Friday, February 26, 2010

I'm so proud - UPDATED

Thank you Rep. Don Kopp and my own Representative Gosch, for making national news as one of the most embarrassingly idiotic state legislatures across this great country.

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Co-sponsors (locals in bold type):

Representatives Kopp, Bolin, Brunner, Cronin, Curd, Feickert, Gosch, Greenfield, Hamiel, Hoffman, Hunt, Iron Cloud III, Jensen, Juhnke, Kirkeby, Lange, Lederman, Moser, Novstrup (David), Olson (Betty), Olson (Ryan), Pitts, Putnam, Rausch, Russell, Schlekeway, Sly, Steele, Tidemann, Turbiville, Van Gerpen, Verchio, and Wink and Senators Brown, Abdallah, Bradford, Haverly, Maher, and Schmidt

I understand why some of these people are on here, but some others? I shake my head.

May I quote from the bill, now going to the Governor:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the House of Representatives of the Eighty-fifth Legislature of the State of South Dakota, the Senate concurring therein, that the South Dakota Legislature urges that instruction in the public schools relating to global warming include the following:
(1) That global warming is a scientific theory rather than a proven fact; [sic]
(2) That there are a variety of climatological, meteorological, astrological, [sic] thermological [sic], cosmological, and ecological dynamics that can effect [sic] world weather phenomena and that the significance and interrelativity [sic] of these factors is largely speculative; and
(3) That the debate on global warming has subsumed political and philosophical viewpoints which have complicated and prejudiced the scientific investigation of global warming [sic] phenomena; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Legislature urges that all instruction on the theory of global warming [sic] be appropriate to the age and academic development of the student and to the prevailing classroom circumstances.


1. It's GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE -- more CO2 means hotter, cooler, wetter, or dryer, depending on where you are.

2. News to you: scientists have this thing called peer review and the scientific method. We don't just make up stuff. In fact, unlike the Fox Newsies that declare after a couple snowfalls in the East that climate change is a myth, nothing in science is a "proven fact." Were you all awake in science in high school???

3. How the state Legislative Research Council let them get by with "astrological" without bringing it up is amazing to me. Maybe another conspiracy theory.

4. Rep. Jackie Sly = I'm surprised..... I'd think from your years of teaching you'd at least have proof-read this thing before you signed on.

5. Rep. Brian Gosch - my dear Rep - you have been watching too much Fox News.

Of course what the South Dakota legislature does will not affect this one way or the other, making this exercise even more idiotic. The truth is, we're in big trouble, but at least we are far from the coasts... so we won't be affected.... right? (WRONG.)

The main relevance I think is that this kind of silliness is guaranteed to scare away anyone with a decent education from wanting to live here. I do worry about sending my kids to a school whose funding is largely controlled by people that apparently don't know the difference between astrology and astronomy, and definitely don't understand the way science works.

People like this definitely did NOT invent the Internet.

UPDATE:



1. Cory Heidelberger pointed out to me that this is a HCR, so it probably won't go to the governor at all, since it has no force of law and doesn't even spend any money. Then what's the point, except to scare off the NSF from funding DUSEL?

2. I looked more carefully... the State Senate it turns out removed most of the stupid language (it's still really dumb though, just not quite as humiliating to our state). It has returned to the House to be either approved, re-stupefied and sent back to the Senate, or tabled.

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION, Calling for a balanced approach for instruction in the public schools relating to global climatic change.

WHEREAS, evidence relating to global climatic change is complex and subject to varying scientific interpretations; and

WHEREAS, there are a variety of climatological and meteorological dynamics that can affect world weather phenomena, and the significance and interrelativity of these factors remain unresolved; and

WHEREAS, the debate on global warming has subsumed political and philosophical viewpoints, which has complicated and prejudiced the scientific investigation of global climatic change phenomena:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the House of Representatives of the Eighty-fifth Legislature of the State of South Dakota, the Senate concurring therein, that the South Dakota Legislature urges that all instruction in the public schools relating to global climatic change be presented in a balanced and objective manner and be appropriate to the age and academic development of the student and to the prevailing classroom circumstances.".


It's hard to argue with:

WHEREAS, the debate on global warming has subsumed political and philosophical viewpoints,


EXCEPT this would be more accurate:

WHEREAS, political and philosophical viewpoints, have subsumed the scientific debate on climate change


Scientific voices have been shouted down by political (and corporate) voices. Al Gore's laudable effort to publicize the issue, and a few bad scientists making dumb mistakes does not change the truth: There is currently no "scientific debate" that a) huge changes in world climate have begun, b) these changes are driven by land use change and fossil fuel consumption by the largest population of humans to live on the earth.

This is the scientific consensus... if you happen to think science is bunk, you are fee to say so... but good luck getting a national lab in your state, especially if you try to keep said lab's development going by cutting school funding!!

You need smart people to want to come to your state to host such a lab, and this does not serve that end.

Northern Valley Beacon has an even more ominous international reason that politicians making pronouncements about science may severly cripple USA's universities.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous19:03

    " Were you all awake in science in high school???" Yes, were you? Anyone who passed biology knows that CO2 is essential for life. It is NOT a pollutant however PC that term may be.

    Perhaps you should replace some of your rant with a little research.

    One of the KEY points about the global warming scare is pointed out by Dr. John Christy, a lead author on the IPCC, and Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama--Huntsville: "Our ignorance about the climate system is enormous, and policy makers need to know that. This is an extremely complex system, and thinking we can control it is hubris. [THIS is the most important fact of the whole issue.]

    If you actually want to learn something about the debate, read this paper, written in laymen's terms, by Dr. Richard Lindzen [who also served on the IPCC] Professor of Atmaospheric Science at MIT.

    http://www.heartland.org/events/newyork09/pdfs/lindzen.pdf

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