Big Oil's money is working hard to stifle the truth. The producer of Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth tried to donate "50,000 free DVDs to the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)"1 and was subsequently turned down because it might harm their funding:
Still, maybe the NSTA just being extra cautious. But there was one more curious argument in the e-mail: Accepting the DVDs, they wrote, would place "unnecessary risk upon the [NSTA] capital campaign, especially certain targeted supporters." One of those supporters, it turns out, is the Exxon Mobil Corp.2
The best part of this is that the NSTA website actually contains - make that contained - oil industry friendly fluff pieces. Google's cache could once provide them to us, however they are long since gone. The links I used to see them were Running on Oil and Refining Oil. The timestamp on that latter document was 19 Nov 2006 00:42:57 GMT. This is when Google last downloaded the page. It's interesting that these documents disappeared just immediately before this particular information hit the news.
The upshot of all this is that not only is science for sale in this country, but so are our children. It seems the NSTA feels that it's acceptable to lie to students in order to teach them other things. It seems to me that it comes out to a draw. It would be better to remain ignorant than to have one's head stuffed full of lies. Maybe that's just me, though.
Can I interest anyone in some Biofuel?
- 1. David, Laurie. Science a la Joe Camel. Washington Post Online, Sunday, November 26, 2006; B01. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/24/AR2006112400789_pf.html>
- 2. Odiyya, "An Inconvenient Truth Squeezed from Classrooms". The Conscious Earth (blog), Monday, November 27, 2006 <http://consciousearth.blogspot.com/2006/11/inconvenient-truth-squeezed-from.html>