The Sciences

Is It Time to Start Countering Climate Denial at the Local Level?

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyNov 2, 2010 12:55 PM

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is teaming up with Scholastic (which makes bajillions off textbooks and Harry Potter) to produce an "energy" curriculum--one that neglects environmental consequences and climate change, at least in the materials presented so far (PDF). Scholastic also offers the "United States of Energy," another lesson plan/educational program "brought to you" in part by the American Coal Foundation. Meanwhile, in state after state, anti-evolutionists are arguing not only that we should "teach the controversy" around evolution, but that the same goes for other controversial topics as well--and then global warming inevitably gets roped in. And the strategy has been working. In the most infamous case, legislators in South Dakota called for "balanced teaching" about global warming in their state. In one version, their bill justified this assault by noting, "there are a variety of climatological, meteorological, astrological, thermological, cosmological, and ecological dynamics that can effect world weather phenomena [and] the significance and interrelativity of these factors is largely speculative..." Yeah. They did write that. Is it time for the creation of an organization, like the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), that will be capable of countering these many and varied attempts to torque what children learn about climate and energy? Doesn't sound like a bad idea to me. Here's Eugenie Scott, of NCSE, discussing the idea:

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