Tensions Rise Over Climate Change in Texas Educational Texts

by Lucas Garcia
Texas Textbooks Climate Controversy

The handling of climate change in science textbooks is causing controversy in Texas, the leading state in oil and gas production in the United States. A significant decision is anticipated on Friday by the Texas State Board of Education, following criticisms from some Republican members who argue that the textbooks present an overly critical view of fossil fuels.

Debates over textbook selection have intensified within the board, which has previously grappled with contentious issues about the teaching of evolution and American history to over five million students.

In 2021, the board, dominated by conservatives, established science standards that did not include creationism as an alternative to evolution and acknowledged human activities as contributing factors to climate change.

However, this week, several Republican members of the 15-person board expressed dissatisfaction with the current textbook choices, condemning them for their negative stance on fossil fuels and lack of coverage on alternatives to evolution. Wayne Christian, a Texas oil and gas industry regulator and a Republican, has encouraged the board to select textbooks that emphasize the role of fossil fuels in energy development.

In Texas, home to over 1,000 school districts, adherence to the board’s textbook recommendations is not mandatory, but these endorsements are influential.

Glenn Branch, Deputy Director of the National Center on Science Education, noted that some board members are inclined to exclude certain textbooks from the approved list due to their personal and ideological stances on evolution and climate change.

The upcoming vote on Friday will determine if the proposed textbooks align with the 2021 standards. Branch highlighted that several books meet these criteria and align with the scientific community’s consensus.

The scientific consensus firmly supports that greenhouse gases from fossil fuel combustion are elevating global temperatures, altering weather patterns, and posing threats to wildlife.

Aaron Kinsey, a Republican member of the board and an executive in a West Texas oil field services company, criticized the portrayal of the oil and gas industry in some textbooks during a recent discussion, citing biased imagery.

Responding to Kinsey’s remarks, Democrat Aicha Davis, another board member, questioned the nature of the desired imagery in these textbooks.

The National Science Teaching Association, representing 35,000 science educators in the U.S., wrote to the board on Thursday, urging them not to let unfounded objections to evolution and climate change hinder the adoption of science textbooks in Texas.

Emily Witt, a spokeswoman for the Texas Freedom Network, a left-leaning organization monitoring the board, indicated that the number of textbooks at risk of rejection varies by grade level and publisher. Their analysis identified only two textbooks that might not comply with the 2021 standards.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Texas Textbooks Climate Controversy

What is the controversy about in Texas regarding science textbooks?

The controversy centers on how science textbooks in Texas address climate change and their portrayal of fossil fuels, sparking debates among members of the Texas State Board of Education.

Why are some Texas State Board of Education members critical of the current textbooks?

Some Republican members criticize the textbooks for being overly negative towards fossil fuels and not including alternatives to evolution, arguing that this reflects a biased view against the oil and gas industry.

Are Texas school districts required to use the board-approved textbooks?

No, Texas has over 1,000 school districts, and none are obligated to use the textbooks approved by the board. However, the board’s endorsements are influential.

What are the science standards adopted by the Texas State Board of Education in 2021?

The science standards adopted in 2021 do not mention creationism as an alternative to evolution and recognize human activities as contributors to climate change.

What is the stance of the scientific community on the topics covered in the textbooks?

The scientific community overwhelmingly agrees that greenhouse gases from fossil fuel combustion are raising global temperatures, disrupting weather patterns, and threatening wildlife.

How will the upcoming vote by the Texas State Board of Education impact textbook selection?

The vote will determine whether the proposed textbooks align with the standards set in 2021, potentially influencing which textbooks are used in Texas schools.

More about Texas Textbooks Climate Controversy

  • Texas Textbook Controversy
  • Science Education in Texas
  • Climate Change Debate in Schools
  • Fossil Fuels and Education Policy
  • Texas State Board of Education Standards
  • Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

You may also like


Sarah1984 November 17, 2023 - 10:55 pm

It’s like every year there’s a new battle in the textbooks… evolution now climate change, what’s next?

EcoWarrior November 18, 2023 - 6:53 am

Seriously fossil fuels aren’t the future, why can’t the board see that? we need to think about our kids future!

TexanTeacher November 18, 2023 - 11:35 am

As a teacher, it’s tough to navigate these politics. Just want to teach the facts without all this drama.

Mike_Jones November 18, 2023 - 3:53 pm

wow, didnt know texs was so divided on climate change, schools really need to teach the science right?


Leave a Comment


BNB – Big Big News is a news portal that offers the latest news from around the world. BNB – Big Big News focuses on providing readers with the most up-to-date information from the U.S. and abroad, covering a wide range of topics, including politics, sports, entertainment, business, health, and more.

Editors' Picks

Latest News

© 2023 BBN – Big Big News