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Intro: "Would you let corporations decide how climate science gets taught in your kids' classroom? That is exactly what is happening - Tennessee just became the 4th state to pass corporation-written laws dictating how global warming is taught in public schools. And they did it with ALEC."

Climate denial is required teaching in some states. (photo: public domain)
Climate denial is required teaching in some states. (photo: public domain)



Corporate-Written Law Passes Requiring Climate Denial Taught in Schools

By Brian Merchant, TreeHugger

27 March 12

 

ould you let corporations decide how climate science gets taught in your kids' classroom? That is exactly what is happening - Tennessee just became the 4th state to pass corporation-written laws dictating how global warming is taught in public schools. And they did it with ALEC.

The American Legislative Exchange Council represents one of the most pernicious trends in modern governance: the increasingly substantial extent to which corporations and wealthy individuals buy direct access to the policy-making process. ALEC may be little known at this point, despite being one of the targets of recent Occupy Wall Street protests, but it is already influencing just about every sphere of our lives.

ALEC Exposed, a group working to do exactly what its moniker would imply, sums it up thusly: "Through the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state laws that govern your rights. These so-called "model bills" reach into almost every area of American life and often directly benefit huge corporations." In other words, it's a pay-to-play regime that allows corporations to draft 'model bills' that go directly into the hands of sympathetic policymakers, who can then adopt them for actual legislation.

One such model bill has just passed the Tennessee state legislature, and this one mandates that schools teach climate science as a theory alongside other 'credible' theories - like those ones preferred by fossil fuels companies, for example, that hold that global warming is caused by solar cycles and other nonsense. Sound familiar? This is the same structural tactic employed by creationists to try to discourage the teaching of evolution in schools.

DeSmogBlog explains that the bill was opposed by almost every respectable scientific institution - and was passed by a margin of 70-23 anyway. Tennessee joins Texas, Louisiana, and South Dakota in passing such 'model' legislation. As a result, children in each of these states are apt to receive a confusing, less fact-based climate science education. Of course, climate change is widely accepted by scientists; an overwhelming consensus agree that human activity is indeed causing the planet to warm. But many corporations, especially those in the oil and coal industries, have an acute interest in stirring as much doubt as possible amongst the public about that consensus view.

So, with ALEC facilitating the process, those corporations get a stab at molding our childrens' science education into curriculum that portrays their activities in a fundamentally more sympathetic light. In short, the whole operation is twisted - and it's a cancer to democracy itself.

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+25 # humanmancalvin 2012-03-27 09:26
One cannot stress enough the damage these wrong headed radical right pro corporate laws will be on our nations educational system. Teaching outright lies & twisting the truth to our children to fit an agenda of greed will sink this country back in time. I am going to work as diligently as I can toward the reelection of President Obama along with majorities in both houses so that there is a sane roadblock willing to stop these radical liars. Just think, if President Romney/Santorum walks into the White House next year & 1 or 2 Supreme Court justices retire..2 more Scalias/Thomas' es to help implement these obscene acts. Too scary to grasp, too extreme to imagine & I will not allow that to happen as long as I can fight.
 
 
+20 # BradFromSalem 2012-03-27 09:32
If I were a conspiracy theorist I would use the information in the article to prove that Standardized Testing and Charter Schools and Legislatively Defined Business Friendly Curriculum are all part of a huge plot. And maybe they are?

But just tackling this subject doesn't require us to connect dots, all it takes is common sense. Lets just say these greedy know it all egomaniacs are right and that climate change is not being caused by humans. Then what? Is it a good idea to continue to burn fossil fuels and push tons of poisonous gases into the atmosphere? How many people have died from the air pollution? And the huge power plants poison the ground they rest on as well as the water tables. How much of our food supply is poisoned by burning carbon based fuel?
And the latest technology to obtain these fuels increases the risk of poisoning our soil, our water, and even causing earthquakes. And Nuclear is not an option, the risks are greater and the problems remain unsolved.

That leaves us with using renewable, non polluting energy sources. And we have not yet even taken into account Global Climate change. Add the 99.9% likelihood that humans are contributing between 33% and 133% of that problem and all that is left is a conspiracy created by myopic, greedy egomaniacs.
 
 
+6 # Nominae 2012-03-27 18:28
@ LiberalLibertarian

Well said. Since anyone can verify climate change by asking Glacier Park what happened to all the glaciers they had fifty years ago, it is very difficult to (plausibly) deny the warming itself.

As to the man-made question, as you point out, it is totally moot. Man-made or not, it is *never* a bad idea to clean the toxins and carcinogens out of the air that we, our children, and the livestock and plants that we eat, must breathe.

This country is astounded at the way Asian Indians bathe in the incredibly polluted Ganges. And then we go them one better by polluting our air in a seeming competition with Beijing, where one often *literally* cannot see across the street.

None of us can eat, drink, or breathe money.
 
 
+20 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-03-27 10:12
I thought since I was taught in school about Copernicus that progress was science overcoming human ignorance and supersticious beliefs.

By that definition the USA are going backwards.
 
 
+21 # Citizen Mike 2012-03-27 10:47
Why not accept that there will always be an "Ignorance Belt," a line in the map of the US where "science is not true" and the consensus supports creationism and global warming denial? Why not an alternate reality and a culture that supports nonsense if that is what people who live there truly want? The rest of us can adapt by refusing to admit to our colleges anyone who graduated from a high school in the Ignorance Belt, or any businesses in our "Rational Zone" from hiring them. Let them form their own closed economic and educational system and leave the rest of us alone!
 
 
+11 # Capn Canard 2012-03-27 11:19
Citizen Mike, if only! Of course it would cause countless problems, but I like the idea of letting such people do as they will give their land and let the chips falls where they may. Of course they would form an army immediately because such people worship in War, it is their God, even more so than the old pagan Mars etc etc etc.
 
 
-30 # MidwestTom 2012-03-27 10:50
The problem with what used to be called Global Warming, is that the earth hasn't warmed since either 2003 or 2007, depending on whose numbers you want to use, so they changed the name to Climate Change. We were all told about the HOCKEY STICK curve, which was a prediction that global temperature would accelerate in 2001, which it did not. There is no universal agreement that mans activity is causing climate changes, note the petition last year signed by 6000 university researchers that present climate variations are all within expected historical norms. The worlds ocean levels actually dropped 1/4 inch last year. Scientists at Princeton University about three years ago issued a report showing the close coordination between sun spot activity and global temperatures. Take away government funding of Climate research, and the topic goes away. See "The Great Global Warming Swindle" on Youtube, done by BBC.
 
 
+18 # BradFromSalem 2012-03-27 11:33
Tom,

Are you denying pollution too?

We cannot run the world just to make a few rich guys richer. As I wrote at the top of the comments. Take away climate change and we still MUST get away from fossil fuel.

Please, I hope to have grandkids some day and I would love to see their faces out in the open air, not covered by a gas mask.
 
 
+2 # The Voice of Reason 2012-03-28 14:24
Quoting LiberalLibertarian:

We cannot run the world just to make a few rich guys richer. As I wrote at the top of the comments. Take away climate change and we still MUST get away from fossil fuel.


We need to get away from fossil fuel economies too. The money they make is bankrupting the rest of the world.
 
 
+16 # Ray Kondrasuk 2012-03-27 11:33
Tom,

NASA notes that 2010 tied 2005 as warmest year on record.

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2010-warmest-year.html

Michael Mann's "hockey stick" has been thoroughly substantiated by the National Science Foundation.

http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/08/22/300821/nsf-inspector-general-investigation-michael-mann/

6,000 university researchers... cite, please?

Oceans DID indeed drop 6mm in 2010 after averaging 3mm rises since 1994, attributable to a heavier evaporation/pre cipitation cycle.

http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2011/10/04/worlds-sees-so-much-precipitation-ocean-levels-fall/

We've been in an eleven-year cycle of solar weakening, yet temps are rising.

Warmer, yet we're in the smallest sunspot cycle in a century.

http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtml

Very entertaining 12-minute data check on "The Great Global Warming Swindle" at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nrvrkVBt24&list=UU-KTrAqt2784gL_I4JisF1w&index=21&feature=plcp
 
 
-11 # MidwestTom 2012-03-27 13:44
Please note that NOAA satellite data show a peak in temperature in 2007 and 2008 and a declining curve since with February 2012 being below 13 month and multi-year averages. Visit http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/
 
 
+8 # Ray Kondrasuk 2012-03-27 14:14
Gosh, Tom... I find this at NOAA:

NOAA: May Global Temperature is Warmest on Record

Spring and January-May also post record breaking temps

June 15, 2010

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2010/20100615_globalstats.html
 
 
+5 # Billy Bob 2012-03-27 16:54
Ray, Thank you for joining the ongoing debate about this on RSN. Please keep commenting. You're a welcome addition.
 
 
+4 # Ray Kondrasuk 2012-03-27 18:18
Thanks, B-B!

Merely passing on the good tutoring I've had at YouTube sites greenman3610 and potholer54 on climate.

Brand new offering at greenman3610... the climate scientists have been right for 30 years.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmpiuuBy-4s&list=UU-KTrAqt2784gL_I4JisF1w&index=1&feature=plcp
 
 
+3 # Ray Kondrasuk 2012-03-27 18:54
Or, even more deeply moving and sincere:

James Hansen: Why I Must Speak Out About Climate Change (17:52)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWInyaMWBY8
 
 
-11 # MidwestTom 2012-03-27 13:59
Please note the positions of the scientists listed in the article concerning over 600 scientists (I was mistaken on the 6000 number) at the following site: http://www.stopglobalcoolingnow.com/?p=188

The point is that there is not 100% agreement among the worlds top scientists that the present temperature changes are outside the boundaries of historical patterns.
 
 
+11 # Ray Kondrasuk 2012-03-27 14:48
Tom,

From the link you cite:"Oreskes analyzed 928 abstracts published in refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003 and listed in the ISI database with the keywords 'climate change.'...

...none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position." 
 
 
+4 # Nominae 2012-03-27 18:40
@ MidwestTom

Actually there *is* virtually "100% agreement among the *world's* top scientist" to support the facts of climate change.

The only place you will find any significant disagreement at all is in U.S, and then only when you are kind enough to include "scientists" on the payroll of the oil and other extraction industries.

That you might find 600 of the latter is not a matter of great surprise.
 
 
+3 # Ray Kondrasuk 2012-03-28 05:45
Tom and Nominae,

A nod to each of you. Tom's right to say "not 100% agreement", and Nominae's "virtually" rests comfortably with 96+%:

Another study mentioned in your link asks 1) Have temps risen? 2) Is the rise anthropogenic?

"...Of these specialists, 96.2% (76 of 79) answered “risen” to question 1 and 97.4% (75 of 77) answered yes to question 2..."

A quoted Gallup poll shows only 58% of the general public answering "yes" to # 2

http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/ssi/DoranEOS09.pdf

I guess this means that the specialized experts know what they're doing, and the denialist media knows equally well what it's doing.
 
 
+1 # Ray Kondrasuk 2012-03-28 07:49
I self-examine: "...media knows... it's doing...

Or should it be...

"...media know... they're doing..."

Even Wikianswers was non-committal:

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Do_the_nouns_'media'_and_'data'_take_singular_or_plural_verbs
 
 
+11 # Activista 2012-03-27 10:55
I am reading "The Forest Unseen" A Year's Watch in Nature by biologist David George Haskell - one year - weekly observation of the square meter in the Tennessee old forest.
The theme is life COMPLEXITY, beauty, and interdependence . How petite (mind) and destructive humans are on the scale of evolution.
There are so many small organisms - we are just starting to understand - and they could be gone in less than a generation (microsecond on evolution scale).
What human greed is doing to the nature is CRIME. We can not sit and wait - it is urgent - we need regime change in USA.
 
 
+8 # Ray Kondrasuk 2012-03-27 11:55
Activista,

James Hansen at GISS (Goddard Institute of Space Studies) at NASA tells of pole-ward temperate zone movement of 50 km/decade, or about 50 feet per day. Legged critters can adapt; tougher for rooted entities.

At about the 8:00 mark in
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRc_9nNTZg0&list=UU-KTrAqt2784gL_I4JisF1w&index=14&feature=plcp
 
 
+5 # Activista 2012-03-27 13:04
Haskel in his Forest Unseen (likely the best book I ever had - and have them in hundreds) - in his February 28th chapter - Salamander - gives example of the genus - Plethodon - local population scope/subspecie s populates square meters - not acres. Moisture and protection of mature forest is essential.
These small creatures the life is depended on will suffer most.
 
 
+2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-03-27 20:44
Aquatics are always hit first. We impact so many that we never even get to chronicle them into data. Imagine how many in Japan were affected.
The unacknowledged even among us do not see the cycle of worm. salamander, frog are polluted/poison ed...then fish eat them and fish liver shot. Bird eats small animal...liver shot. Bigger bird eats fish... Mammals have to eat lot of birds, fish but the outcome is the same They are all going to die, have poor births
Environmental groups, many teachers amongst us, taught our children well. Now it is time to embarrass those teaching such lies, and hope that parents will do what they should, Teach Their Children.
Get this in front of teachers in your area Question this at home Teachers have meetings, network. But start something yourselves. You pay school taxes? YOu have a right to say something before it happens in your schools.
 
 
+8 # Capn Canard 2012-03-27 11:09
Like anything that is represents change, Conservative Thugs will be blind to the measurable data and deny it. I just wonder how it's all gonna end, at what point will the people finally rise up and throw the Corporate-Fasci sts out the window? How much more will we take? And once the SCOTUS overturns "Obamacare" will people object? or will they lie down to be slaughtered?
 
 
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-03-27 20:46
GOP and some Dems have lied to themselves and public for over 50 years about Pollution because they get paid to lie for their buddies.
When we brought up Churches allowing Pollution and Killing Children, unborn fetus', Seniors well they just huffed and went to get those collection plates ready.
 
 
+3 # ericlipps 2012-03-27 16:42
ALEC Exposed, a group working to do exactly what its moniker would imply, sums it up thusly: "Through the corporate-funde d American Legislative Exchange Council, global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state laws that govern your rights. These so-called "model bills" reach into almost every area of American life and often directly benefit huge corporations." In other words, it's a pay-to-play regime that allows corporations to draft 'model bills' that go directly into the hands of sympathetic policymakers, who can then adopt them for actual legislation.

One such model bill has just passed the Tennessee state legislature, and this one mandates that schools teach climate science as a theory alongside other 'credible' theories - like those ones preferred by fossil fuels companies, for example, that hold that global warming is caused by solar cycles and other nonsense. Sound familiar? This is the same structural tactic employed by creationists to try to discourage the teaching of evolution in schools.

Exactly. And why not? Once you decide that what you want to be true trumps what the evidence says is true, any crazy notion can be rammed through.
 
 
+2 # futhark 2012-03-27 23:16
Didn't Tennesseans learn anything from the Scopes Trial of 1925? When stupidity, ignorance, and self-serving prejudice go up against science, science wins! Why would Tennesseans want to make their state the target of anti-science ridicule for the second time in less than a century?
 
 
+3 # cdcl44@yahoo.com 2012-03-28 07:04
I guess the denial theory cooked up by ALEC is also denying students' wide access to other theories via internet.Kids are going to likely be smarter than the brainwashing goons trying to tell them what to believe.
 
 
0 # humanmancalvin 2012-03-28 09:23
I am pledging to stop commenting on & awarding a thumbs down to "people" like midwesttom. They are here to rile & ruffle & throw childish tantrums to attract attention. Just like the situation where if I do not like a TV show I can turn the channel, I can simply scroll past these foolish screeds.
 
 
+2 # Citizen Mike 2012-03-28 10:16
Futhark, can't you see that the states in the Ignorance Belt are not at all embarrassed by anti-science ridicule, they embrace their position with a defiant passion. So, let'em have it and keep it! If the states in the Ignorance belt ever wish to secede AGAIN, I say THIS TIME, LET 'EM GO! They will fall behind the rest of the world economically and politically and be happily isolated intheir own alternate reality. For my two cents, they can keep the name USA if they want and we can call ourselves something else, or ask politely to be admitted to the Canadian Confederation. And join a calmer, more polite and reasonable English-speakin g culture which provides good health benefits and does not breed all these nutty shootists.
 

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