In October, we teamed up with Sojourners to launch a petition urging the Texas State Board of Education to protect climate science in our children's textbooks.
On November 22nd, the Texas State Board of Education voted to approve science textbooks with climate science intact!
This is a huge victory for our students, our teachers, our planet and our future. And it was a nail-biter til the end — with last-minute lobbying by an oil and gas industry rep pandering to the Tea Party. It made a difference to have over 5,000 people of faith on record in support of climate science!1
Here's how Fox News covered the textbook debate in Texas including the last minute attempt to derail approval of the only environmental science book.
And in case you're wondering what Becky Berger said: Here's a firsthand testimony of Dr. Steven Schafersman, a professor of environmental science who was at the hearing. He debunks Becky Berger's testimony line-by-line and writes that he "realized [Berger] was using the attack on an environmental science book as a way to publicize her political campaign for the Republican Primary Tea Party voters’ support." Hat tip to the Texas Freedom Network.
But we agree with Fox – in a representative frame of government we need people to give voice to their concerns. Becky Berger, an oil and gas industry rep running for office in Texas, offered her testimony. And we offered ours. 6,000 of you said you want the truth of climate science in our kids' textbooks so we delivered our petition straight into the hands of the Texas Board of Ed right before their deliberations.
Because let's remember the big picture, which was missing from the Fox News piece. Our kids are getting an excellent environmental science textbook that will equip them to address the climate change threatening our planet and future.
We bring you this little bit of opposition research to drive home how important our work together is.
Here's a summary of the campaign:
Why climate science? When our kids grow up, we want them to live in a world that's free from superstorms like Katrina and Sandy. It's why our faith traditions call on all of us to care for creation. But how will our children be able to protect the Earth and all its creatures without learning the facts? Without climate science education, future generations won't know what's happening to the air they breathe, the water they drink, or the food they eat.
Why Texas? Unlike Vegas, what happens in Texas doesn't stay in Texas. Because Texas is such a big buyer of textbooks, what they decide affects textbooks across the nation, for all our children.2 So to protect climate science in our children's education, we had to go to Texas.
Why faith? In the past, extremist voices have used God's name in vain to prevent science from being taught to our kids.3 Imagine our kids learning that increasing climate disruption – like Hurricanes Katrina or Sandy – were because of God, not increases in CO2 emissions from human activities, like burning dirty coal.
So what did we do?
Congrats to us and thank YOU for signing the petition, spreading the word, and putting creation care first.
Power to you and to us together,
The Groundswell team
 "Oil And Gas Industry Advocates Accused Of 'Hijacking' Texas Textbooks." Huffington Post, November 21, 2013.
 "How Texas Inflicts Bad Textbooks on Us," by Gail Collins. New York Times Review of Books, 2012.
 "Textbook Censorship in Texas: A Timeline." Texas Freedom Network.
 "Online Flashmob Right Before Tx Votes On Climate Change In Our Textbooks." Groundswell, November 20, 2013.
PS: We have some deep gratitude and high fives for the following people:
Did you hear about Rev. Frank Schaefer? He was put on trial, found guilty, and suspended *for officiating the wedding of his gay son.* But people of faith are stepping up ...
Our friends at the Texas Freedom Network are organizing online flashmob right as the Board of Ed starts their deliberation on whether to protect climate change in our textbooks! It'll mean we show up in a big way in Austin *and* online for the world to see.
This Wednesday, we're delivering a petition with Sojourners — a national Christian organization working for justice — to prevent fringe anti-science members of the Texas Board of Ed from censoring climate change in our children's textbooks ...
Rev. Richard Cizik just appeared on State of Belief radio to discuss his petition to convince the National Association of Evangelicals to recognize the reality of climate change. Check out the video.
In the days after my attack in NYC in September, you added your name to a solidarity page in my honor. Thank you for your prayers. I recorded a video message for you ...
But this November, if fringe anti-science members of a Texas review panel have their way, climate change will be censored from our children's textbooks around the country.
Tell the Texas Board of Education: Keep climate science (you know, facts) in our textbooks.