Dem. Senator Pushes ‘Climate Literacy’ Program In US Schools

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Markey has introduced a bill to create a federal “climate change education program” to make sure American high schoolers are “climate literate” about man-made global warming.

Markey wants the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to establish a nationwide education program for school kids “about climate change and its effects on environmental, energy, social, and economic systems.”

Markey’s bill would “encourage and support statewide plans and programs for climate change education… to ensure that students graduate from high school climate literate, with a particular focus on programs that advance widespread State and local educational agency adoption of climate change education, including funding for State education agencies.”

“The focus of the content would be the basics of climate change, how it works, the impacts it has, as well as the solutions to climate change — which include clean energy,” Giselle Barry, Markey’s spokeswoman, told the liberal blog ThinkProgress.

Markey’s not the first Democratic senator, however, to introduce a bill on “climate literacy.” California Rep. Mike Honda introduced a similar climate education bill in 2015, but it didn’t make it through Congress. So, Markey introduced the bill on the one-year anniversary of Pope Francis’s global warming encyclical, according to ThinkProgress.

Markey’s bill probably won’t make it far in Congress, and will likely be sidelined as lawmakers debate more important national issues.

“When roughly one third of kids are learning false or misleading information about an issue so important to their futures, it’s time for Congress to step up and ensure that kids receive a quality climate science education that includes solution pathways,” Lisa Hoyos, co-founder of activists group Climate Parents, told ThinkProgress.

Markey has been a huge proponent of global warming policies to get rid of fossil fuels, and he even joined colleagues last year in demanding 100 groups that disagree with him on global policies to disclose their funding of climate science.

Markey even joined Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse in demanding Exxon answer questions about its funding of groups skeptical of man-made global warming and opposed to federal environmental regulations. Whitehouse has called for prosecuting global warming skeptics.

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