Global Warming in 1956

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Look what I found . . . a 1956 children’s encyclopedia with an article about global warming! And what’s more this encyclopedia was recommended by an organization called Home School Treasures, who say “Our first motive is to serve the Christian Home schooling community and share our experiences of what has worked and what has not.”

First, let me say, I don’t know if the Earth is heating up, cooling down, or holding steady. My purpose is not to argue the point one way or the other. But check this out.

When I was a kid in the early sixties, I used the Book of Knowledge extensively, for homework writing assignments and for my own pleasure. I loved these books and still do. My parents bought the them from a door-to-door salesman in 1956. They came with a free wooden bookshelf. The Book of Knowledge was published by Grolier, Inc.

Encyclopedia Britannica (a completely different encyclopedia) tells us:

“The first of the modern children’s encyclopaedias was, however, a long-standing favourite. Prepared by the English writer and editor Arthur Mee, it was called The Children’s Encyclopaedia (1910) in Great Britain and The Book of Knowledge (1912) in the United States. The contents comprised vividly written and profusely illustrated articles; because the system of article arrangement was obscure, much of the success of the work as a reference tool resulted from its splendidly contrived index, which remains a model of its kind.”

Several editions of The Book of Knowledge were published from 1912 through the late 1950’s.

Interestingly, an organization known as Home School Treasures speaks highly of the Book of Knowledge. Why do I find this interesting? In their “About Us” page, HS Treasures says:

“Our company was established when we started homeschooling our children because we saw the need for quality materials. We wanted to help others save money and time, as well as share the freedom of breaking out of the public school mindsets and failing methods . . . Our first motive is to serve the Christian Home schooling community and share our experiences of what has worked and what has not.”

and when specifically recommending the Book of Knowledge, HS Treasures states:

“This set of books will be most valuable as we continue to see our history and the facts of world history distorted and many times changed entirely to fit social or political agendas.”

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Which is kind of interesting, because all the conservative home-schoolers I’ve met don’t believe in global warming. I thought the whole concept of climate change started in the 1970’s. I never even noticed this article in the Book of Knowledge until recently perusing the books while visiting my mother in Virginia.

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