What Trump’s Decision to Withdraw From the Climate Accord Means for Teachers

In Education, Environment On

Yesterday, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate accord, the landmark pact that nearly 200 nations signed two years ago in an effort to curb global warming.

Among those groups lauding Trump’s decision to exit is The Heartland Institute—the same right-leaning think tank that’s been lobbying science teachers across the country to teach climate change as an unsettled science. Of Trump’s decision, Heartland President Joseph Bast said in a June 1 statement, “He gets it, totally. It’s been a long time since we had a president who cared as much about real science, energy policy, and the importance of economic growth.”

As it stands, 97 percent of climate scientists agree that global warming is due in large part to human activity, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

How climate change should be presented in classrooms has long been a source of contention. Recent research has shown that about a third of teachers still teach that global warming is likely due to natural causes, and that many textbooks being used contain outdated information about the causes of climate change.

The Next Generation Science Standards state that humans have had a large impact on global warming—language that has stirred controversy in some states, including West Virginia.

In some cases, outside organizations such as zoos and aquariums are stepping in to help teachers tackle the subject, as my colleague Marva Hinton recently wrote.

Read full Education Week article

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