Climate change education under attack in Connecticut again

Connecticut state capitol.

Connecticut's House Bill 5063 (PDF) would, if enacted, "revise the climate change curriculum [sic: presumably "standards"] to add a requirement that students are exposed to the debate and research concerning the amount and effects of anthropomorphic [sic: presumably "anthropogenic"] carbon dioxide levels."

The bill, introduced on January 9, 2023, and referred to the Joint Committee on Education, is sponsored by John E. Piscopo (R-District 76). In 2009, Piscopo introduced a bill to "repeal global warming legislation that was passed based on the assumption that global warming is caused by human action," telling the Connecticut Post (March 2, 2010), "The public has been hoodwinked ... I have serious doubts about whether this is man made." As a member of the board of directors of the American Legislative Exchange Council, he reportedly worked with a staffer of the climate-change-denying Heartland Institute in 2017 to call for a review of the EPA's 2009 Endangerment Finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare. Then, in 2019, as NCSE previously reported, Piscopo introduced House Bill 5955 and House Bill 5922, intended, respectively, to "eliminate climate change materials" from the Next Generation Science Standards as used in Connecticut and to prohibit the use of the NGSS in Connecticut altogether; both failed without receiving a hearing.

House Bill 5063 is identical, errors and all, to House Bill 5235 from 2021, also sponsored by Piscopo. House Bill 5235 died in committee. The legislature subsequently included the teaching of climate change consistent with the Next Generation Science Standards as part of the prescribed course of study, as NCSE previously reported.

Glenn Branch
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Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.