National Center For Science Education Launches Fight Against Climate Change Denial In Schools

Some states have introduced education standards requiring teachers to defend the denial of man-made global warming. A national watchdog group says it will start monitoring classrooms.

Cross-posted from ThinkProgress Green

Long a leader in the fight to defend the teaching of evolution in public schools, the National Center for Science Education now sees creationist-like tactics being used in the attack on climate education. A recent survey of science teachers found over half had encountered skepticism from parents, and a quarter dealt with climate-denying administrators. Climate deniers are increasingly sending hate mail to scientists and teachers. As the Los Angeles Times reports, state legislators are increasingly promoting climate denial in classrooms:

Texas and Louisiana have introduced education standards that require educators to teach climate change denial as a valid scientific position. South Dakota and Utah passed resolutions denying climate change. Tennessee and Oklahoma also have introduced legislation to give climate change skeptics a place in the classroom.

After decades in which climate denial was driven primarily by industrial polluters, much in the way the tobacco industry lied about the dangers of smoking, the climate fight is becoming more intensely personal and political. As extreme weather disasters rise and the effects of global warming become unmistakable in daily life, right-wing climate deniers are trying to subvert the obvious moral and ethical necessity of action, trying to tie their fossil-fueled denial to religious faith.

“We consider climate change a critical issue in our own mission to protect the integrity of science education,” said Dr. Eugenie C. Scott, NCSE’s executive director, announcing the new initiative. She discussed the parallels and differences between creationism and climate denial in a podcast with Steve Mirsky.

Mark McCaffrey, a climate and environmental education expert, has joined the NCSE as its new climate change programs and policy director. Mark is a co-author of the Essential Principles of Climate Literacy and co-founder of the Climate Literacy Network. Pacific Institute hydroclimatologist Peter Gleick, one of the leading climate communicatiors in the nation, has joined their board of directors.

NCSE’s stellar Josh Rosenau has more details as his blog, Thoughts From Kansas.

Related Posts:

5 Responses to National Center For Science Education Launches Fight Against Climate Change Denial In Schools

  1. prokaryotes says:

    That we still have this kind of debate, which originate from fossil fuel intrests is a crime. Because it crucialy undermines affords to prevent worst case scenarios, which have the potential to collpase societies.

  2. The consequences of denying the science of evolution is nil in comparison to this.
    Climate change is already in your face for anyone paying attention… and in a decade or two it will be slapping the deniers flat.

  3. Robert Nagle says:

    I read on CNN last week that 2/3 of Protestant ministers in the US believed the earth was less than 6000 years old. If that is true, and they are influencing their congregation, it’s unrealistic to think that churchgoers will accept paleo evidence about climate change. That’s the magnitude of the problem.

  4. Scrooge says:

    This is just sad. Do our school children stand a chance? The science is not under question. Science classes need to teach science. Creationism and climate denial either belong in mythology, theology, or political class. I do believe overall each generation gains more knowledge but america is falling behind other nations because of nonsense like this. We still have excellent colleges but isn’t it something like 50% of Phd candidates are here on student visas. So they get their education here and return their countries so that theirs improve while ours go stagnant

  5. James P Louviere says:

    I applaud the decision to scrap the Keystone pipeline, but compared to Global Warming and
    Climate change, Keystone is just a minor irritant. Climate change is happening and worsens as methane from seas and tundra, beef and pig and chicken farms, and countless other sources continues burdening our atmosphere. Tropical diseases moving into Kansas? Texas-style drought in Nebraska? Submerged New Orleans, Miami, L.A., Venice, Bangkok, Cape Cod, Boston? Starvation, massive migrations of desperate people and predatory animals? And now states mandate teaching denial? Hate mail and death threats to climate scientists? OMG.