Wyoming’s Climate Change Views Give New Meaning to Irrational Thought
In what equates to an even amount of political agenda and appalling foolishness, Wyoming has become the first state to reject a new science curriculum proposed by national education groups because it dares to include man-made climate change as fact.
The Wyoming Board of Education decided that the Next Generation Science Standards’ suggested curriculum needed further review after Governor Matt Mead (R) and other politicians questioned the climate change inclusion. During a panel discussion in January, Mead stated his thoughts on climate change by saying,
I think the world generally accepts this phenomenon. I’m skeptical. In part, I’m skeptical because I think people need to be skeptical when it comes to where we are in science.
It should come as no surprise to Wyoming citizens that, as the governor of the nation’s top coal-producing territory, he and others would stop at nothing to protect the state’s investments and anything that might harm its profits. New school guidelines have been implemented in three other areas recently, but science has been left out since 2003. Citing a need to update science education through a multi-state effort, John Friedrich of Climate Parents, an advocate for climate change education, said,
The Board was put in a tough spot by political powers that pressured them to not support 21st century standards for one reason–they contain climate science education. Keeping kids in the dark about scientific fact is a huge disservice to Wyoming students, parents, teachers and the entire state.
Schockingly, Board President Ron Micheli stated the review will determine if “we can’t get some standards that are Wyoming standards and standards we all can be proud of.” Wyoming standards? Doesn’t the term “standard” mean a norm or base on which everything else applies? They should be allowed to have their own set of standards and disregard what everyone else deems as true?
The excuses for not accepting the principles range from confusion as to how to teach them, to the idea that they should only be taught as theory and not fact. The Board also feels that the guidelines leave out other factors such as cost and reliability issues with global warming solutions. In any progressive-minded state, those issues would hold some water and be considered on the basis of debate alone, not because there is an underlying agenda. However, when the state produces 40 percent of the United States’ coal, billions in annual coal revenue, and nearly 7,000 coal jobs, it smacks of greed and minor hysteria.
Furthering political agendas is nothing new. Putting aside critical decisions for political gain is extremely shortsighted. Wyoming is the first state to reject the standards after twelve others accepted them since their 2013 inception. By thumbing its nose to an authority that’s geared towards helping kids, the state begins to look horribly self-righteous and morally corrupt. Nowhere within the standards does it say that a school can’t teach about fossil fuels, only that presenting the other side of the story gives impressionable children the information they need to make their own cognitive decisions.
Wyoming is known as the Equality State. It’s a shame that they don’t know how to show it.
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