ALEC Bills Mandating Teaching Climate Change Denial In Public Schools Introduced In Three States

Owen Poindexter
ALEC legislation in 3 states would mandate that public schools teach climate change denialism.

alec, climate change, climate change denial, republican party, oklahoma, colorado, arizona
Over 95% of climate scientists believe that humans contribute to climate change, but let's listen to oil-funded ALEC instead. PHOTO: Reuters

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has similar bills in three states to mandate teaching climate change denialism in public schools. There is probably more infuriating news out there somewhere, but holy crap.

The "Environmental Literacy Improvement Act" would force a "balanced" teaching of climate science. Just weeks into this legislative cycle, such bills have been introduced in Oklahoma, Colorado and Arizona. Colorado, left leaning with some amount of environmental spirit (outside of their prominent mining interests), will probably not pass this idiotic bill, but Arizona could sneak it through and in Oklahoma it would likely be cheered all the way to the governor's desk.

For those of you unfamiliar with ALEC, it is a group that brings corporations and (mostly conservative) state legislators together to craft legislation. ALEC is credited with a lot of the worst state laws we have seen since 2010, including the union busting bills of Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio and the voter ID laws that make it harder for Democratic-lenaing groups to vote. Real charmers, those guys.

A recommendation to the state legislaters in states where the Environmental Literacy Act is coming up: amend the bill so that the "balanced" teaching mandated in the bill is determined by the proportion of climate scientists who believe in human-driven climate change, or the proportion of studies not funded by any particular industry that find compelling evidence of man-made climate change. Either way, that would put the balance of climate change education that includes human contributions somewhere about 95%, which sounds like a good education for our young ones who, more than anyone will have to live in a world that sees the consequences of our environmental actions.