NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

ENVIRONMENTAL PROPAGANDA NOW TARGETS TYKES

February 28, 2005

Environmental misinformation is finding its way into children's books, says Jay Lehr of the Heartland Institute. A recent publication, "The Future of the Earth," by Yann Arthur-Bertrand, targets children between the ages of 10 and 12 with blatant falsehoods about the environment.

Some examples:

  • Arthur-Bertrand predicts that air pollution from cars will increase 25 percent in the next 10 years; in reality, it is significantly declining although the number of cars is increasing.
  • It also proclaims that twelve percent of all species are endangered; while there is no scientific evidence to support this number, it is estimated that less than 1 percent are endangered.
  • Arthur-Bertrand mentions that more than 20,000 square miles of ice are disappearing annually, although this figure fails to take into account growing ice fields in other regions.
  • The book also claims that 50,000 square miles of forest land are disappearing every year around the world, but the fact is that forest land has increased over several decades in all developed countries.

Finally, the book warns that radical dietary changes are needed in order to provide enough to feed the entire planet. He recommends eliminating commercial animal herds and industrial fishing.

While the book uses attractive and colorful pictures to entice children, virtually every page contains blatant distortions, says Lehr.

Source: Jay Lehr, "Environmentalist Propaganda for Kids," Heartland Institute, January 2005; and Yann Arthur-Bertrand, "The Future of the Earth: An Introduction to Sustainable Development for Young Readers," Harry N. Abrams, Inc., September 2004.

 

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