Global warming on other planets? Don’t be a dumb bunny

May 18, 2010

Do you weary, as I do, of global warming disbelievers* who say, with a straight face, that global warming is no problem on Earth because other planets in our solar system are also warming?

I mean, they say it as if there were a connection, as if it meant anything — does it weary you?

Photograph of sunglint and the Earth's limb from the Internation Space Station Expedition 22.

Photograph of sunglint and the Earth’s limb from the Internation Space Station Expedition 22.

Eli Rabett is doing the hard-but-necessary academic task of combing through the official responses EPA scientists gave to comments on their proposals to regulate greenhouse gases.  Such regulations must be published in the Federal Register, and upon publication they must be open to public comment for a while, usually at least 30 days.

Ain’t our democratic republic wonderful?  Agencies are required to answer the comments, even stupid comments, even stupid comments from political hacks bent on making political points instead of shining light.

And, Eli has teased out EPA’s responses to the claims that warming on Earth is no problem because there is warming on other planets, so we can blame warming on God or the Sun, and do nothing.

Um, EPA doesn’t think so.  Read it here, at Eli’s burrow.

(I’ll wager Eli is one who knows his burro from a burrow.)


*  “Disbelievers?”  Still searching for a word to substitute for “denialist” which doesn’t offend the denialists, but doesn’t let them off the hook for being silly, either.

California legislator would bar Texas social studies changes

May 18, 2010

California may be down, but it’s not dumb.  According to AP in the San Jose Mercury-News (Silicon Valley edition):

Legislation by Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, seeks to protect the nation’s largest public school population from the revised social studies curriculum approved in March by the Texas Board of Education. Critics say if the changes are incorporated into textbooks, they will be historically inaccurate and dismissive of the contributions of minorities.

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Under Yee’s bill, SB1451, the California Board of Education would be required to look out for any of the Texas content as part of its standard practice of reviewing public school textbooks. The board must then report any findings to both the Legislature and the secretary of education.

The bill describes the Texas curriculum changes as “a sharp departure from widely accepted historical teachings” and “a threat to the apolitical nature of public school governance and academic content standards in California.”

“While some Texas politicians may want to set their educational standards back 50 years, California should not be subject to their backward curriculum changes,” Yee said. “The alterations and fallacies made by these extremist conservatives are offensive to our communities and inaccurate of our nation’s diverse history.”

Bully for California and Rep. Leland Yee.

Tip of the old scrub brush to HeyMash.

Texas education: Social studies on the gallows today

May 18, 2010

Social studies curricula climb the scaffold to the gallows set by the “conservative” majority of the Texas State Board of Education today.  If they get their way — and signs are they will — they will hobble social studies education for at least a half generation.

As The Dallas Morning News explains this morning, lame-duck board members fully intend to change Texas and American culture with their rewriting of history, de-emphasis of traditional history education, and insertion of what they consider pro-patriotic ideas in social studies.

AUSTIN – When social conservatives on the State Board of Education put the final touches on social studies curriculum standards this week, it will be a significant victory in their years-long push to imprint their beliefs upon what Texas students learn.

We in the part-time blogosphere can’t cover the meeting as it deserves — nor have we been able to mobilize pro-education forces to do what was needed to stop the board — yet.

McLeroy will make the most of his remaining time on the panel. He proposed several additions to the social studies standards for the board to consider this week. One would require students to “contrast” the legal doctrine of separation of church and state with the actual wording in the Bill of Rights that bars a state-established religion.

McLeroy has resurrected the old Cleon Skousen/David Barton/White Supremecist argument that “separation of church and state” does not appear in the Constitution, disregarding what the document and its amendments actually say.  Jefferson warned that such discussions poison children’s education, coming prematurely as this one would be as McLeroy wants it.

Watch that space.  Tony Whitson at Curricublog will cover it well, and probably timely — read his stuff.  Steve Shafersman’s work will be informative.  The Texas Tribune offered great coverage in the past.  Stay tuned.  And the Texas Freedom Network carries the flag and works hard to recruit the troops and keep up morale.

People for the American Way and the American Civil Liberties Union have already chimed in.

It is discouraging.  Under current history standards, Texas kids should know the phrase “shot heard ’round the world,” but they do not get exposure to the poem from which the phrase comes, nor to the poet (Emerson), nor exposure to Paul Revere whose ride inspired Longfellow later to write a poem that children have read ever since — except in Texas.

But under the new standards, Texas children will learn who Phyllis Schlafly is.  Patriots are out; hypocrites and demagogues are in.

Autopsy blog dead: Straight facts

May 18, 2010

It’s a minor deal, but amusing to me.

A blog called The Autopsy, which set out last year to deflate ‘that imposter’ Obama and expose the frauds in climate change science, appears to be dead.

Heck, even J. A. Davison called ’em out.

The author probably just lost interest.  If only more people with bad information would lose interest, the world would be a  better place.

I’m praying Don McLeroy will lose interest in stuff other than dentistry, quick.

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