One of the papers being published in the next issue of Geophysical Research Letters pinpoints the cause of the "Little Ice Age," which started in the 13th century. It was triggered by a series of volcanic eruptions that cooled the planet, and was sustained by sea-ice/ocean feedbacks in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Unfortunately, scientific evidence is at a low ebb of acceptance in our nation's classrooms. Many of our students today wouldn't believe a volcano could alter the climate, just as they wouldn't believe humans can alter the climate.
Teachers are shying away from the subject of climate change in high school. Science teachers have received so much pushback on evolution vs. creation that they're reluctant to invite more controversy.
Last year, in a poll of its 60,000 members, the National Science Teachers Association found that a whopping 82% face skepticism about climate change from students and 54% face it from parents.
The National Center for Science Education, which has been working for 25 years to keep creationism out of public schools, is now also working to protect teachers from intimidation around teaching climate change science.
State boards of education in Texas and Louisiana have introduced standards that require teachers to present climate change denial as a valid scientific position. Legislators in Tennessee, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Kentucky have introduced bills to require equal time for climate change skeptics.
Attacks on the teaching of climate change often go hand-in-hand with efforts to insert creationism or "intelligent design" into public schools. In 2009, the Texas Board of Education mandated that teachers present all sides of the debate on both evolution and climate change. Leslie Kaufman of The New York Times wrote that the linkage was a canny legal strategy:
Courts have found that singling out evolution for criticism in public schools is a violation of the separation of church and state. By insisting that global warming also be debated, deniers of evolution can argue that they are simply championing academic freedom in general.
Meanwhile, billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch are getting attention for trying to directly influence what's taught in American
colleges and universities.
They offer "strings attached" donations. What are those "strings'? A Koch Advisory Board decides which professors get hired and
fired, they oversee curriculum, and can withdraw the grant if the contract isn't kept. They currently have financial agreements with 150 colleges and universities. Watch this IMPORTANT video at the link below.