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Florida textbooks ordered to exclude climate change

Florida textbooks ordered to exclude climate change

Climate Exclude

Florida has instructed textbook authors to remove certain references to climate change from science books for them to be approved for use in the state’s public schools. Ken Miller, co-author of a high school biology textbook and emeritus professor of biology at Brown University, reported that his publisher received these directions from state officials in June. Miller noted that while the term “climate change” remained in his high school biology text, a 90-page section on the topic was removed from a high school chemistry textbook.

Similarly, a state directive required the removal of such references from middle school science books. These actions align with the views of many GOP leaders who question the existence of climate change and the role of human activities in its progression, despite a broad scientific consensus affirming human-caused climate change’s significant impact on the planet’s environment. In May, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill removing the term “climate change” from various Florida laws, reversing 16 years of state policy.

Florida’s climate education controversy

Critics argue that this weakens Florida’s support for renewable and clean energy. Educators and science advocates argue that such omissions deprive students of a comprehensive understanding of global warming at a time when Florida is increasingly affected by its consequences, such as longer heat waves, more severe storms, and rising sea levels.

Glenn Branch, deputy director of the National Center for Science Education, expressed concern that removing climate change discussions would further diminish the quality of climate education in Florida. He emphasized the necessity of accurate scientific education to prepare students adequately. The state’s current push mirrors its actions from 2022 and 2023, when certain math and social studies textbooks were rejected for containing “critical race theory” and “social justice” content, only being approved after revisions.

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Authors and educators remain concerned about the ideological influences on science education and the potential repercussions for student knowledge and preparedness in addressing climate change.

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