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Conservative think tank The Heartland Institute has been mailing tens of thousands of US science teachers a book that challenges the scientific consensus on climate change, Buzzfeed and The New York Times report.
The book, “Why Scientists Disagree About Climate Change,” is a 136-page work that proposes human-driven climate change has been overblown as a threat to global stability in the coming decades.
However, the most recent surveys find at least 97% of the scientific community agree the Earth is getting warmer due to the growing presence of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
In response to the Heartland Institute’s efforts, four Democratic US senators — Sheldon Whitehouse, Edward Markey, Elizabeth Warren, and Brian Schatz — sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos alerting her to the misinformation being spread to the nation’s educators.
“I’m appalled at the Heartland Institute’s gall to think we are dumb enough to buy into this,” Cheryl Manning, a science teacher at Evergreen High School in Colorado, told Buzzfeed.
Manning was one of eight science teachers at the school to receive the book.
Despite the overwhelming agreement that Earth’s temperatures are rising, getting more erratic on a seasonal timescale, and disturbing the natural rhythms of plants and animals, the politics surrounding climate change have made it a contentious issue.
“What people ‘believe’ about global warming doesn’t reflect what they know,” Dan Kahan, a Yale researcher who studies political polarization, told the Times. “It expresses who they are.”