Most parents have never heard of the Heartland Institute, and their name sounds harmless enough. But that seemingly innocuous name hides a political agenda. The Heartland Institute is one of a handful of organizations funded by the fossil fuel industry to undermine how climate change science is taught in schools across America. Most recently, they were in the news because of a public outcry when they put up a billboard comparing anyone who is concerned about climate change to the Unabomber. Even before that, it had become public that the Heartland Institute is one of a few groups fighting to make sure that climate change science is presented as a “debate” by science teachers because it is a “theory” like evolution. Of course, evolution and human-induced climate change are both well established pillars of knowledge supported by many independent lines of research.
The bad news is that the fossil fuel industry would like to keep climate science out of schools, but the good news is that parents can fight back. The National Center for Science Education has a wealth of tools on their website to help parents defend climate change education.
The first step you can take is to read more about what is happening and why parents should be worried. Then give yourself a few minutes to calm down. Then take action.
About Keya Chatterjee
Keya Chatterjee is a Climate Change and Environment expert, and Director for International Climate Policy at World Wildlife Fund. Her work focuses on the environmental crisis facing the planet, and what policies and measures should be taken to ameliorate the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. Keya’s commentary on climate change policy and sustainability issues has been quoted in dozens of media outlets including USA Today, CNN, and NBC Nightly News. Keya resides in Washington, DC with her husband Andrew and her son Siddharth. She enjoys practicing yoga, biking, and spending time with her friends and family. She is working on a book about how to have a baby without raising your carbon footprint to be published in 2013 by Ig Publishing. Keep up with Keya's writing on the nexus of climate change activism and motherhood at www.keyachatterjee.com.