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Millions of children in our public schools will soon be hearing from the Heartland Institute. It might sound like a nice above board civic group promoting such salt-of-the-earth virtues as integrity and veracity, but quite the opposite.
Heartland’s mission is to promote mass ignorance on behalf of its self-serving (and often heartless) corporate backers. It is yet another secretive far-right-wing front group funded by the Koch brothers’ club of billionaires who’re intent on establishing an unbridled corporate plutocracy in our country.
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But this outfit was recently outed by someone who released a trove of its internal documents – including details of its multimillion-dollar stealth campaign to undermine the teaching of climate change science in America’s schools. Heartland is creating an anti-science curriculum to pooh-pooh the facts of global weather change and planning to turn the issue into a major culture war in local school districts across the country. Falsely claiming that “Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective” and that climate change “is a major scientific controversy” the Institute and its right-wing allies are already pressuring school boards to adopt its denial curriculum, forcing teachers to water down the science.
The dishonesty of Heartland’s campaign includes its shielding of the special interests behind it. When the campaign comes to your area, it won’t tell local people that the Koch brothers – who own America’s largest private oil corporation and are vituperative opponents of regulations to restrict their emissions of global warming pollutants – are putting up $200,000 for the effort this year.
To get to the dark heart of this insidious campaign, and to stand for science and truth in teaching, go to the National Center for Science Education at www.ncse.com.
“In Documents, a Plan to Discredit Climate Teaching,”
www.nytimes.com, February 16, 2012.