NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Wisconsin's Experience with Environmental Education

April 22, 1997

Millions of school children are consistently taught the catastrophic version of environmental issues while almost completely ignoring existing science.

A recent study of textbooks used in Wisconsin schools revealed:

  • Twenty-two of 24 books discussed as fact that the world population is growing faster than its food source, while failing to mention that this assertion is highly debated among scientists and that the world population growth rate has actually been declining since 1960.
  • Twenty-seven textbooks cover the potential health hazards (e.g., skin cancers) associated with the thinning of the ozone layer.
  • They fail to mention, however, that the thickness of the ozone layer fluctuates as much as 50 percent, making it difficult for scientists to gauge if the changes are caused by humans or by nature.
  • In 23 of 24 textbooks, children are told with graphic illustrations of natural disasters that could occur due to global warming, such as flooding and famine.
  • Yet, 21 of the 24 books fail to mention that the computer models on which the natural disasters are based have major weaknesses.
  • In addition, 19 of 24 textbooks fail to mention that water vapor, including clouds, play a major part in regulating the earth's temperature.

Source: Michael Sanera and Jane S. Shaw (co-authors, "Facts Not Fear: A Parent's Guide to Teaching Children About the Environment"), "Hysteria in the Classroom...," Washington Times, April 22, 1997.


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