Monday, April 7, 2008

Dear Mr. Pettit.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~You teach my daughter's 8th grade 'life skills' class. She showed me her global warming test. It is unfortunate that in the same school in which any evidence of faith is erased from your 'Holiday Pageant', a teacher is allowed to spout nonsense from the global warming cult unchallenged. What has this to do with lifeskills? Why are half of my property tax dollars going to education when you fill kids heads with this unadulterated rubbish?
Your 58 question 'test' starts with questions about global warming then moves towards human activities, assuming a connection that is so far unproven. I wish I had the time to go over each question with you. I plan on petitioning to do just that, in front of your class. Here's a few of the questions I have a problem with.

# 22. What is the carbon impact of a single cheeseburger?
Your 'correct' answer--- 200 million metric tons.
To an eighth grader that's just a big number. To anyone with an ounce of critical thinking, it's preposterous.
There is a total of 3 trillion tons of CO2 in the atmosphere (Source--NOAA) McDonald's has served an estimated 140 billion cheeseburgers. (Source--Mcdonald's sign on Convoy street) by your numbers, McDonald's cheeseburgers alone account for 61,712,000 trillion tons of CO2. Where did all the CO2 go?

# 13. What will happen to the coral reefs if there is a 2 degree rise in temperature?
Your 'correct' answer---we will lose them.
Given that coral has been around since the precambrian era, when the CO2 load in the atmosphere was 7000 ppm (compared with today's paltry 372 ppm) isn't your statement off? DO you really believe there hasn't been much more significant temperature changes in the last 4 billion years?

#51. What percentage of greenhouse gasses are produced by cars?
Your 'correct' answer--20%. Sorry to hit you with actual numbers. NOAA claims 95% of greenhouse gas is water vapor. There is 326,000,000,000,000,000 gallons of water in the atmosphere. There are estimated to be 12,588,949 cars in the world. If you assume each and every car drove 100,000 miles already, and they made 20% of this water vapor, that's 51,791 gallons of water from each car, PER MILE. This must explain why the tailpipe rusts.

I could go on. But I don't see a need. I have to remember you are teaching a 'life skills' class, and my daughter has learned an important 'life skill lesson' from you which will serve her well in future education. Sometimes teachers say stuff without having any idea what they are talking about. If you want to believe the global warming myths, fine. If you want to believe in killer comets, killer bees, acid rain, the hole in the ozone layer, ebola, e choli, overpopulation, deforestation, etc---go right ahead. Just don't try to pass along fatalistic, unproven theories on our kids.


princess slea said...

there is no such thing as a Precambrian Era. Everything before the Cambrian Era is precambrian therefore not an era. Don't feel bad, the Smithsonian got it wrong too.

(i'm just being a wise ass). I just read this article in the paper about some kid challenging the museum about their label use of "era".

As for the other stuff....a better lesson would be to teach about personal responsibility and that all the garbage people throw away ends up in someone else's backyard (like MINE). Your daughter is lucky she has to you to rationally discuss the other "theories".

- Rob said...

Go Steve!

No matter what you believe about humankind's impact on the global environment, the debate is not over. Delta Joe had a good summation not too long ago -- what is fact and what is just not known. That is a much better message.

On the other hand, I remember teachers spouting opinions a lot when I was in school too. I usually accepted the info as fact, but later formed my own opinions.

Teaching the kids to evaluate data that is given to them and decide what is fact and what is opinion (or outright misinformation) is an important skill. Good luck getting the opportunity to do that!

Tina said...

If nothing else, it gives you a good chance to teach your kids that teachers may or may not be good at their jobs.

My kids in a public high school have had to endure all kinds of nonsense. Of course, they will find the correct information, raise their hands, and then present their findings in front of the class. Most often, the teachers will wind up with, "I did not know that."

I have problems with the one that my girl scouts tell me keeps a voodoo doll of our current president in her desk. It was a gift from another student, but I don't care about that. No one seems to be teaching respect for the OFFICE if not the person occupying it. No matter what you think about him, he is the PRESIDENT right now.

I do not remember even knowing my teacher's political leanings. They were teaching about the system of government, and not how "X" was messing it up.

We know all their teachers who are democrats. They have other teachers who don't discuss their opinions too - I guess they are the republicans or other.

Trevor's Tech college seems to be less pushy. I don't know how the community college will be for Diana.

In the meantime, we continue to teach her how to figure out how to find information on her own to make her own decisions.

monkeybrigade said...

Did Mr. Pettit go on about how we should all be our biking and walking instead of driving our cars? What happens when he's on a remote trail and wrecks his bike? Does he plan on getting out of the wilderness on a broken femur using good feelings and statistics? NO! He can't wait for the gas guzzling helicopter to pick him up and transfer him to the diesel ambulance which takes him to the Emergency room that uses 5,000 kw/hr to help cure him. I totally want to have a bicycle ambulance for those tree huggers, just so we can save on 3 gallons of diesel. Maybe a hand pumped Jaws of Life.

Slea and I got into a big argument about this garbage, and while I think that changes need to be made, they don't need to happen as a result of guilt or false statements. Everyone just needs to do what you can.

Gotta run, I have to drive to class (24 miles one way) in my baby seal skin lined Hummer H2 and swing by McDonald's for an Egg McMuffin in a "retro" styrofoam container.

flyingvan said...

In a small way, this sorta happened---two other teachers, who are very good teachers and also interested in our Copter program, were invited for a ride along. They got 'rescued', used the night vision goggles, went on a real call, and took a ton of pictures to use in a presentation. Mr. Pettit wasn't invited. I didn't want to increase his carbon footprint.

Tina said...

I forgot to mention in 1981 I took a community college ecology class.

The professor INSISTED we should all get used to the idea of eating bugs, because by the millenium, that's all that would be left to eat to get our protein.


Lee said...

I think this is the pattern.

side A: There is no scientific evidence of global warming as defined by the UN.

side B: Your stupid to think that. To even think there isnt global warming is WRONG.

flyingvan said...

Do you remember the really high storm surges when we were young, and the waves would flow over Balboa Peninsula? It was just high tide and surge. If that happened now, they'd blame global warming and the collapse of the Wilkins ice shelf.