HAHS science book sparks contention
Two school board members object to global warming entry
HOLLIDAYSBURG — A proposed AP environmental science book for Hollidaysburg Area grades 10-12 stirred some opposition from a couple of school board members who say they don’t agree with ideas of global warming.
The text “Exploring Exploring Environmental Science for AP,” published by Cengage Learning, is a required text of the national Advanced Placement course, and the district has no choice over the material, Superintendent Bob Gildea said.
In addition, Gildea said the book presents more sides of issues than what was presented by a board member who opposed it.
The school board approved the text 6-2 Wednesday. Lois Kaneshiki and Ron Yoder voted against it. Melissa Mitchell was absent. Drew Swope, Ron Sommer, Lonna Frye, Scott Brenneman, Rob Vonada and Rick Gallagher approved it.
Kaneshiki said the book is lopsided in its presentation of issues including global warming and green energy.
“I consider it propaganda,” Kaneshiki said. “It pushes the green agenda.”
Kaneshiki said she reviewed the book and that it presents one-sided content regarding the benefits of alternative energy sources such as solar power, windmills and electric cars as well as presenting the fracking industry as dangerous, which Kaneshiki said she disagrees with.
Kaneshiki offered to donate to the senior high school library some copies of a book “Inconvenient facts: The science that Al Gore doesn’t want you to know,” by Pittsburgh author Gregory Wrightstone.
“I would like to donate copies to let students know there are other sides out there,” she said.
She said the text promotes fuel efficient cars despite their lighter weight and danger.
“I have nothing against being a green consumer, but the book leaves out the cost of electric car batteries, for example,” she said.
Yoder has a bachelor’s degree in geology from Juniata College and recently owned a natural gas fueling station in Duncansville.
“If the comments she made were correct, then I can’t agree with what’s in the book at all,” Yoder said, adding that he wants to read the book for himself. “I don’t agree with global warming. In geological time there are 100,000-year cycles. It’s on the warming side here, and it will get cold again.”
One online source, The Climate Change Resource Center — a joint project of the USDA Forest Service Research Stations and the Environmental Threat Assessment Centers acknowledges the natural cycle but adds that current rates of change are “extremely” rapid.
“Natural climate cycles can help to understand what climate patterns are expected, how the recent increase in greenhouse gas emissions is causing deviations from these expected patterns,” states research on the website. “It is important to recognize that current rates of global climate change are extremely rapid compared to past changes and may produce conditions that have not been anticipated.”