(LiveScience) For years, science classrooms have been a battleground for supporters of teaching evolution versus creationism or intelligent design. Now, teachers may be once again caught in the crossfire as a new controversial topic makes its way into education: climate change.
Recently leaked documents from conservative think tank The Heartland Institute reveal plans to pay a non-climate scientist to create school curricula designed to foster doubt about the scientific evidence surrounding climate change. Meanwhile, surveys suggest that science teachers face criticism over teaching about global warming, and some states have passed legislation seeking to include anti-climate change material in the scientific curriculum.
Though climate change is politically inflammatory, climate scientists are nearly unanimous that the Earth is warming and that human-created greenhouse gases are to blame. This conclusion comes from multiple lines of evidence, including climate models, observations of warming, and isotopes tracing excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere back to fossil fuels. Nevertheless, a 2011 Gallup poll with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent found that 43% of Americans blame natural changes for global warming, with only a small majority of 52 percent blaming human pollution.
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