POLITICS

New curriculum focuses on climate change as science cools to global warming

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Michal Conger

New science curriculum standards for United States schools, expected to be unveiled this week, include an increased emphasis on man-made climate change from kindergarten through 12th grade. Climate change is already a part of many schools’ science curriculum, but the new guidelines significantly expand the topic and are expected to be adopted by 41 states.

The Next Generation Science Standards teach that “Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (‘global warming’),” according to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute.

At the same time, British schools are moving away from teaching climate change to kids under 14, causing alarm among British climate activists.

The New York Times highlighted the contrast:

New science teaching standards in the United States will include extensive lessons on human-made climate change. Expected to be unveiled this week, the guidelines will bring the subject to classrooms in up to 40 states, in many cases for the first time.

Eighth-grade pupils should understand that “human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming),” according to the Next Generation Science Standards. …

The new U.S. science standards — which are far more extensive than just an inclusion of climate change in school curricula — have been put together by a wide-ranging number of stakeholders, including 26 states, the National Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as Andrew C. Revkin reported last year.

In the United Kingdom, a proposal by the Department of Education would have the subject be stricken from the geography curriculum for pupils up to the age of 14. Under the proposal, which is still under review, climate change would be mentioned just once, in the chemistry section, the Guardian reported last month.

What the Times fails to note is that man-made global warming is hardly a consensus theory among scientists. Several new studies show the earth hasn’t gotten any warmer in at least the last decade.

“It’s a shame that American school kids are being taught claims of certitude on an isse that continues to unravel before our eyes,” Marc Morano, communications director for Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, told The Washington Examiner. 

The U.K. newspaper The Daily Telegraph, German magazine Der Spiegel, and The Economist have all recently acknowledged the evidence suggesting global warming isn’t the catastrophe climate change advocates want school children to think it is.

He noted that for kids under 15, global warming isn’t even something they’ve experienced, if the studies on global temperatures are correct. Some of them are learning climate change as scientific fact it in school, and others are hearing two sides of the story, but none of them have firsthand knowledge of the issue.

The Next Generation standards are voluntary, but with 40 states expected to adopt them, students aren’t likely to hear anything in their science classes. The standards seek to codify climate change and man’s role in the problem as a part of students’ education, Morano said.

“To teach kids there’s a consensus… is a major disservice to children, and a disservice to education,” he said.

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