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The New Jersey Office of Climate Change Education Explained

"Trenton’s first-in-the-nation Office of Climate Change Education provide sample lesson plans to illustrate how teachers can highlight climate change in class," The Wall Street Journal reveals. Climate change instruction in Science and Social Studies. As they say in improv, yes and...

When learning about U.S. and world history, students are required to explain how natural resources such as fossil fuels remain a source of conflict, both at home and abroad. When mastering a foreign language, students are asked to discuss “the impact of climate change on the target language region of the world.” And in school performances, students are encouraged to use climate change to “inform original dances expressed through multiple genres, styles and varied cultural perspectives.”

If that sounds a bit like brainwashing or, indeed, a lot like brain washing, I'm right there with you.

Constantly haranguing children about the apocalyptic artist formerly known as global warming? Getting them to harangue other children about fossil fuel-related death, disease and displacement? Putting on climate change plays?

The difference between New Jersey public schools and China's reeducation camps is too subtle for me to parse. The Journal is equally adverse to sugar-coating the state's agenda: "New Jersey’s climate curriculum is pure indoctrination."

The Cost of Climate Change

Last year, the New Jersey Office of Climate Change Education doled-out $4.5m to the state's public schools. This year, the legislature allocated an additional $5m to bring the climate change message to teachers in "underserved communities." Running costs? Half-a-mil per year.

A pittance compared to the NJ Department of Education's $18.6b annual budget. And it's not like the state's well-paid educators ($80k per year plus benefits) are slacking on the non-climate change educational side of things. ranks New Jersey public schools fourth in the nation.

Exit Strategy

The cynical amongst you might say that NJ's national ranking is less of a reason to celebrate than a condemnation of lower-ranked states, but I couldn't possibly comment. Except to point out that the State has lowered the passing score on its high-school exit exam to allow more seniors to graduate.

And rightfully so! New Jersey is one of just nine states that still mandates an exit exam – a profoundly racist requirement (according to that creates unnecessary accountability on members of the National Education Association union and fails to feed the Secondary Education Industrial Complex.

I'm not saying that infesting the entire New Jersey public school curriculum with climate change messaging affects the quality of public education in the Garden State. But I'm not not saying it either. Call me a right wing recidivist, but I reckon an education system should be teaching children how to think, not what to think.

Critical Thinking

NJ's climate crusading First Lady agrees!

Speaking to the educators in charge of convincing kids that Hurricane Sandy was their parents' fault (for example), Ms. Murphy reminds them that "You teach each generation to communicate, to think critically and to be curious about the world around them."

According to Monica AI, "Critical thinking enables individuals to make reasoned judgments and decisions based on evidence and logic rather than emotions or assumptions."

Thinking critically, the existence of an Office of Climate Change Education is based on an assumption. Or am I just assuming that?

[Not] Speaking of A Global Conspiracy

The Journal fails to mention that New Jersey's Office of Climate Change Education was "inspired" by the Paris-based Office for Climate Education (OCE), established to support the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change treaty (a.k.a., the Paris Accord).

I don't know if Ms. Murphy or members of the NJ Office are in Malaysia for the International Conference on Curriculum and Educational Teaching, but I wouldn't be surprised.

The Climate Change movement is busy figuring out how to "educate" the next generation on the all-encompassing need to limit greenhouse gasses. By whatever means necessary? Of course not.

The End of the World As We Know It?

Climate change isn't a religion. But it's worldwide promotion has a distinctly evangelical feel. New Jersey's Office of Climate Change Education embodies and promotes that "zeal to heal." It will convince the majority of the state's children that they're living in a world bent on self-destruction.

A concern I grew up with, contemplating the threat of nuclear war and global cooling [sic].

But I reckon preserving and protecting civilization – however you define it – depends on humanity's collective and individual ability to face our challenges using... wait for it... critical thinking.

By all means, teach climate change in the schools. But the world would be far better off if schools were informed/subsidized/influenced by an Office of Critical Thinking. The really sad thing? That it's even necessary.

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