Al Gore out, Big Oil in for public schools
Gristmill readers have been knocking at our proverbial door to make sure we’ve seen Laurie David’s article from Sunday’s Washington Post. It details the National Science Teachers Association’s (NSTA) rejection of 50,000 free copies of An Inconvenient Truth for use in science classes across the country, and it’s definitely worth some Gristmill grinding.
Accepting the DVDs would place “unnecessary risk upon the [NSTA] capital campaign, especially certain targeted supporters,” the NTSA wrote.
Those supporters? [Insert feigned surprise here]
ExxonMobil, et al.
Writes David, one of the film’s producers, on the influence these capital providers have in the classroom already:
NSTA’s list of corporate donors also includes Shell Oil and the American Petroleum Institute (API), which funds NSTA’s Web site on the science of energy. There, students can find a section called “Running on Oil” and read a page that touts the industry’s environmental track record — citing improvements mostly attributable to laws that the companies fought tooth and nail, by the way — but makes only vague references to spills or pollution. NSTA has distributed a video produced by API called “You Can’t Be Cool Without Fuel,” a shameless pitch for oil dependence.
In their rejection, the NTSA claimed concern that other “special interests” might try to sway public schools.