AP — The struggle over what American students learn about global warming is heating up as conservative lawmakers, climate change doubters and others attempt to push rejected or debunked theories into the classroom.
An overwhelming majority of climate scientists say manmade emissions drive global warming, but there’s no such consensus among educators over how climate change and its causes should be taught.
Several U.S. states recently considered measures allowing or requiring teachers to present alternatives to widely accepted viewpoints on such topics. For example, a stalled proposal in Iowa would have required teaching “opposing points of view” on topics such as global warming, and proposed science standards in Idaho would have students taught that human impact is driving global warming and that natural factors also contribute.
The debate is arriving on teachers’ doorsteps nationwide, as thousands are being mailed the book “Why Scientists Disagree about Global Warming” from a Chicago-area advocacy group called The Heartland Institute that challenges the assertion that there is consensus about a human-caused climate crisis. In a follow-up statement, the institute’s president said science instructors should “keep an open mind” and shouldn’t teach “dogma pushed by some environmental activist groups.”
The National Center for Science Education made rebuttal flyers explaining that Heartland relies on debunked theories. The National Science Teachers Association dismissed the mailing as propaganda and urged educators to recycle the books.
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