CLIMATE CHANGE CONTROVERSY
Alan Shapiro offers a process (including two student readings) to help students conduct a rigorous inquiry into the controversy over climate change.
by Alan Shapiro
- Schooling is usually instruction; education is self-development.
- No one "gets" educated by a school — any school.
- Teachers foster an educational process by helping students learn how to think.
- Thinking is questioning (see John Dewey).
- Questioning calls for answering, for inquiry.
- Inquiry is an active learning process leading to discovery.
- Active learning processes promote lifelong learning and education.
Student Reading 1:
How the climate controversy began
Student Reading 2:
The IPCC and its response
- "The climate is changing due to human activity, and the effects are already being felt around the globe."
- The evidence for this conclusion is "unequivocal."
- "If anything, more recent data indicate that the IPCC's 2007 assessment underestimated the degree to which human activity is changing the climate." (www.ipcc.ch/)
A Student Inquiry
Possible subjects for inquiry
- the suspect IPCC e-mails
- the IPCC's Himalayan error
- possible IPCC scientists' efforts to limit inclusion of opposing opinions on climate issues
- possible manipulation of research findings
- the scientific work at East Anglia University and its director, Dr. Phil Jones
- the heavy snowfalls in Virginia and Washington D.C.
- Senator Imhofe's persistent criticisms of climate change theory
- climatologist Patrick Michaels' criticisms
- state resolutions on climate change
- Al Gore's campaign on behalf of climate change theory
- poll results on climate change attitudes
- the nature of the scientific process, which is used by IPCC
- the work of particular scientists involved in providing evidence for reports
- IPCC's review process
- the IPCC's "policy relevant yet policy neutral, yet never policy prescriptive" approach
- the criticisms of Rajendra Pachauri
- the qualifications of Robbert Dijkgraff
- the evidence for and against IPCC's three fundamental conclusions to date
For reporting and active citizenship
This lesson was written for TeachableMoment.Org, a project of Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility. We welcome your comments. Please email them to: email@example.com
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