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The Dark Ages return: Texas Board of Education rewrites the Enlightenment

By Joe Romm on March 14, 2010 at 9:35 am

"The Dark Ages return: Texas Board of Education rewrites the Enlightenment"

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Another vote, another win for the conservative majority on Texas’ State Board of Education.

Science is in a street fight with anti-science, as Nature has argued.  Now the forces of the dark ages are taking on the Enlightenment itself.

As the NYT reported, “Last year, the Texas Board of Education adopted language requiring that teachers present all sides of the evidence on evolution and global warming” (see How ultraconservative Texans are rewriting your kids’ textbooks and bringing global-warming denial into science class).

The Texas Board of Education wants dumber kids.

Thursday, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported:

Ken Mercer, a member of the State Board of Education, wants Texas students to know about both the good and the bad that government can offer, he said Thursday.

So, he introduced an amendment to state social studies curriculum standards that said: “understand how government taxation and regulations can serve as restriction to private enterprise.”

He said the students need to know that over-regulation and over-taxation can inhibit innovation and stifle industry.

His fellow member, Terri Leo, agreed. She said it’s especially important today, with issues like cap-and-trade and “policies that are based on supposed global warming theories.”

Kids don’t need to know the harm pollution can cause, of course, just the “harm” from  efforts to stop pollution.  No need to point out, say, that a U.S. study found, “Closing coal-fired power plants can have a direct, positive impact on children’s cognitive development and health” (See “If you want smarter kids, shut coal plants“).

thomas-jefferson-big copyAnd then Friday, the Texas Freedom Network reported:

… the board stripped Thomas Jefferson from a world history standard about the influence of Enlightenment thinkers on political revolutions from the 1700s to today. In Jefferson’s place, the board’s religious conservatives succeeded in inserting Thomas Aquinas and John Calvin. They also removed the reference to ‘Enlightenment ideas’ in the standard, requiring that students should simply learn about the influence of the ‘writings’ of various thinkers (including Calvin and Aquinas).”

Hey, let’s just stop teaching “reason” and “thinking” entirely.  It  really just leads to our kids asking annoying questions and learning stuff.  Very dangerous.

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32 Responses to The Dark Ages return: Texas Board of Education rewrites the Enlightenment

  1. Turboblocke says:

    International competitiveness is not enhanced by having an uneducated population. If the US conservatives succeed in dumbimg down your children, then they will inadvertently provide a solution to US CO2 emissions in about 20 years when the US economy crashes.

  2. peter whitehead says:

    THe age of reason is coming to an end – it was a blip in the irrational history of humanity. Soon only twaddle will be taught and everyone’s opinion will be of equal value. I suggest we tell people that it is our opinion they should put water in the fuel tank of their SUV – after all our opinion is as good as some junped-up car manufacturer. Anyway, how can someone who doesn’t accept evolution use FOSSIL fuel? (Is twaddle a word used in the USA? It’s a nice British word, at least)

  3. Carl says:

    Warning, warning, Will Robinson …. it is my hope that the “only” state that uses these textbooks is Texass. This way we will never again as a nation need to concern ourselves with hiring anyone that sends along a resume that they attended school in Texass. It shouldn’t take more than 15- to 20-years to see the state turn into an African Savanna.

  4. dhogaza says:

    it is my hope that the “only” state that uses these textbooks is Texas.

    The problem is that the Texas market is huge and the Board approves textbooks for the entire state. They’re not just recommendations, but edicts.

    So textbook makers are loath to make a separate edition just for Texas, yet the market’s large enough that they don’t want to drop it. Thus Texas impacts what many kids are taught elsewhere.

  5. Joe Stepansky says:

    I understand the business aspect, but California and New York are also large states.

    The other point for me is that someone can actually be a member of the Texas State Board of Education and utter the following “…supposed global warming theories.” Does she not understand the concept of a scientific theory? (I’ll just answer that…no). Does she not understand that the globe is actually warming? How do these people get there?

    Should these textbooks gain wide adoption, these people are effectively giving the US a death sentence. That’s not hyperbole, that’s not wild-eyed thinking, that’s simple reality. The Chinese and Indians are sitting back, laughing, and simply keeping on their course, knowing this folly’s ultimate conclusion.

    Let’s toss out the notion that these people are “conservative”, shall we? They want a theocratic state, with THEIR theocracy at the helm. And there aren’t enough (either in numbers or volume) alternative voices speaking out against this threat to our future economic wellbeing.

    What time does “American Idol” come on?

  6. The Wonderer says:

    I just can’t believe we are letting some morons in the state of Texas dictate what the rest of the country learns. Surely, in this day and age, a group of enlightened educators with proper material support can devise a set of textbooks that are superior to the crap being proffered in the southern republic and elsewhere. Then we need pro-enlightenment organizations to step up and make sure the texts are offered universally at reasonable prices, for organizations and parents that are interested in producing outstanding students. The marketplace will take care of the rest.

  7. Jeff Huggins says:

    What Some People Don’t Seem To Realize (and It’s Important)

    There is a problem with rejecting reason, facts, scientific understanding, and responsible action.

    The consequence of doing so is NOT a convenient (to some) preservation of the “status quo” that can go on forever.

    Instead, the ultimate (and I would say nearly inevitable) consequences of doing so involve conflict, war, immense stress, harm, destruction … how many other terms shall I add?

    Why?

    Because many of these problems DO matter, of course, in very real ways to people’s lives.

    You can’t “ignore” global warming, and persist in doing the things that cause it, if it causes growing harms to tens and hundreds of millions of people around the world, and if it causes harms and/or deep concerns to huge chunks of the population within the U.S. itself. That approach and pathway just won’t work. Period. What more can be said?

    I don’t think that many of the “deniers” realize this. Do they actually think that denialism and confusion will “reign” and “prevail” on an ongoing basis, and that changes can be avoided? If so, they’re not thinking very well. Indeed, they are just digging larger and larger “holes” for themselves in all sorts of senses, figuratively speaking of course, including in terms of credibility and “legacy”.

    In any case, this “denialism” has very real consequences that go far beyond just a “war of ideas” in the media.

    Sigh,

    Jeff

  8. “… requiring that students should simply learn about the influence of the ‘writings’ of various thinkers (including Calvin and Aquinas).”

    Is that a typo or something? Surely they meant Calvin and Hobbes?

  9. Anne says:

    Some of us are willing to take this on as a full time or part-time project — but it would need to be supported. In this day of ‘green jobs’ mania and policy myopia, in a downturned economy, who can and will step up to underwrite this very urgent need to stop this textbook madness!!?????

  10. Jeff Huggins says:

    Huckabee, Dolphins, Glenn Beck, and Nazis?

    Oh my gosh.

    Between watching a couple basketball games over the last couple days, I had to channel surf to figure out where they were.

    In doing so, I came across Huckabee talking about what some people are doing to dolphins as well as Glenn Beck trying to lecture people about history. All brought to us courtesy of Rupert Murdoch and the people at NewsCorp.

    Now, these are two different issues. I’m not trying to suggest a connection between dolphins and Nazis – although who knows what Glenn Beck will come up with next.

    But, here are some thoughts that relate to denialism, to the present thread, and to the muck that we have in the media.

    Huckabee’s show was correctly expressing justifiable concern about what we (humans) sometimes do to dolphins. I agree with those concerns and that problem. On that issue, I’m on the dolphins’ side. As far as that problem goes, I agree with what I think I heard expressed on Huckabee’s show.

    But, what is Huckabee’s view on global warming and whether we humans should face and address that problem? After all, his show expresses concern about some Japanese people/industries/practices (and some in the U.S. and elsewhere) that, for example, put dolphins into small tanks, which naturally causes them stress because they are normally traveling beings and their main sense involves sound. (It’s probably no fun being in a small tank if all you can hear are echoes of yourself and also loud sounds that you can’t understand.)

    Yet, in comparison, is he (or his viewers) not concerned about what global warming will do to millions and millions of people? Is he concerned about what some Japanese organizations do to dolphins but not about what our entire approach to energy is going to do to hundreds of millions of people, and many other species, if we don’t change that approach?

    And now for Beck: As far as I could tell, Glenn Beck was trying to lecture people about history and was comparing (in consequential ways) “progressives” in America to Nazis. In essence, he was saying and implying that the “progressive” movement in America today, and progressive people, are harmful to America and indeed dangerous and, in important ways, like (what he sees as) the infiltration of Nazi movements into America in the early 1900s.

    I couldn’t watch for more than ten minutes. My intellectual curiosity to understand the “Glenn Beck psychology” could not outweigh my discomfort with what he was saying and the idea that many people were actually watching him say it.

    Some people need to “challenge” (intellectually, morally, politically, and practically) Rupert Murdoch on these sorts of things. The stars participating on NewsCorp shows should say “enough!” by now and quit if NewsCorp doesn’t become more sane, honest, and responsible. Advertisers on NewsCorp shows should stop their advertising at this point, if they want me to buy any of their products. Here, I’m talking about ALL NewsCorp news and entertainment products.

    Be Well, (if you can manage to do so these days),

    Jeff

  11. Larry Gilman says:

    “The marketplace will take care of the rest.”

    This IS the marketplace. These schmoes on the Texas Board of Education define the demand and the textbook manufacturers provide the supply. (I don’t know if “schmoe” is current in British English: we can take up their “twaddle” and they can have our “schmoe,” to the benefit of both. Anyone for a dose of “codswallop”?) If the Board wanted truth rather than ignorance, the book-makers would be glad to supply it. A shortage of enlightened books is not causing intellectual nightfall in Texas and elsewhere, but the other way around, alas, alas.

    The following superb, albeit somewhat depressing, comment appears in George Eliot’s novel _Daniel Deronda_ (thank you again, England), and goes right to the whole climate “skepticism” problem, and creationism too:

    It is a common sentence that Knowledge is power; but who hath duly
    Considered or set forth the power of Ignorance? Knowledge slowly
    builds up what Ignorance in an hour pulls down. Knowledge, through
    patient and frugal centuries, enlarges discovery and makes record of
    it; Ignorance, wanting its day’s dinner, lights a fire with the
    record, and gives a flavor to its one roast with the burned souls of
    many generations. Knowledge, instructing the sense, refining and
    multiplying needs, transforms itself into skill and makes life various
    with a new six days’ work; comes Ignorance drunk on the seventh, with
    a firkin of oil and a match and an easy “Let there not be,” and the
    many-colored creation is shriveled up in blackness. Of a truth,
    Knowledge is power, but it is a power reined by scruple, having a
    conscience of what must be and what may be; whereas Ignorance is a
    blind giant who, let him but wax unbound, would make it a sport to
    seize the pillars that hold up the long-wrought fabric of human good,
    and turn all the places of joy dark as a buried Babylon.

    And then there’s the horror of Ignorance ARMED by Knowledge, as with the creatures who drive US drone aircraft by remote control over Pakistan and Afghanistan, killing ~10X as many civilians as “enemy” (http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2009/0714_targeted_killings_byman.aspx?p=1). Sorry, off topic.

    Or is it? At least the nutso right has not begun assassinating evolutionary biologists and climatologists. But given the list of evils which they attribute to those professions, it’s something of a wonder.

  12. mike roddy says:

    Those “conservatives” on the Texas Board don’t want multiple opinions about reality, they want to impose their own. The next step will be for textbooks to ridicule global warming and evolution.

    People like us will laugh at them, but they are stronger than we realize. Check out the Comments sections of Wattsupwiththat or Dot Earth, two of the most popular climate blogs.

    Even places like Southern California and Colorado have enormous fundamentalist populations. These people are politically savvy and relentless, and really don’t care how their actions affect our competitiveness. They think they are going to be whooshed up to Heaven anyway when Armageddon hits, and are walking around with smug smiles, viewing their opponents as future barbeque meat for Satan.

    It’s not as if kinky fantasists usually dwell on the margins. Look at the Inquisition, 20th century fascism, or even the crazed precursors of today’s Chinese leadership. We don’t know yet if liberal democracy and freedom of ideas will end up triumphing. What we do know is that if it doesn’t, climate Armageddon will be upon us, and that the human experiment not only failed, it took all life down with it.

  13. Catchblue22 says:

    In watching the gradual intellectual, social, and economic decay occurring in America right now, I have struggled to find an explanation for it. Why are we as a society gradually slipping into a state of apathy, of short sighted selfishness? Why does the general population seem to be disengaging from rational discussion? Why are so many willing to adopt absurd opinions as facts, to pick their own comfortable worldview from a “market” of other world views?

    I am beginning to think that a root cause of this problem is our abandonment of classical education, specifically education about the Greek and Roman origins of our Western culture. The ethos of ancient Greece is infused throughout our culture. Universities themselves are modelled on Greek modes of thought. The very idea of free and rational debate originates from Greek thinkers. The idea of Science was largely invented by Aristotle. At the heart of Greek culture was a belief that it was noble and good to seek the Truth through logic and reason. It was acknowledged, especially by thinkers such as Socrates, that humans would likely never find the Truth, that we are too limited to fully comprehend the Truth. The motive for seeking this Truth was not monetary. The Truth was not a means to an end, to improve the material well being of society. It was a moral, a spiritual value. One sought the Truth for its own sake, and one sought it through logic and reason.

    Many, probably most of those reading boards like this are well educated. In going though our education, we have insensibly had the ethos of finding Truth inculcated upon us. We may not have been explicitly told that we were thinking like the Greeks, but we do think like them. This is not true for many in America, most especially those educated in a theocratic system. Children raised this way seek Truth primarily through the bible. And if logic and reason conflict with the bible, then logic and reason are suspect and should be discarded. In our relativistic society, citizens try on various world views and keep the one that is most comfortable.

    I have recently begun reading classic literature. Homer (Iliad and Odyssey). Plato. Aristotle. Sophocles. Hesiod. A good survey of our Greek origins is “Who Killed Homer” Hanson and Heath. I honestly think that some of these books should be taught in our schools.

    In summary, I would argue that if we do not understand our Greek origins, then logic and reason become just another relativistic worldview that can be discarded at our leisure. I believe that the current state of our society is evidence of this. If we do not remember why it is important to use reason and logic, then I do fear we are headed for another Dark Age.

  14. The Wonderer says:

    OK, my comment about the marketplace was somewhat flippant, but I really don’t understand how on one hand Texas supposedly defines how textbooks are written yet better books are readily available. Are other juristictions just too lazy to pick an alternative?

    I also recognize that for profit companies are making a killing on textbooks. In this day and age, it is hard for me to understand why excellent pro-enlightenment textbooks can’t be put into the fray from a non-for-profit company at reasonable prices, and then advocates can press for the better alternatives district-by-district and state-by-state. And yes, ultimately, more enlightened, better students, will perform better in many of their fields of endeavor, and will compete better in the global marketplace.

  15. dhogaza says:

    OK, my comment about the marketplace was somewhat flippant, but I really don’t understand how on one hand Texas supposedly defines how textbooks are written yet better books are readily available. Are other juristictions just too lazy to pick an alternative?

    There are only four major textbook publishers left in the country, IIRC.

    Not all states have “adoption lists” (which define which textbooks individual districts can buy). So the market’s even more fragmented and dominated by the three biggest “adoption list” states (CA,TX,FL) than you might think.

    I don’t know what’s happening in CA or FL, I’d expect FL to not be terribly horrified by textbooks adopted by TX, and I don’t get the impression that adoption is so politically driven by CA.

    I also recognize that for profit companies are making a killing on textbooks. In this day and age, it is hard for me to understand why excellent pro-enlightenment textbooks can’t be put into the fray from a non-for-profit company at reasonable prices

    In the United States that would lose you your not-for-profit status.

  16. climateprogressive says:

    To someone in the UK – this is horrific – albeit not surprising.

    #9 – Anne – I’d willingly spend the rest of my life dedicated to this cause, if it covered the roof over my head and the odd beer or two!

    Whatever happened to curiosity? It has been a gift that has driven my entire life. Sometimes, when it’s outside of your specialisation, you have to delegate, but we’re all driven by the same “wanting to find out” mantra! This, importantly, places conclusion in prime position, and ideology @ the rear of the queue!

    So, what can we do?

  17. Al says:

    From Prof. Steve Jones’ “The Single Helix”:
    “I have had for many years, albeit without formal training in the subject, a deep interest in the design of large passenger aircraft. Sad to say, because of the blind prejudice of the aviation establishment not one of my prototypes has yet been built. Without giving too much away, I know, as a biologist, that feathers are the best way into the air; and, provided with enough cash by a rich bird fancier, I would be happy to educate a new generation of engineers to believe in my ideas – or, in all fairness, at least to afford them the same weight as the now-controversial Boeing Theory.”

    Although he’s discussing evolution, the mindset’s no different for AGW, is it?

  18. richard pauli says:

    Shocking but not surprising.

    As more palpable and painful AGW events unfold, they will me matched by increasingly strident and insane denialism.

  19. Sou says:

    I went to the Board of Education site and found a document titled: “Proposed Revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 113, Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Social Studies, Subchapter B, Middle School”

    http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/teks/social/MS_TEKS_amended.pdf

    The pdf document includes the original and amendments, and if you do a word search on taxation, the amendments aren’t quite the same as reported above. Nevertheless, the proposed amendments are illuminating.

    Ironically, the link was on a page rebutting comments allegedly made on the Fox Network. This press release also includes links to lists of historical and contemporary people students are to be taught about and when.

  20. chek says:

    I recall that when M. Night Shyamalan’s film “The Village” came out some years ago, it was interpreted as a Bush era, tail end red scare movie.

    I thought that was a limited viewpoint, and what its allegory was really about was the creeping corporate feudalist State using ignorance and its stablemate fear as a tool of political control.

    Ignorance used to be something to be ashamed of and formerly would have induced a motivation to educate or self-educate. Now, it’s encouraged to be worn as a badge of honour, most stridently by Murdochmedia Inc.

    This Texas initiative (to be shortly followed by Virginia?) reinforces my viewpoint.

  21. Hahahahaha next I suppose you liberals are going to tell me your “round earth theory” is proven fact too! Sorry libs, people aren’t buying your BS any more! I don’t see anything in the bible about a round earth or global warming, so you can all kiss my ass for Jesus!

  22. Tim L. says:

    Let Texas secede, as their Gov. Rick Perry has suggested. It will substantially increase the overall IQ of the U.S., lift our international rankings on development indicators, and cut U.S. carbon emissions. Let it join other corrupt, third-world theocracies, where it clearly belongs.

  23. Dean says:

    135 years ago, with the failure of the post-Civil War Reconstruction, the Confederate South chose an economic model that guaranteed poverty for over a century. But that didn’t hold the rest of the country back.

    Now there are some areas, not limited to the south, that are making choices that could have similar results. Companies involving high tech will not locate in those areas. Universities will fail to attract world-class faculty. Will those Texas A&M scientists who recently published an op-ed really stay if they are faced with debating theologians?

    I hesitate to assume this trend applies to all the US. I live in a state that has effectively banned new coal plants specifically because of climate policies. While the Texas market will likely be followed in other states, many areas will soundly reject it. The northwest and northeast parts of the country to start with, but others as well. So please don’t confused these confused people with the US in general.

  24. gridlock says:

    So many of our beliefs are influenced by our political beliefs.

    Right of center people are skeptical of climate change science because they believe left wing politicians are using it to grow government and redistribute wealth. Hard right people are convinced it is a grand conspiracy for world government and domination.

    Many left of center people jump on climate change science without question because its a ready made fit for their environmental beliefs. The hard left take the science and run with it, exaggerating and preaching doom with every violent storm.

    Left of center people also have their science denials, just in different areas. For example, most believe genetically modified foods are dangerous even though there is no scientific basis for that. They latch on to every study and article that questions and criticizes GM crops. They consider GM foods to be frankenfoods and unatural. Why? because they just naturally are suspicious of “big business”. They view GM crops as a conspiracy being pushed by large corporations for insane profits.

    The above are generalizations. There are many many individual exceptions, but still we should all examine our own possible predjudices.

  25. jyyh says:

    I saw somewhere (many years back, during Clinton era?) a graph that compared the number of articles by US-born scientists vs. immigrant ones, but I don’t remember the details.

  26. The Wonderer says:

    dhogaza,

    Do you have any ideas on how to take the fight to the other side? I’ll now confess that I don’t know squat about corporate law or textbook politics, but it would be great to see the rational side organize and take action. Perhaps it’s just a dream.

  27. JK says:

    Tim L. @ 22: If only it were so simple. But sadly, the opinions of this group on the Texas Board mirror those of far too many people across the country.

  28. Sou says:

    In contrast to Texas, today in Australia we’ve had a triple whammy in strong statements from three leading organisations: the CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology and Universities Australia (the peak body for all 39 Australian universities), all confirming that the climate is already changing, well and truly.

    Two of the nation’s top research bodies – the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO – have come out strongly in defence of the science behind global warming.

    The leading research bodies say the evidence is irrefutable: climate change is real and the link with human activity is beyond doubt.

    Universities have also joined the fray, saying it is time to stand up for Australian science and research.

    “We’ve had some serious tabloid junking of … science and research in our community,” Professor Peter Coaldrake, the chairman of Universities Australia, said.

    More here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/03/15/2846524.htm

    And still more here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/03/15/2845519.htm

    Might be worth a post!

  29. Whatshisname says:

    The Texas Board of Education might as well use disappearing ink. I’ve got a kid about to graduate from high school here in Austin, Texas, (the state capital) and her teachers are a savvy bunch. They have always used time constraints as a way around teaching any goofball ideas in the textbooks. It’s the same around most of Texas. As a result – outside of what Bill Hicks used to call “pockets of serious humanity demanding their thumbs” – Texas has a large, young and very progressive generation of citizens and voters entering the world. My kid alone has friends heading off to every school from MIT to Julliard and CalTech. Many have chosen to stay in state to attend Texas Tech University, Texas A&M and the University of Texas, all of which have become global problem solvers. Imminent threats like pollution and climate change are at the top of their lists. We are, after all, an agricultural state and literally see the problem from the ground up.

    The news gets brighter. There is a strong sense that the reign of pulp cowboys like Dubya and Governor Rick Perry is near an end. “Governor Good Hair,” as the late Molly Ivins used to call Perry, appears to be facing a tight election this year against Houston Mayor Bill White, a moderate Democrat.

    The bad news is Perry and his comrades will be appealing even more to those “serious pockets of humanity” to bully and stir up evangelical fear during the campaign. It’s the kind of fear that makes people dangerous — deadly dangerous -– especially now because their animal instincts are telling them that something is very wrong and they don’t what to do about it except hope for the Second Coming.

    If you know anything at all about Texas then you realize that Liberals (which includes anyone to the left of Mussolini) can give as good as they take. The enemy is small, just a fringe sect, but they are operating under the protection of a cowardly state press (including the train wreck formerly known as Texas Monthly). And while it is doubtful that more than a tiny percentage of parents would want this silliness taught in the classroom, the majority is prone to blowing with what they are told by the press to be popular winds.

    Can you help? We desperately need outside assistance in shedding light on those questions and issues that the Perry gang uses to confuse and frighten people into running back into the fire. I wouldn’t necessarily urge anyone reading this to come charging into Texas with the jawbone of an ass. On the other hand, the people we need to reach are not going to come here. I spend a good part of everyday personally challenging the state press and trying to bring reason to fringe web sites, but I am not a scientist. I can speak to the gut of Texans but you can give them the cold, hard facts to chew on. It is often said that Texas sets national trends in motion, so what goes on here is very much your business.

  30. johna says:

    Textbooks have always been influenced by big state standards and purchases. In the last decade, parents and educators who wanted evolution to be properly taught were pleased because California and NY set the tone. If the Texas rules stick, it might bring on dueling regional curriculumns.

    Second, in Medieval times Europeans were more likely to see man and nature as parts of a greater whole. During the Enlightenment that began changing. Scientists applied their method to the parts and greatly expanded knowledge. Divide and conquer. The Universe might be considered a giant clock – wound up and left to run. The many scientific advances and benefits to life were obvious to all. So those views and methods spilled over into philosophy, economics, politics and everyday thought.

    Consequently, modern man is more likely to view food production, nutrient cycles and CO2 overload as processes happening apart from our private circles of freedom and consumption. The Enlightenment brought many benefits but it also set the stage for the ecological crises we face. Unfortunately, it also spread ways of thinking that make facing up to our problems and reacting much harder.

  31. LG says:

    Some 35 states dump their raw sewage and other pollutants straight into the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a dead sea at this point. There is no oxygen for any marine life. Fish lay dead at the bottom.
    We need young people to be smart (as possible), inspired and innovative.

    Dumbing them down to preclude the possibility of thinking outside of traditional methods of doing things will stifle free-thinking. Our world is losing biodiversity and because of that, we are losing food sources for ourselves. All of us need to insist that our state and municipality do better to protect the air, water, and earth.

    Texas should shape up and rescind their ridiculous move. It is going in the wrong direction.

  32. Jeff @7,

    We should be very clear about this. Not only do many, if not most, deniers believe passionately & stupidly that changes can be avoided, but that they can return Texas, if not the rest of the continent, to the booming 1950′s when a godfearing white America dominated the world. They believe fervently & partisanly that global warming is a hoax conjured up by socialist, if not communist, forces of anti-American liberal leftists funded by Soros’ billions & proseytized by high priest AlGore to overthrow Texas’ (aka ExxonMobil) energy supremacy & steal away their well-paid oil jobs along with their guns & god-given freedoms.

    And make no mistake, to accomplish this, Texan deniers are willing to trash, if not secede from, this nation which to them has become hopelessly godless & all too colored, if not anti-white, esp. now with the blacks in control of the White House & the dems of Congress.

    Texas deniers & their bronze-age god are willing to sacrifice science, education, & their children’s standard of living to maintain the primacy of ultra-conservative, if nor fundamentalist, religious “family values”, so-called free-market ideology, and, perhaps most importantly, white dominance, if not supremacy.

    They have been hoodwinked & disinformed by their own self-serving, power-mad, religious & libertarian leaders and teabagged by Fox News, Glenn Beck, & Rush Limbaugh, all liberally — excuse the expression — funded by ExxonMobil foreign oil profits & taxpayer subsidies & other ultra-conservative & business-as-usual interests. God, guns, oil, & Texas.

    So who needs education anyway?

    –IANVS