Climate change in schools where it’s ‘fake news’


Story highlights

Some teachers teach climate change as if it were an ongoing debate

There is pending, and failed, state legislation pushing teachers to be less declarative on climate change and evolution

CNN —  

Eric Madrid teaches advanced sciences, including topics on climate change and evolution, to high school students in the deep-red Texas Hill Country.

As one might expect in this conservative bastion of the nation, some of the students say it’s all lies or fake news.

“But that’s usually in the beginning of the semester,” said Madrid, who left a Ph.D.-level research gig to go into public education. “As I show them data and evidence, that tends to go away.”

In fact, Madrid isn’t so worrieed about his students. It’s the other teachers who concern him: “I get much more pushback from other teachers than students. Adults have already pretty much made up their minds, and we also don’t have the time to sit down and discuss the issues.”

Madrid’s situation underscores the confusion that the climate change issue has presented to many schools across the country. Although 97% of climate scientists agree that global warming is linked to the burning of fossil fuels, a majority of middle and high school teachers are not aware of this consensus.

Many of these teachers teach climate change as if it were an ongoing debate within the scientific community.

This disconnect between scientists and educators was captured in a