"Climate scientists can breathe a bit easier," the National Journal (November 13, 2014) reports. "Pearson Education — the largest educational publisher in the world — has cut material from a proposed Texas social-studies textbook that cast doubt on the human causes of global warming."
As submitted, Pearson's fifth-grade social textbook claimed, "Some scientists believe that this carbon dioxide could lead to a slow heating of Earth's overall climate. This temperature change is known as global warming or climate change. Scientists disagree about what is causing climate change."
As now revised, the passage reads, "Carbon dioxide, which occurs both naturally and through human activities, is called a greenhouse gas, because it traps heat. As the amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases increase, the Earth warms. Scientists warn that climate change, caused by this warming, will pose challenges to society."
"I couldn't be more pleased," NCSE's Josh Rosenau told the National Journal. "The revised textbook [from Pearson] provides students with the reliable science they need to understand the social debates surrounding climate change and does so without manufacturing a scientific debate."
Unfortunately, although McGraw-Hill revised problematic claims about climate science in its sixth-grade social studies textbook, the discussion still incorrectly suggests that climate change is still scientifically controversial and still presents the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Heartland Institute as offering "differing viewpoints."
"The fundamental flaw remains unchanged," Rosenau said. "To have a debate about science that is well understood is simply inappropriate." (Rosenau further discusses the status of the textbook revisions in detail in his "A Gold Star in the Lone Star," posted on November 14, 2014, on NCSE's Science League of America blog.)
The state board of education is scheduled to hold a final public hearing on the textbooks on November 18, with a vote on the textbooks expected to follow on November 21. "For now," the National Report noted, "activists hope that the board will either reject the McGraw-Hill book or that [the] publisher will make a last-minute correction."