The Benefits of Climate Change? Geography Lessons in Scotland
Some extraordinary content has emerged published in a Geography text book by Hodder Gibson for National 4 and 5 curriculum work. In the book written by geography teachers Calvin and Susie Clarke for National 4 & 5 it seems to make some extraordinary claims about the positive benefits of climate change that seem completely inappropriate and misleading. The the first section and first figure in the textbook in chapter 4 talks of the positive benefits of climate change?
Stating the obvious this does NOT reflect IPCC reports or global scientific consensus. It is extraordinary that this is being taught in Scottish schools. The realities of the climate crisis are well documented and the idea that the tradeoffs can be described in such terms as “warmer weather” is astonishing and disgraceful. Our education authorities are effectively gaslighting our children with disinformation.
According to this diagram the benefits of catastrophic runaway climate change include “sea transportation will be easier” (because we’ll have melted the polar ice caps) and “increased tourism because it will be warmer” (particularly in Russia it seems).
We contacted the publishers Hodder Gibson and the soon to be axed Scottish Qualification Authority. The SQA failed to respond but a spokesperson from Hodder Gibson told us: “The pages you have referenced are taken from a previous impression of this book. These were highlighted to us previously and we revised the pages significantly. You can view these updated pages online here. The previous impression (that you are quoting) was written in accordance with the course specification: “Candidates give detailed explanations of the potential effects, both positive and negative, of climate change on people and the environment in developed and developing countries.” See page 27–28 of ‘National 5 Course Specification: Approaches to Learning, Teaching and Assessment’.”
Hodder Gibson describe themselves as: “Scotland’s No.1 educational publisher. Trusted provider of teacher CPD and student revision events. Supporting teachers, students and parents from Early Level to Advanced Higher.”
I’m sorry but this doesn’t make any sense at all.
First of all you have the authors writing this content and thinking “this is what students in 2021 should be learning about climate change”, second you have a publisher seeing this material and thinking “this is fine”. Both the authors and the publishers seem to be hiding behind a national education body in Scotland who think it’s appropriate to frame a question such as: “Candidates give detailed explanations of the potential effects, both positive and negative, of climate change on people and the environment in developed and developing countries.”
Can you imagine being a young person at school trying to make sense of the world being presented with this?
How is this even possible?
We’ll be putting these issues to Shirley-Anne Somerville (Education Secretary), Michael Matheson (Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero) and Mairi McAllan (Minister for Environment). We’ll be demanding that whatever follows the SQA has a complete overhaul of its teaching on climate change. We’ll also be demanding that this content is withdrawn and that the authors and the publishers questioned about how they could possibly agree that this was a credible thing to present?