The efforts of Governor Mead and the Wyoming legislative body to deny the Next Generation Science Standards to Wyoming students because they contain climate science are reminiscent of the boy who placed his finger in a dam to stop a leak. The boy’s minuscule efforts to stave off the leak do not turn out well for him or his community.
I challenge State Rep. Teeters’ remarks that teaching climate science as fact would “wreck Wyoming’s economy… and cause other unwanted political ramifications.” Wyoming students’ access to current peer reviewed science standards that also include climate science will not wreck the economy of this state of Wyoming. Next Generation Science Standards teach critical thinking utilizing full information toward rational problem solving necessary to the academic, college, career and professional paths of our students and as well, to address critical contemporary issues. The education of students used as a political checker piece is woefully misguided action.
Per Wyoming’s economy, it is in fact in an excellent position to thrive by adapting and utilizing creative critical thinking in regard to energy issues, far better positioned than many parts of the country to embrace cutting edge sustainable technologies. Wyoming now has the largest carbon footprint of any state in the U.S. It’s time to reconsider the “leaking dam” ideology and work together to address cause and effect for the benefit of our children, our selves and future generations. We need to repair then replace the “leaking dam” with higher functioning alternatives. Our students deserve tools and support to address the world they are living in.
A Wyoming native, I was born, raised, live and work in this state. Wyoming is not an island. Wyoming values are not different from the values of other states and peoples for health, security, livelihood, connection and care of our children. Wyoming values do not discount intelligence as a tool for meeting current issues and addressing them. Wyoming is a big state and our students have big shoes to fill in regard to their futures, locally and as citizens of the larger world.