Sunday, January 26, 2014

Climate Denial in the Classroom?

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Virginia Chapter - Sierra Club

EPA-DC.jpgDear , Robert

A move is afoot in the Virginia House of Delegates to pass a law designed to encourage science teachers to teach about creationism and climate change denial.

The proposed Virginia law, HB 207 seems harmless enough at first glance, saying that Virginia schools should "create an environment in public elementary and secondary schools that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about scientific controversies in science classes."

But as explained in some detail by the National Center for Science Education, this proposed statutory language is a strain of so-called "academic freedom" statutes, Orwellian-named laws originally promoted to insert creationism in science classrooms. Creationists want science teachers to "teach the controversy" about evolution vs. creationism, when in fact there is no such scientific controversy. And now climate deniers and misinformers are promoting these bills in a number of states to get science teachers to teach about a non-existent controversy about whether human-caused greenhouse gas emissions cause climate change.

In 2008 Louisiana enacted a law strikingly similar to proposed Virginia HB 207. Called the Louisiana Science Education Act, it has survived repeal attempts urged by the scientific community. You can find additional details in a recent article in Scientific American.

Please take action by writing your delegate to say that anti-science so-called "academic freedom" laws like HB 207 have no place in Virginia.


Seth Heald, Climate Chair 

Virginia Chapter | 422 E. Franklin St. Richmond, VA 23219 | P: (804) 225-9113 | Tell a friend about us
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