The Portland Public Schools board is going to need to buy some carbon offsets to compensate for its new book-burning campaign.
Well, okay, it’s not actually planning to burn the books, so it’s in the clear on the emissions. Perhaps it will use a more ecologically sensitive solution like composting. Either way, the politically incorrect books are on the way out.
Last week, the Portland, Oregon, public schools board voted to “abandon the use of any adopted text material that is found to express doubt about the severity of the climate crisis or its root in human activities.”
This is the party of “science” at work. Because the rigorous suppression of doubt and skepticism is the essence of a good science education, right?
But don’t worry, Jonathan Chait is on top of this and informs us that it’s all just in the imaginations of “anti-science conservatives” because “the story does not actually describe a book ban. It describes a ban on ‘textbooks and other teaching materials that deny climate change exists or cast doubt on whether humans are to blame.’” Which is a totally different thing, somehow.
In other news, Chait is strongly against political correctness when it targets people like him. The rest of us are fair game.
Actually, the story is even worse than what conservative news sites have reported. It’s not just that Portland banished from its schools any active denial of catastrophic, man-made global warming; it’s that they banished any language that implies the smallest amount of doubt. Bill Bigelow, a former teacher now working for the activist group that pushed this resolution, explained its rationale in testimony to the school board:
Bigelow said PPS’ science textbooks are littered with words like ‘might,’ ‘may,’ and ‘could’ when talking about climate change. ‘Carbon dioxide emissions from motor vehicles, power plants and other sources, may contribute to global warming,’ he quotes Physical Science published by Pearson as saying. ‘This is a section that could be written by the Exxon public relations group and it’s being taught in Portland schools.’
It reminds me of the old dictum attributed to Lenin: first you target the counter-revolutionaries, and then you target the insufficiently enthusiastic. This is no longer about suppressing us global warming “deniers.” It’s about erecting the global warming catechism as a dogma that cannot be given anything short of enthusiastic consent. You have to embrace it the way you love Big Brother.