This is a guest post by ClimateDenierRoundup.
Back in 2012, documents obtained from the Heartland Institute revealed that the industry-funded group had plans to send teachers climate denial resources. The person leading up that effort, reporters confirmed, was to be energy consultant David Wojick. But once exposed, the plan seemed to have disappeared.
Heartland again made news last year for trying to trick teachers into propagating their denial. This time, the institute decided to send out to thousands of teachers, unsolicited, its IPCC knock-off report. Most teachers contacted by reporters for stories didn’t seem to buy the ruse. (We’ve even heard that one professor uses it in his Intro to Climate Change class for freshmen in college — to use as a punching bag to teach the kids how to critically examine claims.)
Now it looks like CFACT [Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow] is picking up where Heartland left off.
The organization sent out a fundraising email [March 19] begging for cash for a new “report that exposes the sad state of climate education in America.” It appears that David Wojick, whom CFACT names in the email, is still targeting schools: according to CFACT, Wojick has “conducted an extensive survey” of the information science teachers have at their disposal. Wojick’s conclusion, unsurprisingly, is that too much of today’s curriculum has a “reprehensible focus on activism over science.”
It’s worth mentioning that Heartland’s stalled 2012 project isn’t the only Wojick effort to fail to launch. A crowdsourced effort last year from Wojick to create an education portal for climate denial failed pretty miserably: it only met $6,400 of its $35,000 goal, raised by 18 people in 9 months. (It’s unclear why Wojick has consistently failed at infiltrating American curriculum, when Big Oil successfully enrolled Petro Pete into Oklahoma’s schools.)
Clearly CFACT sees all these years of failure in this project and thinks that’s a perfect reason to seek donations from its followers (free market groups, after all, love donations).
But wait, there’s more. CFACT reportedly plans to to cook up “an educational work/textbook” to go along with the mash-up of denier memes contained in its Climate Hustle movie. Seems like the brain trust at CFACT think that a workbook lends legitimacy to a movie critics raved is “not very watchable,” “very amateurish,” and “not good film making.”
We’re also positive this workbook is in no way shape or form an outgrowth of the infamous 1998 “Global Climate Science Communications Plan.” This document, authored by the American Petroleum Institute, laid out how groups, including CFACT, could cast doubt on climate science and inject doubt into the public’s understanding of the issue. Just like Pruitt’s science plan, this is yet another denier project pulled straight from the pages of big oil — and tobacco’s — propaganda playbook.
While these plans are not the kind you’d expect to find in a library, or want your kids to read, this educational project is being done by the books.