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View Diary: NOT BREAKING!!! Think Tanks Climate Change Denial and the Media/Policy Landscape (56 comments)

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  •  sorry if I gave the impression (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher

    that I think it is an actual debate.  I believe it will help my ethos with the class to not go in guns blazing and saying republicans are full of shit.  I need for them to use critical thinking and come to such a conclusion on their own.  However, I do agree with you in principle.

    •  didn't mean my rant toward you (2+ / 0-)
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      NearlySomebody, NoMoreLies

      Sorry, when I hear the word debate used in the context of Global Warming, my guns automatically start blazing.

      With regards to your class, if you use the word debate, you will give the impression that there are 2 legitimate POV on whether Global Warming exists or not.  If you want your class to think critically, let them know that all opposing statements are not equal.  If you oppose an overwhelming amount of evidence and scientific consensus, than you had better have an overwhelming amount of scientifically supported evidence to back up your opposition.

      I see where you're going with your class, but I think you are being a little too subtle for a freshman class.  They need to understand that there are very powerful people who spend a lot of money in trying to deceive people into believing things that are not true. Then your great examples are in better context for minds that have not experienced the depths of the evil some people will go to.

      •  oh, of course (1+ / 0-)
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        pollwatcher

        One of the themes of the class is that the producers of information decide how it is used...and usually that means it will be used to their benefit.  The fact that 3% of climate scientists write against the vast majority of other climate scientists is not a story in itself.  The fact that 3% gets virtually 50% of the media coverage is the actual story, as it pertains to information literacy.  Exposing the very tangled conflicts of interest that allow that minority to delay action is an important thing for my students to get, but it must be a conclusion they come to on their own in order for learning to have taken place.  It is as much about learning critical thinking skills as it is about simply telling them the truth and having them repeat it to me.

        •  Let us know how it goes (1+ / 0-)
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          NearlySomebody

          I would be very interested to know if you think you are making progress with your class.  Critical thinking should be a required course for all high school curriculums, it shouldn't have to wait for college.

          If we can get the majority of our youth to think critically, many of our problems will become easier to solve.

    •  Yes, critical thinking is key (3+ / 0-)
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      pollwatcher, JerryNA, NearlySomebody

      I'm teaching a climate science class in high school, and the students are pretty savvy when presented with conservative think tank workers speaking in their own words.  I particularly like Frontline's Climate of Doubt for giving the AEI & Center for American Progress (I think) enough rope to hang themselves.  

      I've built the class to ground the students in the scientific principles first (including the [shrinking] inherent uncertainty in attributing causality), then discuss the problem of the commons, individual values & societal responses.  

      Of about 100 students who've taken various segments of this course, only 1 has come to the conclusion that we owe the future nothing and, hey, smoke 'em if you've got 'em.

      Are you just going to gripe about it, or are you going to do something to change it?

      by smithbm on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 12:29:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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