By Nancy Thorner and Bonnie O’Neil –
Common Core at the K -12 level in education is shifting and distorting education in many liberal ways, but what about the education being taught to our college age students? We should be even more concerned about that group, as they will soon be part of society and influencing it very soon. The obvious concern is whether they too are part of the Liberal’s attempt to insert their socialist agenda into the curriculum and thus minds of America’s youth.
Brace yourself for the sad truth. Our college and university campuses are actual hotbeds of liberal indoctrination, to a degree that should shock every reasonable American. Whether a parent or not, we all should demand an in-depth investigation and potential change in the college system which will guarantee more balance and objectivity.
It is essential that students be informed of all facts, encouraged to consider every option, and taught to listen to opposing arguments on any given subject (especially those which society identifies as controversial), in order to develop critical thinking skills that teach how to seek all facts and arrive at educated opinions to determine the truth.
Instead, college students are being indoctrinated with a strong liberal agenda, which excludes conservative arguments. Much of the teaching encompasses the edicts of United Nation’s Agenda 21, with “a specific and heavy emphasis on sustainability.”
Study by Peter Wood and Rachelle Peterson on sustainability and college campuses
Through the study of college curriculum, Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, and Rachelle Peterson concluded that it was on college campuses where the sustainability movement gets its voice of authority and where it molds the views and commands the attention of young people. Their combined study resulted in Sustainability: Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism, published March 25, 2015. In a June 12, 2015 article, “Sustainability’s War on Doubt”, Wood describes “sustainability” in a much broader sense, of which global warming is just one part of the whole.
“Sustainability” is not so much a call for the wise use of resources as it is a declaration against all forms of ‘exploitation’, such as exploiting the animal, mineral, and vegetable resources of the planet. The sustainability movement embraces a fuzzy version of the Marxist idea that capitalism is essentially about human exploitation, and totally ignores the concepts of wealth creation, comparative advantage, and material progress.”
As expressed in the executive summary of Wood’s study, the following will be taught in sustainability programs offered at colleges and universities, and students will be exposed to the following liberal dogma of ideas and unproven claims:
1) Catastrophic manmade global warming is an indisputable fact, and switching to renewable energy from inexpensive and abundant fossil fuel energy is the only plausible answer; 2) that today’s society and economy are built on greed and waste, and thus we must rebuild society along progressive political lines; 3) that mass environmental activism is the way to achieve goals 1 and 2; and 4) that we must either persuade the skeptics or silence them.” So far, we believe they have largely resorted to silencing the opposition by refusing to reveal the mounting evidence that refutes their arguments.
The Executive summary describes the sustainability movement from its origin to today’s application, which, in turn, will have important consequences for the future of this nation. We must not allow the minds of our young people to be manipulated into conforming to this socialist political agenda that is at odds with our Constitution and the values and ideals upon which this nation was founded.
Consider the following:
- The 1987 United Nations report, “Our Common Future”, better known as the Brundtland Report, ignited the sustainability movement by uniting environmentalism with hostility to free markets and demands for “social” justice.” Driving the initiative to make sustainability part of every course is the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), an effort launched by “Second Nature” a group founded by John Kerry and Teresa Heinz. As of 2015, 697 college and universities have signed this commitment, which includes a pledge to “make climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum and other educational experience for all students.”
- Beginning in 2007, the President’s Climate Commitment tapped the power of college presidents to set the agendas for their institutions. Sustainability is now among the highest priorities at colleges and universities. Colleges are currently ranked by their success in meeting sustainability goals. There seems no limit to the extent those behind this movement will go. An example of this extremism is evident at the University of Virginia, where students are asked to pledge themselves to sustainability. We could not find any example of the school requesting students to make a pledge to our flag or country.
- Universities seek to use the campus as a “living laboratory” where students will not only learn about sustainability in the classroom, but will encounter it everywhere on campus. The goal is to modify students’ values. The question is whether parents, who have saved all their lives to send their children to college, know their children are being intentionally manipulated rather than taught. There is no balance offered, only intense indoctrination to a specific “progressive” viewpoint embraced by the professors and others of their ilk.
- Nudging is a way of prodding students to do what activists want. This technique was promoted in a 2008 bestseller, “Nudge”, by Richard Thaler and Cass Sustein. There adherents contend people should be manipulated into making the choices that social planners think are the best options. About 80 institutions hire student “eco-reps to shame their peers into riding a bike to classes or buying carbon offsets to make up for their flights home at Christmas.
Sustainability advances indoctrination to nurture Pavlovian responses
The sustainability movement represents a significant shift in higher education: from educating students with rational and moral knowledge that prepares them to make future prudent, conscious choices to that of an indoctrination program with the feverish goal of training operations designed to elicit Pavlovian responses. The liberals call that progress. We call it indoctrination that deprives students of opposing opinions and facts; thus limiting their ability to discern the truth.
Sustainability projects cost U.S. higher education schools nearly $3.4 billion per year. Society is interested in reducing costs of education, so that more students can attend college and not be forced into borrowing money and accumulating debts before they even begin their careers.
As a remedy to soaring college tuition, George Will suggests the following: “Hundreds of millions could be saved, with no cost to any institution’s core educational mission, by eliminating every position whose title contains the word ‘sustainability’– and, while we are at it, ‘diversity,’ ‘multicultural’ or ‘inclusivity.’ The result would be higher education; higher than the propaganda-saturated version we have, and more sustainable.”
Mr. Will’s conclusions are correct. On campuses across the United States, where sustainability has become dogma, an honest investigation of global warming is nearly impossible. Scientific debate requires openness, not conformity to a fixed theory exempt from external review. Instead, debate is discouraged, by the continual comment that Climate Change is “settled science”. But what does that mean? Of course Climate Change exists and has since the Earth began. The question and demand for proof, is whether it is even possible for man to influence changes in Earth’s climate, before assuming it has done so.
A young person attending Cornell will find that 13% of all Cornell’s undergraduate courses deal in one way or another with sustainability; at Colorado State University the percentage is 22%; and at Middlebury College in Vermont it is a full 25% of all courses offered. Of all the “degree programs” in sustainability, offered worldwide, 95% of them are offered by colleges and universities in the U.S. Unfortunately, out of 772 colleges and universities globally who are members of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), 90% of that membership – a whopping 694 of the colleges and universities are in the United States.
Wood’s “Sustainability’s War on Doubt?” states:
“As closed as the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the New York Times are to expressions of alternative views, the typical college campus is even worse. To agree to debate the pro-sustainability position would imply the existence of contrary arguments and evidence worthy of consideration.” That is their excuse and no mention is made of the many scientists and scholars who disagree with the “elites” position, and who have serious facts to offer, which would be excellent contributions to an intensive debate.
Young people and parents and being hoodwinked and short-changed
Do young people really need to devote their education to the noble goal of saving the Earth, and, if so, saving it from what? During the entire lives of most college students there has been no global warming. Not withstanding, sustainability advocates prefer a campus on which they can expand their control over every detail of student life. Many campuses have created “trayless cafeterias” in which students have to juggle their plates. Bottled water is similarly frowned on. Presented as energy saving, the intent is to prod students into thinking at every turn about the need to be sustainable. Those students who disagree with the sustainability doctrine are made to feel shamed if they don’t conform to the latest “green” gimmick. They are even considered a threat to society.
Parents are now tasked with deciding whether the excessive cost of a college education and their children’s obvious indoctrination to a liberal agenda is the best course for their lives. Would the time and money be better spent on starting or investing in a business of interest? How concerned are parents that schools are intruding into areas other than what is needed for a future career? Is it the right of university professors to indoctrinate vulnerable students to their liberal social ideals, and are parents even aware that many college courses seek to instill the ideals of a movement that aims for drastic change in the way humanity relates to the natural world? Do parents know or care what is happening in college classrooms? Is the average taxpayer even aware of the intensive indoctrination?
Should our tax-funded universities be allowed to indoctrinate students with a controversial and disputed agenda that is presented from one viewpoint only? Is it time for parents and all citizens to demand equality, thus allowing critical thinking to develop among students and hopefully even professors. There is nothing fair about current hiring practices in most colleges and universities that favor liberal professors at as high as a 9 to 1 ratio. With such liberal domination, Conservatives tend to seek other careers knowing they will be largely ignored, even shunned by those who dominate the world of academic today. Conservatives claim they are not provided a fair chance to advance. Thus the few in the system, who have opposing liberal viewpoints, rarely present them. If we want fairness in our universities, taxpayers will have to demand changes in a variety of areas, beginning with an unbiased study and evaluation of the issue, and concluding with sweeping changes that emphasize equality and fairness in every area.
Bill Ayers and other professors of his ilk must be shown the back door. It is time to demand something more of America’s professors and colleges, rather than continue with the current expensive brain washing indoctrination by socialist/progressive instructors, who oppose our historical values and Constitution in favor of an agenda filled with disputable and unproven facts, most often created behind closed doors and within the United Nations.
Will American patriots call their elected officials and demand equitable changes? Who among us will demand positive, historical values be reinstated, that credible arguments be presented in every classroom, and that liberal professors not be allowed to dominate our colleges and universities?
The future of our country hangs in the balance, and only those who have studied and remember history will know the impotence of taking action while we still have the opportunity to do so.
Please consider calling your representatives, at the state and federal level, asking, if not demanding equality. Our institutions of higher learning need to be more conscious of fairness and diversity, within their hiring practices and certainly classroom curriculum and professors’ teachings, especially if they receive any government funding. The one-sided liberal approach must cease and be replaced with opportunities to learn both sides of arguments on controversial issues. Our children deserve an education, not an indoctrination!