What: All Issues : Human Rights & Civil Liberties : Freedom of Scientific Inquiry : Reauthorization of the National Science Foundation (H.R. 1867)/Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) amendment to require NSF to create curriculum for kindergarten through 12th graders on climate change, climate science and strategies to reduce greenhouse gases
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Reauthorization of the National Science Foundation (H.R. 1867)/Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) amendment to require NSF to create curriculum for kindergarten through 12th graders on climate change, climate science and strategies to reduce greenhouse gases
house Roll Call 288     May 02, 2007
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This vote was on an amendment to legislation reauthorizing the National Science Foundation (NSF), a large federal grant-making agency, at $21 billion through fiscal 2010. Proposed by Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), the amendment would require that NSF create educational materials on global warming for kindergarten through 12th graders.

As a former science teacher, Honda said his amendment was driven by his understanding that many scientific concepts are difficult to grasp and seem abstract and irrelevant to many people, but humans' ability to arrest the catastrophic consequences of global climate change will rest on our ability to grasp why it's happening and what we can do to change course.

"And, we don't have much time," he said. "Global warming will cause significant impacts, including shifting weather patterns, drought, rising sea levels, and disrupted wildlife migration patterns. Nearly every point on the globe is getting warmer, and the debate is no longer if, but when, these changes will occur.

"These threats are the most natural consequences of a worldwide over-reliance on fossil fuels and destructive, wasteful use of resources. We have lived on the earth, but we have not yet learned to live with the earth," Honda continued.

His amendment would direct NSF to create informal education materials, exhibits, and multi-media relevant to global warming, climate science, and greenhouse reduction strategies.

"The education provided by this amendment will help people of all ages and backgrounds to make choices in their daily lives and in their communities to stop global warming," Honda concluded, adding that while the only true answer is a comprehensive energy policy, this information would empower young people to make a difference in their own lives.

No Republicans spoke out against the amendment, although a majority supported a failed attempt by Rep. John Sullivan (R-Okla.) to modify Honda's amendment to require NSF to include a "diversity of viewpoints" about the causes and implications of global climate change in its educational materials. (See Roll Call 287.)

Honda's amendment was adopted with unanimous Democratic support, and 27 Republicans joined them in passing it. Thus, on a vote of 252 to 165, the House approved an amendment to legislation reauthorizing the National Science Foundation that would require the agency to produce educational materials for kindergarten through 12th graders on the issue of global climate change.

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