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South Dakota legislators tell schools to teach ˜astrological explanation for global warming

By Climate Guest Contributor on February 25, 2010 at 5:51 pm

"South Dakota legislators tell schools to teach ˜astrological explanation for global warming"

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Last week, the South Dakota House of Representatives passed a resolution to “urge” public schools to teach astrology.  Brad Johnson has the amazing story in this Think Progress repost.

By a 36-30 vote, the legislators passed House Concurrent Resolution 1009, “Calling for balanced teaching of global warming in the public schools of South Dakota.” After repeating long-debunked denier myths and calling carbon dioxide “the gas of life,” the resolution concludes that public schools should teach that “global warming is a scientific theory rather than a proven fact“:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the House of Representatives of the Eighty-fifth Legislature of the State of South Dakota, the Senate concurring therein, that the South Dakota Legislature urges that instruction in the public schools relating to global warming include the following:

(1) That global warming is a scientific theory rather than a proven fact;
(2) That there are a variety of climatological, meteorological, astrological, thermological, cosmological, and ecological dynamics that can effect [sic] world weather phenomena and that the significance and interrelativity of these factors is largely speculative; and
(3) That the debate on global warming has subsumed political and philosophical viewpoints which have complicated and prejudiced the scientific investigation of global warming phenomena; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Legislature urges that all instruction on the theory of global warming be appropriate to the age and academic development of the student and to the prevailing classroom circumstances.

Yesterday, the South Dakota Senate passed by a vote of 18-17 an amended version of the resolution which eliminates most of the anti-science conspiracy theories, but still asserts that the “global warming debate” has “prejudiced the scientific investigation of global climatic change phenomena.” The amended version now “returns to the House for approval.” (HT: Thoughts From Kansas)

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45 Responses to South Dakota legislators tell schools to teach ˜astrological explanation for global warming

  1. Thermological?

    Thermology does exist, it turns out. It is the use of the infrared spectrum in medical imaging.

    Why don’t they repeal gravity while they are at it? Weightlessness would serve to make South Dakota especially attractive as a tourist destination.

  2. Lou Grinzo says:

    The stupid, it burns…

    http://plognark.com/?q=node/1129

    (The picture on that page is safe, but some of the text is “not safe for work”.)

  3. Seth Masia says:

    The Universal Law of Gravitation was promulgated by a religious nut named Isaac Newton, and not by Congress, so we’re not constitutionally obligated to obey it. Moreover its underlying principle has been challenged by a lot of foreigners led by Albert Einstein, so the science itself is in dispute. Of course, without gravity nothing would trickle down, so I guess its good for the economy.

  4. Leif says:

    It is times like this that secession of the tin hats from the Union makes sense. Maybe we won’t need there oil either. Think Bloom Box. Or some other technological break-thru. Most of there land will be to hot or dry for them to get into too much trouble by themselves. With no need to export power, there would be little economic base and all those coal plants can compost in peace.

  5. David B. Benson says:

    pi = 3, too.

  6. JVector says:

    I’m a Virgo and I live in South Dakota. This week I can expect to find success in the most unusual places, to feel bored but generally happy, and to see ocean levels rise into my basement near the Badlands.

    :-)

  7. dhogaza says:

    Well, they’re right about one thing … the astrological effects on climate *are* speculative!

  8. Leif says:

    JVector, #9: A quick GOOGLE search puts the elevation of the Badlands National Park at ~2,000 to 3,000 feet. Scientifically you look safe from sea level rise. However you are not off the hook for other types of climatic disruption.

  9. h20_nh says:

    Seriously, how is the US going to compete in the global economy when SD does things like this and Utah thinking about eliminating 12th grade to save $$??. It is so overwhelmingly depressing.

  10. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    If you had not posted the links I don’t think I would have believed it. They even quoted the Oregon Petition.

    And you wonder why I am a doomsayer.

  11. Jim S says:

    We’ll I’m not really surprised about this twist. Apart from the political emphasis to try and re-frame the actual science, most people don’t have a clue how science works. I teach astronomy and also teach energy and climate science too at the college level.

    I have to explicitly talk with my students about where scientific knowledge comes from. They simply don’t know and think it is more based upon opinion and/or authority.

    We’re paying big time for the science illiteracy and this is one sad example.

  12. Barry says:

    My math on the house vote:

    83% of GOP approved
    92% of DEM opposed

    Getting boring at this point…but yet another own goal for GOP long-term viability.

    Hey Republicans out there, do you really want your party to take all the political heat for generations to come if the climate science actually is 95% certain? Cause that is how it is playing out everywhere these days.

    Do you want the multi-generational story to be that the USA didn’t act on reducing climate pollution in time because Republicans everywhere locked ranks and fought against both the science and any substantive efforts limit to climate pollution?

  13. John Hollenberg says:

    Looks like another Scopes Trial in the making. I thought this stuff was settled back in 1925.

  14. dhogaza says:

    83% of GOP approved
    92% of DEM opposed

    Ahhh … so it has to be astrology done by Nancy Reagan’s astrologist …

  15. Daniel J. Andrews says:

    I thought the same thing Doomsayer (13). It was such a caricature of creationist legislation including the “just a theory” remark, I thought it was spoof from the Onion or some other such site.

  16. James Newberry says:

    Thank you to South Dakota for taking time to pass law (or hot air) that establishes a bunch of complete blithering idiots, thereby sanctifying demolition of our sacred biological sphere. To the bloggers too, for the first hardy laugh in a while.

    We seem to be further devolving toward a United States of Absurdism. What’s next, outlawing the economic definition of coal as an energy resource, since its a rock? I’m sure SD would vote to secede.

  17. Alan says:

    “…there are a variety of climatological, meteorological, astrological, thermological, cosmological, and ecological dynamics…”

    They left out their own favorite, “illogical.”

    (Sorry for the accidental Anonymous entry!)

  18. Gary says:

    This geezer has known for some time, most people are ecologically illiterate. Recently, I asked my favorite niece if she has been
    following “climate change.” Her reply….”why, should I? Uhmmmm,
    time for my nap.

  19. From Peru says:

    “(1) That global warming is a scientific theory rather than a proven fact”

    Exactly the same language used by CREATIONISTS about Evolution

    “(2)That there are a variety of climatological, meteorological, astrological, thermological, cosmological, and ecological dynamics that can effect [sic] world weather phenomena and that the significance and interrelativity of these factors is largely speculative”

    “Astrological”…It is this a joke?

    “3) That the debate on global warming has subsumed political and philosophical viewpoints which have complicated and prejudiced the scientific investigation of global warming phenomena”

    Surely a Communist-marxist-leninist conspiracy to destroy the so-called Free (capitalist) World…

    Being serious, all this is so GROTESQUE that seems a joke!

  20. Richard Brenne says:

    Here’s the South Dakota legislators’ (who voted for this) horoscope, in fact this (paraphrased from a long-ago Onion) is the horoscope of everyone of every sign who believes in astrology, for every day of their lives:

    “Certain shortcomings in your family and educational background lead you to believe that there is a relationship between the alignment of celestial bodies and your everyday life.”

  21. Tian says:

    I remember going through South Dakota on the freeway, many years ago. We stopped at Wall Drug, where they had free water. If I ever drive through that State again I’m going to make a point of not stopping at all, unless they change their minds and upgrade their perception of climate change to “it’s a reality.”

    Maybe I should also stop doing business with credit card companies that have South Dakota addresses….

  22. Stefan Min says:

    Don’t they read the Bible? I thought that the Old Testament advised strictly against astrologers. No, really.

  23. Megan Pillsbury says:

    And the moon is made of cheese!

  24. Chris Dudley says:

    It is fairly common for republicans to consult astrologers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mMdnxVUnc8 but apparently astrologers are also calling for a reduction in greenhouse gases: http://hogueprophecy.com/prophecy/droughtprophecy.htm so maybe there is room for common ground ;-)

  25. mark says:

    Is being profoundly stupid/ignorant a prerequisite to holding public office?

  26. dhogaza says:

    If only the Lakota had won …

  27. A Siegel says:

    Anti-Science Syndrome (A.S.S.) suffering Haters Of a Livable Economic System (H.O.L.E.S.)

    There might actually be value in the idiocy from Utah and South Dakota. At the end of the day, perhaps some (small) percentage will be embarassed enough that they will break away from this ignorance promoting activism. The LTE in the WASHPOST today, claiming how great Reagan was re the environment, could provide a taste of that … (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/25/AR2010022505952.html)

    Reagan understood that to be a true conservative, you also have to be a good steward — a fact that those who claim to be emulating him today seem to have forgotten. </blockquote

  28. dorlomin says:

    Blimey, I have been calling them astrologers over on the guardian for a few weeks now as a mickey take.

    This does take the biscuit.

  29. Michael Y says:

    I don’t know about climate change, but I think they have indeed proven that evolution does not take place in South Dakota.

  30. Barry says:

    “BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Legislature urges that all instruction on the theory of global warming be appropriate to the age and academic development of the legislators and to the prevailing pollution lobby circumstances.”

  31. mike roddy says:

    We obviously need to call the Surgeon General, since there is a medical emergency. Phosphorous from the wheat fields and mercury, SOx, and NOx from the local coal plants have entered South Dakotans’ brains. It’s impossible for Americans to be that dumb unless there were major toxilogical impacts.

    They need our sympathy, and so do the four great presidents looking down on this mess from Mount Rushmore.

  32. Youngdad says:

    This should be filed under “(unintentional) humor” as well. Though I can’t say it put me in a laughing mood.

  33. PurpleOzone says:

    I think this is horrifying rather than funny, although the legislators may make Keith Olbermann’s “Worst People in the World”.

    Questions: Who wrote this language? Who pushed for this nonsense?

  34. Alain Miville de Chêne says:

    We are all laughing, but I hail from Canada, and this kind of stuff is terrifying to us, not only because it exists but because it has been going on for so long that there is little hope for change.

    What are we to think of the most materially powerful nation on earth when we see that its state and federal legislatures are SERIOUSLY (no joke intended by these people) legislating inanities such as this. It is mainly because of the power exercised by these people that the US has been unable to lead on climate change and many other things.

    I understand that these legislators are there because there are people to vote for them. The amount of ignorance is staggering. It is an incredible failure of the education system and the media. This failure is a tragedy for the whole world.

  35. prokaryote says:

    I remember when i went to school and the moment when we had to learn that atoms are the tinyest parts of matter.

    I than told my teacher that there are quarks, which are smaller than atoms.
    My teacher told me i have to stop discussing this and stick to the school book.

  36. Ominous Clouds Overhead says:

    What stupidicy…I mean, stupoideacy…idiocitie…oh, nevermind…

    -Educated in the Good Ole US of A

  37. jon says:

    This should be of interest, but not necessarily pertinent to this post, but what about this article from msnbc’s web site today about ice burg b9b, the size of Luxembourg:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35600197/ns/us_news-environment/

    and here is another link from NYDaily News with a comparative photo:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2010/02/26/2010-02-26_b9b_iceberg_the_size_of_luxembourg_strikes_antarctica_shaves_off_new_iceberg_fro.html

    May have to copy and paste this one but the photos from each are suggestive.
    Cool man, I rather think I’ll check out another google search of this.

  38. jon says:

    Neat, here is on with 3 pictures of different positions of b9b.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124129026

  39. K.A. Mandia says:

    L.I.A.R.S.: Legislators Intent on Avoiding Real Science.

  40. prokaryote says:

    Latest Sarah Palin Speech Opens Sixth Seal
    http://bit.ly/csvYsM

  41. Michael Thomas says:

    Most of you are dumber than a bag of rocks, this warming trend is a cycle and has nothing to do with us, we have been tracking temps since the 1700′s BEFORE fossel fuels and it has been rising since then, it will rise and fall,just like seasons but a little longer, WE CAN NOT STOP IT….., nor can we slow it down, its about time somebody started telling the truth,and its funny because over 80% of YOU who have left a comment have never even read the so-called reports your just going to believe what big brother tells you like good sheep, I am NO sheep,I research things so that way I know and dont look stupid, so keep listening to Al Gore and the other dumbasses……..

  42. 44. Michael Thomas

    Any chance you might change your moniker? I know a “Michael Thomas” and he’s actually a seriously smart fellow; so obviously not you. But it is very disquieting seeing his name associated with such silly, ranting nonsense.

    One of the things you might consider researching is basic English grammar, so that your posts don’t look like a 3rd grader’s screed.

    Also, if the only thing you can imagine doing here is calling people names, then you ought to understand that you’ve absolutely no skill at that, which in turn (when coupled with your inability to compose intelligible sentences) does not exactly impress people here with your intelligence.

    Well, not positively impress, anyway …