Readers familiar with Heather Brooke’s book ‘The Silent State’ may find this one resonates with them. Among the messages in the Mind Towers inbox this morning was an email from a frustrated reader who shares our annoyance at taxpayer funded climate change propaganda.
The reader has very kindly scanned a page from Darlington Council’s taxpayer funded rag, the ‘Town Crier’, which as you can see here is promoting ‘Climate Week’ and asking for people to come forward as ‘climate champions’ and after taxpayer funded training, tell other people to do more to tackle climate change. The article is about a climate change adaptation initiative that has been run at the 160-year-old Gurney Pease Primary School, the oldest School in Darlington. Gurney Pease is a ‘Climate Change Lead School’. What is that, you ask? Apparently these Lead Schools are:
an organic and pioneering network of schools who build climate change understanding and positive action from the ground-up. Visionary schools and teachers are at the core of this approach, though the focus of the Project is on young people – helping them to achieve a better understanding of everything from the nuts and bolts of climate change science, to exploring how to positively adapt to the impacts of a changing climate.
The same link on Science Learning Centres reveals that:
The Climate Change Schools Project is a collaboration between Science Learning Centre North East (operated through Durham University), the Environment Agency (via the Northumbria Regional Flood Defence Committee), ClimateNE (the regional climate change partnership), the North East Strategic Partnership for Sustainable Schools, One World Network North East and the Association of North East Councils.
So many organisations. That is a lot of public money sloshing around and a lot of taxpayer funded meetings and action plans being hatched. No wonder our council tax keeps rising and service delivery continues to decline.
It transpires that schools taking part in the Climate Change Schools Project ‘Adaptation Challenge’, including Gurney Pease, each received funding of £3,000 through the Local Levy raised by the Northumbria Regional Flood Defence Committee (via the Environment Agency) and ClimateNE (via Defra). This is strange as you would think the Flood Defence Committee would focus its resources on, you know, flood defence. We’ll come back to the flood risk to Gurney Pease shortly.
The idea was to initiate individual projects that demonstrate how schools can become hubs of [climate change] adaptation action by working with their local communities and businesses to prepare for the impacts of a changing climate.
The message being preached to our children by teachers and organisations such as those at Gurney Pease and those throwing council tax payer Local Levy money around, is that climate change is going to flood the area and drive up air temperature. No wonder the kids want to do something when they are spun such a line. Ironically there is nothing in the adaptation work that deals with Gurney Pease being closed as a result of severe winter weather, which it was in November.
So the adaptation work to counter the supposed impact of climate change included: moving the boiler from the basement to ground level, raising all the plug sockets in the school, reflective film added to ‘new windows’ to keep classrooms cooler in summer, planting trees to increase shade in the playground, adding thermostats to ‘new radiators’ in each classroom for improved temperature control, and developing an outdoor classroom to provide a cool place to work.
Some thoughts… In an old school the risk of pipes bursting through age or freezing conditions like those during November and December obviously pose a risk to the boiler room, so it makes sense to move it from the basement. Raising plug sockets is something demanded by authorities with a mind to adapating buildings for disabled people who can’t reach sockets lower down. New windows can help stabilise temperature, but one wonders if the aim here was to stop the kids freezing during the winter. Likewise with new radiators, they don’t tend to be used when the sun is frying us. It would be interesting to find out if the tree planting counts towards any carbon offsetting observed by the Council. And with nearly 200 children on the roll, one outdoor classroom is not going to help many children at any one time. It is worth asking if additional trees around the play ground will do more harm than good given the greasy and leaf strewn surface they will create in the autumn and winter.
Back to the flood resilience work that presumably played a key role in the £3,000 of Local Levy money being allocated from the Northumbria Regional Flood Defence Committee which speaks in these minutes of the need for value for money while spending £21,000 on the seven Climate Change Lead Schools for this project. Despite calls to Darlington Council we have yet to get a response to tell us how many times Gurney Pease has been flooded by the more frequent ‘high intensity’ rainfall that is predicted. There are no news items online that we can find.
We can also be sure that local rivers are not a factor because a look at the location of the school shows that even in the event of extreme flooding of the River Skerne, the school is not at flood risk, as the Environment Agency map which can be found here shows:
So what is really going on here – apart from a propaganda effort to ‘climatewash’ necessary maintenance work at the school, a concerted effort to terrify the kids into believing climate change is putting their school at imminent risk of deluge and suggest to them they are at risk of sunstroke?
Is this not just an example of work being done to improve the efficiency and energy consumption of a heating system and school building being hijacked by the AGW lobby to push their own agenda?
Is it appropriate to use public money levied for flood defence from local rivers – a real threat to a number of properties and businesses in the area as Morpeth demonstrated – to undertake such works at a school that is not under flood risk? This is supposedly frontline spending that being used to perpetuate the PR of a mere theory lacking any hard evidence.
When people like Bob Ward whine about the funding of AGW sceptics, perhaps he should note all these organisations in receipt of public and big business (vested interest) funding to preach propaganda to kids about an unproven hypothesis.