WEBCommentary Editor

Author: Bob Webster
Date:  June 18, 2019

Topic category:  Climate/Climate Change/Weather

Slylock Fox:  Propaganda For Kids
Beware of who is teaching your children and what they are telling them!

A Sunday supplement called "Slylock Fox and Comics for Kids" engages in climate propaganda. A recent issue is particularly egregious for its portrayal of statements made relating to Arctic Sea ice melt, maliciously suggesting such statements were made about all potential ice mass melt.

The climate warriors are constantly trying to influence young children by indoctrinating them with utter nonsense that, sadly, may not be corrected by their public school teachers.

In the Sunday, June 16, 2019, comic section of the local newspaper there appears a section for "kids" called "Slylock Fox and Comics for Kids" that includes a misleading caricature of greenhouse gas climate change skeptics. The cartoon shows a green-skinned (odd choice of color) wide-eyed villain named "Count Weirdly" with what appears to be a vulture on its shoulder and a glass of water with an ice cube standing by a table that is labeled "Global Warming Conference."

The accompanying text reads:

Count Weirdly claims he can prove that melting polar ice will not raise the water level in Earth's oceans. He is showing how an ice cube in a glass of water does not raise the water level as it melts. Why does Slylock Fox say Count Weirdly is wrong?"

Before revealing the answer provided, some context to this cartoon.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, when there was no real evidence of any meaningful change in Antarctica's ice cover, it was fashionable for human-caused global warming advocates to point to decreasing Arctic Sea ice cover as "evidence" of global warming they blamed on humans releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from their use of fossil fuels.

In response to claims that Arctic Sea ice was decreasing and causing sea level to increase (remember the drowning Maldives?), those who were skeptical of the claims that carbon dioxide was the cause of global warming countered with the fact that the melting Arctic Sea would have no impact on global sea levels. Actually, it could have a minor impact on sea level by lowering the temperature of ocean water which would contract the volume of the water and actually lower sea levels!

Of course, the skeptics were right.

But there is more.

As any cursory research into climate change during the 20th century will reveal, there was a pronounced cooling of global climate from 1940 until the late 1970s, a cooling that led many scientists to warn that the current interglacial may be ending with the beginning of a new ice age cycle. Of course, humans were blamed for using fossil fuels. But back then, the claim was that particles from fossil fuel combustion were being thrown into the atmosphere and causing reduction of sunlight, just as massive volcanic eruptions had done precipitously on two occasions during the 19th century.

It also happens to be that satellites that allow scientists to track the change of Arctic Sea ice mass began operation in 1979, just as the nearly four-decade cooling period was coming to an end, and as Arctic Sea ice was conveniently at its greatest extent than at any other time during the 20th century!

Since 1979 declining Arctic Sea ice melt has been measured against its greatest extent in the past 120 years! That little footnote never accompanies the "hair on fire" shrieks of global warming alarmists!

Much of the concern about Antarctic ice relates to the ice shelves that calve every so often. But consider that ice shelves are manifestations of significant ice growth over the land! As continental glaciers grow, they expand and push glacial ice out over the sea, particularly in coastal bays. At some point, shelf ice can become so massive that natural forces relating to its size, movement, ocean tidal forces, and ocean currents will lead to fractures with significant chunks calving off. Yet these extensions of continental ice are floating on water and their calving will not have any significant impact on sea levels! This reality appears to elude Slylock.

It is also important to note that a significant portion of Antarctica's polar region never even approaches the melting point of ice. How is significant melting going to occur with temperatures below freezing all the time?

As a matter of education for young children, they should be aware that very little of Earth's climate history has experienced temperatures cold enough to sustain the year-round ice caps characteristic of much of the past 1,000,000 years.

So, how does "Slylock Fox" claim "Count Weirdly" is wrong?

By stating "Some of the polar ice caps are on land, not floating on water. Unlike Weirdly's ice cube, the melting land ice will add volume to the oceans as they melt."

Slylock's statement is entirely beside the point because there is conflicting evidence about whether continental ice sheets (on Antarctica and Greenland) are growing, melting, or remaining about the same. There is no conclusive evidence that (a) continental glaciers are vanishing, (b) the extent of glacial melt is sufficient to warrant concern, and, (c) atmospheric carbon dioxide has anything whatsoever to do with recent climate change. Indeed, evidence strongly shows that atmospheric carbon dioxide change does not correlate with global average surface temperature change.

Furthermore, the extent to which any melting is occurring will determine the extent to which any sea level rise occurs. But "Count Weirdly" never suggested that melting continental ice wouldn't raise sea level because the Count's example was in response to foolish exaggerated claims such as Al Gore's that by today the Arctic Sea would be ice-free each summer and coastal cities would be inundated! Well, Al, guess what? The Arctic Sea is still frozen and cities are not being inundated.

This cartoon is a good example of how the Left (a political point of view that seems comfortable for "Slylock Fox") supports those who make claims about climate change they cannot substantiate (e.g., Al Gore) while they misrepresent those who respond to claims such as Gore's about an ice-free Arctic Sea.

We now know what the "Sly" in "Slylock Fox" represents. Deliberate deceit in order to indoctrinate children. Note, how it is just assumed that climate warming must be caused by humans using fossil fuels, a claim that is belied by facts.

Of course, it could also be that Mr. Fox is just ignorant and irresponsible, marginally better than deliberately deceitful.

In either case, "Slylock Fox" is a section of the Sunday comics that parents should carefully monitor for its accuracy.

Some real science for kids:

Children can believe the deceitful propaganda of Slylock Fox, or they can learn the truth and be wary of those peddling the human-caused climate change mythology. Which would you prefer for your children?

Bob Webster
WEBCommentary (Editor, Publisher)

Biography - Bob Webster

Bob Webster, a 12th-generation descendent of both the Darte family (Connecticut, 1630s) and the Webster family (Massachusetts, 1630s) is a descendant of Daniel Webster's father, Revolutionary War patriot Ebenezer Webster, who served with General Washington. Bob has always had a strong interest in early American history, our Constitution, U.S. politics, and law. Politically he is a constitutional republican with objectivist and libertarian roots. He has faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and reason over deception and emotion. He is a strong believer in our Constitution as written and views the abandonment of constitutional restraint by the regressive Progressive movement as a great danger to our Republic. His favorite novel is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and believes it should be required reading for all high school students so they can appreciate the cost of tolerating the growth of unconstitutional crushingly powerful central government. He strongly believes, as our Constitution enshrines, that the interests of the individual should be held superior to the interests of the state.

A lifelong interest in meteorology and climatology spurred his strong interest in science. Bob earned his degree in Mathematics at Virginia Tech, graduating in 1964.

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