Today was my last day of school with students for the year. After saying a final farewell to my students, I wrapped up my day with my usual trek to the mail room and I found a little gift in my mailbox:
For those of you who don’t know, it’s climate change denial garbage from a conservative think tank. This New York Times Op-ed explains.
The book is unscientific propaganda from authors with connections to the disinformation-machinery of the Heartland Institute. In a recent letter to his members, David L. Evans, executive director of the National Science Teachers Association, said that “labeling propaganda as science does not make it so.” He called the institute’s mass mailing of the book an “unprecedented attack” on science education.
Judging from the responses of educators I know who have received “Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming” in recent weeks, most copies of it are likely to be ignored or discarded. But if only a small percentage of teachers use it as intended, they could still mislead tens of thousands of students with it year after year.
Knowing that the other science teachers at my school received the same package, I sent an email to my department explaining what’s going on and pointing them to the National Center for Science Education’s material that refutes Heartland’s junk. I’m glad I did. I later spoke with a fellow teacher who didn’t know anything about Heartland. With that in mind, I advise that all teachers educate their coworkers when this junk mail shows up!