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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.'"
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Wyoming Is First State To Reject Science Standards Over Climate Change

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  • Stupidity rules (Score:5, Interesting)

    by X10 (186866) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @08:28AM (#46971681) Homepage

    Or is it the money that rules?

  • by Adriax (746043) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @09:17AM (#46971917)

    Couple years ago the University of Wyoming took down a large sculpture on campus well before its planned exhebition run was done because the oil industry felt it was insulting. I'm pretty sure "don't bite the hand that feeds you" was an exact quote from a state official demanding it be taken down immediately.

  • by buddyglass (925859) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @09:21AM (#46971953)
    The main skeptic with whom I dialogue holds the following beliefs:

    1. Warming is happening.
    2. CO2 concentration is atypically high.
    3. CO2 concentration is atypically high due to man-made emissions.
    4. CO2 concentration has some upward effect on global temperature.

    However, he also holds these beliefs:

    1. The earth's climate is too complex to accurately model and predict.
    2. There are feedback mechanisms that mute the severity of CO2-induced warming.
    3. Even if warming happens at the predicted rate, we can't really know what the impact will be in terms of human suffering.
    4. From #1 and #2, the dire predictions on future warming can't be trusted.
    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,
    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.
  • by AlterEager (1803124) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @09:48AM (#46972115)

    What is the chance the current temperature rise is just natural variation (i.e. noise) ?

    0.1% http://www.physics.mcgill.ca/~gang/eprints/eprintLovejoy/neweprint/Anthro.climate.dynamics.13.3.14.pdf [mcgill.ca]

    Next question?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 11, 2014 @09:59AM (#46972197)

    We have three classes of CO2 sources. The natural seasonal variations in the carbon cycle do, yes, dwarf human and volcanic emissions, and yet the last have still been able to drastically alter the climate historically. Compared to volcanism, humans are still a couple of orders of magnitude away from the largest periods of volcanic activity in the Earth's history, but those periods lasted millions of years, and "a couple orders of magnitude away" means that in 1000 years at the current rate we will have equaled the largest periods of volcanism in Earth's history. In more direct terms, we're doing about one Pinatubo per day, or about two Yellowstone Supervolcanos per year.

    It could, indeed, have an impact.

  • by Artifakt (700173) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @11:23AM (#46972781)

    I suspect a lot of AGW denialists are also Evolution deniers, and it's worth noting that a lot of the testing process for Evolution involves 'hind-casting' rather than forecasting. Every time we point to the fossil record, after all, we are looking behind, not forward. The same is true for Cosmology, and it's worth noting that growth in "Big Bang denialism" also seems to be happening, with a high (although far from universal) correlation. I'm wating for some people to start denouncing Contenental Drift as a liberal plot.

  • by jackspenn (682188) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @11:44AM (#46972895)
    Where is the correct science in "global warming", from where I am standing it is all political BS.

    Several examples:

    1). Why is it that all of the computer models to date have overestimated the temperature increase (i.e. these models have failed to fit what has been observed,. The best example is the hockey stick curve from back in the day. When in reality the averages are flat).
    2). Why was it that the "scientists" at Cern were so dishonest regarding GW? There are e-mails where this "scientists" decide to use site numbers instead of recorded GPS or physical locations, then move the sites southward for each year of recorded observations. So when peer reviewed it would appear temperatures were increasing at the same location. When peers asked the the specific locations, they got responses like Siberia. That is not quality science, that is not reproducible.
    3). Where is the control, where is the one single variable change? When we cannot accurately predict if it will rain in a certain region tomorrow or the temperature over the next 5 days, how is it wrong to suspect we cannot do it for 1, 5,10 or 100 years?
    4). If this is science,why the push to get everyone to agree? Why not simply suggest people look at the data and decided for themselves? Why the need to push it down our throats? Why the uproar if a state lets teachers, parents and students think for themselves how they wish to review the information?
    5). Need I remind you that Galileo was in the minority regarding his Sun centered model? Do you think those in the majority punishing him and his supporters, putting them down, insulting them, in very much the exact why you do? "97% of us think this way", which, does nothing to indicate you are correct. Those in the majority had all sorts of exceptions, just like GW supporters do today. They would claim there is "a flywheel type force ...", just like you today say things like "The extra heat is going into the oceans, very very very deep, yes yes that is it, when we have our computer models push the heat into the deepest parts of the ocean where we have the luxury of not having temperature samples, thus allowing us room to explain away the drift between reality and BS simulations."
    6). Why is it that you use lies to support your image? My favorite being video of ice that is expanding and then failing into the ocean when talking about ice melting. My second favorite is when you show that a sad little polar bear on an ice sheet and say "the polar bear are running out of food and space and dying off, and that is why they are now coming up on human towns and locations, they just don't have enough food." And much how you fudged the site locations with Cern's bogus data, you ignore the fact that there are more polar bear today then ever recorded and that is why they are coming up to people and you even push to have them declared endangered, ignoring the truth that there are more now, but instead point to the few places where numbers are down, while completely ignoring the truthful where numbers are actually rising.
    7). Why does every "solution" happen to fight your political end? My favorite, being "cows eat grass and grains and fart a lotas a result so we need to tax people for eating beef." Oh, really, why not flip it? Since I eat beef, every cow I consume isn't farting, so I am helping whereas vegan aren't. But wait, every vegan and vegetarian I know does fart more then the average meat eater. So why is the "solution" not to tax kale and spinach? The answer is that this has nothing to do with a real problem, it is all about using an imagined global issue to advance some honestly retarded political agendas and as an excuse to rob individuals of control, which brings me the the final point.
    8). What is worse? The temp. going up a few degrees in my lifetime or governments and global organizations robbing individuals or their liberties? What is more damaging to be hot or have to adjust or to be effectively a slave to society? What
  • by Nimey (114278) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @12:11PM (#46973095) Homepage Journal

    Wyoming is an extremely conservative state. It comes from being mostly rural; the state has only about 582,000 people and its population density is the second-lowest of all US states. Per Wikipedia, it also receives more tax dollars per-capita than any state but Alaska, and its per-capita tax aid is more than double the US average, /and/ its taxes are among the lowest of all states because they can suck Uncle Sam's teat to make up the difference.

    From the above, it's pretty evident that like most conservatives they only give a shit about themselves.

  • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @02:39PM (#46973961)

    I think hes making the basic point that the hivemind can be wrong, and "everyone thinks this" is not always the best argument for something. Heck, hundreds of millions also thought communism was the way forward, that doesnt make it right.

    Its not as simple as "theres data", either, because the data existing, being interpreted properly, and being known are entirely different things.

  • by NapalmV (1934294) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @04:38PM (#46974551)

    Economics allows you to make reasonable predictions about supply, demand, and value, and it is applicable to almost everything, even things not necessarily related to money

    You mean like those predictions made by the top economists at Lehman Brothers etc? La creme de la creme?

    Now seriously. Value is dealt with by some individuals called actuaries not economists. Supply & demand is bogus as is most of any Econ101 based on "free market" theories. There's a nice, well documented book "Debunking Economics" by Steve Keen that makes this point more eloquently that I could ever try.

    As for psychology, I would rather compare economics as a science with psychiatry, especially at the level where it was some 50 years ago. They didn't have any understanding of how the human brain works, but they kept prescribing electric shocks, cold showers and lobotomies. Is the patient apathetic? Let's apply some "stimulus" (high voltage preferred). Is he too agitated now? Let's "tapper off" (cold shower) and give him some "austerity" (lobotomy). Wow, see, now he's not banging his head into the walls anymore, we CURED him! Rinse and repeat! What a great science we have here!

  • by KeensMustard (655606) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @05:23PM (#46974849)
    What connection is there between the US government and Svante Arrhenius, or Joseph Fourier, or John Tyndall?

    What connection is there between the US government and the IPCC?

Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward.

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