This link is actually to an editorial piece on Truthout.org, but it links back to other articles and a piece from the Washington Post. It pertains to recent blogs on global climate change, denial, and something that has been concerning me lately– scientific and educational integrity. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is the world’s largest organization of science educators, and has repeatedly bent to the pressures and moneys from big corporations. The information being presented to our kids is at times a direct reflection of what brainwashing Big Money wants them hearing. It’s a messy issue, as many schools rely on corporate funding just to run, but is it worth it if we’re indoctrinating kids in favor of coal, against global warming, etc.? The direct impetus for this piece is the NSTA refusal of free copies of An Inconvenient Truth for showing at schools. They do, however, accept other literature and media… Writes the author:
” I am an environmental science teacher of 26 years and I have a steamer trunk of materials from NSTA’s past conferences:
Project Learning Tree’s Energy module, supported by API’s Red Cavaney who wants ANWR opened, opposes the Kyoto Treaty, and wants more public land opened to energy exploration. Lesson plans, coloring books, free coal samples from the American Coal Foundation – minus any substantive discussion, let alone mention of climate change.
Lessons and videos from a group that was called the “Greening Earth Society,” funded by the Western Fuels Association. The message of the film was firm and academically clear: There is no human-induced climate change.
Our youngest teachers need help to plan and write lesson plans, to engage students in critical, scientific scenarios like climate change and to help those students face those challenges with facts in hand. The NSTA is the logical leader on this front with its prestige and deep pockets. Will the NSTA tacitly sit back and even conspire with the likes of ExxonMobil to fill this void? ExxonMobil and Monsanto and the American Petroleum Institute have little interest in providing science data: instead, they see flooding our schools with their “dubious science” as the last component of a major PR effort to continue profits and damn the consequences.”
Among other things, here is an opportunity that we might take, as students of science and concerned world citizens–write to the association to tell them what our values and priorities are! Shame them and inspire them to provide accurate, fair, and essential information to kids… They ought to listen if enough attention is given, since we are the people most affected. Read the articles. Infuriating and arousing.