Portland Public Schools Board Bans Any Dissent from Climate Dogma

Published May 22, 2016

The Portland Public Schools board this week voted unanimously to institute a banon allowing any materials or discussion that express doubts that human activity is causing a catastrophic climate crisis. They might as well have just put out a resolution promoting homeschooling.

The story outlining this in the Portland Tribune is absolutely incredible. It is filled with so many layers of nonsense, ignorance, petty tyranny, and moral preening that it seems a bit much, even for hopelessly lefty Portland. I do wonder, however, if they will host a book-burning ceremony at the football stadium. It’s the logical next step, right? Because, apparently, their text books are infected with terms like “might,” “may,” and “could” in some passages that address climate change. We must make sure those doubts don’t accidentally infect the minds of the children they are charged with educatingindoctrinating. So why not purge all the sin from the books by fire.

Have these lefties not even an inkling of self-awareness? Do they not see how they have created a climate alarmist parallel to the Scopes Monkey Trial? They are demanding that their unshakable faith in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming be the only thing taught in school. Because, “science.” But even today, proponents for Intelligent Design don’t demand that’s all that’s taught in school, only that it be included in the discussion. Right or wrong, it’s a more open-minded approach than the Climate Cultists — especially considering there are volumes of peer-reviewed evidence that “might,” “may,” and “could” are conservative hedges.

Some of my favorite/most-outrageous parts of this story:

“It is unacceptable that we have textbooks in our schools that spread doubt about the human causes and urgency of the crisis,” said Lincoln High School student Gaby Lemieux in board testimony. “Climate education is not a niche or a specialization, it is the minimum requirement for my generation to be successful in our changing world.”

That’s right. The first quote in the story to bolster this idea, in the second graph, is froma high school senior, everyone’s go-to expert for identifying credible and effective curriculum. Gaby also sees her generation as already uniquely informed and wise enough to save the world previous generations have ruined. Of course she does. She’s gone to Portland public schools her whole life.

Here’s a shocker: This drive to purge doubt about the dogma is being driven by a radical environmentalist group.

Bill Bigelow, a former PPS teacher and current curriculum editor of Rethinking Schools, a magazine devoted to education issues, worked with 350PDX and other environmental groups to present the resolution.

“A lot of the text materials are kind of thick with the language of doubt, and obviously the science says otherwise,” Bigelow says, accusing the publishing industry to bowing to pressure from fossil fuels companies. “We don’t want kids in Portland learning material courtesy of the fossil fuel industry.”

So, a former teacher has apparently long entertained the fantastical and paranoid idea that just having the words “may,” “might,” and “could” in any discussion about the causes and consequences of climate change was slipped in there “courtesy of the fossil fuel industry.” Big Oil. What can’t it do!?

Another shocker: That former teacher and radical environmentalist also happens just so happens to produce a text book for children titled “A People’s Curriculum for the Earth.” That sure sounds like science to me, with not a hint of radical politics. Asked if his interest in producing climate science books for schools might be a conflict of interest, he says it doesn’t’ because his organization is “a nonprofit, not a money-maker.” OK, then.

Oh, almost forgot. The school board member who introduced the resolution — which, again, passed unanimously — has a pretty large conflict of interest, too:

School board member Mike Rosen … leads NW Ecoliteracy Collaborative, a project focused on environmental curriculum standards. However, he says that work has been on hold.

“I have become concerned about its ability to make progress and not have a conflict with being a school board member,” Rosen said, noting that he is now instead working part-time for the Audubon Society of Portland. “I don’t want there to be a conflict between my school board work and this nonprofit.”

No worries, Mike. You’ve made progress … toward 16th Century thinking.  It’s hard to imagine what else full victory over “climate deniers” would look like short of scarlet letters, stockades, and pyres ready to set aflame.

Read the board’s resolution for yourself here.