Global Warming: Everywhere but Texas

Children Raising HandsClean energy growth can certainly be tied to economics, but clean energy’s roots have much to do with our world’s changing climate. That’s why I feel compelled to write about my strong disagreement with today’s decision by the Texas State Board of Education casting doubt on global warming, setting our children back compared with their peers.

The Board’s last-minute decision changed the language in a school textbook chapter on Environmental Systems to include the phrase “analyze and evaluate different views on the existence of global warming.”

The tragedy of this ruling is that it places Texas children at a competitive disadvantage in science education, thus failing them as they prepare to compete in the global marketplace. It also suggests to them that their economic and lifestyle choices are unrelated to global warming, thus eroding many parents’ efforts to instill in their children the ethic that they must be responsible for their own actions.

Why did the board ignore its own scientific advisory committee, let alone leading scientific consensus by the National Academy of Science, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and our own A&M University’s Department of Atmospheric Science? Why did the board suggest this language change just two days before a final vote?

Surely they knew that such language would be indefensible and therefore chose to give scant notice for public comment.

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3 Comments

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    Jim Marston is the founding director of the Texas office of Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), located in Austin, where he has served since its beginning in 1988. He is also a leader of the Pecan Street, Inc., a partnership that includes Austin Energy, the University of Texas, the Chamber of Commerce, and several large high/clean tech companies aimed at making fundamental changes in the nation's electricity grid.

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