As if the fear of rampaging gunmen or fights to ban books about people of color, LGBTQ+ families, or basic human functions aren’t enough of a distraction for U.S. children as they return to schools this fall, climate deniers are ramping up efforts to push climate disinformation into classrooms.
Across the country, states and school districts are passing policies that purport to teach “both sides” of an issue, promoting textbooks and other materials that include discredited or misleading information.
In Ohio, state legislators are considering a bill that would force schools to teach climate denial alongside established climate science, while in Texas, the state education board has attempted to ban teaching about the need to reduce greenhouse gasses while painting fossil fuels in a positive light.
Fortunately, some initiatives to force children to learn discredited science have failed in Montana, North Carolina, and Utah. In Indiana, new standards have strengthened climate science curricula.
“Climate change education is part and parcel of the ongoing culture wars,” Glenn Branch, deputy director of the National Center for Science Education, told E&E. “The arc is bending toward more and better climate change education nationally, and that’s going to be uneven, and incremental and scattered, but that’s the trendline.”