"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Climate Change Deniers in US Schools

My last post here was on the education of our children - I called for the need to help them develop into decent citizens equipped with a spiritual literacy, and properly prepared to accept  responsible and fulfilling roles in the world.
Now I have found some disturbing news from America on the teaching of science. There has been a long running saga over whether or not Creationism should be taught in schools as an acceptable theory, as against evolution. Now there is a further twist. Apparently according to New Scientist the Oklahoma House of Representatives has moved closer to approving a bill that some fear will allow for the teaching not only of creationism but also of climate change denial in the classroom.
Now this is worrying indeed. The science behind climate change and man's contribution to global warming is just about indisputable now. The implications for our children and grandchildren are potentially serious. If children are brought up to share a cynicism and skepticism with their elders about climate change what hope is there to make any real moves towards more sustainable living in a country whose ecological footprint is something like twice that of Europe per capita.
Not that Europeans can afford to be complacent either. It already takes Earth something like eighteen months to replenish the resources we use globally in a year. If everyone shared our levels of consumption in the West, we would need somewhere between three to five planets like Earth to sustain us. Commonsense tells us that the figures simply do not add up. Our behaviour is totally unsustainable in the long term.
We can all see the violent natural disasters for ourselves, and observe that the poorest amongst us suffer the most for the damage caused when houses collapse or are washed or blown away, livestock drowns or starves to death, disease spreads through stricken areas. I know many would love to believe that the earth will always be able to sustain the profligate Western lifestyle as it spreads across the whole world.
But Earth has finite resources and is groaning.
Personal prejudices should not be allowed to stand in the way of teaching good science. 

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