Although scientific evidence increasingly shows that fossil fuel consumption has caused the climate to change rapidly, the issue has grown so politicized that skepticism of the broad scientific consensus has seeped into classrooms, reports Neela Bannerjee at the LA Times. 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. Studies show that teachers often set aside teaching evolution fearing backlash, and this could happen with climate science, too. Resistance to it breaks down mostly along regional lines, especially in the South and regions where “livelihoods have been built on extractive industries” of fossil fuels, said an educational outreach director. New national science standards for grades K-12 that are expected to include climate change are due in December 2012. Meanwhile, the National Center for Science Education, a small, nonpartisan group of scientists, teachers, clergy and concerned individuals, will monitor the teaching of climate change and evaluate the sources of resistance to it.
Climate change skepticism seeps into science classrooms. Los Angeles Times
Scientists want climate change in young minds. On Monday, the National Center for Science Education, a nonprofit group that denounces intelligent design and supports an evolution-only curriculum in the classroom, will expand its mission to teach the nation’s schoolchildren that climate change is real and is being driven by human activity. Associated Press