November 10, 2007

DAWG Classes in Colorado Schools

While JK's comment posits that the forces of DAWG are losing momentum in the scientific community, the movement is clearly in ascendency in the realm of popular culture and consequently, politics. To wit: Colorado's newly minted Governor announced his bold new "Climate Action Plan."

"Climate change is our generation's greatest environmental challenge," Gov. Ritter said. "It threatens our economy, our Western way of life and our future. It will change every facet of our existence, and unless we address it and adapt to it, the results will be catastrophic for generations to come."

This "catastrophic" threat to "every facet of our existence" sounds serious - almost as frightening as the gratuitous worldwide use of the hazardous compound dihydrogen monoxide.

A critical component of the governor's plan is to ensure that "the youngest generation" drinks the Kool-Aid. From page 25:

I. CLIMATE EDUCATION AND THE NEW ENERGY ECONOMY

“If we fail to educate the youngest generation in the ways of sustainability, then we will truly fail as a whole.” U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson

Education about the choices we can make as citizens and as consumers is a primary ingredient in our individual and collective ability to successfully limit human contribution to climate change. People want to do the right thing — but they must be provided the
right information and means for doing so. Education will also be key to training Colorado’s workforce to meet the challenges and expectations of the New Energy Economy.

Climate curricula. The state will work through the Governor’s P-20 Education Council and others to make sustainability curricula become standard fare in K-12 classrooms throughout the state. Today’s students will be living in a warmer climate resulting from the activities of previous generations. They need to understand the science of climate change, what its impacts will be on their lives, and how to critically evaluate the steps needed to reach our 2020 and 2050 emission reduction goals. Students will also need academic and technical skills to be ready for jobs in the New Energy Economy.

Best practices already in use, such as in the Poudre Valley School District in northern Colorado, will be featured through state web-based communications. A “Best in Education” category will be highlighted in the Governor’s Annual Excellence in Sustainability Awards program.

(Underlining for emphasis is mine.)

First, what does "sustainability" have to do with climate change? Which elements of this broad environmentalist mantra will be championed to "successfully limit human contribution to climate change?"

Secondly, why is it a good idea to teach students to "critically evaluate the steps needed to reach our (...) emission reduction goals" but not to teach them to critically evaulate the science of climate change?

I plan to write the esteemed governor and ask him how he justifies instruction in selectively applied reason in our publicly funded schools.

Deleterious Anthropogenic Warming of the Globe Posted by JohnGalt at November 10, 2007 10:36 AM

You're always there to dash the faintest glimmers of my optimism, jg -- thanks.

This time I have to agree. This will be just like recycling. It will live on by being inculcated in our youth. Sad but true. We live in a bona fide blue state now, with all privileges thereunto appertaining and all that.

Posted by: jk at November 10, 2007 12:58 PM | What do you think? [1]