WELLSTON, Ohio — To Gwen Beatty, a junior at the high school in this proud, struggling, Trump-supporting town, the new science teacher’s lessons on climate change seemed explicitly designed to provoke her.

So she provoked him back.

When the teacher, James Sutter, ascribed the recent warming of the Earth to heat-trapping gases released by burning fossil fuels like the coal her father had once mined, she asserted that it could be a result of other, natural causes.

Continue reading:  Climate Science Meets a Stubborn Obstacle: Students

12 thoughts on “Climate Science Meets a Stubborn Obstacle: Students

    • Truly, but it’s a terrible shame that he needs to fight at all. Political battles have no place in science education, and it never happened when I was a student. There was a time when I considered going into the teaching profession, and I’m glad now that I didn’t considering the untenable burdens placed upon them by today’s dysfunctional society.

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      • True. In the ‘olden’ days teachers were rightfully appreciated and respected. Teaching is one of the classic professions (law, medicine, religion, and education), professions so important to the foundation of society that there are means for rendering them at no cost to needy recipients.

        Anyway, always trying to understand willful stupidity, I found this line from the article enlightening:

        ““What people ‘believe’ about global warming doesn’t reflect what they know,” Dan Kahan, a Yale researcher who studies political polarization, has stressed in talks, papers and blog posts. “It expresses who they are.”

        This is why far-right adherents cannot tolerate different perspectives. They experience them as personal attacks.

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  2. Wow … that’s quite the story! Stunnng, how deep denial can be – I guess about anything. But heartening, that some of the students eventually came to “believe” in the evidence – as if Mr Sutter, “rolled away the stone.” Both a stunning story, and one of hope as well. hmmm – I feel for Gwen, and the world at large, who will one day be unable to deny the evidence as they experience a difficult awakening as the horrors of climate change unfold.

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    • Well put, Bruce. I’ve made a recurring point on this blog urging readers to distinguish between what they might BELIEVE in lieu of sufficient facts versus what they actually KNOW based on verifiable, empirical evidence. It is the foundation of WISDOM, in my opinion.


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