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posted by LaminatorX on Friday May 16 2014, @03:49AM   Printer-friendly
from the Head-in-the-Tar-Sands dept.

Time Magazine reports that Wyoming, the nation's top coal-producing state, has become the first state to reject new K-12 science standards proposed by national education groups mainly because of global warming components. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are a set of science standards developed by leading scientists and science educators from 26 states and built on a framework developed by the National Academy of Sciences. The Wyoming science standards revision committee made up entirely of Wyoming educators unanimously recommended adoption of these standards to the state Board of Education not once but twice and twelve states have already adopted the standards since they were released in April 2013. But opponents argue the standards incorrectly assert that man-made emissions are the main cause of global warming and shouldn't be taught in a state that ranks first among all states in coal production, fifth in natural gas production and eighth in crude oil production deriving much of its school funding from the energy industry. Amy Edmonds, of the Wyoming Liberty Group, says teaching "one view of what is not settled science about global warming" is just one of a number of problems with the standards. "I think Wyoming can do far better." Wyoming Governor Matt Mead has called federal efforts to curtail greenhouse emissions a "war on coal" and has said that he's skeptical about man-made climate change.

Supporters of the NGSS say science standards for Wyoming schools haven't been updated since 2003 and are six years overdue. "If you want the best science education for your children and grandchildren and you don't want any group to speak for you, then make yourselves heard loud and clear," says Cate Cabot. "Otherwise you will watch the best interests of Wyoming students get washed away in the hysteria of a small anti-science minority driven by a national right wing group "and political manipulation."

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  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Friday May 16 2014, @03:05PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Friday May 16 2014, @03:05PM (#44217) Journal

    Are quite interesting because it signals they are aware how close we are to the tipping point with renewable energy. The price per watt of solar has been plummeting the last 10 years and in some places are approaching grid parity. One source [] I've seen priced out how much people in various states would save over 20 years if they switched over to solar now. That means that utilities are about to see a massive reversal in their traditional business model, whereby the thing which made them a natural monopoly, their infrastructure, will transform into an albatross around their necks. It costs a lot of money to keep the power infrastructure up, and they spend as little money as possible on it. When enough customers unplug it means the grid will quickly suck away all the power companies' profits. Big Oil isn't as threatened by this yet because they figure people will be driving ICEs for a long time yet. But they too should see the writing on the wall as more and more major car companies add EVs to their lineups. I know that as soon as Tesla offers its mass-market model or Honda comes out with an EV version of what I drive now (with decent range, that is), I will jump.

    But Big Coal is feeling the pinch now, especially in big markets like California. New York, too, is making a lot of progress, especially with wind power. So we'll be seeing more stories like this in the next few years.

    It is too little, too late, though. Blocking discussion of Global Warming in Wyoming textbooks is not going to delay the end of fossil fuel companies. It may accelerate it, in an energy version of the Streisand Effect. The more Big Coal/Oil/Gas companies fight renewables and climate change, the more people think about renewables and climate change and the more of those will ask themselves, why not switch to renewables?

    Washington DC delenda est.
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  • (Score: 1) by hoochiecoochieman on Friday May 16 2014, @04:47PM

    by hoochiecoochieman (4158) on Friday May 16 2014, @04:47PM (#44275)

    Don't worry, they will just lobby the politicians to subsidise coal "to save jobs!". And push to illegalise solar panels or tax them to hell based on some stupid thing like "they look ugly on roofs" or "they project shade on the ground below them, tax the shade".

  • (Score: 2) by emg on Friday May 16 2014, @05:25PM

    by emg (3464) on Friday May 16 2014, @05:25PM (#44300)

    Wow. I remember when coal miners were left-wing Heroes Of The Glorious Revolution. When did they get tossed under the bus?