West Virginia School Board member Wade Linger didn’t want to cause controversy, but that’s what he got when he worked with state education officials to bring more balance to the global warming debate.
Liberals and environmentalists have relentlessly attacked Linger when it was revealed by the Charleston Gazette in December that he recommended changing proposed science standards to be more skeptical of man-made global warming.
“There was a question in there that said: ‘Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century,” Linger told the Gazette. “… If you have that as a standard, then that presupposes that global temperatures have risen over the past century, and, of course, there’s debate about that.”
“We’re on this global warming binge going on here,” Linger said. “… We need to look at all the theories about it rather than just the human changes in greenhouse gases.”
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Linger told the Gazette he didn’t believe man-made global warming was a “forgone conclusion” — a statement that has sparked outrage among the left.
“They’ve instituted inaccuracies into the standards, and that, just on face value, seems wrong … It’s service to our kids, it just really is,” Jim Probst, West Virginia head for the Citizens Climate Lobby, told the Gazette. “Reality is one thing, and hoping that it isn’t is something else entirely.”
“It’s a deeply inappropriate concern that the kids shouldn’t get to learn the truth about climate change because it might impact the coal industry,” echoed Lisa Hoyos, the director of Climate Parents.
It wasn’t long before liberal bloggers and media jumped on the bandwagon, chastising Linger for his skepticism of global warming.
“Public school students in West Virginia are about to get a dose of climate denial mixed in with their science education, and all because one Board of Education member doesn’t believe in man-made climate change,” reads an article from the liberal blog Salon.
“Climate-change denialism added to West Virginia science standards to appease coal-loving officials,” reads a headline from a Raw Story article on Linger.
“There’s no question that temperatures have risen over the past century,” writes a blogger with Grist. “Any ‘debate’ is over why temperatures have risen — and it’s hardly much of a debate, as 97 percent of climate scientists agree that human activity is the primary cause.”
The environmental group Climate Parents has even vowed to petition the state school board to remove Linger’s changes to science standards.
The W.V. Education Department did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
State officials have been updating science, math and English standards as part of West Virginia’s revamp of its education programs. Linger noticed that proposed science standards put forward by the Department of Education presupposed that human activities were the main cause of global warming.
Linger disagreed and recommended some changes to the department’s standards. The department listened and changed some of their original standards to include discussion on natural climate cycles and the “rise” and “fall” of global temperatures.
The Charleston Gazette reported these changes being made:
- Original 9th grade science standard: “Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.”
- Education Department adopted version: “Analyze geoscience data and the predictions made by computer climate models to assess their credibility [sic] for predicting future impacts on the Earth System.”
- Original high school Environmental Science standard: “Debate climate changes as it [sic] relates to greenhouse gases, human changes in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, and relevant laws and treaties.”
- Ed. Dept. adopted version: “Debate climate changes as it relates to natural forces such as Milankovitch cycles, greenhouse gases, human changes in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, and relevant laws and treaties.”
The Gazette and liberal media outlets have pointed to the so-called 97 percent consensus among climate scientists that global warming is primarily driven by human activity as evidence that Linger’s recommended changes to science standards are foolhardy.
But the 97 percent consensus has been debunked by researchers looking closely at the methodology used to come up with the consensus. Also, global temperatures have not trended upwards for 18 years and 3 months, according to satellite data.
This lack of warming for nearly two decades has confounded climate scientists who have offered up dozens of explanations for why temperatures have refused to rise as climate models predicted.
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