stopping climate change being dropped from the national curriculum.
A government adviser reviewing the school National Curriculum is recommending that Climate Change be excluded from the science curriculum. Unless the public succeed in persuading the government of the crucial importance of climate education, it will be dropped from the curriculum from 2013, when the new National Curriculum comes into being.
Restricting the debate of the issues by those who are likely to be the most affected is an appalling idea.
Stuart Cordon commented
The idea of dropping climate change from the National Curriculum for children up to the age of 14 is an incredibly cynical move on the part of Michael Gove and his right-wing cronies. They are simply pandering to the fake-sceptics who have managed to establish themselves in British politics with help from the so-called Global Warming Policy Foundation - the UK's very own think tank for climate-change deniers.
It's our children more than anyone else who will be affected by climate change, so it's essential they should all have the opportunity to learn about the problems they're going to face later in their lives. It's not by any means a difficult subject to teach or to understand. The way in which greenhouse gasses trap heat in the atmosphere can be explained with simple diagrams an eight year-old can understand.
The government say this won't stop those teachers who want to teach climate change, but just think for a moment. In any school there's a chance there will be one or two ignorant, stroppy parents who'll claim it's all a hoax and create a fuss. The prospect of this is enough to deter some teachers. Others might well end up getting mired in local controversies. I've no doubt this is exactly what Gove is hoping for.
The Guardian now have three more articles on the subject, the first one from a schoolgirl named Esha Marwaha:
Climate change is the biggest threat humanity faces, and I think making sure it's properly taught in schools should be a priority for 38 Degrees!
I also thoroughly recommend everyone should read the link Meraud Ferguson Hand has given to the Daily Kos in the post below. It's very likely at least some of the posts below were generated like this, and it's blindingly obvious the Guardian's insecure "Recommend" system is being subverted by deniers.
The object of these fake-sceptics is to sow doubt in people's minds using any kind of duplicity and sophistry they can conjure up. If anyone feels unsure about the facts I recommend the excellent Skeptical Science website which debunks all the arguments deniers use:
Skeptical Science has just launched a new Quick Reference Guide to these spurious claims:
Meraud Ferguson Hand commented
An interesting article here, which may explain some of the comments below: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/16/945768/-UPDATED-The-HB-Gary-Email-That-Should-Concern-Us-All
Tristram Palmer-White commented
An article went up on the Guardian's website yesterday evening which details more of the scope of the plans to remove climate change from our children's education. I try to keep up with climate issues and I was not even aware that this was taking place until I read about it today. Climate change acceptance and denial must be fact-based and not ideological, and this is huge step in the wrong direction on that front.
Read the article here:
I'm rather surprised by some of the comments below.
We need to treasure our environment as without a healthy environment we won't have anything. I no longer know who to trust, with all the scandals around - certainly not the media or politicians. Or the worlds owners of the food chain, since the most recent scandal with processed food like substances that claimed to be beef, we find are now partially horsemeat, but have no nutritional value so are actually not even really food. Not that I'm paranoid.
On climate change we have people taking sides and reacting irrationally all around. Fact is our climate changes and it is in some ways irrelevant how this happens, we need to be able to deal with this to ensure our children's future. This should mean minimising damage to a world that needs to stay healthy to survive.
Is polluting our world by digging up tar sands, fracking for gas without taking account of the real costs in anyway rational. It serves a small part of our population this 1% that is mentioned so frequently now, if we focused on decreasing our use of oil and making our lives mores sustainable surely that is more likely to benefit the majority and would reduce fuel poverty at least in the west, (not to forget we live of the poverty of most of the rest of the world anyway).
If we don't teach our kids about the different senarios for their futures, we are doing them a major disservice and given many of the predicted effects are already happening they need to have the understanding and the interest to be able to adapt for the future.
Be careful of immediate reactions to issues like climate change, you are pre-programmed by your culture, upbringing, information sources and desire to fit in with your surroundings to believe certain ideas. That's how we humans work and its easier to be in denial - as most of us are when faced something as big as this.
Matt Browning commented
It should never have been on the curriculum in the first place. We should teach facts to our children not theories packaged as facts. Most of the worlds scientist are now owning up to the nonsensical hysteria that was driven by unscrupulous govt's and companies in order to cash in. The climate always changes. Man is a pollution machine but the amount of carbon (6mil tonnes) we emit is nothing compared to the 186mil that earth creates all on its own. Manmade climate change is a fantasy as is a terrorist threat that is being used to erode civil liberties. Stop running scared my people you hae nothing to fear but the govt and the corporate greed machine.
This is insane. Whether or not people believe climate change is man made or not, it is an issue of major importance. Awareness and discussion of it needs to start with our young people so that they can form decisions for the future. How narrow minded to even consider dropping it from the curriculum. And how potentially further destructive this will be for our planet. This is censorship of a sinister nature.
There are mainly two types of people on this thread:
Those who know for certain.
Those who question.
The vast majority of people within the first group are those who believe human activity is driving some sort of catstrophic trend in climate change. There is a minority who are sure there is no effect.
The second group of 'those who question' is populated mostly by those who are very sceptical about the human influence on climate. I am one of them.
It reflects very badly on all of you that are certain that you cannot entertain the slightest notion that perhaps you are not correct.
I believe that the level of human scientific understanding about the climate is at a very rudimentary level and the claims being made by so many AGW advocates are the height of hubristic overreach. They simply cannot know for certain what they are claiming because we don't know enough yet. When someone tells you something that they don't yet possess the skills / information / methods / data to know yet then they are unreliable sources of opinion and it is logical and healthy to be sceptical.
I suspect that our effect is much less than claimed but I don't know and I may be wrong. My education as a scientist taught me not to make false associations of correlations being causal and to adopt the scientific method. I see no such disciplines in the proAGW crowd in so many cases.
Be careful of certainty, be ready to be wrong, always continue to gather data and only make a determination when it is appropriate to do so. We are nowhere near that stage yet and those who claim we are are either foolish or dishonest.
Incidentally stop the ad-hominem attacks on those who don;t share your views.
I don't need sources of information that other can claim are tainted becuase of their fundign by the 'oil companies' as if the pro-AGW UN and governmental sources of research funding is some sort of guarantee of impartiality!
Just take the IPCC's own data.
1990 report maximum level of projected sea level rise over the enxt centruy: 400cms
2007 report maximum level of projected sea level rise over the next century: 58cms.
In 17 years they have admitted to a margin of error of over 85%.
The only reasonable conclusion is to not trust their projections, and it is becuase they are doing no more than making intelligent guesses, these are not statitically valid projections in any mathmatically valid sense.
The junk science of global-climate-warming-change-tax has been so comprehensively discredited that it has no place being taught as fact in schools or anywhere else. It is bad enough subjecting adults to the type of indoctrination we see on the BBC but children should be taught critical thinking skills instead so they can recognise when they are being fed BS like this.
There are thousands of credible dissenting scientists but they are never given a say on MSM. The BBC have admitted that they won't give airtime to any but those with a pro AGW view so it's hardly surprising that some people think that the science is settled. Try searching on the internet and you'll find many ex-IPCC authors who disagree that increased atmospheric CO2 levels will cause a problem.
As far as funding goes, look into The Club Of Rome, Maurice Strong, Al Gore's carbon trading scheme. You'll find they're all closely linked to big oil too and stand to make even bigger profits trading carbon. Global Warming is more to do with Politics and Economics than Environment. Even a UN IPCC official stated “We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.”
If the case for CAGW is so strong, why can't it stand up to the scrutiny of an open, televised debate with both sides allowed equal airtime to present their case? There's something very suspicious about governments and government (tax) funded propaganda mouthpieces like the BBC suppressing dissent and constantly claiming that the science is settled when the science is based on nothing but flawed models; discredited hockey stick graphs; massaged temperature figures; hidden declines; a politician's error-packed scare-mongering film and the notion that CO2 is a dangerous pollutant. Real world observations tell a different story - flatlining temperatures for the last 15 years even though CO2 levels have been rising; polar bear populations increasing; normal sea levels; glacier retreats (and gains) in line with historical levels and not 'unprecedented' or 'catastrophic' considering we are still coming out of the last ice age; evidence of lies, exaggerations and cover ups by the scientists and officials; gains in polar ice, etc
Now the earth seems to be in a cooling period the scare tactics have shifted from 'global warming - pay us your carbon taxes' to 'every weather event is caused by man made climate change - pay us your carbon taxes'.
Seeing as the opinions for the reasons for climate changes are so diverse how do you propose it should be taught?
Some think we have caused it with motor vehicles, industry and our need for power. Some say one volcano going off has a much greater adverse effect than all we have done in the last 5000 years.
Some say we are going through a particular stage in the Earth's normal cycle of going into and out of ice-ages like it has for millions of years.
I have a very strong feeling you are one of the people that think we have caused it.
Whether you do or not it is allegedly important that state education continue to be dumbed down because eventually the majority of people will not have the skills to realise what their successive governments are doing to them.
Of course I can not begin to imagine what on earth drives people to make these allegations about our leaders.
How and why have you gained access to the 2013 curriculum? Do you have a vested interest? Are you in fact a Geography teacher?
Man made global warming now climate change is a man made hoax. Stop brainwashing kids at school with it and teach them real science and balanced opinions. Paying carbon taxes to other humans is not going to solve anything except make some people very rich.
There needs to be a distinction between 'Climate Change' which could be interpreted as normal and 'Climate Education', which could mean anything although I suspect it broadly means teaching children about the climate and anthropogenic impacts. Alongside any subject should be the teaching of critical thought and analysis.
Having browsed the comments history I have to say I am amazed that there are still climate- change deniers out there, taking the opportunity to parade their right to do whatsoever they want and ignore the consequences on future generations. I agree with the comment that the earth will be ok, as it will look after itself. But future generations will bear the consequences, as will many animal and plant species.
UK research has played and continues to play a big role in providing the scientific basis for the undeniable trend in climate change acceleration as a result of human activity. It seems only logical and sensible to include this as a core in our teaching. I'd go further and say it is imperative.
There are none so blind as those who will not see, and from some of the comments over the last few months I can see some very self-centred and rights-demanding folk are happy to support a self- serving and short-termist Tory party proposal to screw future generations. Our children have rights too, and I would like them to know we did what we could when we knew what was happening, including giving them the opportunity to see all the scientific evidence early on.
Its one thing to say the context of science should be flexible and free up space in the curriculum for this flexibility. However climate change is an issue which is not going away and now well recognised as supported by good science. How else can we ensure young people are aware of the importance of this issue for now and in their future lives especially since support for schools to encourage children to lead a more environmentally benign and resource sensitive lifestyles is even lower than ever under current government plans.
haha - hadn't heard about this one. is this for real?
well it is this government so any wacky idea is possible.
how silly their government will look when children in the future will learn about how climate change came about in their history lessons and that there really was a period when it was dropped from the curriculum. lol
Derek Condon commented
The question; is human activity contributing or actually causing climate change (?) should be the real issue. Removing the "question" from the school curriculum could be seen as an attempt to re-write history in favour of those who benefit financially from continuing, without even considering that they may well be a large part of the problem. The single most important part of any school curriculum should surely be teaching our children how to think in analytical terms and to learn to distinguish truth from fiction. There is already far too much governmental interference in what is taught in schools. They make changes without considering the consequences to either the pupils or indeed the teachers. Worse still they make these changes in multiples, which effectively make analysing the result of such changes almost impossible. This may be the so-called "age of information" but information alone, especially without analysis and refinement to truth, is meaningless. Education should be about providing our children with the tools to analyse understand and fully evaluate information; in order to establish the truth of any issue. Education should not be used as a means to indoctrinate or exploit children for political or financial reasons. As such it is high time that politicians (themselves accomplished "spin" proponents) and multi-national companies were removed entirely from the equation; each has a vested interest in "colouring" education (indoctrinating) our children.
So, what would you rather have; education as a means of indoctrination or as a means to equip our children with the means to form their own considered opinions on the basis of true analytical thinking and as a means of establishing what may or may not be true from the huge amount of raw information available in the "information age"?
Are our politicians really the people we want to be influencing what may or may not be taught, discussed or considered within our educational system?
Do you trust them to decide what your children learn or more importantly do not learn? Education is not a political toy, it is a basic human right and should not be influenced by current political thinking, or in the interests of those who stand to gain financially from manipulating what is or is not taught in our schools.
Teach our children how to want to learn and how to establish the truth of any issue without political or financial considerations of any kind.
Truth is much more important for all of us, even if we don't like what we find out as a result of finding it.
No way rachel as i have said before climate change is brainwashing and SHOULD NOT be allowed to go into the national curriculum.The schools should be teaching our youth common sense ie the 3 rs not this load of rubbish.I will be backing this campaign to stop it 100%
Climate change has to be one of the biggest issues facing mankind and for this reason must continue to be included in the National Curriculum
I would sign this petition - it would be a disgrace if we allowed climate change deniers funded by the oil industry and other ruthless corporate interests to derail our education (see http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jul/01/exxon-mobil-climate-change-sceptics-funding as one example).
The idea of objectivity is an illusion - all education/government/media systems are underpinned by values - as indeed all language is, as soon as we open our mouths. There is no such thing as neutrality, just middle-of-the-spectrum as the BBC tries to be (although very rightwing from my perspective)
Some of the deniers in this column may be paid by the oil industry too.
Ruth Shaw commented
Climate change begins at home! Turn off your tv computers etc when not in use so you're not draining away electricity. Teach your kids to use a bike - and go with them. Walk whenever you can and that includes walking to school. It's healthier than taking the car. Parental example can't be substituted.