LATimes: Climate change skepticism seeps into science classrooms

“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.”

The Los Angeles Times reports,

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.

In May, a school board in Los Alamitos, Calif., passed a measure, later rescinded, identifying climate science as a controversial topic that required special instructional oversight.

“Any time we have a meeting of 100 teachers, if you ask whether they’re running into pushback on teaching climate change, 50 will raise their hands,” said Frank Niepold, climate education coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who meets with hundreds of teachers annually. “We ask questions about how sizable it is, and they tell us it is [sizable] and pretty persistent, from many places: your administration, parents, students, even your own family.”

Against this backdrop, the National Center for Science Education, an Oakland-based watchdog group that supports the teaching of evolution through advocacy and educational materials, plans to announce on Monday that it will begin an initiative to monitor the teaching of climate science and evaluate the sources of resistance to it.

NCSE, a small, nonpartisan group of scientists, teachers, clergy and concerned individuals, rose to prominence in the last decade defending evolution in the curriculum.

The controversy around “climate change education is where evolution was 20 years ago,” said Eugenie Scott, executive director of NCSE…

Read the entire Times article.

7 thoughts on “LATimes: Climate change skepticism seeps into science classrooms”

  1. Comparing “evolution” to climate science is a fallacious argument. A better one is comparing “global warming” and its consequences to religious millenialism.

  2. The biggest thing at statke is that people don’t know what is actually scientifically debated.
    It’s not that the climate changes.
    It’s not that man has an effect on the climate.
    It’s not that CO2 specifically has an effect on climate (which is does, both in greenhouse warming and plant fertilization).
    What is up for debate is the conclusion that CO2 will have a profound and massively detrimental effect on the climate that overrides every environmental and humanitarian need on the planet. Also up for debate is the shoddy science used to support this conclusion, and the anger, vitrol, and outright attacks directed at any that would question this conclusion.

  3. The only similarity that they have in common is that macro evolution is similarly long on theory and frustratingly short on actual evidence. However, as the only alternative is popping into existence, evolution has to be correct.

    I have heard some people convincingly argue that due to the thin evidence, macro-evolution is not a theory, but a tautology, something that must be true rather something that has been proven true.

    The same cannot be said of climatology, which takes similar logical leaps but without the benefit of there being no other option.

  4. Ben sums it up for me – I want any of these alarmist to bullet point any proven fact that could/would support their hysteria – to date all I hear is ‘it’s an accepted fact’ or ‘ the science is proven’ etc etc etc ‘but’ never in simple terms any statement that supports their cause that cannot very logically be rebuffed.

  5. Ben has a priori limited the alternatives for the existence of living things without providing a logical basis for doing so and thus reaches an invalid conclusion with regard to evolution.

  6. Alright, buddy. I have a priori limited the alternatives for existence to things that are observed. The logical basis is that there has never been a confirmed instance of something spontaneously appearing from nothing. Symbolic mention in historic and religious text is non-admissible as evidence.

    Therefore, I ask you to posit either evidence of spontaneous generation or an alternative to my bilatteral “evolution or poppage” argument.

    It is called proof by exhaustion, and it is a valid method in extremely limited circumstances. This being one of them.

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