Global Warming: A Bunch of Hooey

School BooksOn its face, the board's vote last week requiring that science textbooks “analyze and evaluate different views on the existence of global warming” seems reasonable. It’s not.

Just because you can find a handful of “experts” who disagree with thousands of climate scientists doesn’t mean our children should be taught that the science is still up in the air. And yet, sadly, that will be just the case when the new textbooks are distributed.

To make matters worse, State Board of Education Chairman Don McLeroy said in Saturday’s Austin American-Statesman: “Conservatives like me think the evidence (for human contributions to global warming) is a bunch of hooey.” Hooey? Such flippant statements impact Texas negatively in several ways:

  1. They give thinking, educated Texas conservatives a bad name (while causing many to speculate about the Chairman’s vocabulary capacity).
  2. They lead to poor decisions, putting Texas children at a competitive disadvantage in science education, thus failing them as they prepare to compete in the global marketplace.
  3. They draw national ridicule, making Texas a laughing stock.

In 1999, when religious conservatives on the Kansas State Board of Education removed evolution from that state’s science curriculum, it brought the Sunflower State international ridicule as a “science-free zone.” Two years later, moderates recaptured the board and reversed the ruling — and, hopefully, Kansas’ reputation.

We can’t afford – literally, can’t afford — for Texas to become known as a new, even bigger, science-free zone. Our children deserve better.

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    Vice President, US Climate and Energy
    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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