South Dakota to Teach Climate Change Denial in Schools?


South Dakota may soon make climate-change denial the law of the land, if an effort underway in the state legislature is successful. Via Brad Johnson, we learn that the state House of Representatives recently passed a new law calling for “balanced teaching of global warming in the public schools of South Dakota.”

The resolution, approved by a vote of 36-30, states that public schools should be required to teach students that “global warming is a scientific theory rather than a proven fact” and that a variety of “climatological, meteorological, astrological, thermological, cosmological, and ecological dynamics” could be changing the weather. Yes, that’s astrological, as in horoscopes. And as Brad Plumer points out, thermology involves the science of infrared body imaging. Not quite clear what role that might play in global warming.

The state Senate approved an amended version of the resolution that is slightly less kooky, dropping the “astrological” and “thermological” causes but still asserting that the “global warming debate” has “prejudiced the scientific investigation of global climatic change phenomena.”

Now the House will decide whether to adopt the amended version. No matter which version they adopt, it looks like South Dakota could soon be the first state to sign climate change confusion into law.

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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.