Monday, March 1, 2010

South Dakota: Climate Change is "Cosmological"

The South Dakota Legislature recently chose to mandate the way climate change is taught in schools: that is, to teach it wrong.

A draft of the Concurrent Resolution which passed last month, with its poetic references to carbon dioxide and utter fabrication of scientific data, reads more like a fairy tale than policy. Some highlights include:
WHEREAS, historical climatological data shows without question the earth has gone through trends where the climate was much warmer than in our present age. The Climatic Optimum and Little Climatic Optimum are two examples. During the Little Climatic Optimum, Erik the Red settled Greenland where they farmed and raised dairy cattle....

WHEREAS, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant but rather a highly beneficial ingredient for all plant life on earth. Many scientists refer to carbon dioxide as "the gas of life"
BE IT RESOLVED That there are a variety of climatological, meteorological, astrological, thermological, cosmological, and ecological dynamics that can effect world weather phenomena and that the significance and interrelativity of these factors is largely speculative
Thankfully most of these sections were cut from the final draft of the bill, but it's very unsettling that they were there in the first place. Also disturbing is are the parallels with the Scopes Monkey Trial - which a number of special interests are trying to recreate with climate change.

When the U.S. Chamber of Commerce put climate science on trial, the EPA dismissed the endeavor as a "waste of time" and said that a threatened lawsuit by the Chamber would be "frivolous." The LA Times reported:
Environmentalists say the chamber's strategy is an attempt to sow political discord by challenging settled science -- and note that in the famed 1925 Scopes trial, which pitted lawyers Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan in a courtroom battle over a Tennessee science teacher accused of teaching evolution illegally, the scientists won in the end.
And yet, a similar battle may now have to be waged in South Dakota. Didn't we learn our lesson about reckless science-denying politicians meddling in the teaching of sound science?

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