Miseducation

Miseducation
How Climate Change Is Taught in America

Why are so many American children learning misinformation about climate change?

Investigative reporter Katie Worth reviewed scores of textbooks, built a 50-state database, and traveled to a dozen communities to talk to children and teachers about what is being taught about climate change in America’s public schools. She found a red-blue divide in climate education. More than one-third of young adults believe that climate change is not man-made, and no wonder—that’s what they are taught in school.

Who has tried to influence what children learn, and how successful have they been? Worth connects the dots: oil corporations, state legislatures, school boards, libertarian think tanks, conservative lobbyists, and textbook publishers, all of whom have learned from previous fights over evolution and tobacco. They are now sowing uncertainty, confusion, and distrust about climate science. Four in five Americans today don’t think there is a scientific consensus on global warming. In the words of a top climate educator, “We are the only country in the world that has had a multi-decade, multi-billion dollar deny-delay-confuse campaign.” Miseducation is the alarming story of how climate denialism is being implanted in millions of school children.

“Exceptional reporting undergirds the truly shocking facts in this book: the fossil fuel industry is doing all that it can to undermine education about climate change, which will be the most important fact in the lifetimes of kids in school today.” —Bill McKibben

 

This book was written with the support of FRONTLINE and The GroundTruth Project

 


Read Nicholas Lemann’s Letter to the Reader

Miseducation
  • ISBN: 9781735913643
  • Price: $16.00
  • E-book ISBN: 9781735913650
  • On Sale: November 16, 2021
  • Pages: 184

Praise

“Exceptional reporting undergirds the truly shocking facts in this book: the fossil fuel industry is doing all that it can to undermine education about climate change, which will be the most important fact in the lifetimes of kids in school today. Thank heaven for the teachers who stand up for the truth—and thank heaven that this book will spark a crucial national conversation about the hijacking of our educational system.” —Bill McKibben

“A striking look at how climate change is taught in American primary and secondary schools.” Publishers Weekly ★ starred review

“A damning report on the state of science education in America, especially regarding climate change.” Kirkus Reviews

“Boy, do we need this book now. As the looming climate catastrophe introduces itself by fire and flood, as the world's leaders need a sense of public urgency to make some hard choices, Katie Worth discovers widespread climate denialism in our nation's schools. Ignorance of the scientific consensus, ideological pressure, fossil-fuel industry disinformation, and a well-meaning but misguided desire to tell ‘both sides’—it is a disheartening story, richly reported, clearly told and (we can only hope) just in time.” —Bill Keller, former executive editor of The New York Times and founding editor of The Marshall Project

“In her meticulously researched and vividly written book, Katie Worth provides a detailed, comprehensive, and often enraging examination of the forces that obstruct climate change education in the United States through denial, doubt, and delay. But she also offers a glimmer of hope. Miseducation is essential reading for anybody who cares about the climate.” —Glenn Branch, deputy director, National Center for Science Education

“Climate change is an unprecedented threat to our global community, and the frontlines of our efforts to address that threat are in the nation’s classrooms where clearheaded, well-informed educators can provide the coming generation with the facts about its causes and likely consequences. But what if those classrooms have been infiltrated by bad actors? In this engagingly written and important book, Katie Worth reveals how the science education that might save us has been influenced by partisan politics and special interests putting the future of us all at risk.” —John L. Rudolph, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and author of How We Teach Science: What’s Changed, and Why It Matters

“Young people horrified about climate change are standing up against fossil fuel companies and governments the world over. Amid this global youth uprising, Katie Worth reveals in horrifying detail the ways in which children in American schools are being methodically—and oftentimes successfully—targeted with climate misinformation designed to keep profits and pollution from oil, coal and gas flowing. This deeply reported book names names and reveals filthy secrets and should be essential reading for anybody concerned for the future of humanity.” —John Upton, editor at Climate Central

“Katie Worth’s Miseducation explores an under-appreciated but extremely important aspect of our climate crisis: the active mis-education around climate change in American schools. She explains how conservative politicians, well-funded right-wing foundations, and frightened textbook publishers, have watered down, eliminated or confused the ways the issue is presented to tens of millions of school children. They hope to raise another generation that will fail to act on what may be the greatest threat to our future. But, as Worth shows, efforts by committed educators has led to some real progress and represents reasons for hope.” —Alexander Stille, San Paolo Professor of International Journalism at Columbia, author of The Force of Things: A Marriage in War and Peace

Award-Winner

FRONTLINE’s “The Virus at Sea”, an interactive documentary produced by Katie Worth, is the recipient of the 2021 Edward R. Murrow Award in the “Excellence in Innovation” category

Edward R. Murrow Awards 2021

 

About the author

Katie Worth

Katie Worth is an Emmy Award-winning investigative journalist and was the inaugural FRONTLINE-Columbia Tow Journalism Fellow. She was the recipient of an O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism at Marquette University. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, National Geographic, Slate, The Wall Street Journal, and was included in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2016@katieworth

Upcoming Event

MISEDUCATION: Katie Worth at Harvard Book Store

MISEDUCATION: Katie Worth at Harvard Book Store

Friday, November 19, 2021
12:00pm — 1:00pm ET

Harvard Book Store / virtual event

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Upcoming Event

MISEDUCATION: Katie Worth at Third Place Books

MISEDUCATION: Katie Worth at Third Place Books

Monday, November 22, 2021
7:00pm — 8:00pm PT

Third Place Books / virtual event

Register Here