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The Threat to Climate Education

  • Posted by SHFT on April 30, 2013 in Science/Tech
  • Ronnie Citron-Fink for Huffington Post:

    The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has a targeted plan regarding what your child learns about climate change. ALEC pushes anti-science bills that mandate teaching climate denial or "skepticism" in public schools. ALEC is a "corporate bill mill" -- written by, and for corporate lobbyists that work alongside conservative legislators.

    As a young teacher, I discovered very quickly how children observe and absorb information. It's the evolving nature of a child's brain to gather knowledge and build upon what they learn. These learning experiences must happen without prejudice... and certainly, without a political agenda.

    ALEC's "Environmental Literacy Improvement Act" has been introduced in 11 states. The bills have already become law in Louisiana, Texas, South Dakota, and Tennessee. What is so frighteningly alarming is that ALEC's "model bills" raises much of its corporate funding from the fossil fuel industry, which in turn utilizes ALEC to push its legislative agenda through in the states.

    According to DeSmogBlog, ALEC's "balanced" teaching of climate science in K-12 classrooms would not only be pushed by lobbyists, and decided by conservative legislators; it also has the stamp of approval from the Heartland Institute -- the climate denier machine that's main intent is to bring about confusion by distorting and debunking scientific climate research. Heartland gives a voice to groups funded by industries that have a financial interest in blocking action on climate change:

    "According to internal documents leaked to and published by DeSmogBlog in Feb. 2012, Heartland obtained funding for a 'Global Warming Curriculum for K-12 Classrooms' project beginning in 2012. This cirruculum [sic] aims to teach that there "is a major controversy over whether or not humans are changing the weather.

    If this sounds similar to ALEC's model bill, it should, given the fact that the two outfits share funding from the same honey pot. In fact, Heartland actively promotes the ALEC model on its website."

    Who is responsible for balancing what information your children learn at school? Teachers. Unfortunately, the polarization of climate change makes it challenging for teachers who understand only too well that our children must live in science-literate society. Teachers know their students are already experiencing climate change in their communities. They know these children will need to be prepared to deal with the possibility of devastating future effects if we do not curb greenhouse gas emissions that lead to climate change. Teachers know it is imperative their students have current and sound science for their future health.

    Article continues here.

    Photo: Creative Commons/Pink Sherbet Photography





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