Scholars: Campus ‘Sustainability’ Indoctrinates College Students
Last March, the National Association of Scholars issued a groundbreaking report causing a splash on campuses and within the progressive movement.
“Sustainability: Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism” is a comprehensive expose of an ominous grab bag of progressive ideological causes bleeding into more and more college courses. Rachelle Peterson, one of the study’s authors, was surprised to find “how well sustainability was entrenched in the college curriculum — not just in sustainability courses, but in English and history classes.”
The reports’ authors, Peter Wood, the president of NAS, and Peterson, say most people mistakenly believe sustainability is about global warming or a benign form of environmentalism.
Yet, the report and this exclusive 39 minute video interview, expose how progressive activists are swallowing up a host of issues — including gay marriage, raising the minimum wage, #BlackLivesMatter and ending capitalism — as being within the “sustainability” umbrella. NAS’s report details “an ideology that demands new limits on economic, political and intellectual freedom as the price that must be paid to ensure the welfare of future generations.”
To NAS, the whole movement embodies a menacing shift from the very purpose of higher education – that of pursuing truth and offering a forum for freedom of expression. Although the report takes no position on the science of global warming, Wood believes “there’s something amiss when the university turns itself into a source of doctrine rather than a source of inquiry.”
NAS has labeled sustainability as the “new fundamentalism, because it is a movement that brooks no doubts about the truth of its basic propositions.” In fact, Peter Wood reminds us that instead of welcoming substantive challenge, the loaded and offensive term of “denier” is widely thrown at any who dissent from the orthodoxy of sustainability.
Using fear and intimidation to silence dissent is a red flag, according to Wood.
Wood explains how the elite decided they wanted “to make it look like a student movement, but it isn’t really.”
Starting with a 1986 United Nations report, Wood says the UN and the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued five apocalyptic reports on the topic as “the drum major.” The unfortunate problem, he says, is that “for the last 18 years, there has been no measurable global warming, unless you really play havoc with the way the data is collected or reported.”
But, Wood says, “this has not stopped the movement from welding itself to the idea of imminent catastrophe.”
The report details the beginning of this manipulative campaign with “a couple, a summit and a new idea.” The “couple” is John Kerry and Teresa Heinz, who went to the 1992 UN Summit and returned with a sweeping cultural project. Knowing campuses are hotbeds of activism and cultural change, the report exposes Kerry/Heinz plan to launch the sustainability movement throughout college campuses with a new organization, Second Nature.
This organization is the home of a public pledge, now signed by 695 college presidents, who promise to promote sustainability in a host of manners with students, professors and administration of colleges.
Colleges were incentivized to buy into this ideological fad, a fad that happens to promote cultural Marxist theories the United Nations wants the West to adopt to “save the world.”
Surprised at the dearth of information on costs and benefits to sustainability projects on campuses, NAS did a comprehensive case study of how Middlebury College spends money on sustainability. They detail how the college spends $4.9 million a year on sustainability. The report projects that, if all those campuses who have pledged to sustainability with Second Nature, the national cost to these campuses would be at least $3.4 billion a year – all with questionable results.
Asked what the stakes are, Wood says, we can see it in our politics today. Obama’s appeal for expanded regulatory authority to address global warming assumes the support from these same college students who are embracing the sustainability campaign. NAS worries that America’s youth are being “nudged” to think exclusively within this set of doctrines, without demanding evidence or rigorous inquiry.
Wood notes that in light of the EPA’s Colorado River disaster, sustainability is “diverting from real problems to fantasy problems.”
The reaction to the NAS report of raising the alarm has been one of relief since “the political and intellectual class has been virtually silent” about the ominous signs of this sustainability movement, Wood says.
As for who is leading the sustainability movement, the authors highlight two individuals. One is the controversial activist and Middlebury College professor Bill McKibbon. His entity, 350.org, according to Wood, is behind the divestment from fossil fuel movement that 37 colleges and universities have agreed to already.
Also discussed by Ms. Peterson is Naomi Klein, a former union activist. Klein promotes radical ideas to reshape our society and the economy in her book, “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.”
Peter Wood, an anthropologist, has been president of the NAS for the last eight years. Rachelle Peterson, his co-author recently graduated from King’s College and is a NAS research associate.
For more on NAS, go to their website here. In October, another related report on the divestment campaign being waged across the nation will be issued by NAS by Peterson. She also wrote this New York Times op-ed on the subject recently.
Mrs. Thomas does not necessarily support or endorse the products, services or positions promoted in any advertisement contained herein, and does not have control over or receive compensation from any advertiser.
While the media has been busy trying to reassure the public over the frightening tone and scope of the Jade Helm 15 military exercises, it is clear that many Americans are not buying it.
Establishment outlets everywhere are scrambling to declare with authority that there is nothing to see here.
A cursory news search reveals a clear meme being circulated that all is quiet on the front and that Jade Helm is most certainly not martial law training:
But are these media tactics working?
A recent poll conducted by Rasmussen, the country is indeed quite alarmed over the exercise, with a near majority concerned about federal intrusion and apparent preparations to use martial law during crises – perhaps not too much different than what is going on in Baltimore, or previously in Ferguson.
Eight weeks of U.S. military exercises this summer in several southwestern states – dubbed Jade Helm 15 – have some wondering if the government is preparing for martial law. Most voters don’t oppose such exercises, but a surprising number worry about what the federal government is up to.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 65% of Likely U.S. Voters favor the U.S. military conducting training exercises in their state. Just 16% are opposed, but slightly more (19%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Only 21% believe the government’s decision to conduct military training exercises in some states is an infringement on the rights of the citizens in those states. Sixty-two percent (62%) disagree. Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure.
But 45% of voters are concerned that the government will use U.S. military training operations to impose greater control over some states, with 19% who are Very Concerned. Just over half (52%) are not concerned that the government has an ulterior motive for the training exercises, including 26% who are Not At All Concerned.
Among voters who oppose military exercises in their state, 82% are concerned that the federal government has greater control in mind. Just 34% of those who favor the exercises share that concern.
This poll gives documented reasons to think that many are waking up to the abuses of power, not just of police in urban areas, but of the larger system of government using scare tactics to demand more power for all of its agencies.
There are plenty of reasons to be concerned about Jade Helm, but the powers that be are doing everything they can to deflect attention from the merits of this issue – and denial and ridicule, as usual, are the first tools at hand to dismiss public concerns. The Dallas Morning News wrote :
Several websites have spread fear along the Internet that the 8-week exercise this summer in seven states is a ruse to impose martial law and confiscate guns in hostile states.
The conspiracy theory was bolstered when Gov. Greg Abbott this month wrote a letter to the Texas State Guard, ordering them to monitor the exercises to ensure civil rights were maintained.
Rasmussen pollsters said the reaction of those polled to the exercises reflects a heightened feeling of distrust for the federal government among voters.
Almost half of those polled – 47 percent – believe the federal government has too much influence over state governments, but that number has dropped from 56 percent five years ago.
Quick conspiracy theory: Could the identification of Texas as “hostile” in the Jade Helm exercise – conducted to “master the human domain” – be linked to its fierce political attitude towards federal government meddling? Did Texas win the role of ‘hostile’ in the military exercise because of:
a) the previous governor’s history of branding succession from the union as a political rally point, b) Texas’ refusal to give “dual command status” over Texas National Guard to the Fed’s emergency relief powers after Hurricane Rita, c) conspiracy talk and “radio-show driven” fears about martial law, d) its status as a pro-gun, pro-Constitution hold out for a staunch conservative base and a swelling libertarian-minded demographic, or the general attempts to turn the state blue for electioneering purposes, or e) all of the above and more.
- image: http://www.wnd.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-print/images/print.png
- Text smaller
- Text bigger
The Third Amendment, which guards against the quartering of soldiers in citizens’ homes – and which came into being because of the abuse of British troops against American patriots – has just been dinged by a judge who ruled the provision doesn’t apply to police.
In essence, that means police on official business could claim the legal right to bust into a private citizen’s home and occupy it.
The determination from federal district court Judge Andrew Gordon was rendered when he dismissed a Third Amendment claim from a Henderson, Nevada, family who suffered that very fate.
“Police State USA: How Orwell’s Nightmare Is Becoming Our Reality” chronicles how America has arrived at the point of being a de facto police state, and what led to an out-of-control government that increasingly ignores the Constitution. Order today!
Anthony Mitchell and his parents Michael and Linda Mitchell sued the City of Henderson and several police agents in federal court for a July 2011 incident they described in court papers.
Volokh reported: “On the morning of July 10, 2011, officers from the Henderson Police Department responded to a domestic violence call at a neighbor’s residence. … [Police] told [Mitchell] police needed to occupy his home in order to gain a ‘tactical advantage’ against the occupant of the neighboring house. Anthony Mitchell told the officer that he did not want to become involved and that he did not want police to enter his residence.”
Police went to the Mitchell family house anyway, and “banged forcefully on the door and loudly commanded Anthony Mitchell to open the door to his residence,” his complaint read.
Mitchell then reportedly contacted his mother to let her know what was going on – and police “smashed open” his door with a metal ram, court documents indicated.
From there, the situation grew even more chaotic. Mitchell wrote in court papers police pepperballed him and his dog, gave him conflicting orders and ultimately arrested him. He was released the next day from jail.
But Mitchell and his parents turned around and sued, alleging their Third and Fourth Amendment rights had been violated – the Third, because the police were acting like members of the military. The case was closely watched by legal minds, given the unusual nature of the Third Amendment alleged violation.
But Gordon dismissed that claim in a court action that fell largely under the nation’s radar.
He wrote, the Washington Post reported: “Various officers … entered into and occupied Linda’s and Michael’s home for an unspecified amount of time (seemingly nine hours), but certainly for less than 24 hours. The relevant questions are thus whether municipal police should be considered soldiers, and whether the time they spent in the house could be considered quartering. To both questions, the answer must be no. I hold that a municipal police officer is not a soldier for purposes of the Third Amendment.”
As Ilya Somin, professor of law at George Mason University, opined, however: The judge’s dismissal should be regarded with wary eyes.
One “complicating factor,” he said, in the Washington Post, “is the increasing militarization of police forces in many parts of the country, which has resulted in cops using weapons and tactics normally associated with military forces. If a state or local government decides to quarter a SWAT team in a private home, it is not clear whether that is meaningfully different from placing a National Guard unit there.”
WND reported there are some 17,000 police departments nationwide equipped with $4.2 billion worth of equipment ranging from Blackhawk helicopters and battering rams to explosives, body armor and night vision.
Military assault rifles, grenade launchers and 14-ton Mine-Resistance Ambush-Protected vehicles built for taking down terrorist enclaves are becoming part of the toolbox of local police departments under the federal 1033 program that supplies “surplus” military weapons to local officers, departments and agencies on request and without charge.
WND recently reported the American Civil Liberties Union was critical of the 1033 program, and a growing number of cities and counties are now returning the war weapons.
“Whenever this kind of armament is brought into a community, it should only be done with the knowledge and consent of the citizenry,” John Whitehead, a constitutional attorney based in Charlottesville, Virginia, said in a statement released to WND.
- image: http://www.wnd.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-print/images/print.png
- Text smaller
- Text bigger
While Washington focuses on whether President Obama will sign on to a nuclear agreement with Iran without submitting the deal for Senate approval, the administration is following a similar strategy on a global climate change policy that could leave the U.S. beholden to an International Climate Justice Tribunal.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or UNFCCC, recently released the negotiating language for the agreement to the public. The official purpose of pursuing a “universal climate agreement” is to renew the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 deal championed by then-Vice President Al Gore but resoundingly condemned by the U.S. Senate. President George W. Bush eventually cut all U.S. ties to Kyoto.
Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Chris Horner, who raised alarm about the proposed tribunal in Sunday’s edition of the Washington Times, says that provision is ominous for the United States.
“What is climate justice? This is troubling for several reasons,” said Horner, who added that his first concern is President Obama attempting an end run around the Senate’s role in ratifying any international treaties.
“The Senate has an advisory and a confirmation role in international agreements,” he said. “Whatever comes out of these Kyoto II talks, the president said, ‘It’s not a treaty, so I don’t need to go through the Senate.’ But now we see this draft that has a court. That’s a problem.”
The first problem, he said, is that the U.S. has always vigorously resisted being subject to any international court, despite the best efforts of the political left.
“You know about the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST). That was a global environmental treaty as well as a wealth transfer,” he said. “It had a court as well, and that was a major reason the United States never ratified it. The first thing Ronald Reagan did was push that aside. Bill Clinton later signed it, but we’ve never ratified it because it had a court. It was Kyoto with a court.”
Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with Chris Horner:
Horner said it’s also a problem in part because this tribunal will mainly be looking to punish one country – the United States.
“Now we actually have a Kyoto court and the president saying ratification has proven to be a problem. We’ve seen that when our system causes him obstacles, he decides he doesn’t have any use for our system. Now we see there’s going to be, in a treaty, a climate justice tribunal, which I assure you has one country in mind and it will not be stacked with the Antonin Scalias of the world,” said Horner, who elaborated more on what the tribunal would likely be about.
“It will be stacked with people who style themselves as climate jurists seeking climate justice, which as we’ve seen in recent years, means pretty much any grievance there is, climate is an excuse to force a wealth transfer to remedy it,” he said.
Why would the United States have any interest in joining an agreement that largely targets it for climate violations or makes us subject to a legal entity outside of our own judicial system? Horner said it’s part ideology and partly driven by policy.
First, he said there are many leaders and activists on the political left in America and around the world who don’t like our system.
“There are a lot of people, including the head of the UNFCCC, which is the U.N. body running this and some academics and some authors who have come out saying, ‘Look, capitalism is the problem. This is how we solve the problem. This is how we solve capitalism.’ There are a lot of people who believe that, including some in the administration,” said Horner, who said the climate-change movement has had the U.S. economy in its cross hairs from Day 1.
“It was transparently all about us when [Kyoto] was drafted in the ’90s,” he said. “When Asia happened and all this development occurred, thank goodness, and their emissions began skyrocketing while ours did not, it remained about us. Now that’s odd if it really was about greenhouse gas emissions.”
“Now that they’re putting in a court and claiming they’re going to go around the U.S. Senate, you need to be very concerned because these climate jurists will not be those who have our best interests at heart,” he said.
Horner said another major motivation for Obama to get involved in this climate agreement is to help lock his own environmental policies in place.
“He’s trying to make sure that his EPA rules are too politically hot-buttoned that his successor will not touch them and undo them,” Horner explained. “Congress will not undo them and the courts will be reluctant to undo them.”
Does the Senate have a way to stop this if the agreement is never presented for ratification? Horner said there is and it means following the strategy we’ve seen Senate Republicans already take this week on Iran.
“They need to make the same statement, either in a letter or perhaps through a Sense of the Senate Resolution saying that anything he does that purports to bind us in Paris on climate is freelancing,” he said. “Do not think this is a treaty because we don’t.”
Horner cited a Sense of the Senate Resolution passed unanimously in the 1990s to denounce the Kyoto Protocol before it was even adopted at the conference. As a result, the Clinton administration never submitted the plan for ratification and the U.S. was never bound by it.
He admits the Senate can no longer get a unanimous vote on this issue, but he says you don’t need that many when two-thirds of the Senate would be required to approve it.
“Fifty-one votes is plenty,” he said. “To be honest, 34 votes is plenty. You have to put the world on notice, because of something called customary international law which our courts sometimes bow to, that whatever happens is not a treaty if it doesn’t go through the Senate.”
A mother of three who came to America because of its reputation as a “shining city on a hill” is pleading with her state lawmakers to flee Common Core any way they can, calling it nothing less than the “communist core” she endured while growing up in China.
“Common Core, in my eyes, is the same as the communist core I once saw in China,” Lily Tang Williams told the Colorado state Board of Education recently.
“I grew up under Mao’s regime, and we had the communist-dominated education – nationalized testing, nationalized curriculum and nationalized indoctrination.”
Her testimony was reported by PJMedia, which said she warned against comparing test scores of American children with Chinese students.
“I am telling you, Chinese children are not trained to be independent thinkers,” she said. “They are trained to be massive skilled workers for corporations. And they have no idea what happened in Tiananmen Square in 1989 where government ordered soldiers to shoot its own 1,000 students.”
She wrote about the issue in a commentary posted by the tea-party group Freedomworks.
“We were told to chant everyday in the government run public schools, ‘Long Live Chairman Mao. Long Live Communist Party.’ We were required to write in our [diaries] every day and turn them in for teachers to review. In the [diaries], we were supposed to confess our incorrect thoughts to Mao or do self- criticism, or report anything bad we heard or saw from other students, family, and friends,” she wrote.
“We would memorize Mao’s quotations and recite them aloud during class. For school fun activities, we would dress up as Chinese minority people in their costumes to sing and dance, thanking Mao and the Communist Party [for] saving them from poverty.
“Mao was like a god to me. I would see him rising from the stove fire or talking to me from the clouds,” she said.
In school, she said, teachers had to comply “with all the curriculum and testing requirements, or lose their jobs forever.”
“Parents had no choice at all when it came to what we learned in school.”
And the government would use the various registration procedures to “keep track of its citizens from birth to death.”
Photos were on file, she said, accompanied by details on age, gender, parents, jobs, political class, religion, siblings, home address, grades, awards, punishments, “politically incorrect speeches” and more.
“It was shared by all the government agencies and employers.”
To obtain permission to travel to America, she said, she had to “sign a paper to promise to return to my job.”
“Even though I finally broke the tracking of Chinese government of me by coming to America, I still feel, sometimes, that I am haunted by my file,” she said, explaining today it is “somewhere in a local security or police office.”
“The worst, I fear, is that Common Core could be used by the government and corporations to do data collection and data mining on our children. What else could come to take away more of our rights and privacy? Our freedom is very precious and we must fight to keep it. Without freedom, you are just a slave, no matter how much money you have. Trust me to say this because I have lived under tyranny before and will never want to live in it again,” she said.
See her testimony:
The Common Core State Standards Initiative spells out what K-12 students should know in English language arts and mathematics at the end of each grade. Forty-three states and the District of Columbia have adopted it.
The Home School Legal Defense Association has released a video of parents testifying, sometimes very emotionally, of how the program has negatively affected their children.
“My older son took the test, did just fine,” said Elaine Coleman, a parent of public school students in New York.
But then her younger son went into third grade.
“Within a month, everything just bottomed out. He didn’t like school anymore. He said he was dumb. He said he was stupid. He didn’t understand anything. I didn’t know what to do help him,” she said.
The first two states to fully implement the controversial standards were New York and Kentucky.
The documentary addresses the problems found by teachers, students and parents in the Washington-centric program as applied to classrooms.
Filmmaker Ian Reid’s project interviews parents, teachers and a social worker from New York, whose experiences with Common Core are first-hand.
Mary Calamia, a licensed clinical social worker interviewed, said she observed a significant increase in the number of students struggling with anxiety and depression since the Common Core’s implantation in the Empire State.
“What was so upsetting for [the children] was they couldn’t do the work, they feel stupid, they were extremely anxious, [and] extremely distressed about going to school,” she said.
The film is a follow-up to the highly successful documentary “Building the Machine,” which reviewed the creation and implementation of Common Core. It was released in March.
“We were really happy with the response to the ‘Building the Machine’ film. Most viewers felt that it was an excellent primer on the standards and their questionable background, but many also expressed that they wanted a more in-depth look at the Common Core and how the standards have impacted parents and children.” said Reid. “In response to those requests, we’ve put together an additional 20-minute documentary featuring parent interviews from the state of New York and six content-specific episodes that explore issues such as international benchmarking, high-stakes testing, datamining and more.”
Calamia said one student subjected to the new programming carved the word “Stupid” in her wrist.
Parent Christine Barbara reported she thought that her children were being bullied, abused or even molested because of the dramatic change in their personalities.
“I didn’t anticipate [a child] falling apart completely,” she said.
Gwendolyn Britt said Common Core “takes any any teacher’s creativity, takes away children’s creativity.”
“So we can compete globally?” she wondered. “I don’t want to compete globally.”
The documentary includes an interview with David Coleman, College Board president and chief mover behind the change. He explained his officials “could decide what was crucial and what was not.”
He said he’s using data from children as a “force” that moves kids forward.
Even mathematics classes are politicized in the controversial Common Core program for public schools, points out the world’s largest promoter of homeschooling.
WND has published a numerous reports on Common Core, including recently when Common Core curriculum author Jason Zimba admitted the standards don’t provide an adequate mathematics education.
“If you want to take calculus your freshman year in college, you will need to take more mathematics than is in the Common Core,” said Zimba.