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Coal Oligarchs Censoring Science In Wyoming

By The Reverend Published: May 9, 2014

This caught my attention this morning.....

The Wyoming Board of Education decided recently that the Next Generation Science Standards need more review after questions were raised about the treatment of man-made global warming.

The state of Wyoming is coal country, supplying 40% of of the total amount of coal burned in power plants around the country. Coal is the dirtiest fuel in the energy production industry.....contributing greatly to the dangers we now face with global climate change.

But just like with evolution, conservatives in Wyoming reject the scientific findings connecting the burning of fossil fuels with climate change. Naturally, as with most of the larger challenges facing America today, the profits of the few are much more important than the lives of the many.....and that explains why Wyoming state leaders are pushing back against the newest national Science Standards.

"Teach your children well" in 2014 Wyoming means shielding K-12 students from the scientific consensus over climate change. That way, Wyoming children can grow up learning to be suspicious of science and the scientific method. So, how extreme are these new Science Standards?

The standards for high school assert that models predict human activity is contributing to climate change, but leave an "appropriate amount of uncertainty" and note that it's important to factor in costs, reliability and other issues when considering global warming solutions, he said.

Even with the inclusion of an "appropriate amount of uncertainty" in the portion of the Standards dealing with teaching students about climate.....Republican leaders in the state are not satisfied....

"I think those concepts should be taught in science; I just think they should be taught as theory and not as scientific fact," state Rep. Matt Teeters, R-Lingle, said.

See? Just like evolution.

Now, isn't it the case that what the U.S. regularly falls short in, especially as compared to many Asian science graduates? Do you think that censoring Science Standards for K-12 Wyoming students over what Republicans in the state call "theories" of climate change will help, or hurt, America's chances to close the gap with other nation's science graduates?

Should states be able to determine, based on the profit motives of a few very rich industrialists, the education curriculum for all children in any given state? I mean, "states rights", right? Shouldn't we have 50 individual states practicing whatever governance they so desire in our "laboratories of democracy"? And wouldn't that include educating state children any darn way state leaders desired? Freedom, right?

Further, because the rich few in any given state are much more valuable to a state than middle-income scientists, shouldn't those rich few determine what parts of science are acceptable for students to learn, and which parts aren't? The rich few are the "successful" in any given state, according to popular conservative lore, and doesn't every American want their children to grow up to be "successful?"

There are many leading indicators that point to the fragmentation of the U.S.A. Wyoming's attempt to censor science is but one. There are many more the Wisconsin Tea Party's serious attempt to put a secession referendum vote on the ballot in the state.

All of these alleged controversial and divisive issues are taking a toll on the American people. We're into the 6th year of a conservative meltdown over the election of a Democratic president who happens to be black....with the promise of even a wilder time over the next two years.

Point being that Americans are taking sides in an emotional way like I haven't seen since Vietnam. That is the other thing I noticed yesterday in my reading of comments on left and right blog sites. The bitterness is becoming palpable.

Progressive commenters are saying that they simply "hate Republicans"....and conservative commenters feel the same way about Democrats. The contempt with which one group holds the other, I think, is quite alarming.

These alarming conditions of polarization....all sides must come to exactly what rich industrialists, like those pushing to censor Science Standards in Wyoming, are after. While average citizens are fighting passionately amongst themselves, never agreeing while constantly pitting state against state, we can never become united as We the People to rein in the ever-increasing control of all things by the rich few.

To rich and politically dominant oligarchs, conservatives hating progressives and progressives hating conservatives is a feature, not a bug. The only time in our nation's history when the rich few didn't hold full sway over our national decision making process was when ALL citizens were united as one. Yes, those times were few and far between...but those few times prove it can be done.

Can We the People ever stand united as one again outside of militarily attacking other countries? I'm not sure. What I'm sure of is that the alternative, if we don't unite as one against oligarch control of our democracy, will be disastrous.



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