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Kansas To Raise Generation of Climate Change Deniers

Kansas To Raise Generation of Climate Change Deniers

It looks like the Kansas legislature has taken a tiny break from limiting abortion rights to meddle in science education. You’re first instinct might be to assume it has something to do with evolution. Nope! Not this time. This time is something even more dangerous. You guessed it! Climate science!

Did you know that climate change is a controversial topic? Oh wait. It isn’t. Not in the scientific community, anyway. Earth’s climate is getting warmer and it’s caused by the burning of fossil fuels. These are things we know; very few scientists disagree. But the facts didn’t stop this bill from being to the Kansas House.

The bill, which has just been presented to the full House (from what I can only assume is the ironically named House Education Committee), says that science classes must “provide information to students of scientific evidence which both supports and counters a scientific theory or hypothesis.” (You know, this bill is so right. I mean, no one ever taught me the evidence that counters gravity and today I just accept it like it’s no biggie. I might be able to fly by now if I was only presented with all the facts!)

Hmmm…this sounds an awful lot like that ‘teach the controversy’ nonsense floated around by creationists in opposition to evolution. Will it be used again to deny some kind of well-regarded scientific findings? Answer: Yes. Yes it will.

The bill goes on to instruct teachers on how they should handle scientific controversies. It says that teaching such controversies should be done an objective manner and should include both the strengths and weaknesses of the theory or hypothesis. The only controversy named in the bill is climate change.


The only climate change controversy is political, not scientific. So yeah, codifying that into law sounds like an awesome idea.

Unfortunately, Kansas isn’t the only state to do this. Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Louisiana have all found ways to introduce this political fight into science classrooms. Because, you know, if we just deny it for long enough, the climate of the Earth won’t change and everything will be hunky dory.

The thing about good science is that it’s true whether you believe in it or not. It’s true whether you choose to deny its existence or not. And, even though it’s tempting to hide our heads in the sand, we have a lot of good science backing up the existence of man-made climate change. We aren’t doing our kids – or ourselves – any favors by pretending it doesn’t exist, or that there is legitimate scientific controversy surrounding it. Sea levels will rise, storms will become stronger and more frequent, and we will need people to deal with the ramifications. Teaching kids that ignoring these kinds of global problems will make them go away is unacceptable.


Related Posts:

What To Do When Someone Says, “It’s Cold Today, So Climate Change Isn’t Real.”

Extreme Weather Events to Increase, Warn Scientists

Climate Change Denial Sweeping into Public Schools


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8:17PM PDT on Mar 24, 2014

I really don't see what is wrong with educating these students with ALL of the theories available. I would understand if it was being passed for them to learn that global warming is fictional and there wasn't any other option, but that's not the case. We should be raising our children to decide on these things themselves after reviewing all the possibilities out there, not telling them what to believe.

6:28AM PDT on May 25, 2013

Great article! Thank you.

8:58AM PDT on Mar 24, 2013

thanks for sharing

8:22PM PST on Mar 8, 2013

Besides all the scientific evidence produced by both schools of thought about climate change wouldn't common sense tell you that over 7billion people on the earth consuming a multitude of products that are not naturally produced cause some change in the earth and its climate. When will stop laying the blame and someone elses door step and realize that if we continue on the path we are on now that at some stage in the evolution of the planet that something has to give. We keep taking from the earth and very few return anything to it. Again common sense which I must say is one of those commodities in very short supply, tells us that something is going to give. Isn't prevention better than cure that is of course if the disease isn't to widespread.

1:37PM PST on Mar 1, 2013

And Tennessee wonders why it's in the bottom 4 in education.

1:17PM PST on Mar 1, 2013

Great post.Thanks for the info.

4:48PM PST on Feb 28, 2013

... and let them be washed/cleansed away from this earth with the rising sea level... AMEN!!!

3:43PM PST on Feb 28, 2013

You also mention rising sea levels. That subject is difficult, because it is difficult to establish benchmarks.Even using sattelite data. But Venice, Italy, has been known to be "sinking" since long before the AGW theory was invented. Similarly, West Pacific islands in particular, are in a very seismically active area. Some of these are rising, some are sinking. Nothing to do with CO2/AGW. Officially, the rise in sea level has decelerated, over the last 5 years. (I think I read one report that reported one year actually reversed).

3:40PM PST on Feb 28, 2013

Brian F.: "I have not seen proof of your claim that the Artic has gained ice in 2012." Not my claim, Brian, rajendra pachauri's claim. You are correct about the salt concentration/great conveyor bit, I was responding to your claim,("The salinity in our oceans is at an all time high."). Unless specified, most sane people would assume that that statement meant "global", overall salt content. "The Day After" was a good movie, but based on a theory, like the theory of CO2/AGW. Which again, IMHO, any sane person would have to understand is total bunk. "Based on this evidence, how could any sane, rational person deny that humans are causing climate change by pumping dirty fossil fuels into our atmosphere." YOU HAVE GIVEN NO EVIDENCE, Brian. If temperature rises as concentration rises, that is only, on it's own, coincidence. If concentration rises, but temperature fails to rise, that TENDS to disprove any connection. Again, rajendra pachauri says there has been NO WARMING IN THE PAST 17 YEARS. But we all know CO2 concentration has increased (very roughly, from 0.03% to 0.04%) during this time. That should be PART of a construct of "proof" for any sane person.
I am as opposed to the REAL pollution emitted by fossil fuels as anyone, but you CO2/AGW fundamentalists alienate most rational people, and harm REAL pollution control attempts.
You also mention rising sea levels. That subject is difficult, because it is difficult to establish benchmarks.Even using sattelite data. But Ven

2:19AM PST on Feb 28, 2013


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