A sad education story just unfolded in New Mexico. The New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) tried to bring a tiny bit of balance to state-wide climate change instruction. They proposed modifying the pending Next Generation Science Standards, to include looking at natural climate variability instead of supposedly human caused (and presumably dangerous) global warming. They failed.
The reason for failure looks to be push back organized by the infamous National Center for Science Education or NCSE which actively promotes climate alarmism at the state level.
As soon as the PED proposal hit the streets in September it was attacked by Mother Jones (I am not making this up). This left-wing publication featured quotes from Glenn Branch, the deputy director of the NCSE. Subsequent stories from other newsies and Mother Jones continue to quote Branch.
PED then held a public hearing on its proposal, which was mobbed by alarmist protestors. There was also an organized demonstration outside PED headquarters, featuring lots of well made signs promoting climate alarmism and renewable energy. This was an organized demonstration for alarmism, not a public outcry, as it was falsely reported.
This was all carefully organized and it worked. PED caved in and dropped its proposed changes. Not surprisingly, Glenn Branch was widely quoted in the congratulatory left wing press articles that followed. We have done better in West Virginia.
There is of course no connection between the evolution controversy and the climate change debate. Nothing important turns on how one views evolution, but the climate change scare is all about world domination.
NCSE tries to gloss over this fundamental difference, pretending that this is just about science education. Nothing could be further from the truth. Creationism is interesting at best but climate change skepticism is a fight for survival.
How our public education system handles the climate change debate is extremely important. I have already talked about how the Next Generation Science Standards handle climate instruction in middle school and high school. There are both dangers and opportunities here.
More deeply it is not just about State standards, although these are important. Standards require curricula, which then require lesson plans and instructional material, which ultimately lead to what happens in the classroom. Climate alarmism is active at all of these stages and skepticism must be as well. Many teachers, parents and students are skeptical of alarmism, but they need our support.
In fact in many ways the Standards are irrelevant, compared to the classroom. These State level contests are mostly symbolic. What counts most is what is actually taught and this is not a simple up or down State level matter. The classroom is ground zero.
The Next Generation Standards are just coming into play across the country, with New Mexico being the 19th State to adopt them. Now is the time to join the fight for teaching sound climate science instead of stupid alarmism. Our children deserve to learn climate science as it is, not as political activists like NCSE want it to be. We can still win in New Mexico.