I’m going to list a few verbatim questions from a recent test my daughter took last week in one of her courses at the Northern Virginia Community College system. I’d like you to guess the subject matter of the course.

Sound like fun? OK, here we go:

QUESTION: PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, which has toxic vapors when burned and during production, is used extensively in everyday objects such as vinyl flooring, plastic upholstery and siding.

  • True

  • False

QUESTION: The US Green Building Council (USGBC) is:

  • a local, non-profit organization dedicated to providing safe housing for endangered species

  • a national organization whose purpose is to create safe environments for the physically challenged
  • a national organization whose purpose is to integrate, lead and educate about green design

QUESTION: The process started in 1993 by President Bill Clinton to reduce energy use and costs was called:

  • The Greening of the White House

  • The White House Sustainability Initiative
  • The White House White Papers

QUESTION: __________ is defined as the practice of increasing the efficiency with which buildings and their sites use energy, water and materials.

  • Sustainability

  • Green building
  • Environmental consciousness

QUESTION: Some of the known hazards of PVC include:

  • eye strain and hearing loss

  • brittle bones and mobility impairment
  • a variety of cancers and death

QUESTION: Which of the following contain PVC?

  • siding, plumbing pipes, wallcovering and flooring

  • wood flooring, glasses, books and magazines
  • cans, picture frames, art supplies

QUESTION: The production of harmful vapors produced by the curing of building materials is called:

  • Material toxicity

  • Radiant heat
  • Toxic off-gassing

QUESTION: The depletion of our natural resources was not a concern for early architects and designers such as Paolo Soleri, Victor Papanek and Buckminster Fuller.

  • True

  • False

QUESTION: The movie “An Inconvenient Truth” is:

  • Al Gore’s next presidential campaign

  • based on true scientific information that is still very controversial
  • is based on information gained solely from extremists and Greenpeace

QUESTION: Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring” was instrumental in the early “green” movement and

  • was a key document used in removing DDT from the market place

  • was a great inspiration to current proponents of sustainable environment
  • continues to be used as a guide for sustainable development

QUESTION: Al Gore, in the video “An Inconvenient Truth,” shares his concern that

  • global warming is accelerating slowly and is resulting in minute climate shifts

  • global warming is accelerating at a great rate and will cause melting of the glaciers and ice caps and significant climate changes and flooding
  • global warming is caused by the “hole in the Pole,” which has been repaired, so it is not a problem

QUESTION: A United Nations commission identified development that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” as

  • Abnormal development

  • Sustainable development
  • Altruistic development

OK, what’s your guess? What do you think the course title is? What is the subject matter of this class?

Those of you who read my column last week on my daughter’s first day of class will, of course, have an unfair advantage. You already know something about this four-hour class in which the Gore movie was shown and students were assigned to view it at least two more times. You already know that the teacher cried for 30 minutes after the movie was shown to the class.

For those of you who didn’t, you might be astonished to learn that the questions above represented 12 of 20 in the first test given to the art class.

That’s right. I said art class.

Any subject can be politicized in American academia today – and any subject will be.

But this is not just a case of bias. It’s not just a case of petty politics entering the classroom. It’s not just a case of coercive indoctrination subsidized by taxpayers. It’s a case of consumer fraud. It’s a total ripoff of our young people who sincerely want to learn and study in their fields of interest, but are forced to endure proselytizing by misguided fanatics as part of the price tag.

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