he defined what he meant by that emotive term.  As I shall show below, his insights are relevant today when examining materials aimed at children about climate.

Extracts from Chapter 3:

“A variety of programs used in classrooms across the country not only share the general goals of brainwashing – that is, changing fundamental attitudes, values, and belief by psychological-conditioning methods – but also use classic brainwashing techniques developed in totalitarian countries:

1. Emotional stress, shock, or de-sensitization, to break down both intellectual and emotional resistance

2. Isolation, whether physical or emotional, from familiar sources of emotional support in resistance

3. Cross-examining pre-existing values, often by manipulating peer pressure

4. Stripping the individual of normal defences, such as reserve, dignity, a sense of privacy, or the ability to decline to participate

5. Rewarding acceptance of the new attitudes, values, and beliefs – a reward which can be simply release from the pressures inflicted on those who resist, or may take other symbolic or tangible form.”

I will illustrate these using an odious book for children called ‘How to Turn Your Parents Green’, first published in 2007. Extracts from the book are shown in italics, and the techniques from Sowell’s list are shown in bold

1. Emotional stress, shock, or de-sensitization, to break down both intellectual and emotional resistance

‘The weather’s gone weird. The polar bears are anxious. Ghastly Global Warming is here.’

There are more examples of this sort of thing, but it will all too familiar to anyone with even a passing acquaintance such material. It is the bog-standard.

2. Isolation, whether physical or emotional, from familiar sources of emotional support in resistance

For children, these familiar sources are usually their parents. Russell’s book sees them as stupid, selfish, ignorant people who are to be punished rather than seen as a source of advice or support:

‘…Only you can make the Groans behave because only you can make their lives a misery if they don’t. We’ll help you draw up a Glorious Green Charter for them sign, and show you how to punish them – oh yes – if they don’t change their Grumbelicious ways. Don’t be an Eco-Worrier, be an Eco-Warrior. And turn your parents Green.’

So, don’t look to your parents for support, they are, after all quite wicked, and therefore you should ‘make their lives a misery’.

3. Cross-examining pre-existing values, often by manipulating peer pressure

‘The main aim of a Groan’s life is to exploit as much of the planet as possible before someone else does. Even before Ghastly Global Warming, this philosophy was making the world a sadder place. Fiendish Fertilizers and Pestilential Pesticides have killed off wild flowers, birds, bees and hedgehogs. Our rivers and seas are horribly polluted. Most of us live surrounded by the noise, dirt, and danger of traffic. Groans think all this is fine and natural. So what if the hedgehog becomes extinct? So what if climate change kills millions of people? So what if kids have nowhere to play because there are too many cars? People die, they say with a shrug. Species disappear. Kids can play computer games.’

This is course is a parody of ‘pre-existing values’ but it serves his purpose. Maybe a child’s pre-existing values included holding their parents in great esteem, but here they are portrayed as heartless exploiters. Maybe a child’s pre-existing values included thinking the world was a source of wonder and delight, but here it is being made sadder, horribly polluted, noisy, dirty, and dangerous, with heartless adults ruining it.

4. Stripping the individual of normal defences, such as reserve, dignity, a sense of privacy, or the ability to decline to participate

Any child following the prescriptions of the book, would indeed be stripped of reserve, dignity and a sense of privacy. They are being encouraged to be interfering busybodies in the lives of others, as well as of their own a according the author’s inane prescriptions. There is no option but to participate or else bad things will happen:

‘Only you can do it, because only you can make the culprits change their ways. Only you can nag, pester, bug, torment and punish the people who are merrily wrecking your world.’

‘Of course, it isn’t easy being Green. We’re only human, after all. But if you follow Groan philosophy you’ll be unhappy, stressed, overweight and, quite possibly, under water.’

5. Rewarding acceptance of the new attitudes, values, and beliefs – a reward which can be simply release from the pressures inflicted on those who resist, or may take other symbolic or tangible form.

Mercifully, there seem to be no rewards on offer, but any children taken in by this trashy book are liable to get a sense of pressure to conform to its numerous prescriptions. Of course, it is only a book and as such can scarcely offer tangible rewards. They are more likely to come from organisations. Eco-Schools anyone?

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