In many ways, the worst aspect of environmentalism is why Greens not only feel free to terrorize children with doomsday scenarios, but feel compelled to do so.
I have been reviewing books for some fifty years and with the publication of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” in 1962 and books such as Paul Ehrlich’s “Population Bomb” have been offering scenarios intended to move people and governments to take action that, in retrospect, were based on bad “science” and absurd doomsday predictions.
If you were fooled by global warming, they are counting on you to be fooled again by “sustainability”, their reworking of Marx’s communism in the form of a grandiose scheme to control all of the Earth’s bounty. In June the United Nations will hold a Rio+20 conference that will declare that governments exist to ensure “sustainable well-being and happiness.” The Declaration of Independence offers the opportunity to pursue happiness. It does not guarantee it, nor does it suggest that it is government’s job to provide it.
A key element of the Green’s endless indoctrination schemes has been to reach children, the most vulnerable among us and for this reason our schools have been turned into Green prisons where their version of the Earth is pumped into the minds of children here and around the world.
Their primary teaching tool is fear. Fear that the oceans will rise and wipe out entire cities. Fear that the rainforests are disappearing. Fear that entire species are being destroyed by the hand of man. Fear that the use of any kind of fuel, coal, natural gas, and oil is despoiling the planet.
I have reviewed books for some fifty years at this point and I could not put a number on the books for children that hammer home these and other terrifying themes. One crossed my desk the other day, “Our House is Round: A Kid’s Book About Why Protecting Our Earth Matters” by Yolanda Kondonassis and illustrated by Joan Brush. It has been called “the perfect children’s introduction to environmental issues” by Fred Krupp, the president of the Environmental Defense Fund.
The author is not a biologist, a geologist, a meteorologist, or any other kind of scientist. She is a Grammy-nominated classical harpist. A harpist!
“Our Earth has gotten messy. What should we do?” she asks her young reader. What does she mean by “messy”? Her answer is that “cars, trucks, and factories make pollution, a kind of dirty gas or liquid that goes out into the air and into our rivers, lakes, and oceans.” This book is written for children age five to nine!
Imagine now what it must be like to be that age and be told that the air is polluted and the water is as well. This verges on child abuse.
“Pollution goes up into the sky and forms a blanket of gas that holds heat within Earth’s atmosphere. That makes our whole Earth warmer and leads to unclean air for breathing, melting polar ice caps, rising sea levels, and extreme weather patterns. Scientists call this warming of our Earth’s temperature CLIMATE CHANGE.”
It is a LIE. The Earth has been cooling for fifteen years.
Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It is a gas as vital to all life on Earth as oxygen is to the life of living creatures. Without it, not a single blade of grass or tree or the vegetation we call “crops” would not grow. Livestock and wildlife depend on that vegetation. If you are age five to nine, you likely are unaware of this.
This book and all the others that incorporate these lies are a form of psychological terror.
The same week I received “Our House is Round”, I also received “The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea” and “Earth-Friendly Buildings, Bridges, and More.” You could stack all the environmentally-themed children’s books I’ve seen and it would reach up several stories.
They are a corruption of geophysical and biological science. They have nothing to do with “saving the planet” and everything to do with distorting children’s understanding of the real world.
It does not matter that the Ms. Kondonassis thinks she is serving humanity. The great lie of communism is that it will create a collectivist utopia. In reality it has always depended on terror to maintain itself and it has failed wherever it has been tried. Environmentalism is its latest permutation.
It is the same reason that communism derides religion for its emphasis on life and morality.
It is the same reason Americans are being subjected to government imposed limitations on energy and transportation, and coerced social change, altering and secularizing our society.
I have devoted my life to freedom of the press, freedom to publish, freedom to speak out, and to urge participation in the life of the greatest nation on Earth, but some books like “Our House Is Round” are the worst kind of mental pollution.
Environmentalism, like all tyrannies, begins by indoctrinating children.
Editor’s Note: In 1974 Alan Caruba was a founding member of the National Book Critics Circle.