There is room for debate about global warming and its man-made cause, unless you are a student in Portland, Oregon public schools.
That was the directive from the Portland school board recently when it ordered any texts contravening that theory be purged from the district’s textbooks and other curriculum. Any insidious words like “may” or “might” or “could” that cast even a shred of doubt on the “settled science” of global warming will be stricken from student view.
And that’s a pity.
There is no question there is a strong consensus among climate scientists that the current global warming trend exists, is ongoing and is likely linked to human activity and the rise in carbon dioxide emissions. But there are also doubters who question whether the changes are outside normal climactic variations.
In the United States, the political and economic debate over global warming, what to do about it and how effective — and how damaging to our carbon-fueled economy — remedial measures would be continues to rage.
The Portland school board vote was one such skirmish. The effort there was led by environmental and left-wing groups that want to stamp out any dissent — as demonstrated by one of the leaders, Bill Bigelow, who acknowledged: “We don’t want kids in Portland learning material courtesy of the fossil fuel industry.”
And Portland is not alone in beating the drum to curb any dissent. Earlier this spring Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the Justice Department was looking at the possibility of pursuing civil action against climate change deniers and had referred a request to the FBI to determine whether the department could act. Nothing warming about that, global or otherwise.