Alaska Teachers Indoctrinated with Misleading Global Warming Materials

Published October 1, 2007

Schoolteachers across Alaska are being fed exaggerated and false global warming alarmist materials to distribute to their students, thanks to the taxpayer-funded University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

This summer, approximately 60 teachers attended the university’s Science Teacher Education Program, during which they were given global warming propaganda that has been thoroughly rejected by sound science.

Exaggerated Predictions

The lecture notes for “Global Climate Change,” for example, claim, “NASA predicts that global temperatures could increase by 6-10 degrees in the next 100 years.” However, climate models prepared by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predict a warming of merely 2.4º Celsius (4º Fahrenheit) over the next 100 years.

Moreover, IPCC has been frequently criticized, even by its own participating scientists, for exaggerating its forecasts of future warming. Even so, IPCC models predict nowhere near the warming Alaska teachers are told will occur even in the “best case” scenario.

The lecture notes for “Global Climate Change” also direct teachers to “Ask students to discuss what happens when temperatures rise.” The answer key lists numerous negative predicted consequences, but fails to mention any of the real-world benefits experienced in the past 100 years, such as increasing crop yields, forest expansion, and desert shrinkage.

Medieval Warming Erased

In charts labeled “Taking Earth’s Temperature,” teachers are given temperature graphs for the past 1,000 years in which the Medieval Warming Period has been erased from the record.

Temperatures in the depths of the Little Ice Age are shown as being only 0.2º Celsius cooler than temperatures when Vikings established widespread farming settlements in Greenland.

Outdated Assertions

In “Student Worksheet: Greenland Melting,” teachers were given misleading materials claiming that in the last interglacial period, approximately 120,000 years ago, “much of Greenland’s ice sheet melted.” The Student Worksheet then claims, “Greenland’s ice sheet has begun to melt again. … In 2001, Greenland’s ice sheet was losing about 50 cubic km of ice per year. By 2005 the melting had increased to 220 cubic km per year.”

The Greenland Melting Worksheet failed to mention that according to ice cores drilled in polar ice caps, polar temperatures 120,000 years ago were 6 degrees Celsius warmer than today. In fact, Greenland has been in a prolonged cold spell in recent years, with the past two decades being the coldest decades there since the 1910s.

The Greenland Melting Worksheet also conveniently failed to mention that the “accelerated” Greenland ice melt in 2005 was a short-lived anomaly that ended last year.

The Greenland Melting Worksheet also falsely claims, “Scientists predict that the [Greenland] ice sheet will melt in just 1,000 years” unless something is done to stop global warming. In fact, only the most implausible computer models show Greenland’s ice cap melting during the next 1,000 years.

Polar Bears Thriving

In a lesson plan titled “Alaska’s Changing Climate,” teachers are directed to alarmist news articles written by non-scientists claiming polar bears are being stressed and threatened by polar ice. Real-world evidence shows polar bear numbers are increasing rapidly throughout the Arctic.

James M. Taylor ([email protected]) is managing editor of Environment & Climate News and a senior fellow at The Heartland Institute.