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  1. #1
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    Kudos to Matthew LaClair (global warming)

    Kudos to Matthew LaClair, a high-school senior from New Jersey, for having the honesty and courage to expose and speak out about clearly erroneous statements about global warming in an American textbook.

    "I just realized from my own knowledge that some of this stuff in the book is just plain wrong," says Matthew LaClair.

    From the Associated Press:

    "LaClair said he was particularly upset about the book's treatment of global warming. James Hansen, the director of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, recently heard about LaClair's concerns and has lent him some support.

    Hansen has sent Houghton Mifflin a letter stating that the book's discussion on global warming . . . . give students 'the mistaken impression that the scientific evidence of global warming is doubtful and uncertain.'

    The edition of the textbook published in 2005, which is in high school classrooms now, stated that "science doesn't know whether we are experiencing a dangerous level of global warming or how bad the greenhouse effect is, if it exists at all."

    ***************

    And now let's see who authored this book, from the Friends of the Earth:

    "The book was authored by a prominent conservative, James Q. Wilson, who is affiliated with the right-wing American Enterprise Institute-which has received oil industry funding, and by John DiIulio, who served as director of faith-based initiatives in the George W. Bush White House."

  2. #2
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    Re: Kudos to Matthew LaClair (global warming)

    Yeah, as I suggested on another thread, it's hilarious how the authors painted the global warming "debate" as one between "activists" and "skeptics". Which is oh so Fair and Balanced.

    Why not "activists" and "inactivists"?

    (Heck, I think I'll start a new Scientific Journal™ called the International Journal of Inactivism. : )

    - - -

    That aside, I'm also curious to know if the textbook includes any mention of the legendary "cdesign proponentsists". ..
    Last edited by bic; 04-14-2008 at 12:22 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Kudos to Matthew LaClair (global warming)

    I prefer to call this issue a debate between:

    Radical Greens AND Rational Naturalists AND Skeptics.

    The former actually think we can halt Co2 emissions in an immediate and that is the highest value problem.

    The latter ,includes myself, feel Global Warming is an issue to be dealt with but is not the only one, and the GW is unlikely to be stopped due to sheer political-economic factors.

    Skeptics don't believe its going on and if it is humans are not the main casue of Global Warming.

    As for the phrase listed below: "science doesn't know whether we are experiencing a dangerous level of global warming or how bad the greenhouse effect is, if it exists at all."

    Most of that is true I have seen evidence from fully acceptable sources such as the IPCC that are rather broad in their estimations. Fittingly of course but there is no proven one ideal model even 70% of scientists can agree on at best we have scientific guesses and projections. People make it sound like this is all proven like the Theory of Gravity, it isn't. Just that most agree the planet is warming, humans may or may not be the large impact source for that and we will have various projected outcomes that may or may not occur.

    And policy decisions to make over this are still up for serious debate on how and whether to commit certain levels to all available assets to fight Co2 emissions. I for one think we have more important and immediate places to focus on over Global Warming like improving food access to the human race. I for one would alot money for bioengineering of crops, improved water quality, low cost hydroponics and new methods of agriculture, access to even basic medical care and frankly education and microloans over just this one issue.

    I'm not insane just pragamatic all these will be useful in the forceable future and if GW hits hard which it could we can use these to better adapt to the changing world. I believe in a simply wish to focus on hedging our bets instead of putting all our eggs in reducing Co2 which may mot even stop GW in time if it can be done at all. Put a few eggs into several baskets that can deal with real problems now and can be used regardless of the effects of GW.

    And by the way what is wrong with a Conservative writing a textbook about Global Warming and the environment. Theodore Roosevelt was a conservative and a naturalist that founded many of the National Parks we enjoy now. Libertarians also write books on this issue, liberals, socialists and others he is entitled to his position.

  4. #4
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    Re: Kudos to Matthew LaClair (global warming)

    "Radical Greens AND Rational Naturalists AND Skeptics."

    Hahaha, yet another attempt to look Fair and Balanced... not.

    - - -

    "And by the way what is wrong with a Conservative writing a textbook about Global Warming and the environment."

    What's wrong? It's an inaccurate textbook. That's what's wrong. And you're actively cheering on the inaccuracies.

    - - -

    "Libertarians also write books on this issue, liberals, socialists and others he is entitled to his position."

    Yeah, "positions"... we don't want any of those pesky "facts" getting into our children's textbooks, do we? It's all about "positions".

  5. #5
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    Re: Kudos to Matthew LaClair (global warming)

    Guess what, the book actually comes with an online test that's a paragon to freedom and democracy and opinions...

    "`The Environmental Protection Agency was created during the administration of'

    "and when you answer, correctly, according to every source including the EPA that it was Nixon (in 1970):

    "`Sorry! The EPA was created during the Carter administration.'"

    Woohoo, a textbook that teaches political science by altering history.

  6. #6
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    Re: Kudos to Matthew LaClair (global warming)

    Well there is then another issue his political and social leanings, and his accuracy as to proper source references. Shouldn't the publisher check the latter as well as the school system before buying said textbook?

    As for the three faces of the debate its there even here on this site, there is Bic and myself and then the skeptics that don't think there is GW. My beef is with the agenda and likely impacts of policy decisions that have to be made and how it impacts real people, that includes employment and access to necessities. I for example think instead of GW as the sole focus of the environmental movement finding ways to feed everyone on the planet right now is far more pressing. As are numerous other major global problems that must be dealt with. It a perfectly acceptable way to view the world no reason to attack people for having a different position than some of you.

  7. #7
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    Re: Kudos to Matthew LaClair (global warming)

    rubyslippers:

    "Well there is then another issue his political and social leanings, and his accuracy as to proper source references. Shouldn't the publisher check the latter as well as the school system before buying said textbook?"

    Oh wait, so the authors get their historical facts way wrong, and... somehow it's the publisher's fault for publishing the book. Not the authors' fault for writing the garbage in the first place. Great.

    Maybe rubyslippers can form a lobby group called Americans For Altering History. They can then campaign for the freedom of textbooks to claim that

    (1) Carter created the EPA; or
    (2) Bush founded America; or
    (3) Hammesfahr won the Nobel Peace Prize for Medicine; or
    (4) Galileo was burnt at the stake; or
    (5) Darwin had sex with Lewinsky;
    (6) and so on...

    Oh, "opinions". If you can't even get your facts right -- or worse, if you keep defending people who distort the facts -- then your opinions aren't worth squat.
    Last edited by bic; 04-15-2008 at 12:48 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Kudos to Matthew LaClair (global warming)

    Well this is not just a book its a TEXTBOOK so I would hold the author and the publisher and the school system all to blame if its falsifying data and if its used for teaching students. What does one expect its a public school they are so unionized and unaccountable to the parents its just sick as a system anyway this sort of thing never surprises me.

  9. #9
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    Re: Kudos to Matthew LaClair (global warming)

    "Guess what, the book actually comes with an online test that's a paragon to freedom and democracy and opinions ..." - bic

    I took that test, one of the questions I also got wrong was this one:

    Question #16: "The scientific community is deeply divided over the theory of global warming." (True or False?)

    I clicked False. Silly me . . . .

    "Incorrect. Scientists are divided on the theory of global warming."

    It's impossible to answer those questions honestly and get a perfect score. Which leads me to believe that people like phlipper and Lord_jag and TheWhizKids would have gotten a higher score than me if they took the test.

  10. #10
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    Re: Kudos to Matthew LaClair (global warming)

    I always thought that, for a complex topic like political science, multiple-choice questions are a dumb idea anyway. It just teaches students to memorize a bunch of crap which they'll totally forget once the whole darn examination's over.

    In a weird sort of balance, the NPR is running a story on a screaming teenager named Byrnes who denies AGW by cutting and pasting graphs wrongly. (I wonder if she thinks Jimmy Carter created the EPA...)
    Last edited by bic; 04-16-2008 at 01:35 PM.

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