Wednesday, April 04, 2007

welcome to environmental hell

moving up to marin county has been an experience. a lot of people up here are over the freaking top with their political beliefs, their environmental stance, and whatever else they can protest about. it's beyond annoying. i consider myself liberal, but when compared with these people... good god, don't compare me to these people. it's different up here. and not the good kind of different..

blake said something tonight during dinner, that kind of got me thinking. it was about his teacher and how he had told the class that something was "bad." they were having a conversation about pesticides and insects and birds and how their eggs were affected, etc. and why are they talking about this in 3rd grade? pesticides? and spraying fruit? i mean, how did this even come up???

it is a little bit scary because blake just happened to tell us this one particular conversation. what about all the other ones he doesn't tell us about? at open house recently, there was a sierra club poster in the classroom. i think it's a bit inappropriate because whether or not you want to admit it, the sierra club is a pretty political group. and while i think that some of the things they do are good, i could never support them based on the fact that they want offroading to be banned. they fight to close public land and roads so that people can't offroad on them. well that's something my family and i enjoy doing. we love to offroad. we always stay on the trail.. we leave it cleaner than we found it... and we get to see amazing places and things we wouldn't ever see otherwise. but the sierra club would have you believe that offroading is the worst thing ever for our environment (we might run over and crush a soon to be extinct rock). i hate the extremes and don't understand why there can't be more compromise on things? why people have to take such a firm, extreme stance, and not budge at all? why can't they just give all the information and state things as their opinion, rather than trying to pass them off as factual?

i guess it just makes me wonder what else blake is being told as an 8 year old, and not questioning? that's the worst part i guess. that he probably just listens, accepts and doesn't even think to question it. because what 8 year old mind is truly grasping these types of concepts? know what i mean?


norcalgirl28 said...

In first grade Drew came home and told me he wasn't going to eat McDonalds hamburgers anymore because they ruined the rainforest. HUH?!?! I really can't even remember how, in a round about way, they are harming the rainforest. Something about killing the cows that eat the ? that eat the ? (that live in the house that Jack built :) ) Seriously, it was something along those lines and I almost died. I want to raise a consciousness kid, a kid who understands that he is just borrowing this earth from the next generation and he better take care of it, but let's not go to extremes here folks. Oh, and...yea, that McDonalds thing? it lasted about three weeks. BTW Drew goes to the same school Blake does...fricken' veggie sprout head community!!!

Yorksdevil said...

I know what you mean. A while back I think I wrote about an article in our local paper where they'd asked the kids from the school just around the corner what they worry about and it was all environmental disaster and nuclear war or something. I was stunned. These are not issues that kids the age of Blake should be worrying about and it's not the place of schools to be filling kids' heads with political opinion as if it equates with their maths timestables and such like.

NorCalGirl - If I recall correctly it's because they cut down the trees to turn it into grazing land for cattle.

Piece of Work said...

I'm not sure I see the harm in this. Seems like it would be a good opportunity to discuss how people can have a certain bias, and how you can and should question things like that. YOu could discuss your feelings about offroading, and explain why the sierra club wants to ban it, etc etc. I only have a four year old, so I don't know, but it seems like an 8 year old would be mature enough to start thinking about things like this. After all, there are extremists all over the place (religious, political, etc); he might as well start learning about it.

alison said...

I agree with POW. These are things we all need to start thinking about, even kids. I applaud Blake's teacher for discussing environmental issues. If he can do it without taking sides, he's getting these kids to think critically about the world they live in. I wish people down here were more like people up there. We need some good treehuggers. :) Heehee. I love ya, you know that. Go read "The Divide" by Nicholas Evans. It's all about ecoterrorists and monkey-wrenching and you'll just love it. HA! By the way, we show our 8th graders "An Inconvenient Truth," so just you wait.

point45 said...


this shit drives me nuts. INCONVIENENT TRUTH and global warming is not even a proven science. its a political stance and view. and most of it can be proven to be bullshit.

If he wants to teach blake about nature in the 3rd grade, by all means do it. the more he knows about the habitats and facts about animals and plants the better. but its no teachers right to interject there fucking opinon on things. Let the kids grow up and find out on there own.

when they get into 8th grade start this crap....but not when they ARE 8.

TrojanGuy said...

Well, I don't know how much of a debate this global warming stuff is amongst scientists but it sure seems like "the jury is still out" when it comes to public opinions. But regardless of how true or not the things in An Inconvenient Truth are, I don't think it's TOO extreme to suggest that we all could be doing more to protect the environment. That said, I'm not one of the crazies that would tell you that you guys are ruining the world by offroading.

Rather than trying to legally limit peoples' leisure activities, I think a good way to work on protecting our environment is to educate people on it, how we can affect it, how we can minimize our impact, etc. If they choose to reject that information, so be it. But because of this, I really don't see what the big deal is with Blake learning about pesticides being bad for bird eggs. Is it really that horrible that he learn that pesticides aren't all that great for the environment even if he's just 8?

Angelika said...

LMAO @ "I 'hate' extremes". Oh, the irony, LOL.

alison said...

Now, Point, even George Bush admits that global warming is indeed occurring. The debate is whether it is caused by humans or if it's just nature taking its course.

And I do agree that teachers should discuss these issues with students, as long as they keep their opinions to themselves.

I love controversy.

Izzy said...

I can think of worse things than being taught to respect the environment but politics should be left out of it because it's all opinions instead of facts.

As a sidebar, the old pesticide DDT was proven to be harmful to birds of prey because they, like us, are at the top of the food chain. It caused serious birth defects and cancers etc in humans, as well as animals.

For a science class, it's a valid topic. For third graders, however, I agree it might be a bit heavy.

Nikki said...

Dude, Lauren gets into some deep conversations with me...she's 8.

We've talked endlessly about the environment and we've started in on politics a bit.

I didn't clue into any of this stuff until I was 12 or so.

RWA said...

Amen, Point. Al Gore is a freakin' hypocrite who uses far more energy and does more of the things he claims destroys the environment than 10 "average" Americans do.


Scientists across the world can't even agree on what is the primary cause of global warming; it may well be something natural that man cannot control.

And it may well be that this is one of the 40-year "cycles" in climate that history has shown to occur.

But, hey, maybe Blake's teacher can tell us all what's really going on.

alison said...

Point and RWA---Have you honestly seen An Inconvenient Truth?

norcalgirl28 said...

Thank you yorksdevil. I admit, I was running errands later thinking, "what does a cow have to do with a rainforest?" Certainly, it is valid to cut down on your consumption if this is indeed happening. I hate it when one tree is cut down, let alone part of a rainforest. All things in moderation. ...and I agree, teach them to question, not agree like lemings (sp?). Then, it's all good.

jennster said...

i don't think that global warming has been a proven fact. as far as i've heard, it's still up in the air, but many people are convinced it's due to one thing, while others are convinced it's due to something completely different. where do opinions end, and facts come in to play?
i haven't seen an inconvenient truth yet, but i want too. just have to be in the right frame of mind...

point45 said...

no i have and will not see "An Inconvenient Truth." you will catch me viewing that right after i see "bowling of columbine."

An im not saying that the world is not getting warmer as of late. i just dont think it has anything to do with man.

JayMonster said...

Just because you may not like the conclusions, doesn't mean it is not fact.

Just because Exxon pays a few scientists to say, the data on global warming is "inconclusive" doesn't mean the scientist from the other 90 nations that have said that global warming is a fact, and just "how much" human activity is a factor, doesn't mean it isn't true.

I agree with your general premise about teaching "facts" as "facts" and letting it be known when it is an opinion. But just because you don't like it, doesn't mean it is any less a fact.

And (for Point), there is no comparing Bowling for Columbine which is a wildly liberal slanted story with on innuendo to support its story, and An Inconvenient Truth which is a documentary, which is only considered "slanted" because you have an oilman in the White House.

Virginia Belle said...

this is one of the things that makes it so hard to raise kids. i remember my mom teaching me to question things i read in books and heard on the news. did it make me skeptical? yes. thank god. because if i was one of those idiots who believed in everything i saw and read, i'd be one of those idiots who truly believes that if you forward the email to 35 people, bill gates will give you $1,000.

*rolls eyes*

as long as you teach him to always question what people say, or to look up the truth in a trusted book, you will have an independently thinking son on your hands. the more he reads, the more educated he will be. so keep encouraging him to read!!! one of the best ways to educate yourself is to learn about both sides of the issue. (ok, here is my plug) -- take him to the library and talk to the librarian. tell her you want blake to read books about both sides of the issue. she should be able to show you some stuff. if not, just email me and i can find some trustworthy, unbiased websites for you that discuss both sides of the issue.

maybe this is why my parents always wanted to know what i learned at school every day....