South Dakota capitol building in Pierre. Photo via Travel Pod
Looks like science has taken another hit this week. First, Sen. James Inhofe began leading a modern day witch hunt to charge climate scientists with crimes they didn't commit. Now, news comes that in South Dakota, the state legislators have passed a resolution the "urges" schools to stop teaching global climate change as hard science, and instead pair it with "astrological" and "cosmological" theories--much like the way creationists insist evolution is taught alongside biblical interpretations.Think Progress reports that
"the South Dakota House of Representatives passed a resolution to "urge" public schools to teach astrology. By a 36-30 vote, the legislators passed House Concurrent Resolution 1009, "Calling for balanced teaching of global warming in the public schools of South Dakota."In the report, the legislators cited long-overturned myths like global cooling, and referred to CO2 as "the gas of life" as a basis for their rationale. It concluded that global warming should be taught only as "scientific theory rather than proven fact." But that's not all--it included an outline of how exactly the teaching of climate change could be remedied. Here's the resolution itself:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the House of Representatives of the Eighty-fifth Legislature of the State of South Dakota, the Senate concurring therein, that the South Dakota Legislature urges that instruction in the public schools relating to global warming include the following:I think that the inclusion of clause 2 alone demonstrates how lacking in scientific understanding this legislative body is--I know few deniers who would even venture that global warming has "cosmological" and "astrological" causes (okay, so there are a few--here's looking at you, again, Inhofe).
(1) That global warming is a scientific theory rather than a proven fact;
(2) That there are a variety of climatological, meteorological, astrological, thermological, cosmological, and ecological dynamics that can effect [sic] world weather phenomena and that the significance and interrelativity of these factors is largely speculative; and
(3) That the debate on global warming has subsumed political and philosophical viewpoints which have complicated and prejudiced the scientific investigation of global warming phenomena; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Legislature urges that all instruction on the theory of global warming be appropriate to the age and academic development of the student and to the prevailing classroom circumstances.
And it's not because of any wish of the climate scientists' that global warming has been so heavily politicized--the only ones who have benefited from that are the interests of carbon-polluting industries like coal and oil. That "political viewpoints" have "prejudiced the scientific investigation of global warming" shouldn't be a referendum on the scientists who do research. Scientists simply collect and interpret the data--politicians and lobbyists get the benefit of spinning it (or denying its existence).
Via Think Progress
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