For weeks, one of the Scholastic publishing company’s energy curriculum programs has been under attack by environmental zealots, like the Sierra Club, and liberal publications like the New York Times. Scholastic’s infraction was producing a 4th grade lesson packet with the American Coal Foundation, which gave a broad view of U.S. energy production, including coal, wind power, solar power, nuclear power, and natural gas.
Now it looks as if these environmentalists have successfully bullied Scholastic into dropping the original lesson plan, and replacing it with a “Celebrate Earth Day” online lesson, based on the book The Down-to-Earth-Guide to Global Warming. The guide was written by the co-producer of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth, Laurie David.
The lesson is filled with alarmism and environmental propaganda, hinting to kids that polar bears and walruses will die if their parents don’t buy hybrid cars or promote ethanol-based fuel. It even pushes elementary school students to become tiny global warming activists. One section of the website asks kids to send this letter to their mayor:
Dear Mayor _____________________________________,
Global warming is real and its here to stay – unless we do something to stop it. There’s an amazing agreement that more than 400 of your fellow mayors have signed. It’s called the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. It’s a 12-step program that sets reasonable goals for you city to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to below what the levels were in 1990. Please join these other mayors in being leads in the fight to stop global warming.
The kids of the world are depending on you.
__________________________________, Age _______
It’s one thing to learn about climate change theory in school. It’s quite another to use children as political pawns in a partisan fight to establish carbon-cap programs. Was it unwise for Scholastic to team up with the American Coal Foundation to create an energy lesson plan? Maybe. But at least that plan wasn’t aimed at building an army of elementary-aged lobbyists. Such a politicized lesson—especially one created by a co-producer of the widely discredited film An Inconvenient Truth—is inappropriate for the classroom.