Learning about climate change, (1 of 2 posts on climate change)

A comprehensive survey of science teachers at middle and high schools across the US, conducted by the journal “Science”, finds that teachers generally devote a paltry 1 to 2 hours to the topic of climate change, and despite the fact 97 per cent of experts agree climate change is mainly human-caused, many teachers still “teach the controversy”, suggesting a sizeable “consensus gap” exists. The survey showed seven in 10 teachers mistakenly believe that at least a fifth of experts dispute human-caused climate change.

Vested interests in fossil fuels, led by the Koch brothers and Exxon, have spent tens of millions of dollars to create the impression of a consensus gap, orchestrating a public relations campaign aimed at attacking the science and the scientists, and confusing the public about the reality and threat of climate change. They also created a partisan political divide on the issue, most evident in the US.

Our children will bear the brunt of the climate crisis, battling coastal inundation, extreme weather, withering droughts and devastating floods. We owe it to them not only to give them the facts, but to help them clean up the mess that we created.
(Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University).

This nonsense about the science of climate change is not confined to schools. You encounter it frequently, although rarely among well-informed and educated people. Members of Congress, supplicants at the tables of the oil and gas companies, are particularly guilty. I think there should be a memorial set up on the Mall in Washington DC. The monument should read

“To the irresponsible, greedy and short-sighted people who fought the idea of man-made climate change, and thus bequeathed to future generations flood, tempest, starvation, drought, unpredictable weather, and mass migration. Their companies and CEO’s are listed below. May They be forgiven.”

One Comment

  1. One of the problems is a misunderstanding of the word “theory”. To scientists nothing is really finally settled, even the degree of roundness of Earth, maybe. There are always tweaks to most ” theories”, works in progress that some genius will possibly come up with.

    But to the non- scientist the word ” theory” means that it is just a proposition that is not solid fact. The deliberate climate change deniers peddle this “just a theory” approach, which dribbles down to schools, fortunately not all schools. The fact is that 98% of all scientists who have spent their lives studying the matter, now believe that human activity is causing the melting of the ice caps, rising sea levels and weird climatic changes. All the statistics and observations bear this out, and as research proceeds by thousands of scientists the room for doubt has disappeared for all practical purposes. The ” theory”, is laymans fact, and the deniers deny because they have financial interests in doing so and are desperately spending fortunes trying to sow doubt, and pay corrupt ” scientists’ to muddy the (warming)?waters. Bannon and his disruptors are the people with big vested interests in coal and oil, and they have won the day ( temporarily) with the totally ignorant Trump. It will not be like this for long.

    however, So well inderstood is the threat to us all that intelligent people will continue to di sensible things about climate change, and the disruption will be temporary.

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