Climate Change Denialism Spreading in US Public Education Related Proposals

It is no longer the case that science teachers and concerned parents only need to worry about creationists invading US classrooms, via personal intrusion (by parents, students, or creationist teachers) or by legislation or regulation. Increasingly climate change denialism is being shoved into science classes by the usual nefarious forces.

This is not really new. "Academic Freedom" bills in many states over the last decade or so were introduced to try to force college professors to shut up about climate change. In the college setting, I've had about the same level of resistance to global warming as to evolution, if not more. But as Neela Banerjee points out, we may be nearing a flash point in American science education:

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In May, a school board in Los Alamitos, Calif., passed a measure, later rescinded, identifying climate science as a controversial topic that required special instructional oversight.

And it goes on and on. Read the rest of that article in the LA Times here.

We are expecting some interesting news any moment now from the National Center for Science Education regarding their increasing efforts to address the issue of climate change denailism. Watch for that. In fact, listen for it on Friday, when a discussion between Shawn Otto, Sheril Kirshenbaum and myself on Desiree Schell's Skeptically Speaking will be released as a podcast along with a separate commentary by Genie Scott, Executive Director of the NCSE, regarding climate change denialism.

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If a professor can bring up the topic of abortion in a class, which to me is just as much of a classroom stirrer, then schools should bring up the topic of Evolution and climate change denial-ism. Everyone has a different opinion on the topic of climate change and that is how it should be. Not everyone can think the same as not everyone is the same person. These schools should not censor these topics in class. They should bring up the topic of whether our environment is changing or not. They teachers should promote calm and free speaking in the class. This way student can learn from others and can freely express themselves instead of staying quiet throughout the class. Classes are for intellectual learning and should not have censorship involved.

"Everyone has a different opinion on the topic of climate change and that is how it should be."

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But they are not entitled to their own facts.

Everyone has a different opinion on the topic of climate change and that is how it should be.

You actually WANT people to be unable to agree on a matter of objective fact? You actually think that inability or unwillingness to face reality is a GOOD thing?

The reason creationism and climate change denialism have no place in the classroom is because they have no basis whatsoever in actual scientific observations of the world. Opinions don't matter at all in a scientific setting if they are not backed up by evidence. That is the way it should be, otherwise it isn't science anymore.

IMO, pixie dust suffers entirely unwarranted exclusion from American science classrooms, only gaining entrance through the pleas of exam takers and hottie oglers.

By SplatterPatterns (not verified) on 23 Jan 2012 #permalink