Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Education Earth Science

Wyoming Is First State To Reject Science Standards Over Climate Change 661

Posted by Soulskill
from the in-the-case-of-science-v-politics dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: "Time Magazine reports that Wyoming, the nation's top coal-producing state, has become the first state to reject new K-12 science standards proposed by national education groups mainly because of global warming components. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are a set of science standards developed by leading scientists and science educators from 26 states and built on a framework developed by the National Academy of Sciences. The Wyoming science standards revision committee made up entirely of Wyoming educators unanimously recommended adoption of these standards to the state Board of Education not once but twice and twelve states have already adopted the standards since they were released in April 2013. But opponents argue the standards incorrectly assert that man-made emissions are the main cause of global warming and shouldn't be taught in a state that ranks first among all states in coal production, fifth in natural gas production and eighth in crude oil production deriving much of its school funding from the energy industry.

Amy Edmonds, of the Wyoming Liberty Group, says teaching 'one view of what is not settled science about global warming' is just one of a number of problems with the standards. 'I think Wyoming can do far better.' Wyoming Governor Matt Mead has called federal efforts to curtail greenhouse emissions a 'war on coal' and has said that he's skeptical about man-made climate change. Supporters of the NGSS say science standards for Wyoming schools haven't been updated since 2003 and are six years overdue. 'If you want the best science education for your children and grandchildren and you don't want any group to speak for you, then make yourselves heard loud and clear,' says Cate Cabot. 'Otherwise you will watch the best interests of Wyoming students get washed away in the hysteria of a small anti-science minority driven by a national right wing group – and political manipulation.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Wyoming Is First State To Reject Science Standards Over Climate Change

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 11, 2014 @08:26AM (#46971675)

    Standards? Politically-specified truth? In science?

    Good luck, USA. The rest of the world has already seen through the scam...

  • by benjfowler (239527) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @08:27AM (#46971677)

    It's called 'motivated reasoning', but I doubt these idiots have ever heard of it.

    Must be a conservative state, because this peculiar strain of stupidity is generally right-wing in nature. It's all about me! me!! me!! and screw the consequences, especially for the environment, our grandkids, or poor people.

  • Why the hell... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NoKaOi (1415755) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @08:30AM (#46971687)

    ...should a lawyer get to determine the science curriculum? Shouldn't it be, you know, people who are educated in science that decide the science curriculum? (yes, that was rhetorical, I know damn well what the answer is)

    I think Wyoming can do far better.

    I agree!

  • by cookYourDog (3030961) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @08:34AM (#46971693)
    As someone who believes in climate change, I'm growing very uneasy with the language being used by both sides to describe dissenting opinions. It feels like the biggest threat we'll face in the future is not a changing environment, but one another.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 11, 2014 @08:38AM (#46971707)

    Yes, in particular, language like the word "believe" being used for scientific theories.

  • by Hardhead_7 (987030) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @08:39AM (#46971717)
    Don't forget ideology. Get ready to read a bunch of posts from people who pride themselves on being scientific, but reject a theory that enjoys more support in climatology than the Standard Model does in physics. Just because they're conservative and it would be inconvenient for their politics.
  • Re:Stupidity rules (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 11, 2014 @08:40AM (#46971721)

    Money rules the stupid.

  • What you get (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hebertrich (472331) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @08:43AM (#46971729)

    Yep .. that's what you get when you let corporations pay for the politicians bills.
    They are owned by industry and will never side with the People they are supposedly there to represent .. which they are not.
    Democracy is dead in the US .. rather .. it never existed. All an illusion.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 11, 2014 @08:53AM (#46971777)

    But, there are natural weather cycles, why didn't the stupid scientists think of that!?

    Tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication. You canâ(TM)t explain that.

  • by KeensMustard (655606) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @09:06AM (#46971867)

    Its too bad you learned from these new standards which pride itself on the band-wagon approach to science where the most popular theory is heralded as the correct theory and any other competing theories are dismissed out of hand.

    "It might be bad for the coal industry" is not a competing theory on the cause of the present climate change.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 11, 2014 @09:12AM (#46971887)

    Because Man made, natural or a mixture of both the end result is the same either way. We have to learn to deal \ mitigate it.

    I recommend all government aid for relief due to any problems they deny is withdrawn. If you bang on about personal responsibility all the time then they wont mind stepping up to the plate.

  • by rmdingler (1955220) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @09:19AM (#46971939)
    A 19th century survey of 12000 towns would've yielded an even more astonishingly high percentage of citizens with god-belief.

    The science is more widely accepted by the folks who have the time to pay attention, but for the most part, it's a propaganda scheme that headlines enough opposition theory to leave the average billpayer some room for doubt.

    Funding opposition studies is just a business expense for large companies engaged in controversial industry.

  • by SomeKDEUser (1243392) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @09:22AM (#46971959)

    Nice misinformation here. The situation _is_ catastrophic. We _are_ in big trouble. Do not mistake the insane German policies [1] for a model of how things happen when you want to curb CO_2. The climatologists know very well how bad the situation is. Simply, it is so bad that they realise at this point people are not willing to listen to the truth, so they _minimise_ the risks.

    [1] We would like solar, but really, we need energy, and since our crazy greens won't allow nuclear, we go for coal.

  • by tp1024 (2409684) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @09:34AM (#46972025)

    Well, Stiglitz wasn't taken seriously at the time. You could have shown what Stiglitz said to Alan Greenspan and he would have rejected it, along with most other mainstream economists.

    It doesn't matter who debunked the unrealistic assumptions in climate science, since you won't take it seriously anyway. If you don't think the fact that temperatures are 0.5 degree below the predictions that were made 25 years ago and again 13 years ago, is any indication that the models failed, it doesn't matter what evidence I present. That's because you don't care about normal scientific standards that say: if the prediction is consistently wrong, the theory is wrong.

  • by milkmage (795746) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @09:43AM (#46972081)

    I don't know why you got modded down.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    Neil Tyson vs. Bill O'Reilly

  • by DogDude (805747) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @09:52AM (#46972139) Homepage
    You fucking idiot. You 'useful idiot', more like.

    This particular troll listens to Glenn Beck, who invented the meaningless phrase "useful idiot". This is a particularly vile kind of troll.
  • by Hardhead_7 (987030) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @10:20AM (#46972337)
    Really? So, Anonymous Coward knows better than NASA and NOAA and the UN Panel on Cliamate Change? Oh, wait, maybe you don't have any f-ing clue what you're talking about, and the effects of Man-made climate change are radically different than natural variation.

    Here's the thing, as you post on Slashdot, I'm going to assume you troubleshoot problems. Maybe it's network infrastructure, maybe it's software, maybe it's server administration. I don't know. But, do you really consider a problem "fixed" if you don't know the cause? If errors are getting thrown everywhere, do you apply band-aid fixes that "seem to work" but you don't know why? I do know those guys. You know what? They're fucking terrible at their jobs. Real troubleshooting is learning the root cause and fixing it. Even if you can't fix the root error directly, if you don't have a real understanding of it, you never know if your band-aids are gong to work.

    When someone says "well who cares if it's man-made" or "it's really the alarmists that are the problem" or whatever, it's just another attempt to sow doubt on a model that is just as predictive as Evolution. It matters what caused it, because that influences how you fix it - for instance, if it's man-made, moving off coal power plants to solar, nuclear, wind, etc, is a huge help. So get a clue, stop sticking your head in the sand and changing the subject, and realize that man-made climate change is radically different than natural variation. Idiot.
  • by Layzej (1976930) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @10:21AM (#46972345)

    Curiously, your friend believes "The earth's climate is too complex to accurately model and predict.", but is certain that "There are feedback mechanisms that mute the severity of CO2-induced warming."

    This seems like wishful thinking. If we really don't have a good handle on the severity of global warming then it is just as likely that the impacts will be much greater than anticipated.

    Regarding the costs of mitigating, all published economists agree that it is cheaper to mitigate than to accept the impacts of climate change, and the sooner we start mitigating the cheaper it will be.

  • by NapalmV (1934294) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @10:23AM (#46972359)

    [...] indoctrinate their children through forced public education.

    Proper science (like in a science that has a validated, reasonable precise model of reality) is not indoctrination. The dismal science http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T... [wikipedia.org] on the other hand...

  • by AlterEager (1803124) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @10:23AM (#46972361)

    1. The earth's climate is too complex to accurately model and predict.

    Argument from disbelief.

    2. There are feedback mechanisms that mute the severity of CO2-induced warming.

    If he believes that (1) is true how can he know that (2) is true.

    3. Even if warming happens at the predicted rate, we can't really know what the impact will be in terms of human suffering.

    Argument from disbelief again.

    4. From #1 and #2, the dire predictions on future warming can't be trusted.

    But 1 and 2 are contradictory

    5. Even if warming were going to happen at the predicted rate and the consequences would be as dire as predicted, the economic cost of transitioning of fossil fuels on a global level would induce a huge amount of human suffering on its own,

    The real point - he doesn't want to do something, so it's impossible to do anything, so there is nothing that need to be done.

    6. Given the cost, there's no way the various world governments are going to come to an agreement and actually make a significant dent in fossil fuel usage anyway. So the whole discussion is academic.

    The final proof that he is arguing backwards from what he wants to happen (or not happen) to what he wants to be true.

    Deniers! Start from the science! Don't start from your personal feelings and work back to the science, that's not how it's done.

  • by ganjadude (952775) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @10:48AM (#46972553) Homepage

    Really? So, Anonymous Coward knows better than NASA and NOAA and the UN Panel on Cliamate Change?

    while I get your point, what you are missing is that we have a real distrust of the government in general. If you replace NASA NOAA and UN panel with NSA CIA and TSA, people would respond differently.

  • by stenvar (2789879) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @12:27PM (#46973177)

    Get ready to read a bunch of posts from people who pride themselves on being scientific, but reject a theory that enjoys more support in climatology than the Standard Model does in physics

    There is no "theory of climate change" to reject. There are dozens of different hypotheses, and people advancing political action switch what they call that theory according to what argument they want to make. To deconstruct this:

    (1) Human activity has raised the level of CO2 and methane in the atmosphere beyond what it would otherwise be. [Uncontroversial]

    (2) Mean global temperatures have increased over the 20th century. [mostly accepted]

    (3) Human activity has contributed to some degree to that increase. [mostly accepted]

    (4) Human activity is the primary cause of temperature increase over the 20th century. [unproven]

    (5) Human activity will result in temperature increases in the 21st century that are larger than those experienced in the 20th century. [unproven, speculative]

    (6) Temperature increase in the 21st century will have devastating consequences for humans. [highly speculative, controversial]

    (7) Government intervention now can reduce temperature increases in the 21st century significantly. [highly speculative, completely implausible]

    So, the only thing that scientists agree on are (1-3). The rest is unproven, speculative, and often implausible. But without (4-7), observations (1-3) simply aren't worth teaching in school. And activists and politicians promoting government action like to pretend that agreement on (1-3) implies agreement on (4-7).

    And in terms of politics, I used to be a solid Democrat. But digging into the science behind climate change (and then some other issues where Democrats like to talk about science) has made me an independent, because Democrats are abusing science for political purposes. They like to pick some half-ass scientific result that fits their agenda, try to use it to get people riled up to vote for them or transfer billions into the coffers of their corporate buddies, and accuse anybody who disagrees with their political agenda as "unscientific". Just like you did.

    Let's be clear: like most scientists, I agree with what is actually the agreed upon theory of climate change, namely points (1-3). But that's all science supports right now; the rest is speculation and politics.

  • by TomGreenhaw (929233) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @01:09PM (#46973447)
    It's here in laymen's terms from the National Academy of Science: http://nas-sites.org/americasc... [nas-sites.org]

    1) Who needs a computer model when you can see the polar ice melting. Yes, its really melting - go see it for yourself it you don't believe it. Strike up a friendship with somebody in Iceland if you disagree and ask them what they are seeing.
    2) Who cares, the house is on fire. Let's not waste time arguing about how it got started.
    3) We only have one earth so there will be no control group or second chance. You don't need to be a medical doctor to know that a self inflicted gunshot wound is a bad idea. You don't need to be a climate scientist to see that the global climate is changing and that the logical explanation is mankind's burning of fossil fuel. The time for skepticism has passed.
    4) The data has been readily available and its being ignored. Our innocent descendants need to be protected from the selfishness of our generation and the previous two or three. Even if global warming is a hoax, is it fair that our generation uses more than its fair share of the planet's resources so a few super rich multinational corporations can get super richer?
    5-9) See #2

    The vast majority of free thinkers who have reviewed the data agree that man is having an unprecedented impact on the atmosphere and the ocean. For better or worse we are reshaping the climate and there will winners and losers. The losers are innocent people and wildlife who cannot adapt to the changes and our descendants left with a planet stripped of its resources.

    If we want to be selfish and immoral - fine - let's just don't be a hypocrites about it. As we all pump gas into our cars and adjust our thermostats we should recognize there are consequences of our actions.
  • by ClickOnThis (137803) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @01:23PM (#46973523) Journal

    Really? So, Anonymous Coward knows better than NASA and NOAA and the UN Panel on Cliamate Change?

    while I get your point, what you are missing is that we have a real distrust of the government in general. If you replace NASA NOAA and UN panel with NSA CIA and TSA, people would respond differently.

    I saw what you did there. [wikipedia.org]

    You're comparing scientists and engineers who publish in the open literature with spooks and security guards who keep secrets.

  • by ganjadude (952775) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @01:56PM (#46973719) Homepage
    no what I am saying is that the government has lied to us over and over again. As such i am skeptical of them as a whole Just because someone is a scientist doesnt make them right. It doesnt make them wrong either, but there is an honest distrust of the government
  • by stenvar (2789879) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @02:29PM (#46973893)

    The odds of human induced climate change being wrong are so low that its simply not up for debate anymore in the sciences

    You're right, it isn't. But that's not all the IPCC or the national curriculum say. They also say that climate change will be huge and have devastating consequences, and that's unproven. It isn't even a question physics can answer.

  • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @02:36PM (#46973949)

    Dont forget scores of posts purporting to love reason and rational argument, but follow up with a hateful rant about how stupid and retarded conservatives are. Bonus points for broad generalizations and ad hominems!

  • by NapalmV (1934294) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @03:12PM (#46974115)
    If the climate scientists' models are not validated (i.e. they fail to predict real world evolution) then you have a good case for not teaching them in school at all or just mentioning them as (invalidated) hypotheses. Also, for consistency, thou shalt also remove the dismal science (economics) from academic curricula, as it never came up with any working model, not even remotely close to a coarse "engineering" 10% accuracy.
  • by sg_oneill (159032) on Monday May 12, 2014 @01:09AM (#46976907)

    You're right, it isn't. But that's not all the IPCC or the national curriculum say. They also say that climate change will be huge and have devastating consequences, and that's unproven. It isn't even a question physics can answer.

    Actually they don't say that. The IPCC presents a set of weighted possibilities based on statistical analysis of the results of a few thousand research projects. These range from "Things could get a bit hairy for agriculture and fisheries" (Which is already happening) to "Shit goes completely haywire, were screwed.". The IPCC reports tend to lean towards the low end severity however increasingly climate researchers have been critical if the IPCC for under reporting just how serious some of the models predictions are.

    Physics actually can answer it to some degree , although perhaps not in the detail we like. The equasions are not hard. You look at solar inputs over time, then look at CO2 (and methane, etc) and you can say "This will trap x amount of infra red energy". This part can be calculated quite accurately since is an entirely deterministic calculation.
    Then you look at a range of possibilities from "All this heat is converted to kinetic energy (storms/cyclones/etc)" to "All this heat turns into heat (greenhouse effect)". Remember , conservation of energy, the heat has to do *something*.

    Of course I'm simplifying it a little bit here and not including run-away effects from permafrost which sadly appear to be starting already according to many arctic field researchers (Ie permafrost areas where methane has started to bubble up) which potentially can turn the whole thing psychotic on us, but thats the basics of it.

Whoever dies with the most toys wins.

Working...