Climate Change: Are We In Trouble?

This is a reblog from the Moyers & Company website. It’s an article written by John Light that I’ve reblogged here as a follow up the May 7th post entitled Extreme Earth: Coming to an Environment Near You.

The National Climate Assessment Says We’re in Trouble. This Chart Shows Why. (via Moyers & Company)

This animated chart from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences shows the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.

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A Heads Up: Smoking is to Cancer as Greenhouse Gas Emissions are to Climate Risks

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On March 5, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead signed the state’s budget into law.  The bill has a footnote that prohibits the Department of Education from spending any funds to check or revise the state’s science standards.

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The reason this footnote was added to the Wyoming budget is because it satisfied some members of the legislature and citizens who believe in objectivity and neutrality in science education! To get to the point, they are opposed to the teaching of “unproven theories,” most notably with those topics in science that deal with climate change and evolution.  … Read more

Part II: Will the Debate over Evolution End Soon?

We introduced this topic yesterday and referred to an Associated Press story, in which Richard Leakey suggests that the debate over evolution will end sometime over the next 15 to 30 years.  Leakey’s thesis was:

If you get to the stage where you can persuade people on the evidence, that it’s solid, that we are all African, that color is superficial, that stages of development of culture are all interactive,” Leakey says, “then I think we have a chance of a world that will respond better to global challenges.

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Part I. Will the Debate over Evolution End Soon?

 

Richard Leakey says that looking at the past the way paleontologists and anthropologist do can teach us much about the future.  He points out that extinction is one of the most common types of phenomena observed in nature, and that extinctions are related to environmental change.  He suggests that environmental change is controlled by climate change, and now, humans are at the center of accelerating, indeed creating the kind of changes in climate that we see on Earth today.… Read more

A Letter from 2053 about High-Stakes Testing: 5′s Walk on Thursday

Note: This is a letter written by a teen living in Atlanta in the year 2053.  It is published here for the first time.  Although a work of fiction, it is presented here as a reminder of the consequences of making decisions based on faulty reasoning and ignorance.

Dear Friends:

I learned that in America, in the year 2001, the Federal Government enacted the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law that required each state in the country to develop tests in mathematics and reading, but over time, the policy makers decided that science and history should also be tested. … Read more

Extreme Earth: A new science teaching eBook

The second in a series of science teaching eBooks was published today on the Art of Teaching Science Website.  Entitled Extreme Earth, this eBook explores questions such as:

Are the extremes of weather related phenomena such as flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, drought and fires, as well as major and great earthquakes in heavily populated areas the new norm, or are these events part of nature’s cycles?

Based on blog posts on climate change, global warming, hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanoes, Extreme Earth highlights the importance of the geosciences in science teaching.… Read more

AAAS Vigorously Opposes Attacks on Climate Change Researchers

Yesterday, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) published an open letter on its website with the headline: AAAS Board: Attacks on Climate Researchers Inhibit Free Exchange of Scientific Ideas.  In the letter, the Board said:

Scientists and policymakers may disagree over the scientific conclusions on climate change and other policy-relevant topics. But the scientific community has proven and well-established methods for resolving disagreements about research results. It uses a self-correcting system in which research results are shared and critically evaluated by peers, and experiments are repeated when necessary.

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Teaching Climate Change

Is climate change real? Is the greenhouse effect based on fundamental science? To what extent are “debates” on TV news outlets using split screen technology peer review or rhetoric? Do large companies abuse the concept of peer review by using rhetoric to cast doubt on scientific findings?

These are questions that should underscore student’s pursuit of an understanding of climate change, and the skepticism that has inverted the public’s view of global warming, the greenhouse effect, and the burning of carbon.… Read more

350.org

I signed onto an organization called 350.org. According to materials I received, 350.org is sponsoring climate change actions around the world. The banner will take you to the 350.org site for further details about how you and your students might get involved.

Receiving this information is perfect timing for post later this week about Australian scientist’s actions toward boldly confronting the world’s climate deniers.

Join me at http://www.350.org

350.org is building a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis.… Read more