According to the Michigan Farm Bureau, Michigan science curricula may be tilting too far to the left. The controversy arose when the Battle Creek Area Math and Science Center, an outreach program for advanced K-12 students in the Battle Creek, Michigan area, included a self-published book on global warming as a part of their curriculum.
The book, “A Hot Planet Needs Cool Kids,” was included as a part of the BCAMSC’s seventh grade science kit, which has been purchased by about 35 schools across the state. This marks the first year that the book has been included in BCAMSC science kits and, since the climate change section in Michigan schools does not appear until midway through the school year, students have not yet seen the book.
The problem, according to the Michigan Farm Bureau, is that the book has an inaccurate and ideologically guided understanding of farm practices. For example, the author claims that vegetarianism can reduce “energy consumption, methane gas, and the potential for disease outbreak.” The book also describes conditions on animal farms as unnatural and horrible.
These indictments of the farm industry are unfair, spokesmen for the Michigan Farm Bureau claim, and ignore many of the efforts made by farmers to mitigate animal suffering on farms and limit the emission of greenhouse gasses. In addition, some of the claims the book makes, such as the idea that farm chemicals will cause cancer, have no supporting evidence.
The book, the Farm Bureau claims, is concerned more with ideology than with science. The Farm Bureau also went to great lengths to praise the overall curriculum of the BCAMSC, saying that it supports teaching the science of climate change. This one book, however, frequently strays from the group’s overall sound curriculum.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer