Another Climate Scam Exposed, But Will California Fall For It?


This article was posted at American Thinker:

This past weekend, a news article in the San Francisco Bay Area’s Mercury News warned, “As summer approaches and temperatures soar, one of the most dangerous places for Bay Area students might actually be the playground.”

The reporter wasn’t concerned about school kids being confronted by criminal elements while on their summer break. Instead, the column served as a promotional pitch for the climate change agenda. A national non-profit is seeking $1 billion from the California legislature to construct “green playgrounds” on school campuses. The remodeled play areas are described as being essential in the fight against climate change, while simultaneously improving student achievement in the classroom.  This appeal for government funding comes from the Trust for Public Land, even though California is broke. Governor Gavin Newsom has gone from boasting of a $97 billion budget surplus two years ago, to confessing that his state now has a deficit of some $45 billion.

However, the Trust is not dissuaded by the financial shortfall. They know the Democrats who run the Golden State are beholden to a cause that defies logic, fiscal or otherwise: climate change. The California legislature has over $40 billion to spend on climate initiatives in the coming budgetary year and they are always on the hunt to support their green comrades.

One of the Trust’s specialties is retrofitting school playgrounds. Their literature claims doing so helps bridge the “nationwide gap in academic achievement between white and black students.” They also contend their work reduces the effects of “heat islands” on inner city schools.

I investigate unfounded claims like these in my new book, Climate Cult: Exposing and Defeating Their War on Life, Liberty, and Property. Besides planting flowers, trees, and often sod on the school grounds (all of which require costly and extensive ongoing maintenance), these play area transformations include pricy brightly colored rubber surfaces and artificial turf, which may not get quite as quite as hot as the asphalt and old thick dark rubber play surfaces but still significantly warms when exposed to direct sunlight. In addition, new playground structures are also constructed. Never mind that the slides, ramps, and steeples consist of dense plastic made from petrochemicals derived from fossil fuels.

Then there are the “heat islands” the Trust implies are somehow harmful to learning. It’s too bad these climate activists don’t care that a significant percentage of the earth’s temperature readings are recorded on comparable heat islands associated with airport tarmacs, firehouse parking lots, and other heat absorbing infrastructure. These anthropogenic microclimates produce wildly inflated temperature readings that are all thrown into the daily mix, causing Earth’s weather to appear hotter than ever.

You see, environmental non-profits like the Trust for Public Land really aren’t concerned about the climate. Instead, their first priority is taking care of their own, and very well I might add.  For example, the Trust’s 2023 annual financial statement reported total revenues of $294 million, while operating expenses (salaries, rent, insurance, etc.) totaled nearly $293 million. Meantime, they sit on a stock portfolio worth over $151 million. The Trust even provides a retirement plan available to employees who work more than 20-hours per week. Who knew that a degree in Social and Environmental Justice could pan out so well?

Second, these groups make sure construction work for their various projects is carried out by organized labor whenever possible; unions serve the climate agenda as key stakeholders to better secure government funding and thus redistribute wealth.

Third, these orgs appease individuals who have been drawn into the climate cult by providing a method to atone for their sinful carbon footprints with very green donations. Cash, real estate, and endowments are all eagerly accepted.

Brian Sussman

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