Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Teaching my kids TRUE science, not PC garbage

  1. Nov 16, 2008 #1
    Dear Everyone,
    I need help and advice, please:rolleyes:
    I am a retired teacher who is appalled at the nonsense the current crop of PC baloney my grandsons are being brainwashed with every day.

    My field was Social Studies, so I am at a disadvantage when it comes to hard science and physics issues. Just now, I would deeply appreciate some input on how to present scientific facts to counter the specious arguments for the global warming hoax.
    My 11 year old Grandson made the observation that he was "pretty sure this whole CO2 business is goofy" because he knows that plants need it for food, and if they starve, where would we get our fresh oxygen to breathe. Not too shabby an observation for a 6th grader. Now, if the kids can see the holes in the argument, why can't the grownups.

    Any ideas out there?
    Thanks
    Sygna in W. PA
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 16, 2008 #2

    LowlyPion

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Welcome to PF.

    What hoax?
     
  4. Nov 16, 2008 #3
    You seem to be misinformed. There is no global warming "hoax". While plants do need CO2 to survive, the issue arises when there are not enough plants to use the CO2 we produce. The balance between animals and plants was lovely until humans began producing CO2 from fossil fuels, which otherwise would not contribute to this cycle.
    In addition to this, CFCs are also being blasted into the atmosphere. CFCs are responsible for breaking down ozone particles at higher rates than are normal, which contributes to our planet heating up. The heating creates an unhappy habitat for a lot of plants and animals. There is also evidence that this heating will have effects on weather patterns and other natural cycles in our planet.
    The key to understanding global warming is understanding that our planet has natural cycles and balances. Global warming is generally used as a broad term to explain how humans are involved with throwing off these cycles.
    There is A LOT of published research to back up the claims of global warming.
    I would also like to add that while there is misinformation on the internet it is far from "brainwashing." There is a lot of useful and accurate information if you know where to look. How can you decipher TV or even radio fiction from fact anyways?
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2008
  5. Nov 16, 2008 #4
    Oh dear! I guess you are one of those fellas that actually believes that we people are 'causing' global warming. The globe MAY be warming, though the data does not support that theory, but it is not due to anything we are or are not doing. It has much more to do with Solar activitiy or lack thereof.
     
  6. Nov 16, 2008 #5
    Oh oh, another one who thinks I am mistaken. I am in good company, there are thousands of qualified scientists who have the same view... rather, I agree with their view, based on facts.
    There is nothing wrong with using fossil fuels, though I don't really buy the fact that oil and gas are mere pan drippings of dinosaurs. More likely, they are the natural products of core activity of the planet. This, of course, leads to the idea that they are very likely renewable.. I didn't make this up, either.
     
  7. Nov 17, 2008 #6
  8. Nov 17, 2008 #7
    I have worked at MIT in a department that researches just this. It is a correlative effort between essentially all Ivy League Universities in the US and governments around the world. However, I am open to your argument if you can provide any evidence.
    If you want to teach your grandkids "true" science, you should teach them the scientific method as opposed to facts. That will probably take them much further in the long run
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
  9. Nov 17, 2008 #8

    Mentallic

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    The effects of global warming seem to come down to 3 main factors:
    1) Solar activity
    2) Natural global cycles (possibly due to 1.)
    3) Human interference
    Since we are not totally sure which of the 3 above - or combination of those - is the main cause of global warming, is it not a wise choice to alter the only one that we as humans have the capabilities of doing so? While our practise of pumping CO2 into the air may not be the immediate effect of the current global warming (if it is really happening), is it not our duty to halt these emissions to slow down the possible disasters?

    Anyway, back to the point: Yes it is most likely a biased opinion that your grandchildren are being exposed to on this subject. If you feel they should have a taste of the other end of the spectrum, I'm sure there will be many articles contradicting this theory on the net. Just take a quick look around, besides, 11 year olds would much rather have a summary of what it is all about, as accurate scientific accounts would be bewildering.
     
  10. Nov 17, 2008 #9
    Dear Pucr,
    It is not so much that I have evidence, rather than I am (due to being an old lady, and having watched Congress for a loooog time) extremely reluctant to take a politician's word for anything. Especially something as complex as climate. Let's face it, those guys couldn't give you a straight 'yes' or 'no' if you asked them if it were raining.
    I would be very interested in seeing some accurate data on global warming, though it is far more likely we are heading into another Maunder Minimum.
    Thank you so much for mentioning my using the approach of a genuine scientific method. This is exactly the kind of advice I am looking for. With a bit of luck and some determination, I may stem the tide just a bit.

    Dear Mentallic,

    Thank you for your thoughtful answer. Those were exactly my points of argument just this past week with my kids. We have had quite an unusual absence of Sunspots this year, and the full effects haven't been realized yet. I just don't think that human-kind is doing as much damage as some would have us believe. We have been using fossil fuels (in a major way) for less than 200 years. Mt Pinatubo did a tremendous amount of damage in far less time, and the Earth managed to renew herself. In addition, no matter what the Western cultures do, the Chinese have no intention of even making any attempt whatsoever in cleaning up the massive pollution that they pour into the atmosphere on a daily basis. So our efforts are moot as far as I can see. We have done much to clean up, and we are one of the cleaner industrial countries. I"m not saying we should stop our efforts, but I do insist that as long as we don't control the world, we should stop beating ourselves up over it. What hubris to even THINK we can control the climate.
    Thank you for taking note of the the biased presentations the kids are getting, you are spot on. If these teachers were teaching math, they would be insisting that 2 plus 2 are five. It is appalling.
     
  11. Nov 17, 2008 #10

    gabbagabbahey

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    One person's facts are another person's fantasies. If you believe in science, then you should keep your mind open to the possibility that your belief is in the minority because it is incorrect.
     
  12. Nov 17, 2008 #11
    I believe Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth addresses some of these issues. Although, he does make the issue seem a little larger than it actually is. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) is a group of scientists focusing on the issue. You might take a look at their website: http://www.ipcc.ch/
    They have a great deal of information about the structure and process of this research as well as a number of reports.
    You could also try looking at wikipedia for sources(the information may or may not be accurate...another argument for another time)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming
    I haven't looked through all the sources(at the bottom of the page) but there are a bunch.

    There are a number of articles on the Maunder Minimum and how it relates to climate change...
    Solar Forcing of Regional Climate Change During the Maunder Minimum. By: Shindell, Drew T., Schmidt, Gavin A., Mann, Michael E., Rind, David, Waple, Anne, Science, 00368075, 12/7/2001, Vol. 294, Issue 5549
    (Just one of many)

    I suppose like Mentallic said, it is difficult to tell exactly how much human activity is playing into this issue. If you are close to a university, that would be an excellent reference. Any large university will have a huge database that a librarian would be happy to help you search through.
     
  13. Nov 17, 2008 #12
    All please read the Global warming is not caused by CO2 thread for an useful, fallacy free discussion about the role of radiative gasses in the atmosphere, I'm especially recommending posts #71, #95, #104 and #118.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
  14. Nov 17, 2008 #13

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Would you, then, take the word of the American Physical Society (APS), the professional society that physicists in the US belong to? What about the National Academy of Sciences?

    Zz.
     
  15. Nov 17, 2008 #14

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    You're the one who came here asking for the scientific view, telling us you don't understand science well to find it for yourself, but then seem to reject the scientific evidence when it is presented to you because it contradicts your personal biases.

    Since it seems you aren't really interested in learning the scientific evidence but are instead interested in pushing your own personal theory of a hoax (personal theories and conspiracy theories are NOT permitted per our forum guidelines), there is no point in continuing this discussion. This thread is locked.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Teaching my kids TRUE science, not PC garbage
Loading...