December 1, 2005

Choosing Textbooks in Texas

Saturday August 27th 2005, 9:34 am
Filed under: Government

A book on the environment was rejected for use in Texas high schools based on conservative pressure.

The book is “Environmental Science: Creating a Sustainable Futureby Daniel Chiras.

What Chiras didn’t anticipate, however, was strong opposition from Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Texas Public Policy Foundation, two conservative lobbying groups. Chiras, a visiting professor of environmental studies at Colorado College, said the groups branded him “anti-free enterprise, anti-Christian and anti-American.”

The groups had several qualms with Chiras’ book. They decried his assertion that Americans, only 5 percent of the world’s population, generate 25 percent of the greenhouse gases widely believed to contribute to global warming. They labeled him “anti-free enterprise” for describing American industries’ roles in environmental pollution, and they compared him to Osama bin Laden for noting the pollution caused by the country’s airlines.

…Two other books were adopted instead, Chiras said. One, largely funded by the coal-mining industry, contains 62 pages on mining and only four paragraphs on its environmental impact. The other changed a time reference to avoid contradicting some fundamentalist Christians’ belief that the Earth was created 6,000 years ago. It amended a reference to ice ages from millions of years ago to read ice ages of the “distant past.”

Via Pandagon.

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