West Virginia state board of education members have added climate change denial to the state's science standards, overriding the scientists, educators, and state education leaders who drafted Next Generation Science Standards. Concerned citizens must contact the board (email the superintendent or call the department of education to leave a comment) and the governor now, sign a petition opposing these misguided edits (and register below for action alerts), and plan to attend and testify at the public hearing on Wednesday, January 14. There is still time to reverse these changes.
Wade Linger, the West Virginia board of education member who proposed climate change-denying revisions to state science standards. Sign up below for action alerts about this issue.
State board of education members, appointed by the governor, have moved to revise the standards and cast doubt on the science of climate change. The resulting standards will guide teachers, textbook authors, and standardized test-writers for years to come.
One change replaces a reference to the rise in global temperatures over the last century with a claim about the "rise and fall." Wade Linger, the member who proposed the change, argued that the original language was flawed because it "presupposes that global temperatures have risen over the past century, and, of course, there’s debate about that." The assessment of climate science by the scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that evidence for a rise in temperatures over the 20th century was "unequivocal."
Other changes require students to assess the "creditability" [sic] of climate models, and call on students to debate whether natural causes are enough to explain climate change (the scientific community, and broad assessments by the IPCC and the US government, have long concluded that the change cannot be explained by natural forces alone).
West Virginians must act immediately to urge policymakers to reverse these inaccurate changes. contact the board (email the superintendent or call the department of education to leave a comment) and the governor now, sign a petition opposing these misguided edits (and register below for action alerts), and plan to attend and testify at the public hearing on Wednesday, January 14.
Tell them that climate science is an essential part of what every citizen of the 21st century will need to understand, and politicizing the science does not serve the needs of students, science, or the state. Urge them to reverse these inaccurate and misleading revisions.
Sign up for action alerts about this incident and other such attacks on science in West Virginia.