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Portland school board bans climate change-denying materials

June 4, 2016

By Paul Homewood  

 

h/t Terry L

 

image

http://portlandtribune.com/sl/307848-185832-portland-school-board-bans-climate-change-denying-materials

 

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.

“It is unacceptable that we have textbooks in our schools that spread doubt about the human causes and urgency of the crisis,” said Lincoln High School student Gaby Lemieux in board testimony. “Climate education is not a niche or a specialization, it is the minimum requirement for my generation to be successful in our changing world.”

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.”

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.

“A lot of the text materials are kind of thick with the language of doubt, and obviously the science says otherwise,” Bigelow says, accusing the publishing industry to bowing to pressure from fossil fuels companies. “We don’t want kids in Portland learning material courtesy of the fossil fuel industry.”

In board testimony, Bigelow said PPS’ science textbooks are littered with words like might, may and could when talking about climate change.

 

SCREENSHOT: PPS.NET - Portland Public Schools board member Mike Rosen (center) at the May 17 board meeting.

SCREENSHOT: PPS.NET – Portland Public Schools board member Mike Rosen (center) at the May 17 board meeting.

 

“ ‘Carbon dioxide emissions from motor vehicles, power plants and other sources, may contribute to global warming,’ ” he quotes Physical Science published by Pearson as saying. “This is a section that could be written by the Exxon public relations department and it’s being taught in Portland schools.”

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.

“What we’re asking for is not: Buy new stuff,” he said. “What we’re looking for is a whole different model of curriculum development and distribution.”

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

School board member Mike Rosen introduced the resolution. He also leads NW Ecoliteracy Collaborative, a project focused on environmental curriculum standards. However, he says that work has been on hold.

“I have become concerned about its ability to make progress and not have a conflict with being a school board member,” Rosen said, noting that he is now instead working part-time for the Audubon Society of Portland. “I don’t want there to be a conflict between my school board work and this nonprofit.”

http://portlandtribune.com/sl/307848-185832-portland-school-board-bans-climate-change-denying-materials

 

 

A sad day for science education in Portland.

25 Comments leave one →
  1. Graeme No.3 permalink
    June 4, 2016 9:33 pm

    He obviously hasn’t read the scientific section of the IPCC reports if he thinks “might, may and could” are put out by Exxon.

  2. June 4, 2016 9:45 pm

    This power will restore society to sanity:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Solar_Energy_published.pdf

  3. John F. Hultquist permalink
    June 4, 2016 9:58 pm

    Years ago the joke went that Oregon was going to build an expressway that went from CA to WA without any exits in OR.
    Seems they built the part from San Francisco to Portland and stopped.

    • June 4, 2016 10:10 pm

      Plus many. My brother lives in the Seattle area and swears it has caught Oregon ‘disease’.

  4. June 4, 2016 10:07 pm

    So in addition to GMU RICO, Portland is into book banning. What is next, book burning? I have three that are banned. Cannot be burned; they are ebooks. When the pause returns and the cooling starts, these folks are going to look mighty foolish. They will pay when they are eventually de-elected by sobered voters.

    Political sound bites/simple images to fling at such warmunist fools:
    Except for the El Nino blip (now cooling rapidly) none of the school children this century have experienced any global warming. Sea level rise is not accelerating in any of the geostationary corrected long record tide gauges, nor in the sat alt data. The model predicted tropical troposphere hotspot is MIA. ICeSat and observationally GIA corrected GRACE both now show Antarctica is gaining ice. Weather extremes have not increased: tornados, cyclones, blizzards, floods. The planet is greening thanks to CO2 fertilization of C3 plants. The vastly buffered ocean is not acidifying beyond its normal biological rhythms. Polar bears do not depend on late summer ice. Renewables are intermittent; without sufficient fossil fuel backup they are unviable and lead to grid instability. Many of the ‘famous’ alarmist pal-reviewed papers are palpable academic misconduct: OLeary on Eemian abrupt SLR, Fabricius on corals and pH, PMEL on oysters and ocean acidification, Shakun on CO2/T lead or lag, Marcott and Mann hockey sticks…

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      June 4, 2016 11:30 pm

      What is the ignition temperature for a Kindle? Got to be somewhat lower than Fahrenheit 451, I suspect.

      • Nigel S permalink
        June 5, 2016 12:14 am

        Are you sure you’ve got enough carbon credits for that?

  5. June 4, 2016 10:10 pm

    I hope these people are held to account when reality shows them to be so wrong

  6. June 4, 2016 10:17 pm

    Next thing they will ban or even burn books mentioning the Cascadia fault.
    http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-mega-quake-is-coming

  7. markl permalink
    June 4, 2016 11:37 pm

    I’m betting someone is going to challenge this and win.

  8. Broadlands permalink
    June 4, 2016 11:51 pm

    “A lot of the text materials are kind of thick with the language of doubt, and obviously the science says otherwise,” Obviously???

    Bigelow says, accusing the publishing industry to bowing to pressure from fossil fuels companies. “We don’t want kids in Portland learning material courtesy of the fossil fuel industry.”

    A quote from Ken Haapla seems an appropriate retort?

    “It is becoming evident that government funding assures no greater rigor in the scientific work than corporate funding. One must examine the work, not the funding source.”

  9. Andy DC permalink
    June 5, 2016 2:02 am

    If they are as right as they think they are, they should have no trouble defending their dogma in the marketplace of ideas. When your side bans other legitimate data and points of view, it is an admission that you might be on the losing side of any fair and reasonable debate.

  10. Eliza permalink
    June 5, 2016 3:25 am

    Its against free speech and is illegal. The school Board should be sued.

  11. June 5, 2016 7:48 am

    Oregon is so wacky that it has an Arts Tax that 100,000 refuse to pay

    ” A Portland Public Schools board member is among (100K) thousands of Oregonians who aren’t paying the city’s Arts Tax this year.” news

    Oh hang on he’s not actually opposed to the Arts Tax, he thinks that children who are given the priority of learming English first are missing out on the art classes.
    And “He also doesn’t think the city is doing a good job collecting the tax.”

  12. June 5, 2016 8:07 am

    BTW that portlandtribune.com is banned for some strange reason here in Malaysia
    I can only see it thru Google’s cache
    ..none of the comments support it

    townhall.com point out that the exam system does actually expect children to realise that CC has a natural portion ..so the children are now at a disadvantage.

    The Portland school board’s climate-change meltdown: Editorial Agenda 2016 oregonlive.com ..strong piece

    Heartland : “You’ve made progress … toward 16th Century thinking” ..yeh like the Scopes Monkey Trial

  13. June 5, 2016 8:12 am

    Jeez where would they find an alarmist text book ?
    ..On hang on the school board leader has published his own textbook “A People’s Curriculum for the Earth”
    Outnumbersed show on Fox

  14. saveenergy permalink
    June 5, 2016 9:10 am

    See also George Orwell’s News Speak
    ‘A reduced language created by a totalitarian state as a tool to keep the population in a controlled state of ignorance’

    Whats next book-burning ???
    “Where they burn books, they will in the end also burn people.”
    – Heinrich Heine 1823
    e.g.-
    Germany 1933 – literary purge or “cleansing” (“Säuberung”) by fire = Holocaust

    USA 1953 – burning communist books = Napalm in Vietnam.

    http://mentalfloss.com/article/50038/11-book-burning-stories-will-break-your-heart

    • June 7, 2016 2:32 pm

      Can’t burn the books, that will liberate that deadly, world threatening gas carbon dioxide.

  15. June 5, 2016 10:21 am

    ‘In board testimony, Bigelow said PPS’ science textbooks are littered with words like might, may and could when talking about climate change.’

    That’s not unrelated to the fact that IPCC reports (NOT the politically biased summaries) are littered with words like ‘uncertainty’, ‘low confidence’ and ‘not well understood’.

    How many of these board members have read any part of any IPCC report?

  16. Richard Mallett permalink
    June 5, 2016 11:40 am

    Science is all about might, may and could. Children are (or at least have been) taught to think of ways in which their preferred theory might be falsified. I wonder what are the wicked text books that they want to ban for fear that their children might, may or could become sceptics ?

  17. June 5, 2016 11:46 am

    Dear me; back to burning books already. That didn’t take long.

  18. Stonyground permalink
    June 5, 2016 1:31 pm

    Don’t forget that, in the internet age, such censorship is impossible. Streissand effect and all that. If the sceptics really are so wrong, air their arguments and refute them. Unless of course they aren’t wrong, in that case banning their books is your only other choice.

    • Richard Mallett permalink
      June 5, 2016 3:39 pm

      There seems to be very little airing and refuting of arguments on either side.

  19. June 6, 2016 4:45 am

    Ah, Portland, OR; my birthplace. And interestingly enough, I’m headed up that way next week for a family visit – I now live in Tempe, Arizona having left there decades ago. A unique culture there I’ll say. I can stand if for three or four days and that’s about it. I’m definitely bringing some “banned books” with me.

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