Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Monday, April 23, 2012

Get Off the Bus!

Did you know that the original Ms. Frizzle was kicked off the Magic School Bus but that the teacher’s union insisted she be allowed back on board, and not only be allowed back on board but actually drive the bus?  Even the bus driver said so.

The MSB’s official authors may have credited a science teacher with the inspiration for the books.  They have an army of lawyers who can “prove” it, just as the environmentalists have an army of bureau-scientists to back up their falsified climate change theory.

Ms. Frizzle’s Creator is not amused.  But what can a Creator do?  God created the Earth billions of years ago.  Just how scientists can determine, with the help of some creative science, that the Earth is on a course towards inevitable destruction, driven by those evil humans when humans have only occupied a miniscule space on Earth’s timeline is just an amazing feat of engineering.

Nevertheless, “The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge” is practically a plagiarized version of – Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”  The authors use his same format and plot device of before-and-after photos of the 'devastation' of global warming and climate change.

“Have you heard about our teacher, Ms. Frizzle?” the book begins.  Well, yeah.  Some of us have had a personal relationship with her real life counterpart.  “In case, you did notice, Ms. Frizzle is the strangest teacher in school.”  The real Ms. Frizzle would have a good laugh over that.

She brings in an “old” book about the history of the world – complete with her first name from when she was nine.  “Well, I’ve heard her name is Valerie,” one student notes.  Funny - we hadn’t.  Nor would anyone of her “students” been allowed to use it.

The book has sidebars that are students’ notebook notes.  Clearly, they’d been assigned to read Al Gore’s book.  “Global warming is a rise in the average temperature of the land and water on Earth.  Today, the average temperature is more than one degree F. warmer that it was 100 years ago.”  Of course, that information came before Climategate, which discovered that this information had been wildly manipulated.

As Ms. Frizzle flies her bus higher in the atmosphere, she tells the class that natural phenomena do not explain today’s changes.  Neither do her facts.  One of her students wonders wryly, “Does anything explain what happens in this class?”

Well, yeah, kid; politics.

The real driver of the MSB would never do anything to frighten her passengers, either improbable or outright dangerous.  She would have found a safe way to do even the impossible.  This impostor has the kids jump out of the bus onto sunbeams.  In an attempt to demonstrate the danger of greenhouses gases, she later flies the bus up towards the sun and melts the wings off the flying bus. 

“The bus made a crash landing.”  Excuse me?

Understandably, the kids have had enough.  They want to get back to school, where it’s safer and they can start regurgitating the propaganda.  Their attitude about biofuels has been necessarily been balanced by reality:  Biofuels is made from plants.  While it does emit CO2, it doesn’t emit extra carbons.  On the other hand, using food crops to make biofuels causes food shortages.  And making biofuels uses more energy than they create.

“Ms. Frizzle?  How can we change things all over the Earth?” one lad asks.  We can start right here in the classroom, she replies, calling the mayor, writing to the president, and bossing your parents around.  Ask your town to get a windmill, which will kill all the wildlife, or at least drive them, and your neighbors, insane.

No Progressive children’s book would be complete without the redistribution of wealth.  “Richer countries can help poorer countries get alternative energy!”  “We had finally found out what was causing climate change.  It was mostly people – including us.  We panicked!”

The real Ms. Frizzle would have told the students that all living things are carbon-based and that carbon dioxide is something we emit every day.  But there’s no need to panic, at all.  That’s what Mother Nature created trees and plants for.  There’s a lot more carbon dioxide because there are a lot more people than there were 100,000 years ago.  But there wouldn’t be more people if they had invented machinery to heat their homes, cook their vehicles, and make light.

The real Ms. Frizzle was – and is – a nature-lover.  She also knew how to drive.  This can’t be the real Ms. Frizzle in this book because she advocates communal action over individual action.    In the Q&A in the back of the book, a child asks, “Can a single person really change things?”  The answer is “One individual can’t make a big difference, but millions of individuals can!”

And who’s going to make them?  That’s what the real Ms. Frizzle would want to know.  Ms. Frizzle, the imposter, in the back of the book, has a flag that says, “Going Green.”  The real Ms. Frizzle was always green and conservative, in both senses of the word.  Nature is important, she would tell you, but so are human beings.

Individuals must choose which way to go:  to air dry their laundry or dry it in a machine; to drive a car to work or take the bus; to carry a canvas shopping bag or use plastic (they may be repurposing the plastic bags).  Certainly, businesses should, and have every reason to, conserve resources.  Creating government regulations is hardly necessary.  They would probably be more open to preventing air pollution were it not for the expensive bureaucracy behind the air pollution regulations.  The real Ms. Frizzle was always yelling at her own kids to save money and turn off lights.   She’s still yelling at them. 

She hates seeing trees cut down and wild animals being killed for sport.  However, while she might morally scold clear-cutting developers and hunters, she’d never willingly advocate regulations against them.  Ms. Frizzle knows they’re doing necessary work.  Ms. Frizzle is a staunch defender of the planet and freedom.  That’s why she loves wild animals – because they’re free.

Most importantly, the real Ms. Frizzle – the driver, actually, who had been a reporter, not a teacher – would never, never, never have lied to the students on her bus.  While she was angry about unnecessary pollution, she never taught children falsehoods to advance an agenda against Capitalism.  The ends did not justify such means.  She just wanted businesses and people to be more responsible.  Responsibility begins with the individual and she would have expected that effort to begin with her own students’ efforts at turning off lights and so forth first, not telling other people what to do before cleaning up their own messes on her bus (which they frequently left behind for her to clean up). 

The original teacher was the embodiment of the officious, bureaucratic Liberal school marm; that’s why the driver threw her off the bus.  She didn’t like hearing the truth, especially about propaganda, or being challenged about it.  The real teacher actually had frizzy hair.  The MSB was built to teach children about nature and science without the political moralizing or creating a nanny state.  She never spoke a negative word. 

The bus was hijacked long ago by Progressives with an environmental and social justice agenda.  We won’t even talk about how much money they’re making off that hijacked bus.  They’ve got a lot of nerve talking about redistributing the wealth.

It’s no surprise that Ms. Frizzle is a beloved character (children at a Read Across America event told me so) or that the children in the book find her “unusual.”  The real Ms. Frizzle got dozens and dozens of letters from school teachers whose classes she took on field trips.  The teachers were amazed at the depth of her knowledge and gratified by her love of nature.

The publisher has the legal copyright to the books and the profits.  Some things can’t be changed.  But they don’t have the monopoly on the truth, either about fictional environmentalism or environmental fiction.

And that, children, passengers, and readers, is your lesson for Earth Day, 2012.




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