South Dakota to Teach Climate Change Denial in Schools?

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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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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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