Category Archives: Trust

Will the Classroom Climate Change? – Part 1

National Center for Science Survey

You have undoubtedly heard of the widely diverse opinions on whether or not our climate is changing and, if it is, if it’s because of the terrible things we humans are doing to our earth. I just read about a survey done by the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) that questioned teachers about if and how they taught climate in their classrooms. Of the 3.9 million teachers that are in the Dun and Bradstreet database, the NCSE selected 5,000 to query. Of those 5,000, they had 1,500 responses from teachers in all fifty states, who taught science classes ranging from middle school through high school. So this survey represents approximately 3.85 percent of teachers nationwide.

Although it has become more frequently referred to lately as simply “climate change,” what the scientific community really means is what they formerly called it: global warming. I can’t go into all the results from the survey as the report is forty pages long, but I’ll cover a few of their findings.

The first that grabbed my attention—it truly astonished me—was that “Fewer than half of all teachers [responding] had any formal coursework — even one class lecture — on climate change. Of those who did not study climate change during college, only one in five has obtained continuing education on the topic.” So how, I wonder, (as you might) are they equipped to evaluate the material they are given to teach, and convey the information to the kids?

Climate Change – Not everyone agrees

We can look at the bright side. “Many students are receiving mixed messages. As many as 30% of teachers who teach about climate change are emphasizing that scientists agree that human activities are the primary causes of global warming while simultaneously emphasizing that “many scientists” see natural causes behind recent global warming.” (Emphasis added.) So the kids, at least some of them, are learning that there can be natural causes for global warming. The disturbing part of that finding is the NCSE interprets looking at two opinions on the subject as “receiving mixed messages.” That doesn’t sound like a very scientific attitude to me.

The study found that “Less than half of all science teachers are aware that more than 80% of climate scientists think that global warming is caused primarily by human activities.” It’s an interesting statement all by itself. The Daily Caller reported on a survey by George Mason University (GMU) of more than 4,000 American Meteorological Society (AMS) members found that a third of them don’t agree with the so-called global warming “consensus” that humans are the cause of most recent warming.

Dr. Roy Spencer is a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and formerly a Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA. He is co-developer of the original satellite method for precise monitoring of global temperatures from Earth-orbiting satellites. He has provided congressional testimony several times on the subject of global warming and has authored several books. His blog post regarding the GMU survey reads:

Fully 33% either believe climate change is not occurring, is mostly natural, or is at most half-natural and half-manmade (I [Roy Spencer] tend toward that last category)…or simply think we “don’t know. For something that is supposed to be “settled science”, I find that rather remarkable.

As they have had no classes at all on climate change/global warming, I cannot fault teachers believing that global temperatures are on the rise. However, let’s give a cheer that “While few teachers doubt that average global temperatures are on the rise, many do not accept scientific
conclusions regarding human energy generation and consumption as the critical cause.” (Emphasis added.)

There is much more in this report that I want to tell you about. I said earlier that I couldn’t cover it all, and I won’t, but there are a few more items you should know about. I try to get to the rest of them in my next post. Let me know what your kids are being taught about global warming.

Who Do You Trust?

Total trust

Unless you’re not a cat enthusiast, this photo can’t help but draw an “Aw-w-w-w” from you. This little 18-month old girl, pacifier in place, sound asleep with her arm comfortingly across a cat as big, or bigger, than she is—I can’t think of a more perfect picture of “trust.” The cat knows the girl will not squeeze the life out of it, or pull its whiskers. The girl has no fear of being hurt by the cat’s claws. They trust each other—trusting so completely they can sleep soundly.

But where did this trust come from? It wouldn’t have developed if the little girl did things to the cat that hurt it. It wouldn’t have developed if the cat hissed and bared its claws every time the child invaded its perceived territory. Trust is built on knowledge and experiences. I’m sure the little girl’s mother and father watched closely as this relationship of trust developed to make certain no harm occurred.

So who do you trust with your kids? Their hockey or soccer coach? Their school teachers? Their circle of friends? Those who produce TV shows and develop other media they indulge in? The list goes on. But perhaps the question shouldn’t be who do you trust to influence your kids, but why do you trust them? Do you know their personal lives, the language used in the locker room, the political views, and most of all their belief in God? Do you watch closely as those relationships of trust between your kids and others in their lives develop to make certain no harm will occur?

Is that possible, or even desirable? We can’t go looking in closets and under beds of everyone our kids associate with! Does God want to turn us all into helicopter parents? Of course not. However, he does say in Psalm 118:8, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.” The one place to put all your trust about any issue in your kids’ lives is the Bible. That’s where we know whom to trust; God’s Word never fails. He tells us in Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

I can hear our kids now: “Mom, don’t you dare ask my coach/teacher/friends questions. They’ll make fun of me and it’ll ruin my life forever.” I get it. But God, in his wisdom knew that would be coming, so he tells us in Psalm 119:42, “. . . I can answer anyone who taunts me, for I trust in your word.”

The clue to making this work is letting your kids know about trust—who to trust, why to trust, how far to trust—early on in their lives. Then they grow up with the understanding that the only one they can trust completely is God (followed by you, of course), and that anyone or anything else must earn their trust. Even if your kids are already past the “tell it early and tell it often” stage, it’s not too late to start. You’ll probably have to take some grief in the process, but your kids’ lives—their eternal lives—are at stake. That’s worth a little grief, don’t’ you think?

I have a whole chapter on trust in my book Who’s Got Dibs on Your Kids? You can read it online using Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature. Get more information about the ways Pied Pipers are leading our kids on paths away from God at the book’s website DibsOnYourKids.com. Let me know what you think.