We share evidence-based K-12 learning strategies that empower you to improve education.
What do you mean by 'climate change'?
Is it the platitude that climate changes? If so, then by all means introduce this in appropriate ways to all age groups.
Or is it a deceptive reference to 'catastrophic anthropogenic global warming'? If so, teach what you need to protect children from the facile alarmism in this area. Teach the youngest that nothing weird is happening, and that we are better able than ever before to cope with whatever does. Teach the oldest that irresponsible people have been hyping up climate scares for their own political and financial purposes. A good book for parents, and teachers, is 'Facts, Not Fear' by Sanera and Shaw. It helps get things in a calmer perspective.
I've been working quite hard with my daughter to teach her about the issues of global warming. We use less power and we have been walking and biking instead of driving, to lower our carbon footprint. I was appalled today when my daughter told me her kindergarten teacher angrily informed her that CO2 emissions are not causing global warming. I was under the impression that school was to teach scientific facts not delusional opinions.
"Who is being quoted when a person cries about global warming? We continually hear that "scientists say..." but there is not any real peer-reviewed evidence to support [global warming science], and the "scientist" who does the saying is never identified."
The International Panel on Climate Change, every major university, scientists of all stripes agree that the climate change is happening. And that we cause it.
Please read, just yesterday's abstract in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (a highly respected institution), entitled, "Irreversible climate change due to carbon dioxide emissions" at http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/01/28/0812721106.abstract
There are literally thousands of peer reviewed "REAL" studies about the effect of human consumption of fossil fuels on the planet. Once you actually read them, you'll be worried too.
I cannot believe I have a three year old about to enter the public school system in a couple years. That's scary. But somehow not as scary as the fact that you are a science teacher.
"..an incredibly small observable time frame that we cannot draw any legitimate conclusions from the data."
Really? When were thermometers invented? Record keeping? Ice cores? Tree-rings?
"Archaeological evidence (Greenland, Northwest Passage, etc.) proves"...
And those sources would be? You do mention
"We continually hear that "scientists say..." but there is not any real peer-reviewed evidence to support, and the "scientist" who does the saying is never identified."
Really? Again no examples. Actually most newspaper articles (and the fact that you're citing newspapers in denying AGW is somewhat telling in itself) do cite not only the scientist' name, but also their affiliation as well as often citing the name of the paper and where it is published. Even Time for Kids cites the study!
"...but there is not any real peer-reviewed evidence to support..." IPCC? (Intergovernmental Panel on Science Change) Science? Any of dozens of journals publishing reports and studies in dozens of fields? Nothing? Really? An easy start would be Google Scholar or Web of Knowledge. And your building's librarian should be able to point anyone to databases and journals.
"...quoting unidentified sources ..." or even better apparently, not citing anything at all. FYI, these denier memes are well covered at Skeptical Science: Examining the Science of Global Warming Skepticism.
We teach about responsibility and consequences in K, we teach about basic science in K, we encourage curiosity in K, we work on concepts of society, sharing, being a good citizen in K.
Anyone who wastes time by saying there is no evidence of climate change or global warming should re-direct that energy. Get the facts:
Check out real-time information at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology to see what's happening.
Five scientists independently collected data to indicate serious climate change and put it together in an "event" called Polar-Palluza! to educate the public.
If you don't think it's time to examine what we've done to the home planet (and figure out how we're going to fix it) you are in serious denial.
Are we really responsible teachers if we spread half truths and propaganda? I am not that old, but remember hearing news reports of global cooling when I was young and remember stories of glaciers that would soon cover major civilized areas. Now we are hearing about global warming, with sea levels that will rise and swallow all the coastal areas. When are we going to learn that we teach by example... we cannot teach our students to be responsible if we are not responsible ourselves. Who is being quoted when a person cries about global warming? We continually hear that "scientists say..." but there is not any real peer-reviewed evidence to support, and the "scientist" who does the saying is never identified. If I taught any of my subjects by quoting unidentified sources (or just as bad - if my students turned in papers using unidentified - in other words plagiarized - sources and I accept them) I should get fired for incompetence. We have so many cases of cheating and sloppy standards that we need to focus on, why mess with something that is so political.
As for the actual science on the issue, isn't science supposed to be based on observation and experimentation? If I only observe a few years, how can I draw a conclusion? If we adhere to either idea on the origin of the universe - either God created it 6000 years ago, or it evolved over billions of years, we have such an incredibly small observable time frame that we cannot draw any legitimate conclusions from the data. Common sense tells us that from the past couple of hundred years of observed cyclical weather patterns, we must be viewing a cycle of warming and cooling. Archaeological evidence (Greenland, Northwest Passage, etc.) proves that we are in a COOLER part of the overall cycle rather than a warmer part.
There is great debate over whether carbon dioxide does anything but help the environment. Besides, isn't carbon dioxide necessary for plants to grow, and isn't the growth of plants necessary for oxygen production so that animals (and humans) can breath?
Since the global warming debate is a political not scientific one, I will continue to teach my students to be responsible not wasteful and take care of the great renewable gift we have been given. I think of it more as conservationism as opposed to environmentalism. - Just my 2 cents worth! Maybe I'm all screwed up, I've only been at this science teaching thing for 17 years!
Here, here, Bob! I totally agree. 40,000 years ago where we live was under a huge continental glacier. Global warming is a reality, however, how much man is affecting the changes is definitely not clear at this point. We must teach about conservation and doing what we can to preserve natural resources as a matter of good sense.
As an educator who is very much influenced by "Reggio Emilia--I Bambini dei Cento Linguaggi" (Children of A Hundred Languages--ways of learning), I firmly believe in allowing children, as young as possible, to:
1. Explore their environment;
2. Interact with their environment;
3. Learn to care for their environment; and,
4. Discover new ways to diminish climate change.
It is possible for an educator to facilitate these principles through age-appropriate Socratic-thinking techniques which are worded with Transitive Verbs such as: protect; and Intransitive Verbs, such as care, love--modeled through place/project-based activities such as planters, flower gardens (in-class), model assembly (Kibri, Faller, Vollmer model kits) of Solar Energy plants, etc.
To this very day, I have students, build (ibn-class) high-speed model train layouts based on the French "TGV"--Train a Grand Vitesse.
Childen should not be limited by lack of adult creativity. To this end, child exploration is "de riguer."
Very well put!
What does one tell them? There is no scientific agreement as to what causes the fluctuation of the Earth's temperature. The original studies were admitted to be falsified by their authors, which of course undermines the credibility of many of the studies that followed. It is possible that we are in a climatic upswing in temperature. There is no evidence that this is due to man's interaction with the planet, but it is possible the the temperature is climbing. This is something to make our students aware of. This can be supported scientifically. However, if we look at the last century in the context of the history of the Earth, it is too small to be measured. So many of the graphics used to illustrate "possibilities" base wild predictions for the centuries to come on such a small set of data it is irresponsible.
Bob, St. Louis, MO