Climate change denial in Texas social studies textbooks
The Texas state board of education will adopt new social studies textbooks in November, 2014. The decisions they make will affect Texas classrooms for years to come, and are likely to change how textbooks are written for use in other states as well. In geography and economics classes, some of the textbooks discuss climate change in ways that are simply false, or even promote outright climate change denial.
Texans must tell publishers and the state board of education that climate change denial has no place in Texas classrooms, and the errors must be fixed immediately.
NCSE detailed the major errors in a report (PDF) which will be delivered to the board at its meeting on September 16. It shows that some books confuse climate change with the ozone hole, while others obscure the compelling scientific evidence and the consistent agreement among scientists that climate change is real and caused by humans. One book goes so far as to tell teachers to have stude
nts compare the evidence and conclusions of the authoritative IPCC report on climate science to an opinion piece drafted by the head of an advocacy group known for claiming that anyone who accepts climate change is comparable to the Unabomber.
Since NCSE released that report, leading scientific societies, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Geophysical Union, have sent separate letters calling for these errors to be fixed. And a sign-on letter organized by NCSE, Climate Parents, and the Texas Freedom Network has been joined by scientific, educational, and religious organizations who want to see these errors corrected.
The Texas state board of education is expected to make a final decision on the social studies textbooks in November 2014.