"Irked" about global warming "hooey" in the textbooks

March 30th, 2009
The headline in the Austin American-Statesman and other Texas papers pretty much got it right: I’m irked.

The State Board of Education has adopted textbook standards that, at best, raise quesions about the existence of global climate change and, at worst, lead Texas students to join board members burying their heads in the sand rather than acknowledge that addressing climate change is of paramount importance to humanity’s future on this planet.

For example (as quoted in the Austin article):

“Conservatives like me think the evidence (for human contributions to global warming) is a bunch of hooey,” [State Board of Education chairman, and dentist, Don] McLeroy said.

Respectfully begging to differ, I say what’s hooey is school board members who lack scientific or educational credentials passing judgement on sound science and educational philosophy. Furthermore, true conservatives accept science and acknowledge the existence of fact.

And we’ll be exporting this hooey across the nation. Our State Board of Education, being such a big textbook customer, essentially gets to dictate what textbooks will say not just here in the Lone Star State but in upwards of 20 others. Irksome indeed.
It should be noted, finally, that board members are elected. That means Texas voters can decide to replace some board members with real experts – or at least academically curious individuals – next election.