Climate Change and the Battle to Mis-Educate Our Children

Student puzzled

From the American Energy Society:

In 2005, of the 49 state science education standards then in use, 30 states required instruction about anthropogenic climate change, 15 discussed its causes (fossil fuel use, land use, etc.), and four did not mention it.

In 2020, 36 states require instruction about anthropogenic climate change. Of the remaining 14 states, five (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Virginia) mention anthropogenic climate change as a possibility; four (Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, and Pennsylvania) do not mention it; and five (Mississippi, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, and West Virginia) treat it as an unproven theory.

The 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads as follows: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”  This may sound good on paper, but it has all types of nasty consequences, one of which is that the states can educate their kids in away they want, regardless of how abhorrent the rest of us may find it.

Religious lobbies in certain southern states are intensely powerful, and this is how we wind up teaching creationism as science.  Oil lobbies funded by interests like Koch Industries are how we produce high school graduates going off into the world with nothing but misinformation when it comes to climate change.

The battles for our kids’ minds are both very real and extremely hard-fought.