Raging fires are consuming California, South Africa is nearly out of water, Indonesia is increasingly under water, and Antarctica and the North Pole are melting, but in Idaho, what's there to worry about? Surely not preparing the state's children to join the worldwide effort to find methods to climate change.
Livia Albeck-Ripka, writing for that New York Times, says, \”Now, it is a battle.\” Idaho has joined national leaders, the EPA and some other states in a battle over reality. It's as though the Scopes Monkey Trial were being fought all over again.
And those fighting to keep children from researching global warming are winning many battles. Albeck-Ripka notes that simply yesterday the Idaho House Education Committee approved a revised group of standards. The committee-approved language would allow for some discussion of climate change. \”But,\” adds Albeck-Ripka, \”the committee cut a section on the environmental impact of nonrenewable causes of energy and removed supporting content for standards that contained multiple references to human-driven warming.\”
The House committee's vote isn't final, however, as Idaho's Senate Education Committee can also get to weigh in. Ultimately, standards must be approved by both houses and signed into law through the governor.
The stakes are high, however, because the earth's vital signs are shaky. Despite the agendas of climate change deniers, the science stressing global warming is sound, and also the implications from the data are frightening and wish an educated public. Change is occurring faster than predicted by even the most pessimistic objective observers. And we've only seen relatively slight changes towards the climate up to now.
The sound and fury of politicians makes them ill-equipped to imagine or understand fundamental change happening all around them.
The political fight over climatic change has extended to science education in recent years as several states have attempted to weaken or block new teaching standards that included details about climate science. But only in Idaho has the state legislature stripped all mentions of human-caused climate change from statewide science guidelines while leaving all of those other standards intact.
The Idaho House Education Committee's 12-4 vote yesterday to approve new standards which include only a minor mention of the global warming but exclude details about the environmental impact of non-renewable fuels and human-driven reasons for global warming is disturbing. Other breaking news includes EPA leader Scott Pruitt wondering if global warming isn't actually a good thing for the people:
\”We know humans have most flourished during times of what, warming trends,\” Pruitt said Tuesday during an interview on KSNV, an NBC affiliate in Vegas. \”So, I think there's assumptions made that because the climate is warming, that that necessarily is really a very bad thing. Do we find out what the ideal surface temperature should be around 2100, in the year 2021? That's fairly arrogant for us to consider that we know exactly what it should be in 2100.\”
Also yesterday, with a party-line vote of 11-10, the united states Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved Andrew Wheeler to be the EPA deputy administrator. Wheeler is really a former coal lobbyist who raised money for the senators who just approved his nomination. The White House's Office of Science Policy still remains with no nominee, but exactly what does science matter?
As Albeck-Ripka reports, in Idaho the controversy over K-12 science standards began in earnest in 2021.
Lawmakers rejected a brand new set of standards, that have been closely modeled after national guidelines developed by a consortium of states and science organizations and included information on global warming, saying more input in the public was needed.
Last year, the home education committee accepted the new standards, only after scrubbing five sections related to global warming. The passages about climate change were \”surgically removed,\” said Glenn Branch, deputy director from the National Center for Science Education, which monitors anti-science legislation.
And there has been more back and forth since. Yesterday's vote by the House Education Committee to once again water down standards effectively repeats the action it took last year-and you will find apt to be further twists and turns within the battle ahead. No matter state standards, Idaho teachers can continue to decide to include global warming within their individual lesson plans, but that may be a career decision for many teachers.
Even in Boise, \”When you teach environmental science, you're constantly being discredited,\” said Erin Stutzman, a science teacher at Timberline Senior high school within the capital, which, along with other schools nationally, continues to be mailed anti-science materials from the Heartland Institute, an organization that denies the reality of human-induced climate change.
Albeck-Ripka reports that a student leading a petition to include global warming within the state's science standards testified in a hearing before the Idaho education committee. Before the committee chairwoman cut her off, a student could say, \”It really puts the scholars in a disadvantage once the teachers have fear.\”
The concerted effort to discredit the scientific consensus over climate change continues to be ongoing for more than two decades in the usa and shows no manifestation of weakening, especially because of the stance from the Trump administration. Just as with the twenty-year effort to pass the Paris Agreement, it still is primarily for civil society to protect and implement exactly what the American government perversely rejects.