Written by Paul Chesser - The Heartland Institute
Recent weeks have seen concern from parents over a celebrity-studded "I Pledge" YouTube video that largely supports a left-leaning agenda, and a speech last week by President Barack Obama directly to the nation's students.
But a more obvious activist effort is circulating in high schools of five of the nation's major metropolitan areas, including Chicago-and it's all in favor of a particular political interest.
Students are hearing that we face a "planetary emergency" due to global warming. Despite copious evidence to the contrary-dropping temperatures, record Antarctic ice extent, cooling oceans, a heat bias in measuring instruments-the Alliance for Climate Education wants teens to help fight the allegedly devastating effects of climate change.
The group advances its cause one high school assembly at a time. A recent email from Annie Laurie Cadmus, an ACE educator, to the Rockford Board of Education offered schools "at no cost ... exciting science-based multimedia presentations on climate education." ACE's propaganda reportedly has been welcomed in Naperville schools also.
Why is this free? Because ACE is the brainchild of its wealthy creator and president, Michael Haas, who owned a wind energy firm that was bought out in 2006 by petroleum giant BP. He's still in charge of the firm, apparently with a healthy salary. Records show he gave $4,600 to President Obama's campaign in March 2008 and $20,000 to the Obama Victory Fund last October. It shouldn't surprise us that Haas supports individuals who propose initiatives that help his bottom line.
With ACE he's targeting the next generation. Young eco-activists with performing arts skills make the presentations, which are fine-tuned with spiffy animation and a hip monologue. But their tales are spun with falsehoods such as "we've lived through the ten hottest years on record" (actually, 1934 was the hottest) and that greenhouse gas emissions are jacking up the global thermostat "way too high." It's one-sided hyperbole intended to shape impressionable minds.
ACE, which also has targeted the San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, and Boston areas, aims to reach 140,000 students by the end of this year. Its goal is to get students active in dubious (at best) global warming alarmism, demonize fossil fuels, and push alternative energy sources-such as wind, Haas's moneymaker.
Unfortunately, many teachers and administrators are all too willing to let this biased bunch extract students from classes and force-feed their pap. If parents want their kids to know the truth about global warming, they should visit the Web site of the Chicago-based Heartland Institute for the rest of the scientific and economic story behind the issue.
Paul Chesser is a special correspondent from the Heartland Institute