“Bias in School Lessons: Common Core’s Global Warming”
Countered by Henry W. Burke (with introductory comments from Donna Garner)
Instructional materials such as the ones attached to this e-mail have been popping up in Texas elementary classrooms. The content reflects the intent of Common Core Standards — to bias the way children think and to indoctrinate them at an early age to believe in such concepts as environmental extremism, global warming, and climate change.
In a few schools, parents have found that teachers have cut off the bottom part of the worksheets in question so that parents will not see the words “Common Core Standards” printed at the bottom.
When one mother went to her child’s school and said, “#Can I See… my child’s textbook and worksheets, she was told that the above attachments came from MentoringMinds. [For documentation the mother then took a screenshot of the worksheets with her iPhone.]
When the parent contacted MentoringMinds, she was told that the worksheets in question are aligned with the Texas State Board of Education curriculum standards (TEKS) for science. This is incorrect information as explained by Henry W. Burke further on down this page.
(FYI: Here is the contact information for the employee at MentoringMinds: Brittany Dickey, Inside Sales Support, [direct] 855.780.9892 * [p] 800.585.5258 * [f] 800.838.8186
Below is Henry W. Burke’s response to the worksheets in question. Please feel free to share this information widely so that people will be prepared to counter the bogus arguments from such publishing companies as MentoringMinds.
Response to Mentoring Minds Worksheet on Global Warming
by Henry W. Burke
I will start with the TEKS requirements. In Brittany Dickey’s 11.15.13 letter, she said the “Fuel Facts” page was written to address the following TEKS:
5.7(A) explore the processes that led to the formation of sedimentary rocks and fossil fuels;
5.7(C) identify alternative energy resources such as wind, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, and biofuels
4.7(C) identify and classify Earth’s renewable resources, including air, plants, water, and animals; and nonrenewable resources, including coal, oil, and natural gas; and the importance of conservation. (tested in 5th)
5.1 (B) make informed choices in the conservation, disposal, and recycling of materials.
The Texas TEKS for Science do not state that global warming exists and is caused by human activities. Of course, students should have a good understanding of renewable and non-renewable resources. Likewise, citizens need to appreciate how to conserve energy and protect our environment.
One of the Mentoring Minds cartoons says the following:
Fossil fuels are not good for the environment. They produce carbon dioxide when burned. Many scientists believe this is causing the Earth to get warmer.
Mentoring Minds has injected their mindset and bias toward global warming into the subject matter. To address their statements, I need to explain some scientific facts.
I am a Civil Engineer who depends upon real, proven science not “junk science.” I served as a Sanitary Engineer in the National Air Pollution Control Administration (NAPCA) from 1968 to 1970.
The global warming proponents needed to create a future catastrophe to gain people’s attention and support. They had to convince enough people that the earth is getting warmer and that man is causing this warming. This is their false reasoning. When man-made global warming raises the earth’s temperature, the earth’s ice would melt and cause catastrophic flooding of the coastal cities.
They started with a known scientific fact (the greenhouse effect) and coupled it with human-caused carbon dioxide to produce a false conclusion. We know that fossil fuels produce carbon dioxide (and other products of combustion) when they are burned. Air pollution control measures have drastically reduced the amount of harmful air pollutants emitted into the atmosphere. America’s air is cleaner as a result of our air pollution control efforts.
The greenhouse effect is real and it helps to regulate the temperature of our planet. The Earth’s greenhouse effect is good because it keeps the Earth warm and makes our planet habitable. Without a natural greenhouse effect, the temperature of the Earth would be about zero degrees F (and look much like Mars) instead of its present 57 ºF.
The basic premise (first assumption) behind global warming is that increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing the Earth’s atmosphere to become warmer. The National Center for Policy Analysis determined:
Over long periods of time, there is no close relationship between CO2 levels and temperature. The Earth’s average temperature has risen a little less than 1oC over the past century. Although almost half of this warming occurred before 1940, greenhouse gas emissions began to rise substantially only after the 1950s.
The second assumption with global warming is that CO2 is a poison. I have never seen a health effect study that showed CO2 was a poison and was harmful to humans. When we were developing air quality criteria documents in NAPCA for the various air pollutants, we would have ridiculed anyone who suggested that carbon dioxide was an air pollutant! CO2 is not an air pollutant and it is not a poison!
We exhale CO2 and much of it is taken up by plants. Actually, about 40 % of CO2 is reabsorbed by plants and trees. The statistics on carbon dioxide emissions usually disregard the percentage that is reabsorbed by plants.
The key to the global warming alarmists’ work is to tie increasing atmospheric temperatures to higher levels of CO2, but not just any CO2; it must be CO2 produced by human activities (anthropogenic).
Temperatures are increasing somewhat as we recover from the “Little Ice Age” that occurred in the early 1800s. It may become warmer without any human assistance.
The (U.S.) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operates the National Climatic Data Center. The recent report, “Global Climate Change Indicators,” stated:
Global average temperature is one of the most-cited indicators of global climate change, and shows an increase of approximately 1.4°F since the early 20th Century.
The NOAA “State of the Climate-2012″ report indicated:
The global annual temperature has increased at an average rate of 0.06°C (0.11°F) per decade since 1880 and at an average rate of 0.16°C (0.28°F) per decade since 1970.
NOAA determined that the Contiguous United States temperature trend is 0.09 ºF per decade, for the full period from 1895 to 2012. For the much shorter recent period from 1997 to 2012, the temperature trend is (a declining) – 0.71 ºF per decade. Instead of getting warmer (as the global warming advocates claim), the earth may actually be cooling.
Many environmentalists are using the term “global climate change” instead of “global warming.” Apparently they haven’t decided whether the earth is getting warmer or cooler; with the new term, they are covered either way.
When the textbook companies produce instructional materials (IM) for the Texas schools, they should stick with the TEKS and avoid introducing their Common Core-driven biases. Global warming (a.k.a. “climate change”) is not proven science!
Bio for Henry W. Burke
Henry Burke is a Civil Engineer with a B.S.C.E. and M.S.C.E. He has been a Registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) for 37 years and has worked as a Civil Engineer in construction for over 40 years.
Henry Burke has experience in the air pollution control field through employment with the National Air Pollution Control Administration (NAPCA).
Mr. Burke had a successful 27-year career with a large construction contractor.
Henry Burke serves as a full-time volunteer to oversee various construction projects. He has written numerous articles on education, engineering, construction, environmental issues, politics, taxes, and the economy.
Henry W. Burke