Fossil Fuel Propaganda In Education: Connecting the Dots

Sat, 2011-06-25 04:45Laurel Whitney
Laurel Whitney's picture

Fossil Fuel Propaganda In Education: Connecting the Dots

Get ‘em while their young!

It’s a widely know fact that children, whose immune systems are weaker than adults and still developing, are especially susceptible to getting sick from the chemicals and toxins found in fossil fuel pollution. They are also susceptible to another kind of fossil fuel pollution: educational propaganda.

Scientists have even discovered that brains don’t fully develop and mature until the age of 25. That’s why kids continually shove unidentified objects up their nose, light random things on fire, eat worms, and think licking the light socket might be the best ideas of their short-lived little lives. It’s also why they won’t be able to tell the difference between well-rounded educational materials and industry propaganda.

That’s also why it’s disturbing to see the array of news reports showcasing coloring books, cartoons, and lovable characters that the fossil fuel industry has come up with to entice little tykes. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill energy education. The reason these materials are so exploitative is because none of them explore any of the pitfalls of dirty energy.  There’s nothing about public health concerns, water pollution, or the decimation of local ecosystems. And there’s definitely nothing about climate change, which surely belongs on the top 10 list of things kids should be peeing their pants about (after the closet monster of course).

Here’s a litany of examples:

A few days ago, we reported on a natural gas company’s new mascot, Talisman Terry the Fracosaurus and the coloring book Talisman Energy has released without explaining to kids that Talisman Terry would probably be losing his scales if he drank the water contaminated by the process of hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

Chesapeake Energy, another gas company, came up with Chesapeake Charlie, the beagle who loves natural gas, who also has his own coloring book.

In May, Scholastic Inc. cancelled the distribution of a fourth-grade educational package entitled “United States of Energy” that was contracted by the American Coal Foundation. They ended up dropping the client because of outrage from the community over one-sided learning materials that conveniently left out the negative impacts that coal has on the environment and human health.

Also in May, a group released a parody website, Coal Cares, that satirized coal pollution’s link to childhood asthma. The website offered novelty inhalers to children within 200 miles of a coal plant. But fiction turned out to be not far from the truth.

It turns out that the coal industry has been creating children’s material for years, even some eerily similar to the farcical Coal Cares website. For example, the pro-coal group, Friends of Coal, put out a “Let’s Learn About Coal” coloring book two years ago.

The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity put out a website cartoon with singing lumps of coal for Christmas a couple years ago. The outrageous part is that if the coal industry were to do something like market a “coal ash sandbox” as a new environmental initiative to “recycle” the toxic byproducts of coal combustion, the public has been so desensitized to these type of tactics that it’s probably not out of the realm of possibility.

Even the biomass industry is trying to tap into this resource with their own coloring book. Burning biomass for energy is a process that’s only 24% efficient, which is even less than other fossil fuels. Not to mention it takes trees, which help fix that burgeoning carbon problem the world is having, and burns them, which ends up releasing more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere instead of taking it out.

It’s likely that these dirty industries are taking a page out of Big Tobacco’s play book. The tobacco industry has been under fire for decades for trying to get youth addicted to cigarettes. The younger kids start to smoke, that ultimately turns into more profits for the companies per lifetime. Joe Camel is the most familiar, and although the companies at present claim they don’t target youth anymore, insider reports show otherwise.

While oil, coal, and gas don’t have a particular chemical like nicotine that is addictive, the American affinity for fossil fuels has often been compared to being a dangerous addiction the US doesn’t seem to want to go to rehab for.

It seems like the only thing that could be worse would be coloring book propaganda from the Tea Party for kids. Oh wait, there already is one.

Comments

great article explaining why ‘we’ get so pissed when students at every grade level are REPETITIVELY shown An Inconvenient Truth. please dont come back and say it did not mislead the kids. btw, nasa and the epa have similar programs to ‘teach’ the kids their views as well. once again the kettle calling the pot black.

You’re conveniently ignoring the fact that the NASA and EPA programs, and yes, even “An Inconvenient Truth”, are based on science, about which we have been teaching our children for many decades, at the least. Science exists for the pursuit of truth.

The materials discussed above, however, are solely propaganda in the pursuit of profit. What does that teach our children?

an incovenient truth was science? really? i think a judge in engleand thought otherwise about nine times. and i am not sticking up for the ‘clean coal’ crowd either. its all bad.

There can be little doubt that that TGGWS was a Koch sponsored counter to AIT. Of course, Koch was little-known then, but their dirty little secrets are now been exposed to Public scrutiny.

[quote]….There are other groups that are interested in the issue of global warming and the concerns about its costs. Koch Industries is working with other large corporations including AEP and the Southern company, on possibly financing a film that would counteract An Inconvenient Truth. Koch has also decided to finance a coalition that very likely will be administered through the National Association of Manufacturers. The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has been running two ads in ten states that were financed by General Motors and the Ford Motor Company. CEI has a director on climate change and other employees working on the issue. We have met with Koch, CEI and Dr. Michaels, and they meet among themselves periodically to discuss their activities….[endquote]
From the IREA Letter
http://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/IREA-memo.pdf

Of course, TGGWS was serial garbage. But they had lined-up the best scientists money could buy. http://www.ofcomswindlecomplaint.net/FullComplaint.pdf

“While there are minor errors in An Inconvenient Truth, the main truths presented - evidence to show mankind is causing global warming and its various impacts is consistent with peer reviewed science.”

See http://www.skepticalscience.com/al-gore-inconvenient-truth-errors-intermediate.htm

‘an incovenient truth was science? really? i think a judge in engleand thought otherwise about nine times. and i am not sticking up for the ‘clean coal’ crowd either. its all bad.’

Oh! Dear! Another shooting from the hip without ascertaining the facts of the matter.

The Dimmock case is what you are alluding to, by the way it is England (capital Echo, November, Golf, Lima, Alpha, November, Delta) - got it!

Even Wiki gives a fairish account of the findings:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Inconvenient_Truth

and if you bothered to read ‘Climate Cover-Up’ and ‘Merchants of Doubt’ you will be left in no doubt as to where the truth lies. But of course you cannot remove those ideological blinkers.

An Inconvenient Truth wiped the floor with the multiply flawed and mendacious The Great Global Warming Swindle which was BS all the way through and followed the track record of its creator Durkin.

You folk cannot even do denial well. And thus I think it way past time to ignore your petty posts completely, you and those perfidious anonymouses rarely offer anything worthy of the time taken to respond.

Like noisome kids in a playground - best ignored they then tend to give up shouting and go back to browsing comic books.

yeah lionel it wasnt a typo. i thought thats how you spelled england. thanks for the correction.

“why ‘we’ get so pissed when students at every grade level are REPETITIVELY shown An Inconvenient Truth”

ARE” is the operative word here too; they are still showing that propaganda film in elementary and middle schools in Canada. There are never any opposing propaganda films shown to accompany it. It’s a shame.

I’m not sure where you live, but I was never shown “An Inconvenient Truth” in school, nor were my brothers (who both went to different schools, in a different state) or any of the cousins and friends I kept up with.

And I fail to see how being educated about environmental protection and clean energy is negative in any way. Even if the material produced by the EPA presents only one viewpoint, that viewpoint is, “Resources are limited, fossil fuels are dangerous, the earth is better off clean,” and such.

Not to say that I agree with propaganda; just that if the children of America are going to have it shown to them, I would much rather they see the stuff about taking care of the earth rather than the things about how “coal is not dangerous in any way whatsoever, no sir, where’d you get that idea?”

Modern society is built on fossil fuel. We would have nothing without it. Yes it has some problems but everything you can attempt to replace it with will also have problems.

In fact you cant build a solar panel or a wind turbine without massive prior fossil fuel inputs into the system.

You cant have the computer in front of you without fossil fuel inputs.

You are fighting yourself.

Yes, modern society was built on fossil fuel, but modern society is doomed if it cannot get off fossil fuel.

doomed! … DOOMED!!!!!!!!!

Yes our modern world up to now was built using fossil fuels.
Before that it was built using animals of burden, water power, human energy, whale oil, steam engines etc.
So what?
We now know that its time to change if we want to survive as a species.

Using fossil fuels now, to build the energy infrastructure of the future is exactly what we should do. Peak oil is either already here or getting very close. The world is finite. Fossil fuels will run out. And they are ruining the earths ecosystems and are a serious risk to our health.
Burning of fossil fuels is the number one cause of global warming. Not having a livable planet is a little different than the minor impacts of renewable energy.

“You cant have the computer in front of you without fossil fuel inputs.”

Yes you can. What you need is energy. Fossil fuels are not the only choice.

How about this? Fill an area in the southwest deserts with solar thermal power plants and produce power day and night, generating as many megawatt hours of power as all the coal plants in America. How big an area? 41.5 by 41.5 miles, - 2 or 3 times the area now evacuated around the Fukishima nuclear power plant in Japan.
Needs no fuel ever.

Plastics can be made from plants or algae.

Sailrick, I see you have all the CAGW talking points memorized. Ever question them? Probably not!

Anyway, I am amazed at how environmental beliefs collapse when they run into other environmentalists. This article is amusing: Solar Power Plants Drain Desert Waters – http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2009/world/nyt-solar-power-plants-drain-desert-waters/ It explains just one of the unanticiapted consequences of your southwest desert solar alternative.

The article is another of environmentalism run amok: 7 Solar Farms Coming Soon to the Southwest Deserts - http://gigaom.com/cleantech/7-solar-farms-coming-soon-to-the-south-west-deserts/ It has this little tidbit: “A whole lot has changed since we wrote this story three years ago, covering solar farms that were going under construction in the deserts of California and Arizona. On the one hand, there’s been solar contracts revoked, companies sold, and money lost — on the other hand there’s been a bunch of companies that have finally gotten state and federal permits to build plants, and one company in particular that is planning an IPO (duh, BrightSource).”

So we have even more companies to go through the “there’s been solar contracts revoked, companies sold, and money lost” cycle, but these will be on the tax payers’ dole.

Sigh, how more misguided can they be??????

I keep hearing about this solar power from the dessert idea, but nobody does it in any significant way. Why not? Evidently, costs prevent it. Its always about cost.

Sun power will eventually replace coal but not until financial realities make it happen. In the meantime we have coal and natural gas and no amount of complaining is going to change that. Cartoons from fossil fuel companies and organizations make zero impact on whether we actually use coal and natural gas.

Its about money and the real cost of energy - not the big bad fossil fuel executives and their cartoon characters.

rum
“an incovenient truth was science? really? i think a judge in engleand thought otherwise about nine times.”

really?

Al Gore was taken to court in Britain, to challenge Gore’s movie being shown in public schools, demanding that “The Great Global Warming Swindle” be shown in schools also, if Gore’s movie was allowed. The judge allowed the showing of “An Inconvenient Truth”, with the caveat that a few uncertainties about impacts were mentioned. He saw no reason to show “The Great Global Warming Swindle” to children. But skeptics go around claiming that a judge in England condemned Gore’s movie. More proof to them to them, that AGW isn’t real.

And here’s the judge’s conclusion.
“Al Gore’s presentation of the causes and likely effects of climate change in the film was broadly accurate” and “substantially founded upon scientific research and fact.”
And the judge never said Gore had 9 errors. He said there were 9 points that some skeptics disagreed with and that “might” be errors.

coal kills 20,000 people every year, just in the U.S. The health costs from coal have been estimated at $160 billion per year in the U.S.
Some of the excess CO2 we are adding to the atmosphere is dissolving in the oceans, lowering the pH - ocean acidification. -thought to have been the cause of mass extinctions of marine life millions of years ago.

Warmer sea water is already killing off coral reefs, which 25 percent of all life in the sea depends on to survive.

Acidification will also destroy coral as well as shellfish and some kinds of plankton at the bottom of the food chain.

We have already put enough mercury into the ocean to make fish barely edible. The biggest source of mercury is from burning coal.
Fish is what a large percentage of humans depend on for protein.

Species are already going extinct at least 100 times faster than the background rate over many millions of years, from impacts from humans.

Dont worry, nothing to worry about, keep moving, nothing to see here.

Lol! Pot meet kettle!
The green lobby has 10 times the propaganda programs aimed at kids in our schools these days. So much so that the minister in charge of curriculum in the UK is asking for major reform in their science courses there. He (and others) want CAGW teachings removed from science classes because they represent ideology more that actual science.They want to get back to science basics.
Read the Guardian article here;
http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/jun/12/climate-change-curriculum-government-adviser Hank

Wow… Breathtaking ignorance.

These “people” are still defending AIT?
And the Hokey Schticks?
And Sealevel Rise BS?
And still claiming Temperatures are still rising?

LOL…. Kind or reminde you of relirious preaching?

Good Grief… Will reality ever dawn on this bunch?

Memorized talking points? No not at all. I have spent upwards of 5,000 hours studying the science.
After that, I am convinced that the deniers are the ones with memorized talking points, which 99 percent of the time don’t even pass the sniff test.

When I read climate science blogs, I save the title, maybe a short paragraph, and the URL in a text file. That file, which covers the past 15 months, is now 465 pages long. That is 15 months out of 4 years of such activity. So no, I am not unimormed.

What I have seen on the denier side is almost exclusively,
* bad science
*failure to admit when bad science or assumptions are made.
*faked charts and graphs,
*ubiquitous cherry picking, -cherry picking almost always ,in fact
* lies,
*distortions of the science,
*misrepresentations of the work done by honest scientists,
*citing of published papers that do not support the claims being made and which often completely contradict the claims being made.
*Repitition, by those who should know better, of long debunked arguments
*encouraging the clinging to such nonsense -like what John Christy did in Congressional testimony, when asked about “predictions in the 70s of an ice age”, as if a minor hypothesis, based on 7 papers from 40 years ago is comparable to a scientific theory with 150 years of research and well over 10,000 peer reviewed papers in support.

Sailrick, wow! 5,000 hours, huh? Notice any trend in the past two years? Number and visit to the believer sites down?

Hmmmmm..
I have spent nearly 5000 and 1 hours reading sites and have found.

Warmsist sites almost exclusively contain:

* bad science
*failure to admit when bad science or assumptions are made.
*faked charts and graphs,
*ubiquitous cherry picking, -cherry picking almost always ,in fact
* lies,
*distortions of the science,
*misrepresentations of the work done by honest scientists,
*citing of published papers that do not support the claims being made and which often completely contradict the claims being made.
*Repitition, by those who should know better, of long debunked arguments Ie THE HOKEY SCHTICK!!!
*encouraging the clinging to such nonsense -like what Al Gore did in Congressional testimony, when he lies about sea level rise. As if a minor hypothesis, based on computer models is comparable to real scientific evidence and research.

Simpley put. The scam is over.

“Warmsist climate denial sites almost exclusively contain:”

You had obviously a typo. No need to thank me, you are welcome.

Oh, you forgot in your list :
“* the amazing ability to contradict each other and themselves on a daily basis - see for example the bashing Mr Monckton received because he said greenhouse effect is in accordance with the second law of thermodynamic (and he was right)”

algore: “In the United States of America, unfortunately we still live in a bubble of unreality. And the Category 5 denial is an enormous obstacle to any discussion of solutions. Nobody is interested in solutions if they don’t think there’s a problem. Given that starting point, I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous (global warming) is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.” – Al Gore
more from your boy:Mr Gore claims that a sea-level rise of up to 20 feet would be caused by melting of either West Antarctica or Greenland “in the near future”. judge:”The Armageddon scenario he predicts, insofar as it suggests that sea level rises of seven metres might occur in the immediate future, is not in line with the scientific consensus”.
nothing majopr here except for the cause and effect: Mr Gore claims that two graphs, one plotting a rise in C02 and the other the rise in temperature over a period of 650,000 years, showed “an exact fit”. The judge said that, although there was general scientific agreement that there was a connection, “the two graphs do not establish what Mr Gore asserts”. wasnt there a lag of about 800 years?
“Mr Gore says the disappearance of snow on Mt Kilimanjaro was directly attributable to global warming” …not
Lake Chad : alarmism again but what do we expect after reading the first quote.
Mr Gore blames Hurricane Katrina and the consequent devastation in New Orleans on global warming, but the judge ruled there was “insufficient evidence to show that” complete bull shit.
bears were being found after drowning from “swimming long distances - up to 60 miles -bull shit (that it is from global warming
by showing the graph in reference to co2 and warming while being on a hi-lo should make you guys run from him yet littlemore had a story on him last week and you guys defend him. the worse thing to happen with this entire thing was gore and then mann. (yes you guys still defend the hockey stick and even here in the responses accuse us of cherrypicking data and crap like that.) Mann made science stand on its head. the public isnt buying all the crap and now true scientific debate will never be had. a travesty. a travesty for this debate and future debates when something serious comes along.

Take care…. The latest trend is to distance yourselves from Gore since he is clearly a hypocrit.

He has no credibility and is actually toxic to the dumb green movement now.

Get with the program… The scam needs you.

See, most of your content is about Al Gore’s claims. Al Gore is far from the only person to be concerned and convinced about global warming (or human-induced climate change in general). It is widely acknowledged within the scientific community that something bad is happening to the environment(rising global temperature, melting ice-caps and glaciers,the giant hole on the ozone over Antarctica, the destruction of coral reefs, just to name a few), and that the burning of fossil fuels and the subsequent trapping of CO2 and other gases in the atmosphere is at least a major factor.

So please stop screaming Al Gore’s name every time you want to dispute global warming, unless you would also like to dispute the beliefs of the majority of earth scientists in the US and elsewhere, all of whom I’m sure are more qualified to assess the issue than you, or Al Gore, are.

http://articles.cnn.com/2009-01-19/world/eco.globalwarmingsurvey_1_global-warming-climate-science-human-activity?_s=PM:WORLD

http://stats.org/stories/2008/global_warming_survey_apr23_08.html http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-01/uoia-ssa011609.php

“So please stop screaming Al Gore’s name every time you want to dispute….maybe you didnt read the article nor the posts. I dont scream algore every time agw is mentioned. as a matter of fact the only time i heard his name recently was from this site when littlemore was trying to make some inane point about said blowhard and obama. the mention here was because the author was chiding the use of propaganda to little kids. i think its pretty hypocritical because there was not a worse offender than the blowhard himself, your guru, algore. AIT was and is shown to kids of all ages, in school over and over. somehow people still try to stick up for the movie and its misleadings and it just blows me away. thank God the supreme court sees all this my way.

This is a really great interview…

have a listen: http://www.2gb.com/index2.php?option=com_newsmanager&task=view&id=9196

One of our Rethinking Schools editors did a thorough critique of the coal curriculum that Scholastic distributed before shelving it. If you’re interested in the details, you can read the critique here: http://rethinkingschools.org/archive/25_04/25_04_bigelow.shtml

Only an idiot would believe that the entire world science community is scamming you. Only an idiot believes that science is propaganda and anti science fossil fuel industry PR campaign of disinformation is truth.

Al Gores movie had a few mistakes but was overall correct. This has been verified by numerous climate scientists.

How about we compare him with misinformer Bjorn Lomborg, who wrote the ridiculous book The Skepical Environmmentalist?

Comparison of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and Lomborg’s two books

Al Gore´s film: 2 errors, 8 flaws, 10 in total.
Al Gore´s book: 2 errors, 11 flaws, 13 in total.
Film and book together: 2 errors, 12 flaws, 14 in total.

Chapter 24 on global warming in “The Skeptical Environmentalist”: 22 errors, 59 flaws, 81 in total.
(This is more than one distortion per page).

“The Skeptical Environmentalist” in total (up to now 12/9/09):
117 errors, 219 flaws, 336 in total.

“Cool it!”, British edition: 48 errors, 111 flaws, 159 in total (up to now, with about 40 % of the book investigated).
(This is nearly two distortions per page)..

http://www.lomborg-errors.dk/

The popularity of skeptic websites means little. If you looked at which websites scientists go to, there would be no comparison.

Your claims about “warmist” sites being bad science etc. are absurd.

Go read every article at Real Climate, Skeptical Science, Science of Doom and Open Mind over the past 4 years. You might actually know something about climate science when you are done. Then if you still have questions about the validity of the science, you might just be considered a skeptic. Otherwise you are just a denier.

[x]

Today, legislative and lobbyist members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) voted on model legislation promoting both exports of gas obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and vehicles powered by compressed natural gas (CNG)

Dubbed a “...

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