It’s hard to miss the all out attack the current administration has made on all policies related to climate change and clean energy. What may be less known, but will also cause significant damage, is the assault on climate change education being orchestrated by many entities, namely the Heartland Institute. The Heartland Institute (with major funding from the Koch Brothers) has begun a mass distribution of misinformation on climate change to teachers: distributing a book and DVD that could ultimately reach over 200,000 K-12 science educators. This is not only an attack on education, but fundamentally an attack on our students by infiltrating our schools with a culture of climate denial.
Over the last ten years we have reached over 17,000 educators through our curriculum resources, Institutes and workshops. Our professional development offerings build the capacity of teachers to effectively teach climate change and improve climate change education in the classroom. Educators come to us hungry for resources to bring climate change into their classroom, but also with stories of the challenges they face to integrate climate change into an already packed curriculum dictated by standards that don’t explicitly contain the topic.
I believe that many science teachers are savvy enough to recognize that the Heartland materials are not credible science, but my fear is that they will be used for debate in classrooms, and by teachers in other disciplines that don’t have a grounding in the science. In an already packed curricula schedule that should be dedicated to what the science tells us about climate change and developing students’ action competence to do something about it, these materials should go straight to the recycling bin or better yet, returned to sender with postage due.
This is an outrage. Millions of dollars are being spent at the expense of our student’s future. If are outraged as well and you want to do something, we encourage you to support our own mass distribution of science based, critical climate change education resources and training.
We are poised to respond to this urgent opportunity and hope you will join us.
Sponsor an educator to attend our June Summer Institute by donating $150 or more here. In the “In honor of” option, write in “Educator.”
Let us know if you have received one of these materials or if you have other ideas to counter this attack in our schools and classrooms.