“Images Can Make Things Appear Worse Than They Are” Texas Education Board Sparks Controversy With Decision To Exclude Most Climate Textbooks From State Science Curriculum

The Republican-controlled Texas Board of Education recently caused outrage by deciding not to include several climate textbooks in the state’s science curriculumHere’s the whole story. 

Banning Books

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The Republican-dominated education board in Texas voted against including seven out of 12 climate textbooks for eighth-graders in the state science curriculum.

Notable publishers like Savvas Learning Company, McGraw Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Accelerate Learning, and Summit K-12 had their textbooks approved. 

Terrifying Truths

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“The selection of certain images can make things appear worse than they are, and I believe there was bias,” said Aaron Kinsey, a Republican board member.

Oil and Gas Never Hurt Anyone

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The rejected textbooks faced criticism for presenting climate-crisis policy solutions and for being perceived as too pessimistic about the fossil fuel industry – a major player in Texas.

Texas leads the nation in producing crude oil and natural gas, and conservative board members raised concerns about the portrayal of the oil and gas sector.

Photo Propaganda 

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“You want to see children smiling in oil fields?” asked Aicha Davis, a Democratic board member.

Saving the Planet’s Too Radical

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While Texas school districts are not mandated to use board-approved textbooks, the decision holds sway, impacting the educational materials available to students.

Some influential figures, including Texas railroad commissioner Wayne Christian, expressed concerns about potential textbooks promoting what he termed a “radical environmentalist agenda.” 

Evolving Truth

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The board’s decision also questioned the inclusion of lessons on evolution, a scientific theory supported by the entire scientific community but rejected by certain fundamentalist religious groups. 

Standing Firm

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Despite pleas from the National Science Teaching Association not to let objections affect the adoption of new textbooks, the board stood firm in its decision. 

“Personal and Ideological Beliefs”

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“Members of the board are clearly motivated to take some of these textbooks off the approved list because of their personal and ideological beliefs regarding evolution and climate change,” stated Glenn Branch, the Deputy Director of the National Center on Science Education.

Extreme Weather Events

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Texas, experiencing some of the most severe impacts of the climate crisis, has seen extreme weather events in recent years.

The state faced record-breaking temperatures in the summer of 2023 following a winter storm in 2021 that left millions without power.

Climate Killer

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Additionally, Hurricane Harvey in 2017 brought devastating consequences to Houston, resulting in over 100 deaths in Texas. 

Burning Up

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“The summer of 2023 was the second hottest on record, after 2011,” stated John Nielsen-Gammon, a Texas State Climatologist.

Leading from the Rear

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Despite these challenges, Texas ranks 41st out of 50 states in the US for education. 

Evolving Ignorance

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The decision not to adopt specific climate textbooks led to an immediate outcry online, with many internet users furious that science was being rejected to protect commercial interests and religious ideology.

One user commented, “A good translation of that headline would be:  Republican-controlled school board votes to enthrone ignorance.”

“Less Books To Burn”

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Another user joked about the recent spate of Republicans banning books that do not agree with their climate denialism, or that seemed to “promote” LGBTQ+ lifestyles, stating, “The Republicans are being proactive. There will be less books to burn this way.”

The post “Images Can Make Things Appear Worse Than They Are” Texas Education Board Sparks Controversy With Decision To Exclude Most Climate Textbooks From State Science Curriculum first appeared on Wealthy Living.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / GaudiLab. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.