Op-ed: The Environmental Protection Agency has developed a teaching guide aimed at teaching adult non-English speakers the English language with a curriculum on environmentalism. The guide includes a homework assignment telling students to “observe” their neighbors, school and workplace to see if recycling is taking place.
Though many will see it as a stretch, it would be wise to consider how the modern environmental movement has permeated our culture and society. Numerous “educational” avenues are now used on a regular basis to teach far more than skills such as reading and math. The EPA’s guide to learning English is just one of them.
In the “Teach English, Teach About the Environment,” under the heading “Civic Integration Activity” in the beginner’s level Lesson Plan One on recycling, the following questions are asked:
- Ask students to observe whether their neighbors recycle their waste.
- Ask students to observe whether the school or their workplace recycles waste material.
- Ask at the following class what they observed.
In the same lesson, the homework – or “home support activity” – is to calculate how much each student adds to the “waste stream.”
“Have students weigh themselves on their bathroom scale at home,” the guide states. “Then have them weigh themselves with the bag of household garbage thrown out each day. Multiply the weight difference by seven days, 30 days, and 365 days to get a sense of the amount of garbage generated by each student.”
The introduction to the classes for beginner, intermediate and advanced non-English speaking student states:
“As a teacher of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), you know that your classes are extremely popular with immigrants and long-term visitors to the United States. These classes provide not only the opportunity to learn English but can serve as a portal through which many newcomers pass as a first step in integrating themselves into their new communities and American society.”
The teaching guide includes photos of things that can be recycled as well as things that harm the environment, such as a picture of products that use “excessive packaging.”
Flashcards are also included in the guide, with messages the students can memorize. Two examples are: “Recycling glass uses 30 percent less energy” and “Americans average 4.5 pounds of waste a day. This equals 235 million tons a year.”
Protecting the planet and wise stewardship of our resources is a noble and needed theme. Too often, however, environmentalists’ education has been used as a gateway to pushing a socialist and often scientifically faulty agenda. It isn’t uncommon to hear a third grader parroting the party line concerning man-made global warming. Seldom does that young child have any idea that the facts he is regurgitating are the subject of debate among notable scientists.
As was reported a couple of years ago here at Off the Grid News, using the environment for propaganda is nothing new. Because so many Americans live in a historical vacuum, as though yesterday had no impact on today and today will not impact tomorrow, most have no idea what the roots of the modern Green Movement really are. There are traces of extreme environmentalism that go back to the days of the Greeks, but the first unified, nationalistic approach to enacting strict green policies can be found in, of all places, Nazi Germany.
Political totalitarian environmentalism was born in the Third Reich. In fact, the slogan of the Reich Nature Protection Act was, “it shall be the whole landscape.” By the mid-30s upwards of 70 percent of German Greens were Nazi Party members. Nazi party member foresters and veterinarians were greater in number than medical doctors and teachers.
This is not to say the EPA is part of a new Nazi movement. It does, however, illustrate how seemingly benign “educational” efforts can be less than neutral than one may think at first glance. We have a U.S. Department of Education, yet now the Environmental Protection Agency sees its mandate as to teach English as well. But teaching English is only a gateway to the EPA, a way to teach immigrants how to “observe” their neighbors recycling habits.
What’s next, a pamphlet on the proper steps for reporting violations of recycling laws to the authorities? Or perhaps they will be taught how to check the neighbors’ garbage and then calculate how much they are contributing to the “waste stream.”