Officially, Kansas is a Bible Belt state. Teachers usually have some form of a disclaimer statement for families when it comes to Darwin. They usually try to stress that it is the Theory of evolution; I try to instill the idea the perhaps God’s plan was evolution. Regardless of who created the Heavens and Earth, we should be free to wonder and explore the beauty and perfection in Nature. In exploration, we find the bounty of a diverse, cooperative system in which all creatures can benefit and thrive. Without an intimate understanding of ecosystems and our existence within Nature, humans have corrupted and abused this Earth which sustains all glorious Life. Excluding scientific study from curriculum standards has led to multiple generations of people who cannot recognize the tangible evidence of climate change.
As reported by Kevin Robillard at Politico, “Rush Limbaugh […] suggested Monday that the National Hurricane Center’s forecast models for Tropical Storm Isaac were altered to help President Barak Obama and “cast a pall” over the Republican National Convention.”
Now I usually don’t pay two-beans worth of attention to Rush, but I have come to realize that enough people DO get distracted by every talk radio host that they no longer distinguish incendiary comments and exaggerated opinions from factual information. I call it the Blame Game, and I really prefer not to play.
George Monbiot of The Guardian makes it clear that our government leaders are in denial of observable facts and evidence of climate change. Mainstream media perpetuates misinformation to the extreme of mass confusion, and denial persists through the public discourse.
Here in Kansas, we live in the Land of NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard). Yes, everyone wants efficient, locally sourced energy, but not if we have to erect wind turbines in the Flint Hills region. They would interrupt the skyline view. However, oil refineries, high-power transmission lines, and a cross-continent pipeline are acceptable. I suppose it is denial that allows my neighbors to continue watering their lawns three times a week, even though the USGS reports continued drought conditions, and in July, the Governor declared all Kansas counties in Emergency Drought Status.
The thing about teaching science is that science measures what is observable. Wind speeds are observable, as are water levels, wildlife populations, and pollution. The scientific community does not try to disprove the existence of God; rather they have accepted that God is immeasurable, and therefore not subject to any inquiry, except in the field of Philosophy. If we do not teach our children about the natural world, they will not learn how to adapt and survive. If we do not teach our children how to live sustainably and efficiently with the resources available, they will not be able to survive if our culture does come crashing down. Regardless of whether the Earth was created by a Supreme Being, we humans must recognize our role in the destruction of natural resources, and teach our children alternative means to keep moving forward. The Bible teaches us that humans have dominion over all the creatures of Earth. Let us realize that with great power comes great responsibility, and we must strive to work cooperatively within Nature.