The state of Wyoming has blocked a set of national teaching standards for science because the standards will teach students about climate change. Conservative lawmakers in Wyoming said that the standards indoctrinate kids with politics rather than teach actual science. Nevermind that science is how scientists came to their conclusions about climate change in the first place.
The Next Generation Science Standards were developed over the last four years by the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and many states to provide uniform, scientific curricula for K-12 students. So far, nine states and Washington D.C. have adopted the Next Generation Science Standards, reports Smithsonian Magazine.
“The standards handle global warming as settled science,” said Republican state Rep. Matt Teeters R-Lingle. “There’s all kind of social implications involved in that that I don’t think would be good for Wyoming.”
But that fact is that climate change is a “settled science.” The earth, in fact, is getting warmer, and, yes, humans’ carbon footprint is responsible for a great deal of it. As Smithsonian reported, “The underlying science of climate change – the heating of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, and the human responsibility for emitting those gases – is not up for debate.”
Reasoning behind the block appears to be embedded in something entirely different than concern for students and what the Republicans are saying is false, unfounded science. Wyoming is a “powerhouse producer of coal, natural gas, and petroleum.” Being that fossil fuel production is a veritable cash cow for Wyoming, politicians are blocking proven, scientific findings to protect it’s industrial interests. In short, they want to keep the youth ignorant in exchange for money.
Pete Gosar, Wyoming state board of education member, was correct when he said that it’s bad to let mathematical and scientific teachings be swayed by public opinion. To add to that assertion, it’s also even worse to keep public opinion from being swayed by math and science. He continued, declaring that blocking the standards ill-affords the board to properly do its job.
The standards block is arbitrary, not based in any sort of logical, scientific opposition. The findings regarding climate change are peer-reviewed, scientific discoveries, said Lisa Hoyos of Climate Parents, a nonprofit that advocates the standards. “It’s not ideological,” said Hoyos. “It’s very important to me to ensure that my kids are taught vetted, peer-tested scientific content.”
The block, on the other hand, is pure, political ideology.
Josh is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him on Twitter @dnJdeli.