Climate Change : Heating Up To Fahrenheit 451

by Andrew Stuttaford

From the Portland Tribune:

In a move spearheaded by environmentalists, the Portland Public Schools board unanimously approved a resolution aimed at eliminating doubt of climate change and its causes in schools.

“Eliminating doubt”.   Unanimously, naturally.

To teach the science of climate change is, of course, fine. To teach the cult of climate change is not.

To quote Richard Feynman, a man who knew a bit about what being a scientist involved:  “Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt”.

Back to the Portland Tribune:

The resolution passed Tuesday evening calls for the school district to get rid of textbooks or other materials that cast doubt on whether climate change is occurring and that the activity of human beings is responsible. The resolution also directs the superintendent and staff to develop an implementation plan for “curriculum and educational opportunities that address climate change and climate justice in all Portland Public Schools.

Get rid of the wrong books.  Teach “climate justice”.

Sounds like the spirit of free inquiry and open debate is alive and well in Portland.  

 Bill Bigelow, a former PPS teacher and current curriculum editor of Rethinking Schools, a magazine devoted to education issues, worked with 350PDX and other environmental groups to present the resolution.

Rethinking Schools looks to me like a magazine of the hard left (but perhaps that’s just me, check out its website and judge for yourself). Its curriculum editor is not, I would think, the most convincing advocate of objectivity in the classroom…

Bigelow is also the co-author of a textbook on environmental education, A People’s Curriculum for the Earth. Asked if this resolution will cause the district to buy new textbooks, such as his book, Bigelow said Rethinking Schools is a nonprofit, not a money-maker.

OK.

Bigelow said the district already has climate-change literacy curriculum, such as at Sunnyside Environmental School, and he wants that knowledge to spread.

Set the controls for the heart of Sunnyside’s website, and discover this:

Our school community and students are taught to critically examine dominant culture norms, seek multiple perspectives and counter stories…

Some doubts are more equal than others, it seems. 

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