MUSKEGON, Mich. – A West Michigan mother is questioning a book her kindergarten son brought home from his school’s library, because it portrays the global warming debate from one perspective only, and ignores other arguments.
The book – “The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge” – tells the story of a teacher, Ms. Frizzle, taking her students on a globetrotting trip to show them the impacts of global warming.
Published by Scholastic in 2010, it features drawings of the what the Artic used to look like – with ice as far as the eye could see – to today, with polar bears supposedly clinging to measly icebergs with desperate looks on their faces.
Frizzle takes students in her plane (likely producing thousands of pounds of carbon, but how can you let that ruin a ripping good global warming yarn?) in an effort to spring students into action.
After being shocked by what they supposedly saw, the students say, “Will the earth really be okay, Ms. Frizzle?”
“I hope so,” she replied. “Our only chance is to work together – every person, every city, every country.”
The back features a drawing with the teacher, wearing a “save energy” dress, turning off a power strip connected to a computer screen that features the earth with a thermometer sticking out of its mouth.
The publisher clearly approves of the book.
“With their knack for making science accessible, Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen [the authors] give this hot topic a refreshing, kid-friendly spin that will inspire all to do their part. Ms. Frizzle and the class are up for the climate challenge. Are you?” reads the listing by Scholastic.
The Michigan mom feels otherwise.
“My biggest problem is books like this are a caricature of reality and schools treat them as fact,” the mother, who requested anonymity, told EAGnews.
“They’re designed to scare children into accepting the green agenda while this is little more than global warming propaganda.
“I’m teaching my kids to turn off lights when they leave a room and to turn off the water when they’re brushing their teeth – that’s just common sense. But books like this seem to suggest we go beyond that and use pictures of sad animals to do it.
“Subtle books like this are a good reminder for parents that they need to be on top of what schools are offering to our children as ‘learning materials,’” she said.