Plumer: Will your kid be taught that climate change is a hoax?

Hopefully not. Kids should learn to figure out controversies for themselves — as opposed to being force-fed politically correct propaganda.

Brad Plumer frets in the Washington Post:

…But could Heartland actually spread its views? Rosenau says that Heartland could do what creationist groups like the Discovery Institute have been doing for years and simply mail out supplemental materials to educators far and wide. “There will be teachers who are sympathetic to the skeptic view or who think the material looks useful, and they’ll say to themselves, okay, I’ll bring this into the classroom,” he explains. It’s worth noting that the Heartland Institute had already developed a video along these lines — titled “Unstoppable Solar Cycles,” which laid out the long-debunked theory that the sun is driving recent warming — and shipped it off to teachers. (These earlier efforts, according to one Heartland document, met with “only limited success.”)

Even if these materials turn out to be wildly inaccurate or out of sync with a state’s science-education standards, keeping tabs on their use would be quite difficult. “In almost all cases,” Rosenau says, “there are no policies that would prevent a teacher from using such material.” Quite the opposite: A few states, such as Louisiana, have non-binding laws that urge teachers to embrace “supplemental” material on heated topics like evolution and climate change.

And as global warming becomes an increasingly emotional political issue, teachers will face pressure to either adopt a skeptical stance or skip over the topic entirely. An online poll by the National Science Teachers Association in 2011 found that 54 percent of teachers had encountered climate skepticism from parents — and many teachers said they now teach climate change as a he-said, she-said issue. (“I teach that we are always evaluating and learning,” said one elementary-school educator in California. “Nothing is in stone… I teach both sides.”) In that environment, a group like the Heartland Institute, offering up its own skeptical teaching materials, could find plenty of fertile soil…

Read the entire commentary.

4 thoughts on “Plumer: Will your kid be taught that climate change is a hoax?”

  1. We should be teaching our children only the things we know to be true, not things which, may be, could be or might be. Elves pixies and fairies may be true, I can’t prove it, so I would not teach my children to believe. The same criteria should be used on all science.

  2. From all I learned in the study of geology and related physical sciences and 50 years of professional experience I cannot understand how any sane, intelligent individual can believe that CO2 is a dangerous pollutant in our atmosphere causing excessive warming. I would not let any relative of mine be uninformed because this warming nonsense is wrong and way too much money has been invested in it to give it a decent burial. If you don’t believe me, I suggest you buy a copy of William F. Ruddiman–“Earth’s Climate Past and Future.” He will convince you that there is nothing unusual going on with our climate in the 10,000 years since Pleistocene glaciation #5 me;ted back

  3. And computer simulations using poorly designed criteria and data (I’d say faked, but I’m trying to be nice.) are equally valid, scientifically speaking, with Ouija boards, although nearly as much fun. Maybe some of these “skeptical” teachers will point out that little tidbit too.

  4. So, Heartland could mail out graphs of ACTUAL TEMPERATURES for the
    last decades, and “There will be teachers who are sympathetic to the skeptic
    view,” and might bring them into the classroom. Wow. The skeptic’s view
    is like actual data?

    “And as global warming becomes an increasingly emotional political issue.”

    With people publishing ACTUAL TEMPERATURES, global warming will
    perforce become “an increasingly emotional political issue,” cause if it
    ain’t data, it’s emotion.

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