Climate Skepticism in Classrooms? Eegads!

"But, teacher, we've been cooling for 6,000 years!"

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that, horror of horrors, climate change skepticism is being forced into American classrooms by nefarious legislators intent upon keeping the nation and its young ignorant as long as possible. Here’s an excerpt from the Times piece:

A flash point has emerged in American science education that echoes the battle over evolution, as scientists and educators report mounting resistance to the study of man-made climate change in middle and high schools.

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.

The article goes on to talk about Texas and Louisiana requiring educators to present climate change skepticism (which the Times calls “denial”) and what a stark reflection of ignorance and backwardness the states’ actions represent.

As usual, the mainstream media, in this case embodied by the LA Times, has the story exactly wrong. First: the claim that “scientific evidence increasingly fossil fuel consumption has caused the climate to change rapidly” is bunk. In truth, as the global mean temperature stubbornly refuses to climb in a statistically significant way over the course of a decade and a half, skeptic scientists are gaining ground, not losing it.

The planet is likely cooler than it was 800 years ago according to the great majority of scientific papers published, as the Vikings colonization of Greenland attests; cooler than it was during the Roman Climatic Optimum when no glaciers sat atop what is now Glacier National Park; cooler than it was during the Holocene Climatic Optimum, when boreal forests ringed the Arctic Ocean in what today is Siberia.

We’ve been cooling for 6,000 years, folks. Is it OK to tell kids in high school this? You be the judge.

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About Harold Ambler

Harold Ambler has been writing about weather and climate for more than 20 years. He started his journalism career at The New Yorker and his work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, The AtlanticWire, and wattsupwiththat.com, among other places. He lives in Rhode Island.
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One Response to Climate Skepticism in Classrooms? Eegads!

  1. klem says:

    Its perfectly ok to tell kids this. I beleive Its imperative that they be told this. The trouble is the teachers generally do not beleive it. Alsmost every public school teacher I am aware of believe in anthropogenic climate change, even the ones who teach geology. Personally I think that if a teacher ever admitted she did not beleive, it could spell the end of her job. For the teaching world, I think this is part of the equation.

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