Last year a major poll revealed that among high and middle school science teachers, at least a third are skeptical of global warming alarmism. They are teaching the real scientific debate.
Good news indeed!
The poll was sponsored by the National Center for Science Education. They are a mad dog climate alarmist group, so I suspect they were very unhappy with the results, which makes the results that much more reliable. Of course it would be much better if all teachers taught the truth about the climate debate, but given the pressures to teach alarmism a third is a significant fraction.
These pressures are substantial. For example, the liberal media universally reported these poll results as bad news. The Washington Post headline was “How teachers are getting it wrong on climate change.” Telling teachers that they are “getting it wrong” when they teach about the real climate change debate is an absurd bias. It is the ones teaching alarmism that are getting it wrong.
Unfortunately this alarmist bias is not confined to newspapers. The major teacher organizations also share it. The bias came out recently when the Heartland Institute began sending a report — Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming — to science teachers. Their efforts to provide much needed information were denounced by several leading education groups, led by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).
These groups actually sent a joint letter to their members, calling the Heartland information campaign an “attack on reason.” Clearly, given that something like a third of their members share Heartland’s skeptical view, it is this letter that is unreasonable. How can a membership organization attack a position that a third of its members hold? This can only happen if zealots are in charge, for they are well aware of these poll results.
NSTA is also high on my list of 33 websites peddling alarmist classroom materials. Even worse, the enormous National Education Association (NEA) has a site pushing alarmist content to teachers. NEA’s primary function is to lobby for public school teachers and it has over three million members. That it should take the alarmist position on climate change is ludicrous, given that many teachers disagree.
Unfortunately NEA’s website — Climate Change Education: Essential Information for Educators — is completely alarmist. It begins with this false claim: “The effects of human-caused climate change can already be seen.” They also repeatedly use the term climate change to mean human-caused climate change, as though natural climate change did not exist, which is nonsense.
The NEA site provides links to a variety of alarmist teaching materials, going all the way down to 4th grade. It is also worth noting that many of these incorrect classroom materials are provided by Federal agencies, including NOAA, NASA, NSF, USDA and DOE. When it comes to teaching climate alarmism, the Feds are in the forefront.
Given all these pressures it is impressive that many teachers sill want to teach the entire climate change debate, not just alarmism. They need all the help we can give them. Moreover, those who are promoting alarmism need to be called to account. It is time to stand up for skepticism in the schools.