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America’s youth issue Heartland a plea to “Cease and Desist”

February 24th, 2012 · No Comments

Earlier today, the Climate Reality Project put up this video of youth parroting (parodying) Heartland Institute anti-science perspectives.

The letter associated with this video is after the fold.

This comes following mass release of internal Heartland Institute documents (including a disputed two-page climate strategy memo, which Heartland states is a forgery but whose origin remains uncertain (here, here, here), and …) that calls for “dissuading the teaching of science”).   Those heartless documents lay out a Heartland Institute plan to develop an (anti)science curriculum for America’s K-12 classrooms that will focus on creating a sense of a debate over basic climate-science facts when the scientific community is in tremendous accord over climate science. (Discussions of Heartland‘s education plans are here, here, here, here, …  And, note that Heartland sent climate disinformation material to over 10,000 Canadian schools in 2008.)

Climate Reality CEO Maggie Fox laid out,

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.

Is Heartland seeking to reinforce and escalate America’s anti-science attitudes in its efforts to confuse America’s K-12 students about actual science and about how to develop thoughts about science?

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.

Corey Husic
Age 17
Climate Presenter

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Tags: Energy