A Science Teacher Confronts Young Minds Damaged By Propaganda

“What people ‘believe’ about global warming doesn’t reflect what they know,” Dan Kahan, a Yale researcher who studies political polarization, has stressed in talks, papers and blog posts. “It expresses who they are.”

In this New York Times article, we encounter science teacher James Sutter and his greatest challenge: teaching propaganda-hardened young minds the reality of climate change.

The Heartland Institute recently science teachers a book of misinformation titled “Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming.” Their goal is to influence “the next generation of thought,” according to Joseph Bast, the group’s chief executive. See the SourceWatch page and Wikipedia entry on the Heartland Institute for more information on the group and its goals.

I’m not being hyperbolic when I say this is a fight for the hearts and minds of our children, and their future. Groups like the Heartland Institute are doing their best to implant ideas that benefit the harmful corporations they work for, while individuals like James Sutter and progressive groups are doing their best to educate students on the evidence and how to think critically about science so they’re prepared to act on that knowledge.

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