Think its just an early spring? Think again. Spring is so early this time that the Niagara Falls boat tours will open 3 weeks early this year due to unprecedented warm temperatures and ice-free conditions on Lake Erie and Niagara River! But obviously climate change is not clear to all and some sectors of corporate America still likes to call climate change a “theory” despite hard data over the years that our planet is warming up. Now the deniers and skeptics are taking it one step further by altering curriculum in schools to present climate change science as a “possibility” or “theory” only. You know, just like “evolution”.
On Monday, the Tennessee state legislature passed legislation that requires public schools to teach the “controversy” over evolution, global warming, and human cloning:
The Senate voted 24-8 for HB368, which sponsor Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, says will provide guidelines for teachers answering students’ questions about evolution, global warming and other scientific subjects.Critics call it a “monkey bill” that promotes creationism in classrooms.
In 1925, Tennessee was the home of the Scopes monkey trial, where local jurors upheld the conviction of a biology teacher for teaching evolution in his classroom, tarring the reputation of the state. Climate denial legislation has become widespread across the United States, in part due to the efforts of the corporate-funded right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council.
The text of HB368 / SB893, sponsored by Rep. Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville) and Sen. Bo Watson (R-Hixson), requires all administrators and educators to work to teach “scientific subjects” such as “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning” as “scientific controversies“:
The teaching of some scientific subjects, including, but not limited to, biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning, can cause controversy . . . The state board of education, public elementary and secondary school governing authorities, directors of schools, school system administrators, and public elementary and secondary school principals and administrators shall endeavor to assist teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses scientific controversies.
Would you let corporations decide how climate science gets taught in your kids’ classroom? That is exactly what is happening—Tennessee just became the 4th state to pass corporation-written laws dictating how global warming is taught in public schools. And they did it with ALEC. ALEC may be little known at this point, despite being one of the targets of recent Occupy Wall Street protests, but it is already influencing just about every sphere of our lives.
“Through the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state laws that govern your rights. These so-called “model bills” reach into almost every area of American life and often directly benefit huge corporations.” In other words, it’s a pay-to-play regime that allows corporations to draft ‘model bills’ that go directly into the hands of sympathetic policymakers, who can then adopt them for actual legislation.
Tennessee joins three other states to implement this legislation – Louisiana, Texas, and South Dakota.
image via ‘From Poverty to Power Blog’