Climate Craziness of the Week – let the kids freeze, all I want for Christmas is a zero carbon footprint

This guy (Headmaster Rob Benzie)  has become Scrooge in England, except he doesn’t provide even one lump of coal, because, well that would mess up his “carbon footprint”. This is just too bizarre not to pass on, thanks to The Daily Bayonet who writes:

A headmaster at a British school decided a great lesson in sustainability would be to turn off the heat for a day. In December:

Pupils at Ansford Academy in Castle Cary, Somerset, were forced to grip their pens through thick gloves and wear their coats and hats in class as temperatures dropped to 1C. The school’s headmaster, Rob Benzie, shut down the radiators as an experiment to show students how the school could cut its carbon footprint.

The headmaster is unapologetic and wants to do it again:

…headteacher Mr Benzie, 52, defended the day, saying it was ‘a success.’ ‘We turned off the heating as an experiment to see if we can lower our carbon footprint,’ he said. ‘We allowed pupils to wear as many jumpers as they liked and everyone seemed to be happy enough although it did get pretty chilly. ‘We gave letters to pupils to take home to their parents informing them about the eco day. ‘We only had one complaint and that came from a member of staff but they just got on with it in the end.’

Mr Benzie said he hoped to repeat the eco day again next term.

The local school authority and parents should probably teach Mr. Benzie the lesson that freezing children to push a radical green agenda makes his job unsustainable, before he does something really stupid.


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Funny thing, his experiment likely backfired.
The kids will remember this and vow never to be cold again !

If a headmaster pulled a similar stunt in the name of any OTHER wacked-out apocalyptic cult, he’d be in jail for multiple counts of assault.
However, there may be a good side. The kids who had to suffer a day without heat will now look forward with pleasant anticipation to the “future nightmarish world when everything is 90000000000000000000000000 degrees warmer.” This will sound good by comparison.

NC Skeptic

Sounds like to me he taught the childern a lesson on what it would be like without a source of heat. I hope they learned.

Myron Mesecke

“We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey teacher leave them kids alone”

Duncan Binks

What an unreconstructed pillock.
Let the wrath of his fellow travellers, the ‘Health & Safety mob’ descend upon the man.
Bah! Humbug!
Duncan, Tiverton, Devon, UK
(just down the road from the above cited idiot – and damned cold it is too)


my wild guess is that he’ll help to create some skeptical young thinkers who begin to look critically at CAGW extremism….

Russ in Houston

Hopefully the lesson that the children learned was that of the importance of cheap energy and how it makes life so much better.


Mr. Benzie did, of course, walk to work that day? To have a completely honest footprint, naturally.
What would really round out his demonstration is when he gets an infection, the antibiotics he needs aren’t available….the pharmaceutical stopped production to lower their carbon footprint too.
The irony though, freezing the kids to teach them about warming. The lesson’s lost on me. ‘Bout as effective as teaching kids about the evils of chocolate by starving them.


[snip – over the top – Anthony]

Bob Diaz

I think he taught the children a very valuable lesson, just how STUPID environmental extremists can be!!! ;-))

Michael Ozanne

Let’s get this straight, this moronic [snip] deliberately allowed the working temperature in his establishment to fall below the minimum legal standards required by the Workplace(health, safety and welfare) regulations 1992 and the Education(School Premises) Regulations 1999 . And he is planning to deliberately do it again. A word with the board of governers about not having a moronic [snip] as a headteacher and with the HSE about prosecution should be the logical next step. A criminal offense has been committed here.

Neil Jones

While his pupils can have little recourse under UK law his staff can walk off the job if the temperature in their work place is under 60F one hour after their official time to start work. This man is deliberately breaching UK Health & Safety laws and as such is risking prosecution, fines and even imprisonment.

Ethically Civil

Skiphil has it right. This shows that lowering “Carbon Footprint” is neither free nor easy, and that far from “death trains” coal trains have carried life, warmth, heat, and plenty.
One can only hope there are three spare ghosts to visit Master Benzie this Christmas.

Gee, I see this from an entirely different point of view.
His action makes the great point that we need, very much need, our energy sources. He makes it quite obvious that life without something as simple as central heating would be very difficult and unpleasant. As a result, it makes sense that we would want to have cheap energy as home heating is something we have to have a lot, depending on the season and location.
As I see it, he is arguing for using energy, defeating how own cause.

Benzie is the headmaster, yes? The school office building is usually separate from children’s classrooms with regard to heating and AC.
Which brings up the question, did the school office have it’s heat turned off, or did Benzie take advantage of it’s remote climate control system to leave his office nice and toasty?


actually we must thank him….i’m betting he forestalled
.000000000000000000000000000001C of warming…(might be out a couple of zeros)


Why is that we allow nut-cases like this to inflict potential harm on innocent people in order to make some stupid point? This principal ought to be locked up before he decides to expand his experiment to the greater population by blowing up a power plant. We already know he’s capable of crap like this. The difference is only one of degree.

Ed Scott

Inhofe to UN Climate Conference in Durban: Kyoto Process is Dead


I’m appalled at a U.K. public that allows its children to be physically abused in this manner.
This teacher should be prosecuted and thrown in jail.

Honest ABE


The lesson he taught is that so-called “green” initiatives only cause pain and misery.
Next time he pulls this crap, the parents should teach him a lesson in sustainable practices by keeping their kids home (and off fossil fuel powered transportation).

Honest ABE

Whoops, meant to post a link to the last 4 seconds of that video….


One, if he heats his own house.
Two, how he got to be ‘head’ of a school, with a head on his shoulders like that.
Three, how the school board is enjoying being a laughing-stock.
Four, how long he’ll keep his job.


“Don’t demonize energy. Without it life will be short and brutal.” John Christy.
I think this piece proves it very convincingly.

Bob, Missoula

Nothing a good old fashion ass kicking wouldn’t solve.


I think this is a positive experiment! Coupling it to the evil “CARBON” is nonsense of course.
How often do I catch the kids walking around in the house in mid-winter – barefoot in a T-shirt and shorts – with the heating running full blast?
Who pays the electricity bill – not the kids obviously?
This experiment is a lesson in common sense – it has nothing to do with CARBON.
Put a jacket on before you turn up the heating.


Did he also turn off the lights and make the kids walk to school? Pushing so many SUVs around to drop the kids off probably uses nearly as much energy as heating the school.
It would’ve been funny if his stunt had caused the school’s pipes to freeze and burst. Maybe we’ll get better luck next time.


disgraceful. the guy needs to be sacked. Often, schools have to close for some days of the year when the heating has failed – as it is illegal to work in such conditions under UK law (Factories Offices and Schools act, I think?). If my kids were at the school, there would be serious complaints to the Local Education Authority………….

I am thinking of the thousands of Welsh miners who risked life and limb going into the coal mines to power the industrial revolution in Britain and heat their world. They would beat that man to a pulp in a heart beat.
What is wrong with these people? They are such troglodytes.
I hope they bring him rotten apples for Christmas.


TheGoodLocust says:
December 7, 2011 at 11:41 am
“Whoops, meant to post a link to the last 4 seconds of that video….”
It was much better this way! 🙂


Too bad it didn’t get cold enough for pipes to burst. I agree with Bob Diaz – great way to teach kids to beware of the danger of zealotry overriding reason.


Maybe they should be teaching this as a geography lesson at the school. The lesson is if you want to go without heat, energy, and a carbon footprint then move closer to the tropics. The Greens should be advocating forced relocation and see how that goes over, Otherwise don’t complain that in the northern or southern lattitudes mankind will burn wood, coal and other fossil fuels to overcome the environment and climate.


Too bad it only got to 1°C, if it had got to -5°C or so they could have billed him for the burst pipes. Hopefully next time it will be colder and the students can stay home for the week the fix all the busted pipes.

IMHO, given my experience with raising boys who seem to prefer walking home from school in sub-zero (Celsius) weather in T-shirts — rather than being put to the bother of putting on their sweatshirts and jackets — the younger children probably barely even noticed. The teachers, on the other hand….


he’s got form….
from this report in April 2011
“The head teacher at Ansford School, Rob Benzie, said there had been a big shift in attitudes in schools, away from harsh, traditional discipline. (read classic left leaning school policies moving away from traditional policies that worked)
He said exclusions did not work as they alienated people from society.
“It doesn’t help schools, individuals or society in general. We need to build relationships which are mutual and respectful,” he said.”
However, an unnamed teacher from the same County was quoted as saying..”staff were under pressure to keep exclusion figures low.”
Maybe he wants to freeze them into submission

More Soylent Green!

If the kids all freeze to death, then they have really cut their future carbon footprints. We need that sort of self-sacrifice if we are to save humanity.
~More Soylent Green!


This just shows how poor the school was insulated, a school full of children should have kept warmer, and the fact it went down to 1 degree overnight is just unbelievable!


As always we must first review the usual checklist before verifying the (in)sanity of this green death cult member …
[A] Is this an Onion story?
[B] Is it April Fools Day?
[C] Is he a deep cover skeptic using PsyOps?
Well option [C] is certainly a possibility (illustrating green absurdity by being absurd). I suspect our English friends will be able to determine this by looking into his career record and he will be found out to be a bonafide green eco-kook.
Most troubling to me is this …

‘We gave letters to pupils to take home to their parents informing them about the eco day. ‘We only had one complaint and that came from a member of staff but they just got on with it in the end.’

Not a single parent seems to have cared a wit about their kids spending a day “in class as temperatures dropped to 1C.” This is unbelievable. These are kids, they are not wise to regulating body temp to avoid illness. I can see them getting hot in their hats and coats and then taking them off to cool off and the idiotic faculty not noticing. Then comes the flu or pneumonia. I guess it will require at least one dead child to penetrate the dense skulls of the eco-zealots.
Still, the parents worry me a lot more than this warped greenie. They are acting like beaten down wards of the nanny state, bending over and taking everything offered up by the progressive establishment. Is there any hope over there? I cannot believe that this would ever occur here (except perhaps in liberal infested SF or NYC or Chicago, etc). In most districts here in the states I would bet that the teacher/principal would require security to walk to his car at the end of the day after pulling this stunt.

Leo Norekens

We’ve had this for a couple of years here in Belgium, they call it “Dikke-truiendag” (“Sweater Day”). Most schools just turn the heat a few degrees down, but some principals go as far as to turn it off completely.
And the evening news invariably tells us it was “good fun”.


I found this quote from the head master familiar and funny.
“The idea was actually thought up by a small group of pupils from our student eco-group”
It’s Ironic that there are hundreds of thousands of children who live in fuel poverty in the UK and who wake up to a cold home in the mornings all through winter, maybe they should ask those kids what it’s like having a low carbon foot print.

As I posted over there:
The local school authority and parents should take the headmaster to court for breaking the law:
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 stipulate that during working hours, temperatures in workplaces (including maintained and independent schools, and FE colleges) should be reasonable. The employer must provide a suitable number of thermometers to enable the temperature to be checked throughout the workplace.
As far as maintained schools in England and Wales are concerned, the Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999 prescribe minimum standards for temperatures (which should be measured at 0.5 metres above floor level) as follows:
Use of area Minimum temperature
Lower than normal level of physical activity, eg sick rooms 21°C
Normal level of physical activity, eg classrooms and libraries 18°C
Higher than normal levels of physical activity, eg gyms and drama workshops 15°C
Stupid green Prat.

Jeff Id

Please clip the previous comment – wrong link.
The IPCC AR5 ZOD paleo chapter has been leaked.


Why try explaining the unexplainable. Five words (I didn’t make them up, but if the shoe fits) – Liberalism is a mental disorder.


The criticisms here show a blinkered side of the skeptics who blog here. At least some have seen the good side of this article. The “carbon footprint” is the objectionable part, not the practical experience of life without electricity. This is a good experience for the children and it helps to stimulate the thinking about energy and how to survive in unusual circumstances. In the 70’s in England we had the 3 day week. In the 80’s we had the coal strike. It is not so bad sitting in a cold house with candle light when you know that the power will be on again in a few hours. It may not always be so, particularly not in the next few years.
I think the big lesson in this issue is for skeptics to avoid slipping into a mindset where everything that is used to promote the AWG agenda is bad. Don’t allow this closed mind attitude to stunt the skeptic cause.


I was just wondering IF this eco day might have more to do with the headmaster trying to save money than the planet…Maybe this way,the headmaster doesn’t have to admit that he’s made a complete arse of the schools budget instead..

We need to look a bit closer at this story. The basic fact of turning the heating off seems correct. It all seems pointless as the lesson that was imparted seems entirely counter productive to the intention, as the kids will want energy and to keep warm.
However, this is the South West of England, not far from where I live. The temperature might have touched 1C outside over night, but it was more like 10C during the day. With a bit of sunshine the temperature inside the school might have been a little chilly but certainly not ‘1Degree’
Undoubtedly it was a stupid eco experiment, against the Health and Safety act whereby a minmum temperature must be provided in the work place, but the basic facts seem to have become a little embroidered.

Richard S Courtney

The totality of your post at December 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm says;
“This just shows how poor the school was insulated, a school full of childrenvab le” should have kept warmer, and the fact it went down to 1 degree overnight is just unbelievable!”
Perhaps, but it is certain that it is “just unbelievable” anybody other than an idiot would have provided your post.

Jeff Id
I don’t know what you thought you were linking to,but it certainly was nothing to do with the

More Soylent Green!

Do our schools still send high school kids out on assignments to sleep outside on the streets to see what being homeless is like? How is this any different, or any less idiotic?

John Barrett

There are Health and Safety Laws to prevent this kind of stupidity.
When I were a lad, back in the Winter of Discontent 1978/9, we were sent home from school when the boilers ran out of oil and there were no deliveries because of the strikes. It was a jolly cold winter too.
Although there is no hard and fast rule in the H & S At Work Act 1974, the 1992 regulation states:
‘The temperature in workrooms should normally be at least 16 degrees Celsius unless much of the work involves severe physical effort in which case the temperature should be at least 13 degrees Celsius. These temperatures may not, however, ensure reasonable comfort, depending on other factors such as air movement and relative humidity.’
Strangely enough, there do not appear to be regulations about the maximum temperature, just that suitable cooling should be provided.