There’s broad agreement in the scientific community that greenhouse gases produced by human activity are the primary driver of rising global temperatures, but you wouldn’t learn that from textbooks used in California public schools.
A new report from Stanford University says that science texts used by students in elementary and middle school in the state are out of date because they explain the causes of climate change as a debate between different opinions rather than a scientific fact.
The textbooks say the causes of climate change are still unknown and may be due to natural variations in climate. They also downplay the implications of rising temperatures.
“We found that through language choices, the text portrayed climate change as uncertain along several lines, such as whether climate change was happening, whether humans were causing it and what the effects will be,” said lead author K.C. Busch.
The report comes as California education officials are in the process of implementing new science curricula that are called Next Generation Science Standards.
The authors of the reports say it’s important that new textbooks correct the record by stating what nearly all climate scientists believe – that human behavior is the cause of climate change.