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Climate change denial is already threatening the integrity of science education in formal and informal education settings. In the public schools, such threats are primarily due to laws adopted or considered at the level of state government, policies adopted or considered at the level of the local school district, and actions adopted or considered at the level of the individual classroom, where teachers may either deny climate change themselves or encounter pressure from climate change deniers in the community.
Attacks on the teaching of climate change tend to use certain rhetorical tropes, themes repeated again and again: these are the pillars of climate change denial. Briefly, they are:
There is a debate among those involved in social controversies surrounding climate change about how to refer to the positions that reject, and to people who doubt or deny, the scientific community’s consensus on the answers to the central questions of climate change. Many such people prefer to call themselves skeptics and describe their position as climate change skepticism. Their opponents, however, often prefer to call such people climate change deniers and to describe their position as climate change denial.
What can you do to support climate change education in your local community?
What can you do to defend climate change education when it is attacked in your local community?
Attacks on climate education are often encountered:
Climate affects the way that we live in a host of ways, and now our changing climate presents a significant challenge to our society.
Climate science is challenging, both for educators to teach and for students to learn. And the topic of climate change in particular poses distinctive pedagogical challenges:
Climate has changed in the past — sometimes slowly, sometimes abruptly — but now it is changing because humans have
Although scientists are in broad agreement about the occurrence, causes, and consequences of climate change, the topic is socially controversial.