Heartland’s Classroom Curriculum Polluter: ‘Climate Literacy’ Is ‘Wrong’

David Wojick

Last month, ThinkProgress Green reported that the corporate-funded Heartland Institute was creating a “global warming curriculum” for elementary schoolchildren that presents climate science as “a major scientific controversy.” With support from an anonymous donor, Heartland will pay $100,000 a year to David Wojick, a coal-industry consultant who believes “CO2 is not pollution,” to produce materials disrupting education of the facts of man-made climate change. Wojick’s work would counter efforts like the “Climate Literacy” guide developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Science Foundation.

In an interview with the subscription-only Climatewire, Wojick said that teaching the facts of climate change is “wrong” because that’s just “one side of the debate”:

Wojick believes climate materials developed for teachers in 2009 by the U.S. Global Change Research Program portray a one-sided description of the man-made impacts that he says do not exist. Although thousands of scientists and educators contributed to the development of the materials, called “Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Science,” Wojick described them as part of the “dangerous AGW school of thought.” He was referring to anthropogenic global warming.

That stuff is wrong,” Wojick said yesterday. “I mean, that’s teaching one side of the debate. In fact, if you look through the Climate Literacy stuff, there’s no indication of a debate. The concept of a debate is not raised. So you obviously can’t use that stuff to teach the debate.”

The notion that accepted scientific facts must be presented as only “one side of the debate” is a scary one indeed. Perhaps in Wojick’s world, science teachers should have to spend equal time explaining that gravity might not exist, the moon might be made of green cheese, and that the Earth might be flat.

One in a series of posts about the Heartland Institute’s inner workings, from internal documents acquired by ThinkProgress Green. ThinkProgress 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.

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