The Examiner U-46 News Feed
Speaker to reveal other view on climate change
By Seth Hancock
School District U-46 Board of Education member Jeanette Ward has invited a speaker to offer a perspective on man-made climate change “not taught in U-46 curriculum” and will be holding a presentation in Elgin.
Ward sent out a press release on the presentation, titled “Climate Change and Energy: A Minority Report,” which will be held on Friday, Feb. 24 at Gail Borden Library in the Meadow Community Room at 5 p.m. Steve Goreham, executive director for the Climate Science Coalition of America, is the invited speaker.
“This presentation is designed to illustrate a perspective not taught in U-46 curriculum and therefore students are especially encouraged to attend, but the event is open to the public and is free,” Ward said in the release.
Ward has voted against several curriculum and resource proposals since taking her seat in 2015 for one-sided lessons, most recently voting against a digital literacy curriculum proposal in late January.
Climate change has been one of the consistent areas that Ward has seen bias within the U-46 curriculum starting in the summer of 2015 when she voted against a K-8 Science Early Implementer proposal which included in its framework wanting to teach kindergartners that “humans have… overused some natural resources and have made a large impact on the earth.”
At the time, Ward said: “That is a value judgment. It’s not the nuts and bolts of science. It’s more in the political arena than science.”
According to the press release, Ward had hoped to organize a debate between Goreham and climate scientists Katherine Hayhoe and Neeshad Shafi who will be presenting during Elgin High School teacher Deborah Perryman’s class during a “National Biodiversity Teach-In” this month.
Ward contacted Perryman who put her in touch with the scientists, and a reply to Ward from a spokesman for Hayhoe confirmed that one-sided lessons will be taught in Perryman’s class.
“Dr. Hayhoe has a firm policy to not ‘debate’ the reality of our changing climate. We believe that contributing to anything that promotes the idea that the science is 50/50 on climate change and other important environmental issues is simply misleading the public that the verdict is still out. For this reason Dr. Hayhoe must decline,” the response read.
Perryman declined the invitation for Shafi as well as herself according to the press release.
“All scientists should be willing to continue to follow the evidence, perform new inquiries, and prove the efficacy of their data,” Ward said. “Students in particular should be presented with opposing sets of data to encourage them to think about the scientific method and the process of critical thinking, which is the goal of true education.”
The Examiner contacted Perryman to ask why she declined the invitation and if she doesn’t feel there should be a debate on the subject how does it help educate students to present only one side on the subject?
Perryman replied that “I have no comment at this time” and directed any questions to the U-46 administration. The Examiner did not contact the administration as Perryman is the only one who can answer for her decisions.
There have been plenty of stories in recent years surrounding climate science including allegations of scientists cooking their own data to support man-made climate change theories.
Recently climatologist Judith Curry stepped down from her post as chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology because of the over politicization of climate science.
In a blog post, Curry explained her resignation: “Research and other professional activities are professionally rewarded only if they are channeled in certain directions approved by a politicized academic establishment — funding, ease of getting your papers published, getting hired in prestigious positions, appointments to prestigious committees and boards, professional recognition, etc. How young scientists are to navigate all this is beyond me, and it often becomes a battle of scientific integrity versus career suicide (I have worked through these issues with a number of skeptical young scientists).”
According to Ward’s press release, two candidates in the upcoming April 4 board election, current board member Cody Holt and newcomer Enoch Essendrop, support the effort to provide all sides of the issue.
“The people need to hear both sides of this issue to come to their own conclusion. It is a shame that both sides are not presented to students,” Holt said in the release. Essendrop said: “It is interesting that the opposing side has refused to participate.”