Bryan Eichfeld is determined to tell you the truth about global warming. The hardwood lumber salesman is a director on the Saucon Valley School Board in the Lehigh Valley, and Eichfeld recently made headlines by calling information in science textbooks about global warming “propaganda.” Recently, he’s attempted to get climate change denial material into the schools he oversees.

“I’m not saying to get rid of the textbooks,” Eichfeld insists. “I’d just like that our curriculum and what is taught in the classroom be presented along with the alternatives.”

Despite the fact that 97 percent of scientists agree that global warming is happening and attributable to human activities like carbon dioxide emissions, Eichfeld insists it’s part of a concerted effort to destroy the American economy. After all, he says there’s money in environmentalism, not the oil and gas industry.

Scientists “put forth these things to scare the public and to scare our students. They’re using manipulations to make their point,” Eichfeld tells Philly Now. “There’s a lot of problems with that, and I have very strong feelings that we’re being manipulated. I get very frustrated when I read through the [science] curriculum, and it’s very one-sided.”

The school director says that environmentalists are against everything “beneficial” to Americans, including fracking.

Fracking “isn’t dangerous,” he insists. “We’ve been doing it for 80 years in different forms. What I’m saying is that all this stuff, we are closing down the coal industry. Will the coal industry close down on its own? Maybe natural gas is a better fuel, but to step in and close down coal burning to stop CO2 emissions.”

He pauses. “CO2 is plant food. The higher concentration of CO2, the better the plants survive and live. There’s a whole lot of studies on that.”

And Eichfeld is right. Carbon dioxide, the key byproduct of fossil fuel burning which leads to a hotter earth atmosphere, is, in fact, plant food. It’s important to note, though, that while the plants might do well, a certain species on earth, homo sapiens (that’s you), might not do too well with an overheated, apocalyptic atmosphere.

What about fracking? Well, the scientific magazine Popular Mechanics says that while fracking does have a bad rap media-wise, a lot of it is deserved. In fact, because of, let’s say, less-than-thoughtful fracking, some people’s tap water was flammable.

And the fact that NASA and a bunch of scientists are disagreeing with Eichfeld and his friends?

“NASA is now just an environmentalist organization,” Eichfeld insists when asked about their information on global warming, “but their satellite data is really great.” He then started talking about how the difference of a degree or two in scientific literature gives him license to dispute all evidence in favor of manmade global warming.

Then again, despite his trying to influence the science curriculum there for impressionable schoolchildren, Eichfeld says he’s not qualified to draw scientific conclusions.

“I’m certainly no expert,” he adds. “Everybody’s gonna call me a crazy right wing whacko, and that’s fine. We just need to get this information out there.”

Eichfeld has actively participated in events of the activist group Lehigh Valley 9-12/Tea Party, whose stated mission is “to restore America through the preservation of unalienable Individual Rights as established by the Declaration of Independence, thereby returning government to the limits placed on it by the Constitutions of the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

Interestingly enough, I ask Eichfeld whether or not the entire world was against him and his friends. Surely, I asked, if the entire known scientific universe, the media, academia, and the majority of Americans are all saying that global warming is happening and is manmade, then a contrary opinion to that sounds, well, like a conspiracy theory.

“I know exactly why everyone is saying [that global warming is manmade from CO2 emissions],” Eichfeld insists. “The government of the United States invests billions of dollars into” the theory. And, he says, “they” ostracize anyone not toeing the line of manmade global warming theory.

Despite repeated questions to clarify what he meant by “they,” Eichfeld was unwilling or unable to clearly identify to whom he was referring.

About The Author

Contributing columnist

Josh Kruger is an award-winning writer and commentator in Philadelphia. His @PhillyWeekly column, “The Uncomfortable Whole,” took the First Place Spotlight Award for weekly newspaper commentary from the Society of Professional Journalists in both 2014 and 2015 and the Second Place Award for weekly newspaper commentary in the U.S. and Canada from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia in 2014; and, the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association presented him with the Edith Hughes Emerging Journalist Award in 2015. Along with his column, Josh blogs daily for PW on various topics including queer culture and news, mass transit, politics, crime, drugs, HIV/AIDS, civil liberties, activism, media and everything else Philly.

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  1. 6/26 Morning Buzz | PoliticsPA

    […] Respect for veterans Philadelphia Daily News: Sandusky and Corbett: Together again Phillynow.com: Lehigh Valley school director wants equal time for global warming denial, calls fracking […]


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