It must have been a happy coincidence for former state senator Dan Liljenquist that he opined in the Deseret News about “the dismal science” of climatology the day after an eminent climatologist spoke of the dire threat to the Earth. Michael Mann, professor of meteorology and director of the Earth Systems Science Center at Penn State University, spoke at a Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah’s annual spring breakfast about the big money behind the effort to squelch climate science. While the evidence is clear that mankind is pushing climate change, optimists like Liljenquist continue to tell us to just relax. You have to read his D-News piece twice to see the irony in it all. While Liljenquist says he believes in climate change, he doesn’t think we should get our panties in a bunch. His argument is that there’s no way to stop it, but we have to have faith in human ingenuity. So, doesn’t that mean people need to continue to act and search for solutions?
Educators have long been bemoaning the strange way Utah elects its state School Board members—vetting them through a business-laden committee that sends the chosen candidates to the governor, who then sends his choices to the electorate. Now, the job posting for the new superintendent seeks someone who might just be “non-traditional.” In other words, the new superintendent doesn’t have to be a “public educator.” “Candidates should have at least 10 years of relevant experience, and an advanced degree is preferred but not required.” The candidate should be able to put together an executive team to implement a “strategic plan.” It apparently isn’t important for the person directing education to actually be educated. If a degree is not important to a job, then educators should stop focusing on Utah’s dismal graduation rate.
Bus or Bust
The Utah Department of Transportation is doing what the Utah Transit Authority isn’t—expanding bus service to underserved areas. UDOT and Greyhound are giving a five-year fare subsidy to allow a new company—Elevated Transit—to operate and grow between Salt Lake and Blanding and Salt Lake and Richfield, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. The plan has potential, both by providing public transportation and underwriting a new business. Meanwhile, UTA, taking a page from the NSA, has chosen to put $2.5 million toward video cameras on trains and buses. Security, and the avoidance of lawsuits, apparently is more important than actual service to the community.