"Heartland Institute: Keep Climate Denial Out of Our Schools"
Climate Reality Project rolls out new campaign to keep climate denial out of school curriculum
by Maggie L. Fox, Climate Reality Project
Do you think schools should teach our children that climate change isn’t real?
Of course not. But the Heartland Institute, an organization well-known for giving a microphone to climate science deniers, now wants to bring this false message into America’s classrooms.
As their President and CEO just admitted, they are writing a “global warming curriculum” that would say climate science isn’t settled. They’d like our teachers to claim we just don’t know if humans are changing our climate.
This plan is outrageous on its face. As you well know, the science behind climate change is not controversial — it is a reality. Scientists know that climate change is happening, and we are beginning to see the impacts with our own eyes. It would be the height of irresponsibility to urge our schools to teach something known to be untrue.
As its own budget documents reveal (PDF), the Heartland Institute is funded by oil and coal companies with a financial interest in denying climate science. But I think you’ll agree this industry-funded propaganda has no place in our schools.
Fortunately, one brave high school student is asking the Heartland Institute to stop. Corey Husic is writing to the group to say there is no place for a climate denial curriculum. He is asking that Heartland immediately “cease and desist” its plan to bring climate denial into our schools. And today, I invite you to sign this petition as well.
It’s time we move on from this false debate over climate science and engage in a much more fruitful and educational discussion over what we can do to solve the climate crisis.
We’ve created a short video to help you learn more about this urgent issue. I encourage you watch this video now, and sign the petition to keep climate reality in America’s science classrooms.
Corey Husic, a student and trained Climate Presenter, is sending the message below to Joseph Bast, President and CEO, Heartland Institute. Sign our petition and join Corey in standing up for reality. Say NO to climate denial in our schools.
Dear Mr. Bast,
I’m Corey Husic, and I’m a high school student in Pennsylvania. It’s come to my attention that you are prepared to spend a significant amount of money on a “global warming curriculum” to teach kids that climate change isn’t real.
That’s right. According to your own budget documents, you want to hand teachers a curriculum that says global warming is “a major scientific controversy” and that carbon dioxide might not even be a pollutant.
Please be advised: Your entire premise is false. The reality is that our climate is changing now and human activities are a primary cause. I’m just a high school student, so please don’t take my word for it. Just ask any National Academy of Science in the world or just about any actual climate scientist.
Given who pays your bills, your plan doesn’t come as a surprise. According to your own documents, your organization is funded by coal and oil companies with a financial stake in denying climate science — not to mention tobacco companies that tried to convince us smoking doesn’t cause cancer.
My generation is already experiencing a very different climate from our parents and grandparents. We will be the ones responsible for making sure coastal cities are able to withstand rising sea levels. We are the ones who will have to protect ourselves from weather extremes like stronger hurricanes, longer droughts and hotter heat waves. Instead of trying to undermine the science that shows humans are causing climate change, we should be learning how those changes are going to affect us and what we can do about it. In other words, teach us something useful.
We respectfully demand that you cease and desist your effort to bring climate change denial into our schools.
– Maggie L. Fox is the President and CEO of the Climate Reality Project. This piece was originally published at the Climate Reality Project.
NOTE: Think Progress is among several publications to have published documents attributed to the Heartland Institute and sent to us from an anonymous and then unknown source. The source later revealed himself. Heartland Institute has issued several press releases claiming that one document (“2012 Climate Strategy”) is fake and asserting other claims regarding the other documents. ThinkProgress has taken down the 2012 Climate Strategy document as it determines the document’s authenticity.