Teaching Climate Change

One paradoxical aspect of climate education is that you’re trying to get people to be less skeptical of received wisdom, even though being skeptical of received wisdom is a good thing. It’s important to recognize that when we ask someone to believe in the reality of climate change, we are generally not making appeals to facts, but appeals to authority: the authority of the scientific community, who are the only ones in a position to fully understand the facts.
I think… encouraging students to doubt the consensus, would actually be far more effective. I know that seems strange. After all, it seems to “legitimize” the “denial” of climate science. But I’m not suggesting that students should be told to make up their own truths or believe anything. I am suggesting that they should be asked to put aside their preconceived notions and use the scientific method to discover the truth.

More from Nathan Robinson in Current Affairs here