Epic Climate Change Textbook Fail

pearson science

Are our children learning science?

If those children are being taught about climate from Florida’s fifth grade science textbook from publisher Scott Foresman (Pearson), then those children are learning from a text so riddled with glaring and obvious errors that it’s hard to know how such a book could see the light of day, much less be adopted by Florida public schools.

NCSE recently heard that a Florida parent was concerned about this particular section of the Scott Foresman Science: See Learning in a Whole New Light book:

How Climates Change

There are many events that might cool a climate. The Little Ice Age may have occurred because the Sun produced less energy. Volcanic eruptions and asteroid or meteorite impacts may have quickly caused cooler climate in the distant past. They could have done this by putting dust and other materials into the upper atmosphere. These materials can cool the climate by blocking sunlight or reflecting sunlight back into space.

Carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor also can make climates warmer. They can be produced by human activities, such as burning coal and gasoline. These gases can also enter the atmosphere naturally, such as through decaying matter, forest fires, volcanoes, and the water cycle.

Many different events help to form a climate. Because of this, it is hard to determine why a climate has changed. Scientists have had debates on these changes and will probably have more in the future.

Wow. Let’s parse the blunders here:

1. “The Little Ice Age may have occurred because the Sun produced less energy.”

In a very basic sense, decreased solar energy was one of several factors causing the Little Ice Age (~1450-1850). But mentioning the Little Ice Age at all, without any other context, is problematic because of the way the Little Ice Age has been used by climate denialists. Their false —> Read More