America’s K-12 classrooms are increasingly becoming indoctrination centers for a one-sided view of climate change, aka, global warming and the supposed existential threat to humankind. The Biden administration, universities, left-of-center think tanks and state governments are developing and spreading climate change curriculum that also contains an explicit activist bent to turn the nation’s children into climate crusaders.

While climate and weather issues are not a recent curriculum topic in America’s elementary and secondary school classrooms, the teaching and content has accelerated in recent years.

By 2013 the Next Generation Science Standards were developed by the National Research Council and other non-profit groups, along with two dozen states. These standards recommended that “man-made climate change” be taught beginning in the fifth grade and incorporated into all science classes.

The degree to which states comply with these or other climate standards remains voluntary. In 2020, the National Center for Science Education and the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund—organizations that fanatically embrace global warming—assigned “grades” on the extent states adopted climate change curriculum and indoctrination. Twenty-seven states received a grade of “B+” or higher on their respective climate curriculum, while 20 states got a “C+” or lower, among which ten received “D” and six states received an “F” grade.

As with two sides of the same ideological coin, the embrace of human causation as the “predominant” factor in a changing climate coincides with activism in climate curriculum, including assignments and projects for students to undertake to save the planet.

According to Radhika Iyengar, director of education at the Columbia University Climate School, which promotes one-sided climate education, the teaching of climate change should include “caring for each other and caring for the planet,” he said. “If you’re not emotionally connect with your environment, it’s very difficult to save it.”

Climate writer Renee Cho further described climate education this way: “What helps students deal with their feelings are solutions, so teachers need to offer opportunities for collective action and problem solving…promoting understanding of environmental justice issues …also introducing a spiritual connection with nature.”

Man-made climate indoctrination is what is sought for children, and it is spreading in America’s K-12 public schools.

In 2020, New Jersey became the first state to mandate climate curriculum across all subjects beginning in kindergarten, including science, social studies, physical education, computer science, and the arts — both visual and performing arts.

Last year, Connecticut followed suit by adopting a law to require science classes to include lessons on man-made climate change, its impact, and potential solutions. State assessments for grades 5, 8, and 11 include questions about students’ understanding of climate change.

In Massachusetts, in the current 2023 school year, more than a dozen high schools have adopted a pilot climate education program developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Climate Action Through Education (CATE) program. The program developers are looking to spread the curriculum nationwide that will include lessons for subject areas beyond science and “opportunities for students to explore climate solutions.”

MIT professor Christopher Knittel, the leader of the CATE program, said, “we will be honest about the threats posed by climate change but also give students a sense of agency that they can do something about this.”

Still, other one-sided climate change education programs are listed here, which invariably go back to manipulating children’s emotions and turning them into political activists.

The Nature Conservancy is about preparing students “for the world ahead and empowering them to advocate for change.” Its climate educator, Jaime Gonzalez said, “I would literally start with footage of people being rescued from Hurricane Harvey,” then explain how climate change “made the storm more destructive.” Historical storm activity is ignored since it refutes such drivel.

The Biden administration also is infusing one-sided climate education. The U.S. Department of Education’s “climate action” plan is about “support[ing] states, districts, schools, and institutions of higher education by disseminating resources related to school facilities and climate education.” Multiple federal agencies also have established curriculum content, including the EPA, NOAA, and the National Science Foundation.

report released in April 2023 by Teachers College at Columbia University claims that 80 percent of parents surveyed support climate change being taught in elementary and secondary schools, although the level of support varies by ideology, according to the authors.

However, parental support for climate curriculum as part of their child’s education does not necessarily translate to embracing the ideological one-sided nature of climate curriculum.

Two separate polls conducted in the last year by OnMessage, Inc. and the Senate Opportunity Fund found overwhelming support across party and ideological lines that: Schools should be focused on teaching the basics and stop focusing on pushing a political philosophy. Parents should be able to move their children to a different school if they believe their school has become too political.

The evidence that most parents and teachers support climate change education should be part of K-12 curriculum, combined with their opposition to political agendas and ideology in the classroom, provides an opportunity to fill the void in America’s classrooms. Children deserve climate facts and realities by using scientifically sound, agenda-free climate components to K-12 curriculum.


  • Peter Murphy

    Peter Murphy is Senior Fellow at CFACT. He has researched and advocated for a variety of policy issues, including education reform and fiscal policy, both in the non-profit sector and in government in the administration of former New York Governor George Pataki. He previously wrote and edited The Chalkboard weblog for the NY Charter Schools Association, and has been published in numerous media outlets, including The Hill, New York Post, Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal. Twitter: @PeterMurphy26 Website: