If Kopp hasn't completely backpedaled from his absurd Big Brother anti-science position, he'd better write that alternate curriculum fast: he's running out of skeptics to cite. New research from Stanford University finds the consensus on climate change is as strong as ever:
...[T]he vast majority of the world’s active climate scientists accept the evidence for global warming as well as the case that human activities are the principal cause of it.
For example, of the top 50 climate researchers identified by the study (as ranked by the number of papers they had published), only 2 percent fell into the camp of climate dissenters. Of the top 200 researchers, only 2.5 percent fell into the dissenter camp. That is consistent with past work, including opinion polls, suggesting that 97 to 98 percent of working climate scientists accept the evidence for human-induced climate change.
The study demonstrates that most of the scientists who have been publicly identified as climate skeptics are not actively publishing in the field. And the handful who are tend to have a slim track record, with about half as many papers published as the scientists who accept the mainstream view. The skeptics are also less influential, as judged by how often their scientific papers are cited in the work of other climate scientists [Justin Gillis, "Study Affirms Consensus on Climate Change," New York Times: Green, 2010.06.22].
In short: the scientists doing the hardest, most regular and reliable work agree we're changing the planet. The deniers do less science and less good science. Rep. Kopp would have us place our educational bets on scientific third-stringers and retirees who aren't keeping up with reality.
Update 12:45 CDT: Possibly related—79% of Europeans say they are moderately or very interested in science; 65% express the same interest in sports. In America, more people say they follow sports very closely than say they pay the same attention to science. Plus, the percentage of Americans following science news very closely has dropped by more than half since the 1980s.