Connecticut House passes bill mandating education of human-induced climate change
BY MORGAN GSTALTER – 05/29/19 11:22 AM EDT
The Connecticut House on Tuesday passed a bill to make Connecticut the first state to mandate the teaching of human-induced climate change.
The bill passed on a 103-43 vote largely along party lines following a nearly five-hour debate, the Hartford Courant reported. The bill now moves to the state Senate.
If signed into law, public school science teachers would be required to include climate change in their curriculum starting in the fifth grade.
State Rep. Christine Palm (D) proposed the legislation to have lawmakers take climate change more seriously, the newspaper noted.
Republicans in the state House, however, spent hours picking apart the bill and voicing their claim that climate change is not caused by humans.
“There is active scientific debate among scientists and others … about how much global warming is caused by humans burning fossil fuels,” Rep. John Piscopo (R) said. “Why tie teachers’ hands to [teach] one side of a debate?”
The Courant noted that multiple scientific journals show that the vast majority — 97 percent — of publishing climate scientists agree that it is a real threat caused by human activity.
State Rep. Lezlye Zupkus said that climate change is not as important as fundamentals like “reading, writing and arithmetic.”
“We just continue to pile more and more on our children,” Zupkus said, according to the newspaper.
Rep. Matt Blumenthal (D) pointed out that studies from the fossil fuel industry show a direct link between carbon emissions and global warming.
“The idea that climate change is human-made and actually occurring is not controversial scientifically,” he said. “And I don’t think including this in the curriculum should be controversial … what this bill does is not take one side of an argument, but it teaches what we should be teaching to our children: the science with the politics taken out of it.”
Gov. Ned Lamont (D) has called for green initiatives since his coming into office earlier the year, according to the Yale Daily News.
He previously released a broad plan with steps to reduce carbon emissions in Connecticut by 70 percent by 2040 and completely by 2050.
“The facts are clear and the evidence incontrovertible: Our earth is getting warmer, ice caps and glaciers are melting, the sea level is rising, and an array of other related events are underway from storm surges to droughts,” Lamont said in a campaign press release in July 2018.
President Trump has previously suggested climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese and has pointed to winter storms and weather patterns to push back on the idea of global warming.
A climate researcher recently blasted the Trump administration’s stance on climate science, comparing it to the stance of the Soviet Union.