Year 3, Month 2, Day 21: Post-Modernist Science Education: Applying the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis To Atmospheric Chemistry.

More on the Heartland Institute leak, from the New York Times:

Leaked documents suggest that an organization known for attacking climate science is planning a new push to undermine the teaching of global warming in public schools, the latest indication that climate change is becoming a part of the nation’s culture wars.
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The documents, from a nonprofit organization in Chicago called the Heartland Institute, outline plans to promote a curriculum that would cast doubt on the scientific finding that fossil fuel emissions endanger the long-term welfare of the planet. “Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective,” one document said.

While the documents offer a rare glimpse of the internal thinking motivating the campaign against climate science, defenders of science education were preparing for battle even before the leak. Efforts to undermine climate-science instruction are beginning to spread across the country, they said, and they fear a long fight similar to that over the teaching of evolution in public schools.

You know what? I’m sick of people saying “alarmist” like it’s an insult. The news is pretty fucking alarming, all the damn time. If you’re not alarmed (hell, if you’re not absolutely terrified) you’re just not paying attention. Sorry to harsh your mellow, but that’s what’s happening.

Anyway, I like the phrase “nihilistic political solipsism.” Sent February 16:

In the helter-skelter 24-hour news cycle that shapes American politics, the words of officials from the previous administration might as well be written in hieroglyphics; the first decade of our century is already ancient history. But the recent leak of documents from the Heartland Institute describing their plans to foster climate-change denial in our nation’s classrooms call to mind Karl Rove’s comments to journalist Ron Suskind. Expressing contempt for the “reality-based community,” Rove went on to say, “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.”

But this is a dangerous game. Old-style Soviet historical revisionism is only effective when the facts are all in the past; the Heartland Institute is attempting to revise the future by applying their nihilistic political solipsism to actual real-world problems requiring reality-based solutions. The physics and chemistry of the greenhouse effect won’t be fooled by banners and photo ops.

Warren Senders

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