How heartwarming it was to discover that "CoPRIG volunteers" were here last week, telling our schoolchildren about the deadly menace of Anthropogenic Global Warming, a popular bogeyman of the anti-corporate Left.
For those unfamiliar with CoPRIG, a bit of background: founded in 1992, the nonprofit "social advocacy" organization arrived near the tail end of the Nadarist wave that saw similar groups opened across the United States. Colorado's iteration seems to be a creature of the Democrat Party's wilder shores of activism.
CoPIRG defines itself as "standing up to powerful interests," but examination of their activities and attitudes quickly reveals their actual agenda: bashing corporations, expanding government and in general pushing programs that would make Barack Obama swell with pride.
"Big money in government?" It's all about corporate donations and fat cats. At least, a certain type of fat cats: they excoriate the "Citizens United" decision, but utter nary a peep about the millions funneled into politics from unions and other deep pockets on the left. No mention of Nanny Bloomberg's funding for anti-gun commercials, for instance.
"Tax reform" involves only closing "corporate tax loopholes" that allow "shell companies in offshore havens." At least they mention General Electric, the president's favorite pet corporation, in their complaints.
If it can be described with the adjective "big," CoPIRG is against it: "big agra." "Big pharma." "Big business." With two notable exceptions: big unions and big government, which are just peachy.
CoPIRG has a couple of ideas on energy conservation: First, building codes should be tightened to dramatically increase energy efficiency standards. Second, utility companies should be forced to offer customers time-payment purchases of energy-efficient appliances via their bills. Sure, this is going to raise costs for everyone - who do you think will pay to manage these programs? But we should all ante up, because it's good for the planet ...
Then there's education. CoPIRG says its volunteers use "Department of Energy materials" in their presentations, including coloring books on energy that don't mention fossil fuels and activity workbooks featuring only "renewable" options. However, both the DOE "sustainability" and "protect your climate" curriculums for grades k-5 are produced by a California organization called Strategic Energy Innovations, in collaboration with the San Francisco Bay Area Air Quality Management District. SEI describes itself as a non-profit that "helps communities accomplish their sustainability goals ..." through surveys and education - the latter involving an unhealthy dollop of Anthropogenic Global Warming buncombe.
SEI's curriculum says on page two that global warming is caused by human activity, particularly through the release of carbon dioxide; AGW is fingered in nearly all of the 16 lessons. Dire results are predicted, including a 5-9 degree Fahrenheit increase in the Earth's average temperature over the next 77 years; increased drought; more frequent and powerful storms and the like - and we're to blame for it all. At least the curriculum notes that there has been only a one-degree temperature increase in the past 100 years.
The lessons don't mention historical climate variation, like the Medieval Warm Period or Little Ice Age that committed AGW scaremeisters have tried to cover up or fudge away. They don't admit that for much of geological time our planet has been either significantly warmer or colder than at present, for reasons having nothing to do with man. That just wouldn't fit the narrative pushed by SEI and other organizations working with them - "Earthteam," U.C. Berkeley's Green Building Center, San Francisco's Department of the Environment, the EPA's Office of Emissions and Climate Change to name a few.
Scattered through the grade 4-5 curriculum are clues to its real objectives. Lesson six talks about the U.S. as an energy hog. Lesson 8 gives step-by-step instructions on mobilizing the kiddies to advocate for solar power in the community. Lesson 9 does the same for conservation at home. Lessons 10-13 work to turn children into pesterbots for recycling, reusing and basically throwing nothing away - because manufacturing harms the environment. Perhaps we can all get jobs sorting garbage, to make certain nothing is made ever again, anywhere. Other lessons deal with mass transit (good) and cars, which are generally evil save when used in carpooling (good).
According to SEI, our country has too much, uses too much, makes too much, throws away too much, travels too much, eats too much and in general needs to be taken down a peg to serve the greater good of Mother Earth. Thirteen-plus years of indoctrination like this and only the strongest of children will be able to think logically about the environment.
Which raises a question about Summit County's educators: either they agree with CoPIRG's anticorporatism and AGW alarmism, or they didn't bother to check the organization's background. Neither is anything to celebrate, even if schools got their program for free.
Summit County resident Morgan Liddick pens a Tuesday column. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.