West Virginia Withdraws Altered Climate Curriculum

Jan 15, 2015

By John Schwartz

West Virginia education officials on Wednesday retreated from an earlier curriculum decision that expressed doubts about widely held views of climate change.

The State Board of Education voted 6-to-2 to withdraw its altered version of the Next Generation Science Standards, which were developed by 26 states, including West Virginia. The changes had been quietly made by a member of the West Virginia board before it adopted the standards in December.

Once the extent of the changes — including an inserted reference that global temperature rise “and fall” — became known, they were criticized by local and national science educators, as well as West Virginia parents and environmental activists.

The board voted to revert to the original standards, which emphasize the scientific consensus on human activity as a cause of climate change, and will adopt those standards after a 30-day comment period, said Gayle Manchin, the board president and wife of United States Senator Joe Manchin III.


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14 comments on “West Virginia Withdraws Altered Climate Curriculum

  • Well, then, it turns out that knobs in politics are not a phenomenon plaguing only my Country…
    After this sarcastic note, on to business:

    One of the two “no” votes was cast by L. Wade Linger Jr., the member who said he had originally called for the changes to add balance to a politicized issue.

    The argument “we need to add balance”, and then explaining next to a widely accepted theory, supported by evidences, some screwed-up nonsense is becoming increasingly irritating. It doesn’t mean anything and, more often than not, is there only to smuggle in and revive some dangerous theoroid without a shred of evidence for support -but with a lot of interests behind.
    I wonder if those people actually add dung to their soup because it tastes too good, and “we need to add balance”. I’m sure they don’t. So why did they try to smear it on textbooks?

    Anyway, it looks like they failed. Good.



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  • 4
    ShinobiYaka says:

    “Including an inserted reference that global temperature rise “and fall””

    This is hardly a contentious position to take; Global temperatures do actually “raise” and indeed “fall” or did I miss the ideological memo?

    “Which emphasize the scientific consensus on human activity as a cause of climate change”

    Setting aside “consensus” the models it seems to me are running hot, there is divergence between prediction and observation, even the met office has acknowledged a “pause” not predicted by the models, in the same light that that the medieval warm period was not retrospectively predicted and therefore, despite historical records, obviously could not occur.

    The output of computer modelling is “NOT” data, economic models did not, and still do not predict economic crises, much like the medieval warm period, the depression of the 1930’s would not be predicted by modelling, now there may be legitimate reasons for this divergence, but the simple fact is that it was not anticipated, and the published papers seem increasingly like the addition of epicycles.

    “Light blue touch paper, and retire to a safe distance”

    Peace.



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  • 5
    Miserablegit says:

    ShinobiYaka says light blue touch paper and retire to a safe distance, but when the climate goes bang there will be no safe distance.



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  • Setting aside “consensus” the models it seems to me are running hot, there is divergence between prediction and observation, even the met office has acknowledged a “pause” not predicted by the models, in the same light that that the medieval warm period was not retrospectively predicted and therefore, despite historical records, obviously could not occur.

    The pause has been explained and is consistent with CO2 global warming. No serious deniers raise this issue anymore.

    This is a commonsense call. CO2 is a green house gas. We’ve doubled its concentration. The physics says it will have an effect. The measurements say it is having an effect. So what if it it is not 100% in accordance with the models. So what.

    It’s Pascal’s Wager ShinobiYaka. You may as well bet “YES” and act in accordance with the best advice and stop burning carbon. If you are right, you’ve saved civilization. (You’ve gone to heaven) If you are wrong, you’ve converted the planet to renewables and Saudi Arabia’s GDP is a measure of its goat herds. No downside.

    To do nothing is just stupid.



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  • “Light blue touch paper, and retire to a safe distance”

    It has been years since I have heard that phrase, now that fireworks have been deemed too “unsafe” to be entrusted to the hoi polloi, who must now go watch an huge and professional display. Possibly a better display but much less fun than lighting your own.

    I did also once see that some wag had written it on the bottom of an Atlas-Vanguard rocket at then Cape Canaveral.



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  • It’s Pascal’s Wager ShinobiYaka. You may as well bet “YES” and act in accordance with the best advice and stop burning carbon. If you are right, you’ve saved civilization. (You’ve gone to heaven) If you are wrong, you’ve converted the planet to renewables and Saudi Arabia’s GDP is a measure of its goat herds. No downside.

    Like.



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  • I remember you! On this thread you made your understanding of climatology clear in many comments. I see it hasn’t improved. I shall be using a lot of links herein; I’ll try to stick to ones that are designed for nontechnical audiences. The one thing I’d say you consistently get wrong in the comment I’m replying to here is you forget that the noise isn’t the signal.

    “Including an inserted reference that global temperature rise “and fall”” This is hardly a contentious position to take; Global temperatures do actually “raise” and indeed “fall”

    When the right external factors cause it, yes. During contemporary climate change, global temperatures are only rising (once you correct for ENSO), as would be expected from GHG emissions. The NYT doesn’t give enough information for us to tell what this note was meant to imply in context but, for example, it would be wrong for it to say that the climate has recently turned cold, or that the fact that climate has frequently shifted in both directions in the past refutes our ability to attribute modern change to the human activity that postdates much climate change. (Since we know not only temperature changes but also how rapidly heat is being gained or lost in each thermal wavelength, we can distinguish the effects of various explanations quite clearly.)

    People like to say there has been a recent deceleration, pause or decline in temperatures, but even if their naive statistics appreciated that the noise is too much over the short periods they’re considering for such conclusions to be confidently made (which it doesn’t), you can’t divine climate changes over periods of less than 30 years – the period of ENSO – unless you take into account how ENSO’s phase has shifted in that time. When you combine a trend with an oscillation, only Fourier analysis can see past the latter to see whether the former has modified. And the null hypothesis should be that the trend is unchanged. not that it has stopped.

    the models it seems to me are running hot, there is divergence between prediction and observation, even the met office has acknowledged a “pause” not predicted by the models,

    Models have done quite well, except for those defended by those who downplay the role of GHGs. I don’t want (at least in this comment) to go through the myriad ways you have to be careful when quantifying the accuracy of models, especially for climatological data which unfortunately is autocorrelated, but it suffices to say I bet you haven’t looked at the error bars.

    The “pause” is an interesting case. The models do not so much predict temperatures as predict the probability distribution of what temperatures’ anomalies will look like after a Fourier analysis has taken out ENSO contributions. That probability distribution tells us there will be periods in which, for a few years (probably nowhere near 30), temperatures will sometimes seem to be rising much more or less than in the real trend. Again, noise over the signal is the reason we can only talk in probabilities.

    the medieval warm period was not retrospectively predicted

    The MWP (which was a lot cooler and more regional than you might think) has been difficult to explain because the external cause of it was not known to those who developed the first models of that era. However, science moves on; it appears to have been due to an oceanic oscillation which, like ENSO, can scupper attempts to reconstruct or predict temperature directly. We know how climate trends work, but don’t necessarily know all the historical oscillations that have struck. Climate change is not magic, or otherwise ill-understood; it’s an emergent consequence of a handful of laws of thermal and fluid physics. (And if you want to learn more about it, go read the PDFs I provided in that forum thread where I first met you.)

    The output of computer modelling is “NOT” data, economic models did not, and still do not predict economic crises

    If you want the case for AGW without models being mentioned at all, go here. Models are a very small part of the story. BTW, economic models are worse for well-understood reasons, but not foreseeing all events doesn’t necessarily mean their actual predictions are empirically wrong, and Keynesian models are still more accurate than you seem to think (you should read more Krugman if you don’t know that).

    the published papers seem increasingly like the addition of epicycles

    That can’t be a fair analogy. Epicycles were an ad hoc update to the proposed forms of mathematical relationships, with no theoretical underpinning for why orbits had the shapes they did. As our understanding of climate change (contemporary or otherwise) progresses, the physical laws remain the same; what’s gradually improved is subtler details, such as certain parameters of Earth’s climate, and the tightness and most probable value of the probability distributions of those parameters. What is Earth’s climate sensitivity (which relates radiative forcing to temperature changes)? How much feedback, in which direction, do various clouds provide? The models update as more data reduces our degree of uncertainty about these questions.



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  • ShinobiYaka Jan 15, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    “Including an inserted reference that global temperature rise “and fall””

    This is hardly a contentious position to take; Global temperatures do actually “raise” and indeed “fall” or did I miss the ideological memo?

    Oh dear! Still a global warming denier!!

    did I miss the ideological memo?

    No! You missed all the climate data, and kept reading misleading drivel from denialist websites!

    Setting aside “consensus”

    Only fools set aside a 97%+ scientific consensus.

    Setting aside “consensus” the models it seems to me are running hot, there is divergence between prediction and observation, even the met office has acknowledged a “pause”

    The slowing of warming land surfaces during the so called “pause” has been greatly misrepresented by the stooges of the carbon polluters.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2013/13
    The year 2013 ties with 2003 as the fourth warmest year globally since records began in 1880. The annual global combined land and ocean surface temperature was 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th century average of 13.9°C (57.0°F). This marks the 37th consecutive year (since 1976) that the yearly global temperature was above average. Currently, the warmest year on record is 2010, which was 0.66°C (1.19°F) above average. Including 2013, 9 of the 10 warmest years in the 134-year period of record have occurred in the 21st century. Only one year during the 20th century—1998—was warmer than 2013.



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