What Fresh Hell Is This?

January 19, 2012

More Anti-Science At The Tribune-Review

From today's Thursday Takes:
The National Center for Science Education says it has begun an effort to defend the teaching of man-made climate change in America's schools. Should any school district allow such blatant propaganda to be introduced into its curriculum -- without balancing it with the ample credible scientific evidence to the contrary -- those responsible should be fired.
On the one hand, Scaife's braintrust is absolutely right. Anyone caught teaching blatant propaganda as science should be fired.

The main problem here is that the Trib, yet again, is on the wrong side of the science.

There's a good intro to this at Forbes.com:
The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) will begin offering support to public school teachers and schools on the contentious topic of climate change.

Eugenie Scott, the executive director of the organization, based in Oakland, California, has been for years an outspoken defender of the teaching of evolution in U.S. classrooms. The NCSE provides resources to teachers, schools and school boards, and has challenged the efforts of creationists to undermine the teaching of evolution in various states.

As colleagues and textbook authors around the country began sharing their personal experiences and concerns about the teaching of climate science, Scott realized she needed to expand NCSE’s mandate to include the politically charged issue as well.
So they're usually going after the anti-science creationists/intelligent designers and now they've shifted over to going after the anti-science climate deniers.  Why?  What do the two have in common?

From the NCSE:
Although both evolution and climate change are accepted by the scientific community, both topics remain controversial among the public. As a result, teachers trying to teach evolution and/or climate change too often face opposition in their communities. Such opposition is based on ideology, not science, although the ideologies differ: religious ideologies in the case of evolution, economic and political ideologies in the case of climate change. In both cases, the result is that teachers are pressured to downplay these topics, misrepresent them as scientifically controversial, and air supposedly scientifically credible alternatives to them.
"Pressure" here might as well mean being fired (or threatened with termination) for teaching climate science.

The NCSE has some artwork to illustrate climate denial:

The Trib's take on the science fits very neatly into the NCSE's description of climate denial.  The Doric: (undermine the science), the Ionic (claim the result is evil) and then today's Corinthian (demand equal time).

The Trib's threat today of firing any school teacher who doesn't give equal time to the anti-science in a science class should be chilling.

And STILL no mention at the Trib of NOAA's assessment that the Earth is warming.  Using ten indicators each supported by multiple independently analyzed data sets NOAA says it's undeniable:

Indicators like:
  • Air Temperature Near Surface (Troposphere).
  • Humidity.
  • Temperature Over Oceans. 
  • Sea Surface Temperatures.
  • Sea Level. 
  • Ocean Heat Content.
  • Temperature Over Land.
  • Sea Ice.
  • Glaciers.
  • Snow Cover.
Each indicator has multiple data sets and each points in one direction: The Earth is warming and the junk we've poured into the air is a leading cause.

By all means let's fire any public school teacher that quotes from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

1 comment:

EdHeath said...

To be fair to the Trib, the NCSE is a latecomer to the climate change issue, just putting up a web page on their site this week. The have a recently hired staffer who has been involved in putting together educational materials for Climate Change in another job, although I feel I have to point out his masters is in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (hey, at least he has a masters). The NCSE has also added a board member who is a co-founder and the current President of the Pacific Institute (it sounds cool).

Meanwhile, we have no idea who the editor of the Trib is who called for teachers or administrators to be fired for teaching, or assigning to be taught, climate change. I notice that the anonymous Trib does not even call for climate deniers to have equal time. They want no time, a teacher to be fired if they dare to teach climate change. That would send a strong chilling message to that community, that climate change is not accepted by the powers that be, and not even a topic for discussion. Since we really need to persuade our government to make policy changes (such as a carbon tax and/or cap and trade), removing even a discussion of climate change would neatly accomplish industry goals; to avoid having to charge/pay for the consequences of their (and all of our) actions.