WTF is wrong with our state legislators? (H/T – Helga)

South Dakota legislators tell schools to teach ‘astrological’ explanation for global warming.

Last week, the South Dakota House of Representatives passed a resolution to “urge” public schools to teach astrology. 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 longdebunked 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)


#1 Bob Ellis on 02.26.10 at 5:37 am

You really should strive to be more accurate.

This bill is not “anti-science.” Rather, it is anti-propaganda.

Socialist propaganda and, at best, “fudged” computer models are all that provide any “credibility” for the silly theory of anthropogenic global warming.

Actual science strongly indicates (dare I say, all but conclusively proves?) climate change is natural and cyclic, and has been going on for thousands of years in even greater extremes than today.

#2 l3wis on 02.26.10 at 5:47 am

You funny Bob. You really funny. I have been following global warming long before Al Gore even thought about it. The ice core samples have proven time and time again that global warming exists. Making this a ‘political argument’ is ludicrous. Why? Because even if you are right (which you are not) what’s the harm in reducing our carbon imprint? If it creates safe green jobs, makes us less dependent on foreign oil (that funds terrorism) and makes our planet a cleaner place to live how is denying these truths a bad thing? Seriously dude? Grow a brain.

#3 Costner on 02.26.10 at 7:21 am

Politicians need to keep their tentacles out of the science classroom as it is painfully obvious they have no idea what the hell they are talking about.

Let real educators teach science, and let legislators continue to do what it is they do best… which is act like a bunch of idiots in Pierre.

#4 Poly43 on 02.26.10 at 10:32 am

The ice core samples have proven time and time again that global warming exists.


Reminds me of a program I saw on the Science Channel recently. Scientists can take core samples of Antartic ice that at the top are yesterdays ice and hundreds of feet down, nearly a million years old. In those core samples it is possible to take a slice of time and from its oxygen content measure carbon dioxide levels. In a span of 200 years we have gone from 280 ppm of carbon dioxide to 380 ppm. Much faster that what is normal over slices they took from other eras over the last million years or so. If I recall right, they said the earth has gone thru several climate change periods in the course of that time. Also carbon dioxide levels run side by side with temperature levels.

The show had other really good stuff in it also. Marine life normally found only around the equator ranging further and further away. The Northwest Passage being open for the last three summers. The mountain pine beetle devastating our forests, including the Black Hills. All because of a one degree rise in global temerature.

You are right l3wis. WTF is wrong with our state legislators?

#5 Helga on 02.26.10 at 1:40 pm

Speaking of the Antartic ice there is a story today that “An iceberg the size of Luxembourg has broken off from a glacier in Antarctica after being rammed by another giant iceberg, scientists said on Friday, in an event that could affect ocean circulation patterns.”

#6 Helga on 02.26.10 at 3:56 pm

“HCR 1009 is so egregiously inaccurate, so appalling wrong in its contemptuous dismissal of established science, so mind-numbing in its appeals to long-debunked pseudoscience, that it is hard not to entertain the thought that perhaps it was meant as an elaborate parody. However, HCR 1009 was not a jest, but rather a serious attempt to influence the science South Dakota students learn. It is the latest volley in a broader assault on science itself.

HCR 1009’s “balanced teaching” phrase is familiar to veterans of the wars over teaching “creation science” in schools. A Louisiana law called the “Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science in Public Schools Instruction Act” was struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1987. HCR 1009 follows the tactics of the Louisiana law by attempting to insert non-scientific claims into science curriculum in the name of “balance,” bypassing the normal fact-checking mechanisms of scientific peer-review and ignoring the near-unanimity of qualified climate scientists about global warming and its causes.”

#7 Helga on 02.26.10 at 8:29 pm

Rachel Maddow just did this story at the end of her show. Great publicity for South Dakota.

#8 James Milne on 02.26.10 at 9:43 pm

Perhaps I am in the minority, but shouldn’t our schools focus more on teaching critical thinking skills and letting them use those to figure it out for themselves? Just getting kids to memorize various facts does nothing for their personal growth if they don’t learn how to challenge “common knowledge” and evaluate things on their own.

#9 l3wis on 02.26.10 at 11:30 pm


Globla warming ‘facts’ change everyday. So not sure if teachers are trying to get them to memorize anything. They are just telling them the factors involved.

#10 John2 on 02.27.10 at 5:32 am

HCR 1009 is an outstanding way to kill the underground science lab. No self-respecting scientists would ever want to move here, have his kids educated here, to use grad students from South Dakota. HCR 1009 will save the state millions. (sarcasm off)

#11 James Milne on 02.27.10 at 11:05 am

I meant it more generally, not necessarily just on climate issues. Interestingly though, the UN is putting together an independent panel to review the IPCC.

#12 stark on 02.27.10 at 3:15 pm

Just the fact that they don’t seem to understand the difference between astrological and astronomical tells me that the legislators that wrote this failed miserably in school.

If they want this to be taught as science then show the science, a bunch of wild guesses does not qualify as science. When they tell us that the sun is causing global warming they might want to check to find out if the sun has actually been in a cooling cycle for many decades. Hell, the deniers can’t even agree on whether the earth is cooling or warming and they think they can tell us how to write our children’s curriculum?

As Bob is my waitress I swear these jackasses take great pride in their ignorance and work hard to cultivate it.

#13 EggBert on 02.27.10 at 8:42 pm

Dear fellow astronut bloggers:

Our family Astrologist told us that you people who are worried about “GLOOMY WARMING” are a bunch of ignoramus uranus assteroids who no NOTHING about the weather – so stay out of it and let the teachers teach what the SD Legislature legislate “Legi-state” – that is how to keep government OUT of our business – shhhheeesshh.


EggBert & family of Lettuce-slayers

#14 l3wis on 02.27.10 at 10:12 pm

“Wild Guesses?”