February 15, 2012

Polluter Front Group Targets Elementary School Children With Climate Change Denial Curriculum

The ways in which industry advances a policy agenda are multifaceted, and often extend far beyond the realm of traditional “inside lobbying.” To influence policymakers, industry will often try to manipulate public opinion. Polluter Front Group Targets Elementary School Children With Climate Change Denial Curriculum In the case of greenhouse gas pollution, industry has taken to new levels of influence peddling to suppress the science of global warming.

ThinkProgress’ Brad Johnson has obtained documents from the Heartland Foundation, a polluter-funded think tank, that reveal a plan to indoctrinate children with climate change denial propaganda. Johnson reports:

Internal documents acquired by ThinkProgress Green reveal that the Heartland Institute, a right-wing think tank funded by the Koch brothers, Microsoft, and other top corporations, is planning to develop a “global warming curriculum” for elementary schoolchildren that presents climate science as “a major scientific controversy.” This effort, at a cost of $100,000 a year, will be developed by Dr. David E. Wojick, a coal-industry consultant.

“Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective,” Heartland’s confidential 2012 fundraising document bemoans. The group believes that Wojick’s project has “potential for great success,” because he has “contacts at virtually all the national organizations involved in producing, certifying, and promoting scientific curricula.” The document explains that Wojick will produce “modules” that promote the conspiratorial claim that climate change is “controversial”

Similarly, over two years ago the coal industry was caught creating kid-friendly coloring books that glorified coal. A DC lobbying and public relations firm helped craft the “Let’s Learn About Coal” pamphlets.

Brendan DeMelle of DeSmogBlog.com has more on the Heartland Institute document leak.