Tell Texas: Respect Scientists, Publish Uncensored Environmental Report
It’s clear that Governor Rick Perry and his appointees at TCEQ, the state environmental agency, don’t “believe” in the serious global and local threats of climate change, despite extreme floods and droughts affecting our state in recent years. But that belief doesn’t give political appointees the right to censor established scientific facts. A Rice University scientist, Professor John Anderson, revealed to The Houston Chronicle that TCEQ officials heavily edited the chapter he’d been commissioned to write for the upcoming “State of the Bay” report about the health of Texas’s Galveston Bay. In the edited document, he revealed, officials removed references to global warming and its link to sea level rise, which is severely threatening crucial flood-protection wetlands around the Bay. I am a 5th-grade public school math and science teacher with a Masters in Science Education. I am also, as a citizen, active on issues related to raising awareness about and solutions to climate change. Professor Anderson recently said: “I think the travesty here is that this chapter was actually written for teachers. They're my target audience, and this to me is just an outward attempt to keep scientific information, scientific fact, from getting into classrooms.” So far, TCEQ is unapologetic about removing sea level rise information from the draft report, saying it is “unsettled science” that is beyond the scope of the report. This attitude is bad news for our children and bad news for Galveston Bay. Please join me, as well as many scientists and citizens in Texas, who are calling on TCEQ to publish the complete report when it releases the final version, including the COMPLETE unedited, scientifically-accepted references to sea level rise.